Where is puerto rico: Where is Puerto Rico Located?

Puerto Rico profile — BBC News

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Puerto Rico is the easternmost and smallest of the Greater Antilles, bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the north and the Caribbean Basin to the south.

Neither a state nor independent, the island has been a US territory since 1898.

Everyone born on the island is an American citizen and holds a US passport. However, residents cannot vote in US presidential elections, unless they are registered to vote in one of the 50 states.

Puerto Rican culture is a blend of Amerindian Taino, Spanish and African influences with Spanish being the island’s first language.

Tourism is an important money-earner and the island attracts millions of visitors each year. But crippling public debt, poverty and high unemployment have seen many of the islanders leave for the US mainland.

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Image source, Getty Images

Broadcasting is regulated by the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

Home-grown comedies, talk shows and Spanish-language soaps are staple fare on local TV stations. The multichannel offerings of cable TV are widely available.

News and talk and Spanish-language pop music are among the most popular radio formats.

There were 2.6 million internet users by June 2014 Internetworldstats.com).

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Some key dates in the history of Puerto Rico:

Image source, Getty Images

Image caption,

The San Felipe del Morro castle in San Juan is a UN World Heritage Site

1493 — Christopher Columbus claims the island for Spain on his second voyage to the Americas. Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon establishes the first settlement in 1508.

1500s — Indigenous Amerindian Taino population is virtually wiped out by disease and new settlers. African slave labour is imported.

1868 — A popular uprising against Spanish rule is suppressed but becomes a symbol of the independence struggle.

1898 — Spain cedes Puerto Rico to the US at the end of the Spanish-American War.

1900 — US Congress establishes a civil government under the Foraker Act but maintains strict control over island affairs. Puerto Ricans are granted US citizenship in 1917 under the Jones Act.

1940s — Puerto Rico gains partial self-rule with popularly elected governors.

1952 — Puerto Rico becomes a self-governing commonwealth of the United States. Under US administration, it experiences growth but nationalist sentiment is still present.

196070s — Violent separatism — A series of bombings and killings in the 1970s and 1980s are blamed on pro-independence group, the Macheteros, or Cane Cutters.

1998 — Puerto Ricans back continued commonwealth status in a referendum.

2003 — The US government stops military training on the offshore island of Vieques after protests.

2006 — The expiry of a federal tax break for US corporations in place since 1976 triggers economic recession.

2012 — Puerto Ricans vote for US statehood for the first time in a non-binding referendum on the island’s status.

2017 — The territory declares bankruptcy — the largest ever for a US local government. In a non-binding referendum, it votes again to become a US state although only 23% of voters take part.

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Image source, Getty Images

Image caption,

The Vieques target range was used by the US navy until its closure following protests

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  • Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico — Travel Guide and Latest News

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San Juan, Puerto Rico resort skyline on Condado Beach. (photo via SeanPavonePhoto/iStock/Getty Images Plus)

Puerto Rico is an unincorporated territory of the United States, located in the northeastern Caribbean Sea’s Greater Antilles region, east of the Dominican Republic and west of the Virgin Islands. Puerto Rico (Spanish for «rich port») is composed of an archipelago that includes the main island of Puerto Rico and a number of smaller islands, the largest of which are Vieques, Culebra, and Mona. Puerto Ricans often call the island Borinquen, from Borikén, its indigenous Taino name. The island is also frequently referred to in Spanish as «La Isla del Encanto,» which means «The Island of Enchantment.

Puerto Rico is 100 miles long by 35 miles wide and, due to its geographic location at the center of the Antilles, has been a crossroads of cultures, and despite the influx of diverse cultures, Puerto Rico has been a part of the United States since 1898 and Puerto Ricans have been U.S. citizens since 1917.

Puerto Rico features a temperate climate, averaging 83°F in the winter and 85°F in the summer. Trade winds cool the coastal towns and temperatures fall in the higher mountains.

Beautiful tropical palm trees at popular touristic Condado beach in San Juan, Puerto Rico (Photo via dennisvdw / iStock / Getty Images Plus)

Many of Puerto Rico’s tourism attractions lie in and around San Juan. These include El Yunque National Forest, a cool, mountainous sub-tropical rainforest. There are no entrance fees to visit the forest; travelers just drive up to the El Portal Visitors Center. A one-hour guided tour by the Forest Service costs $5.

Guánica State Forest (Bosque Estatal de Guánica) is a small, dry forest reserve east of San Juan, the largest remaining tract of tropical dry coastal forest in the world. Guánica was designated an international Biosphere Reserve in 1981; the park comprising much of the dry forest is known as “el bosque seco de Guánica.”

The San Juan National Historic Site features forts San Cristóbal, San Felipe del Morro and San Juan de la Cruz, also called El Cañuelo, plus bastions, powder houses and three-fourths of the city wall. All these defensive fortifications surround the old, colonial portion of San Juan, and are among the oldest and best-preserved Spanish fortifications in the Western Hemisphere.

The Rio Camuy Caverns are located in the northwest. Visitors here may opt for a 45-minute guided walking tour of the main cave, Cueva Clara, including a view of the world’s third-largest underground river, and an enormous sinkhole. Caja de Muertos Island, or Caja de Muertos for short, is an uninhabited island off Puerto Rico’s southern coast. The island’s native turtle population is protected, and hikers and beachgoers are often visit the island, which can be reached by ferry or through diving tour operators from the La Guancha Boardwalk sector of Ponce Playa.

The bioluminescent bays in Fajardo and Vieques are created by microscopic organisms living throughout the water. As they dart away from movement, the organisms glow brightly. Visitors can take a kayak or boat tour during a new moon to witness the spectacle; the organisms are hard to see during a full moon and impossible to see in sunlight. The biolumicescent bay in Lajas is famous among attractions of this sort and also features shore-side kiosks and restaurants.

90,000 in Puerto Rico voted to join the US — RT in Russian

Most of the participants in the referendum in Puerto Rico — 97% of those who voted — were in favor of the territory changing its legal status and becoming the 51st US state. Now the island is under the control of Washington, but is not part of the United States. However, this is not the first time such a plebiscite has been held, and the American authorities are unlikely to take such a step. The Puerto Rican economy is in a deep crisis, and it is simply unprofitable for the United States to change the status quo.

More than 97% of the voters in the last referendum on the status of Puerto Rico were in favor of becoming the 51st US state. According to the preliminary results of the vote count, almost 503,000 people voted for the first item on the ballot. About 8,000 voters (1.5%) were in favor of holding a new referendum, and approximately 7,000 people (1.3%) were in favor of maintaining the current state status. At the same time, the turnout at the referendum was low: only 23% of citizens with the right to vote came to the polling stations.

Puerto Rico came under US control in 1898 as a result of the Spanish-American War. Now the Caribbean island with a population of more than 3.5 million people has the status of an «unincorporated territory», that is, it is controlled by the authorities of the United States, but is not considered an integral part of them. Although all Puerto Ricans are US citizens by birth, the island is represented in the US Congress by only one deputy, and without the right to vote. Puerto Ricans cannot even participate in the election of the American president.

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The islanders elect a governor and their own congress, have their own courts, but the autonomy of Puerto Rico is limited by the broad powers of the federal authorities. The inhabitants of the island are not covered by the American Bill of Rights, and a number of social programs operating in the United States do not work here either.

At the same time, all legislative acts passed by the US Congress are valid in Puerto Rico. In addition, a number of US laws apply only to «unincorporated territories.» Thus, the Johnson Act of 1920, which is still in force today, prohibits the transportation of any cargo to Puerto Rico and from the island on ships that do not fly the US flag.

As a result, as noted by political activist and former New York State Assemblyman Nelson Davis, “In order not to violate the Johnson Act, all carriers must transship cargo onto American ships, and any foreign ship entering Puerto Rico ports must pay a variety of fees, the burden of which ultimately falls on Puerto Rican consumers.”

“This is not a business. This is extortion, a mafia racket,” Davis said in his blog.

A report prepared back in 2012 by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York emphasizes that the effect of this act undermines the development of the Puerto Rican economy, but the United States is not going to repeal the discriminatory provisions of the law.

Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosello says the June 11 plebiscite should end the country’s colonial status.

“Colonialism is not a choice. It’s a civil rights issue. Three and a half million citizens want absolute democracy, our colonial position creates a situation of incredible inequality, ”The Miami Herald quoted his statement as saying.

R become state

The current referendum on the actual «decolonization» of the territory is far from the first. Prior to this, similar plebiscites were held in 1967, 1993, 1998 and 2012. At the last of them, the majority of Puerto Ricans — over 61% — voted for joining the United States as a full state, but the results of this referendum were ignored by the American Congress.

Now the issue of Puerto Rico’s self-determination has been raised by the governor of the island, Ricardo Roseio, an ardent supporter of turning the colony into a full-fledged state.

  • Ricardo Rosello
  • Reuters

The benefits of turning Puerto Rico from a colony into a state will not only be for the islanders to have all the civil rights that other Americans enjoy. If Puerto Rico becomes a state, many social programs will apply to its residents, and annual federal spending will increase by $ 10 billion. In addition, state departments and municipalities of the island will be able to resort to bankruptcy proceedings, as Detroit did in 2012, and restructure the huge debt is the main economic problem today.

Below the poverty line

Puerto Rico has defaulted three times in the last two years: August 4, 2015, May 2, and July 1, 2016. Currently, the island’s debt is about $ 70 billion. Most of it is debt on government bonds. The main contribution to the emergence and development of the economic crisis was actually made by the colonial status of the island.

In 1996, the US Congress passed a law that gave US companies operating in Puerto Rico significant tax breaks. This led to massive growth in the industry, primarily pharmaceuticals. In 2006, these relaxations were canceled, which led to a decrease in production and tax payments, as well as an increase in unemployment.

  • Reuters

Having lost a serious source of income, the authorities of Puerto Rico threw their government bonds on the financial market, the income from which was not taxed, and as a result received money and debt of astronomical proportions. And then came the crisis of 2008.

“As a result of the 2008-2009 crisis, the Puerto Rico economy collapsed following the US economy,” Alexander Ionov, deputy director of the Institute for Security and Sustainable Development, told RT. “Only if the US economy had some kind of internal potential that it could use at the expense of the Federal Reserve System, international financial institutions, then Puerto Rico was turned off from this system.”

The authorities of Puerto Rico tried to pay off debts by significantly reducing costs. But this only led to a further increase in poverty. As a result, 46% of the island’s population now lives below the poverty line.

Ukrainian scenario

To deal with the economic crisis in Puerto Rico, the Obama administration created the Financial Management and Control Board, which took over the management of all economic policy on the island. The result was the introduction of austerity measures that included cutting pensions, stipends and other social benefits, as well as sending thousands of workers on unpaid leave. On May 5, 2017, due to a reduction in funding for the educational sector, it was announced that 184 schools would be closed on the island. The ex-Minister of Finance of Ukraine Natalia Yaresko became the executive director of the council.

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  • © Serg Glovny/ZUMAPRESS.com

Ionov is sure that this is not the best sign for Puerto Ricans, who, as a result of Jaresko’s activities, «will become even poorer, poorer and more hungry. »

The current status does not give the Puerto Rican authorities the right to negotiate with creditors themselves, as independent states do, and at the same time makes it impossible to file for bankruptcy and start debt restructuring procedures at minimal cost, as American states and municipalities do.

According to Rep. Jose Serrano, the debt crisis in Puerto Rico demonstrated the need to change the status of the island.

“With statehood or independence, Puerto Rico will be able to use the tools that will help overcome the financial and tax crisis,” he notes in The Hill.

Washington v.

Experts note that Puerto Rico’s economic problems caused by the Americans will be the main obstacle to gaining the status of a full state.

“Because of the economic problems of Puerto Rico — and we know that a year and a half ago the island almost reached a technical default — the US does not want to subsidize them,” Ionov believes.

According to the expert, due to integration into the US economy, Puerto Rico suffers huge losses. The status of an associated territory allows the federal government not to pay the debts of the island and allocate less funding to it than to the full states of the country. At the same time, the United States can fully manage the affairs of the colony and keep its military on its territory.

  • Reuters

Experts interviewed by RT are sure that the opinion of Puerto Ricans will simply be ignored. The status of the territory requires that the results of all referendums be approved by the US Congress.

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