This past weekend I visited Old San Juan and one of the places I visited was El Morro Fort. Since the Spaniards came over, this place has been a target for exploitation. Curious enough I bumped into an invading species, the Iguana.
Humans brought Iguanas from Central America as pets. Since then they have been exploiting the Island and multiplying. They have no natural predators here on the Island we can consider them difficult plague to control.
Amazing how my encounter with an Iguana in El Morro for me is a Symbol of the past and present of Puerto Rico.
405 years of Spanish Exploitation
Puerto Rico’s gold and other resources were depleted fairly quickly. It’s strategic placement made it the perfect territory to keep as a colony.
For approximately 405 years the Spanish kept us as a colony while fighting off invaders and keeping control of the Island.
Puerto Rico as a War Trophy
During the Spanish-American War, our Island became a War Trophy and was handed over to the United States. The story of our second phase of Colonization began until the present date.
Making Puerto Ricans U.S. Citizens so they could go to War for the U.S.
One thing the U.S. did well was put up a smoke screen where it made Puerto Ricans believe they had a full democracy.
On March 2, 1917, President Woodrow Wilson signed the Jones-Shafroth Act. This law gave Puerto Ricans U.S. citizenship. This provided civil rights to the individual and created some political structure. With this clause, the United States Congress had the power to stop any action taken by the legislature in Puerto Rico.
The U.S. maintained control over fiscal and economic matters and exercised the authority over mail services, immigration, defense and other basic governmental matters. But most importantly, this created an inventory of cannon fodder of our men being sent to fight during the 1st world war.
Some of these “benefits” might seem attractive to most Puerto Ricans because they probably don’t realize how beneficial this has been to the U.S. and its Corporations. As locals, we have been fed the bread crumbs to keep us entertained while they deplete our resources.
After 116 years of Colonial Exploitation.
We still can’t vote for a presidential candidate in the general election. But, we can go to war and be under the direction of the Commander In Chief.
Finally Transparency in Puerto Rico’s Current Political Status
But I believe there is a new phase for Puerto Rico as a colony. We are finally clear that we have no authority in being able to fix the issues we have locally; issues created by the wealthy from the island and the U.S.
The problem is the wealthy become richer and the poorer will they pay for the debt that these wealthy individuals created.
The subject hits close to home since I have friends who have lost their retirement funds and most of their investments. Some are business owners and they have liquidated all their assets and move outside the Island or get a job at minimum wage. Folks that worked hard to lose everything because a few greedy individuals want to become richer.
Money Flow Puerto Rico & United States?
One of the most read blog posts on my blog is one I wrote on the Money flow between Puerto Rico and United States.
35 Billion Going out to U.S. Corporations
More than 35 Billion leaves the Island as a profit to U.S. Corporations that pay little or no taxes in Puerto Rico.
The following video explains a bit more about the issue with hedge funds. It also states that U.S. Corporations take out of Puerto Rico around 35 billion dollars.