A Brief History of Puerto Rico





Puer­to Rico is the old­est colony in the world and it is under the con­trol of the Unit­ed States of Amer­i­ca, a nation that prides itself on its respect for human rights. Bills have already been pre­sent­ed in the Unit­ed States Con­gress to resolve Puer­to Rico’s colo­nial sta­tus. Three options are pos­si­ble under inter­na­tion­al law: Inde­pen­dence, Free Asso­ci­a­tion, or State­hood. Soon, the cit­i­zens of Puer­to Rico and the Unit­ed States will have to make a deci­sion and will need to be well informed. That is the pur­pose of this book. I think the impor­tant fac­tors in his­to­ry are the events, not the lead­ers or the peo­ple. It is the events that form the char­ac­ter of a nation. In Puer­to Rico: Span­ish abso­lutism; the Lares Rev­o­lu­tion; the Span­ish-Amer­i­can War; the failed attempts of Amer­i­can­iza­tion; the bla­tant exploita­tion of sug­ar cane plan­ta­tions; the nation­al­ist guer­ril­la; the accel­er­at­ed indus­tri­al­iza­tion; the demor­al­iz­ing wel­fare; the ram­pant cor­rup­tion of the pro-state­hood admin­is­tra­tions. All of these, and oth­er sim­i­lar expe­ri­ences, have mold­ed the Puer­to Rican char­ac­ter. Some coun­tries are labo­ri­ous; oth­er are inven­tive; oth­er are greedy; oth­er are per­se­ver­ant; oth­er are aggres­sive and oth­er are docile. What is Puer­to Rico? Read its his­to­ry and find out. Are coun­tries a reflec­tion of its lead­ers; are lead­ers a reflec­tion of their coun­tries; or are we all the prod­uct of the events?
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