HISTORICAL CONTEXT

In order to fully grasp the Island’s current struggles of crisis and disaster, this section provides basic information regarding Puerto Rico’s political and economic history. For instance, one subsection explores the origins and effects of the political status as an “unincorporated territory.” This colonial and imperial doctrine maintains Puerto Rico as a separate and unequal territory. Proof of this is the fact that Puerto Rico’s economy was developed, not as a diversified economy with sustainable growth patterns, but as an economy of dependence. Operation Bootstrap, discussed critically by various sources in the subsection related to development, is a key example of a policy meant to promote industrial progress, but that only served U.S. interests. Thus, Puerto Rico has had an inefficient economic model, which fostered the public debt, yet it continues to depend on the United States’ policies for solutions to the financial collapse. Even though many revolutionary movements have failed, and U.S. citizenship is often central to Puerto Ricans’ political motivations, from this liminal political status emerged not assimilation, but a Puerto Rican culture and identity that is often at odds with the law. Some authors also review U.S. domination in relation to gender and biopolitics.