A San Juan Star letter printed on Jan 20, 2000, written by Richard Tryon about the history of PR follows, along with with more material and an invitation to e-mail further commentary from others.
Reader Noel Piñeiro is to be complemented for his half page letter entitled "Puerto Ricans Can be proud of their history".
It is a fine presentation of a lot of the facts of this period of history. It is very important for young people on this island to know that the current prosperity was not always present. It is also clear that few people of the U.S. mainland in 1898 were in love with the idea of building a U.S. Empire. Their ancestors fled from mostly European countries that tried to build such. For the Spanish Empire, the time to lose it came with the Spanish-American War. While the U.S. was certainly showing the world that it had come of age and was able to claim that the Caribbean was not to be a part of any European Empire, it did not set about to rape, pillage, and confiscate all of the gold, etc. from its new territories of Cuba, P.R. and the Philippines.
Rather, benign neglect took the place of the Spanish iron rule. For PR the result was that a few wealthy land owners and foreign corporations came to control the only item of value to be found in any quantity- sugar! This feudal arrangement continued until and after the time of
Muñoz Marin and the last appointed Governor- Rexford Tugwell.
To learn more about the socialist answer, go to
on the internet to the Opinion section dealing with "Puerto Rico its political history and future" It may be surprising to see how well the hard working people did with a few billion dollars of help in the second half of the 100 year rule of the American empire builders as contrasted to those of the first fifty years.
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