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Puerto Rico's Political Status: An Unending Struggle

Essay by   •  June 9, 2011  •  Essay  •  614 Words (3 Pages)  •  2,047 Views

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Puerto Rico is a small island territory located in the Caribbean Sea. Following Christopher Columbus' second voyage to the Americas in 1493, Spain claimed the island. As a result of the Spanish-American war in 1898, the United States was given control of the island. Puerto Rico established their own government and constitution when the 600 law was passed. However since the end of the Spanish-American war, Puerto Rico has been a part of the U.S. as a territory, and not a state. Puerto Rico is globally recognized as the United States' territory. It is up to SPECPOL to decide whether Puerto Rico should remain a territory, become a part of the U.S. as a state, or become an entirely independent Caribbean nation of its own. As of 1917, the people of Puerto Rico have been considered as U.S. citizens. However, being that they are considered United States citizens, they are not provided with all the same rights that are given to United States citizens currently living in the United States. Puerto Ricans do not have the right to vote in United States elections. Additionally they do not have to follow the same regulations that most U.S. citizens have to follow, including paying federal income tax. While Puerto Rico has their own government and constitution; they do not have full control of their economy. Puerto Rico's economy has been regulated by the United States, and the U.S. dollar is utilized on this island. They do not regulate foreign trade or issue money The United States also controls many other aspects of Puerto Rico including their police force controlled by the United States military and their boat and air traffic controlled by the U.S. law and federal agencies. At multiple referendums that have been held throughout the years, voters have voted to remain a part of the United States, and retain commonwealth status. In 1967, 1993, and 1998, Puerto Rico voted against their independence, and continued to consider their nation as a part of the United States.

The European Union has played an active role in the development of Latin America. The European Union contributed 2.6 billion Euros towards an aid package for Latin America. They have maintained strong cultural ties, and in addition share many of the same values. The EU-LAC foundation formed in May of 2010 was created to strengthen the bi-regional partnership. This allows for better cooperation between the regions in encouraging mutual knowledge, along with understanding and visibility between both regions. The EU decided to contribute 3 billion Euros to the foundation over the years, until 2013. Members of the EU feel that within the international community, nations must cooperate with each other extremely closer. By donating money to nations in Latin America, members of the EU hope to develop finance programs that will fight poverty, inequality, and exclusion in Latin America. Additionally, these funds will also allow programs against government corruption to be



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