Friday, May 29, 2015
Puerto Rico, The Colony, Part 1: The ‘Miracle’ of Indebtedness
In the late 1940s, the United States baptized Puerto Rico the “Showcase of
the Caribbean.” It was to be a role model for countries in the Caribbean and
Latin America. This would supposedly be the outcome of the miracle of in-
dustrialization that the giant capitalist benefactor from the North carried out
in a poor, colonized, underdeveloped small island.
It was a false miracle.
After destroying Puerto Rico’s agriculture, Washington encouraged foreign
investment — that is, U.S. investment — which initiated a model that first
set up light industries such as textiles, then imposed pharmaceutical and pe-
trochemical companies, and later biotechnology and electronic firms.
Beside causing enormous environmental destruction, this process contrib-
uted nothing at all to the real development of the island. It did generate in-
creased revenue for one sector of the working class — those in industries
based on foreign capital that are export-oriented. They don’t produce what
is needed on the island nor do the products of their labor benefit the econo-
my of Puerto Rico — only Wall Street....[CONTINUE READING]