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Mon Jun 17, 2019, 04:19 PM

Is Puerto Rico America's Forgotten Colony?

In their Foreign Affairs essay, “The forgotten colony of the United States,” Antonio Weiss and Brad Setser explain how Puerto Rico’s “perpetual crisis” is a result of its colonial status.

“Since 1898, when Washington took possession of it at the end of the Spanish-American War, Puerto Rico has been neither granted sovereignty nor fully integrated into the United States,” they point out. “Instead, it has remained an ‘unincorporated territory,’ a place that is simultaneously a part of, yet apart from, the rest of the country.”

As a territory, Puerto Rico has one non-voting member in Congress and no senators, and residents of Puerto Rico cannot vote in presidential elections. “Without any say in the federal policies that govern it,” the authors say, “Puerto Rico has for decades been neglected by Washington.”

As evidence for Washington’s lack of concern for Puerto Rico, the authors note:

• The territory has been in a state of economic crisis for years, as evidenced by a drop in economic output of 14% between 2004 and 2017. This, the authors say, would be one of the worst declines in the world if Puerto Rico were an independent nation compared with other nations.
• The poverty rate in Puerto Rico, at 45% and 56% for children, is twice that of the poorest State, Mississippi.
• The territory’s residents don’t have the same safety net and benefits that they would have if they lived in a State. The disparities include tax credits, medical care, nutrition assistance and more; estimates suggest that the Island could receive as much as $5.4 billion each year in additional benefits if it were a State.
• Hundreds of thousands of Puerto Rico’s residents have left the territory to live in a State.
• Through multiple Democratic and Republican administrations, no change has been made in Puerto Rico’s status,in spite of extensive discussion.
• Puerto Rico’s economy has been deeply affected by federal policies and decisions which are not based on the best outcome for Puerto Rico.

Read more: https://www.puertoricoreport.com/is-puerto-rico-americas-forgotten-colony/#.XQgBpcTQjIU

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Reply Is Puerto Rico America's Forgotten Colony? (Original post)
TexasTowelie Jun 2019 OP
customerserviceguy Jun 2019 #1

Response to TexasTowelie (Original post)

Mon Jun 17, 2019, 05:08 PM

1. I remember

when I was a kid in grade school during the mid-1960's, "My Weekly Reader" had a front page story about a vote to be held in Puerto Rico, and voters had three choices, petition for statehood, being an independent nation, or remaining in the present commonwealth status. The latter choice won.

Maybe it's time for another vote.

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