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50th Anniversary of Puerto Rico

karlgrenze, may I ask your impression of this article here from the Washington Post (50th Anniversary Stirs Debate in Puerto Rico — Island's Commonwealth Status Sastifies Few).

Today marks the 50th anniversary of the current constitution of the island, which gives it a certain amount of autonomy, though short of anything called sovereignty or statehood if you go the other way.


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 25th, 2002 05:27 am (UTC)
Long ramblings...
If you read it, you realize PR lags only slightly to Florida in terms of political looniness. Calderón's party mostly defends the commonwealth and wants the status to remain practically the same, if with some minor changes. Carlos Pesquera is not the only pro-statehood leader to have done silly things, unfortunately the articles I can find are in Spanish. Enough is to say I believed him to be the saner of the bunch. About the pro-sovereignty, well, there are various degrees. Some want full independence, others a period of free association (like Guam) before full-fledged independence, and others are happy with just Free Association.

Today also marks the 104th anniversary of the US invasion of PR. For 2 years the island was under martial law. In 1900, the Foraker Act was passed, and the government of PR was divided in three branches. The Puertorrican people could only vote in one of the two legislative houses. The governor was appointed by the US President and the Senate.

In 1917, the Foraker Law was substituted by the Jones Act, which gave Puertorricans US citizenship. Now the Puertorricans could vote for both legislative houses, but still the governor was appointed by the President and Senate.

In 1950, the law 600 passed, granting PR the opportunity to draft its own Constitution and vote for their own governor. Two years later, after being approved by Congress (well, almost all...Congress didn't like one section and had it written off), it was signed by the then governor of the island, Luis Muñoz Marín. Note: The relationship between US and PR have remained basically unchanged since 1917 because parts of the Jones Act were incorporated into the later law that regulates the US-PR relationship.

I believe that the US had no idea what to do with PR when they got it as a colony, and still has no idea what to do with it (and PR is still a colony). They just improvised and invented as bumps appeared.
Jul. 27th, 2002 06:38 pm (UTC)
Re: Long ramblings...

Do you know the percentages for each group of people. I'd guess pro-indy would have gone up, is that right?

I should do this more often -- just ask others for commentary. It save me from having to come up with something to post,
Jul. 27th, 2002 08:22 pm (UTC)
Re: Long ramblings...
JA!...Well, at the beginning, pro-indy and pro-statehood was balanced. With the introduction of Calderon's party in 1952, pro-indy party was the second highest (behind to pro-commonwealth), with pro-statehood lagging behind. Years of political persecution and economic growth (among other things) caused the view to change, until now where pro-indy party is the smallest, and pro-commonwealth and pro-statehood are about equal.

One thing that should be noted is that many that vote for the pro-commonwealth party would like to gain more autonomy for PR, but (like in the states) feel their vote will be wasted if they choose the pro-indy party. Others are simply afraid of losing their welfare money (sadly but true) or just plain afraid of change. Pro-statehooders range from civil people who think PR will be economically better off as a state, but retaining its cultural identity (we are a nation, dammit!) to those who think that Puertorricans are lazy, stupid, and need the gringos to help us do everything right.

The pro-indy party grew a bit from the last election, and maybe will get stronger in the next one, two years ahead. Cultural demonstrations have gone up, that's for sure.
Jul. 30th, 2002 10:13 pm (UTC)
Re: A never-ending supply of cops
No, we're going to keep Puerto Rico as it is.

You supply the US with a steady supply of cops.

On the local news a few days ago, they talked to Montgomery County's police chief. The discussion came to using the island as a recruitment center for more cops. The cop joked that Puerto Rico might get upset if the cops overdraw the island of prospective policemen.

Pray to god that no one finds oil there. We'd have to ship the residents to Cuba and have Bush and Bush get the rigs ready for yet another failed oil venture.
Jul. 31st, 2002 02:30 am (UTC)
Re: A never-ending supply of cops
Cops are poorly paid here. And some of the more elite ones were the ones aiding in political persecution.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )