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A plebiscite in the US oldest and largest colony Puerto Rico has returned an overwhelming vote in favour of becoming the 51st state of the United States. 

The option of formally joining the US as a fully-fledged state was backed by 97.1% of those who cast their ballots. 

The US Congress will ultimately decide whether the status of the US commonwealth changes.

Puerto Rico has been an unincorporated territory of the United States since the conclusion of the Spanish-American War in 1898.


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