In Old San Juan, the flag of Puerto Rico is everywhere, in all forms. Even painted on a knocked down tree stump. You can’t do anything but admire this country and their communities. I wish the island had never been destroyed the way it was, and I’m not only talking about Maria and previous natural disasters. I’m going way back and then not so far back. I’m talking about the Spanish destroying the Tainos, and then the United States invading and reining with total and unbelievable destruction and abuse. Just google it. Or read The Intercept, or independent newspapers.
Most people in my culture (from the USA/New England) only think of Puerto Rico as a convenient vacation spot, an island paradise where they can go easily and have a caribbean fantasy. Where businesses can get tax breaks. So many people ask me, “Oh, are they US citizens?” or “Oh, PR, where is that?” or “Oh, PR, are they a state?”. This is maddening. They do not even begin to comprehend the history that their own country and culture has with this island. You won’t find this is any mainstream media, but the island’s residents know it and so do independent and alternative non-mainstream-usa news sources. Just to start, the invasion by the US military right when they were going to get independence from Spain, undercutting the economy and chopping their currency making it worthless, abuse by Wall-Street, giving them an illegal debt to pay that isn’t theirs, the horrible Jones Act, the Junta, U.S. Navy bombing and chemical test practice that contaminated the environment, experimenting and forced sterilization of women using government funds, using puerto rican women as guinea pigs for the first birth control pill testing (using government funds), etc, etc, etc… That’s right, citizens of the United States, we paid for all of that.