Battleship Vieques: Puerto Rico from World War II to the Korean War





Bat­tle­ship Vieques details the estab­lish­ment of the U.S. Navy in Vieques, Puer­to Rico, from the begin­ning of World War II to the U.S. war in Korea. It exam­ines the trans­for­ma­tion of local soci­ety and econ­o­my in Vieques under the impact of the acqui­si­tion by the navy of rough­ly two thirds of the land of the island. The land grab by the navy was fol­lowed by the relo­ca­tion of the pop­u­la­tion to the cen­tral part of Vieques, by con­sid­er­able dis­rup­tion of the local econ­o­my, and by the dis­con­nec­tion of Vieques from the main thrust of the his­tor­i­cal changes then tak­ing place in the island Puer­to Rico. Iron­i­cal­ly, this took place in the con­text of the wave of decol­o­niza­tion sweep­ing Asia, Africa, and the Caribbean after World War II. The effects of the naval pres­ence were felt long after the Navy exit­ed Vieques in 2003, social upheaval, eco­nom­ic dis­tor­tions and long-term health relat­ed sick­ness being some of these. 
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