Lourdes- Batista-PR Lourdes Batista and her daughter will vote for Juan Dalmau. This is the first time in 30 years that Batista will vote for a different political party.
Image courtesy of Lourdes Batista.

For decades, Lourdes Batista voted for the Popular Democratic Party, but she is ready to support a new proposal now.

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico—When Lourdes Batista began to forge her political identity, she identified with the Popular Democratic Party (PPD by its Spanish initials) because she believes in the kind of sovereignty—the autonomy of local government under the authority of the federal government— a wing of the party supports. 

Ever since she turned 18—the legal voting age in Puerto Rico—Batista voted for the PPD.

“I think the Commonwealth should have moved forward so we are not so dependent on the United States,” Batista told The Americano. “This should have been a process of evolution. We became complacent, enjoyed convenience—and now no one can get us out of this quandary.”

In August, Batista followed her usual political stance and voted in the primaries for PPD candidate Charlie Delgado, who competed for the gubernatorial seat with Sen. Eduardo Bhatia and San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz. 

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Delgado, current mayor of the municipality of Isabela, prevailed. Since then, Batista began to analyze his performance in debates and other interviews. However, his ambiguous stance left her doubtful.

“I thought about Charlie—some people spoke very highly of him,” Batista said. “In debates, however, you start seeing this human being who says one thing and two minutes later says another. To get votes, he wants to be ‘with God and the Devil.’ No way.” 

Her impression of Delgado—as well as rampant corruption on the island and the events of protest-laden Verano del 19—tipped the entrepreneur to think that both the PPD and the New Progressive Party (PNP by its Spanish initials) are to blame for the current social, economic, and governmental crisis.

In the end, Batista has made up her mind to vote for Juan Dalmau, the Puerto Rico Independence Party (PIP by its Spanish initials) candidate for governor.

“We’ve been in this for so many years—why not give someone new a chance,” Batista said. “If we fall into the same ol’, at least we tried.”

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The entrepreneur said Dalmau, in her opinion, has the most complete government proposal. Batista is the mother of a 19-year-old teenager who will be voting for the first time and also supports the PIP candidate.

“His ideas most closely resemble my ideals,” Batista said. her affiliation with the PPD, she says she has always evaluated the candidates regardless of their party, especially when voting for senators. The voter describes herself as an “objective Popular”—if she thinks a candidate from an opposing party is worthwhile, that person will get her vote. 

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As much as the entrepreneur wants change, she is not sure that Puerto Ricans are ready for evolution.

“The definition of insanity is when you do the same thing and expect different results,” the voter said. “As long as we carry on the same way, the insanity will continue.”