The United States has always had a troubled history with Puerto Rico, a Spanish-speaking possession seized during the Spanish-American War,
Folks on the mainland weren’t prepared to embrace Puerto Ricans as equals, and used the island as a military base and a bulwark against any European ambitions towards the Americas North and South.
The darker skinned islanders because targets of one of perhaps the most ambitious eugenics campaigns ever conducted by Washington, with a third of the territory’s women subjected to involuntary sterilization.
And before the carcinogenic and birth defects-spawning Agent Orange was sprayed on the jungles of Vietnam by the American military, it was first tested on Puerto Ricans.
But any Puerto Ricans who dared protest or, even worse, openly call for independence, found themselves subjected to the harsh hand of repression, sometimes accompanied by live ammunition.
And now Puerto Rico is swamped in debt, caused in part by outlandish tax exemptions granted corporations to ensure their continuing presence [see how that worked out].
In her latest edition of The Empire Files, Abby Martin looks at Puerto Rico’s tragic past and troubled present.
From teleSUR English:
The Empire Files: Puerto Rico’s Debt to its Oppressors
Puerto Rico’s massive debt has been discussed at length in Congress and the media, all omitting the most important fact: the history of being a colonial subject for over 500 years, still owned and controlled by the United States. Abby Martin talks to two professors of Latin American studies, Luis Barrios and Danny Shaw, about the long struggle of Puerto Rico to break the shackles of US and Spanish colonialism—from indigenous resistance to the Young Lords in Harlem. Learn how the US Empire obscures the island’s colonial status today, who really is responsible for the so-called “debt crisis,” and how it can all be solved,