Puerto Rico Current relation with US and surrounding country
Officially known as the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, the literally associated state of Puerto Rico is a non integrated territory of the United States which is situated in the northeastern of the Caribbean Sea and. Some of the countries that are in close geographical proximity to the country are the United States and the Dominican Republic located in the east. Puerto Rico which in Spanish means rich port is a very small sized state with a population of 39 million as estimated by the census that were conducted in the country in the year 2009.
Spanning over an area of 9,104 square kilometers, the state of Puerto Rico is occupied by a large number of islands as a result of which the primary means of economic revenue that are generated for the country are made possible with the help of this sector only. In addition to this since the Puerto Rico is in close proximity to other states which are collectively known as the Banana States, the place also offers some valuable frontiers of economic exploration for the export of such fruits.
Puerto Rico gained sovereignty after the Spanish empire in this place came to an end in the year 1898. Today the place represents a consolidated mixture of various ethnic groups in its demography in which whites which are mainly of Spanish origin comprise the highest percentage of 76. 2%, black people constitute a percentage of 6. 9% and Asians up to 0. 3% (Baralt, 1999). Relationship with the US
One of the most curiously known answers to the most commonly asked questions that is asked is regarding the political status of Puerto Rico and that of United States. The question that has not only perplexed and baffled local population of the place but also to a large number of travelers that have visited and have tried to know more about the place feel confused to answer the question as to whether Puerto Rico is an American state and what kind of a relation do these two places share with each other.
Undoubtedly the relation between Puerto Rico and United States is of quite strange nature as it presents a unique picture of a compromise performed at social, political and economical levels accompanied with a couple of transnational problems that states usually encounter, but the million dollar question remains as to whether Puerto Rico is a state of United States despite of being a part of it in a technical sense. A simple straight forward answer is that Puerto Rico is not a state of United States in fact a commonwealth of the United States.
The status of being a commonwealth provides Puerto Rico the autonomy of displaying its own flag, but responsibilities and political institutions of the place are ultimately handled by the US Congress. In addition to this citizen of Puerto Rico are legitimately and constitutionally declared as the rightful citizens of the United States also as they make up to 1. 3% of the total population of the United States (Morris, 1995). Issues between Puerto Rico and United States
There are two prominent issues that the states of Puerto Rico and United States face with each are of economic as well as transnational nature. The transnational issue belongs to the nationality nature that the citizens of Puerto Rico have encountered in the past and are still confronted with at present to a small extent. In the year 1917 people of Puerto Rico were collectively declared as US citizens according to the salient features of Jones Act.
In the year 1941 these boundaries were further extended to incorporate that all people and persons of Puerto Rico are naturally born US-citizens, but a major contention sparked in the year 2000 concerning the nationality issue of Puerto Ricans with the emergence of a manual from the US State Department which clearly stated that any natural born citizen of the US does not acquire the authority that he or she is also a citizen from a constitutional point of view. The debate between the political relationships is currently under argument in the United States as well as in the international community.
The debate took a controversial twist with the arrival of two consecutive reports related to Task Force during the era of George W. Bush which claimed that Puerto Rico is an unincorporated and controlled territory of the United States of America. The claim and move by the Bush government during that time was severely criticized by the opposition party of the country and kept reminding them that such a move would be a violation of the 1953 pact according to which Puerto Rico had achieved an association between the two countries and that was also acknowledged by the United Nations (Baralt, 1999).
The entire issue took a more serious turn with the letter written by former governor of Puerto Rico to former Secretary of State of US Condoleezza Rice in which he clearly dubbed the previously made claims of nationality to Puerto Ricans as a ‘monumental hoax’ with the people of the place. Realizing the seriousness of the issue it was on December 21, 2007 that President George W. Bush reinstated the previously established status of Puerto Rico and its people.
The decision was further cemented when in 2009 a special draft was approved by UN committee on Decolonization providing people of Puerto Rico complete sovereignty and right of self-independence. Another major issue that created strains between the relations between the United States and Puerto Rico was of economic nature. The financial reasons for the friction between the relations between the two places were first brought on the surface in a report that was published by GAO in the year 2006.
The issue was related to tax credit related to federal possessions that encouraged corporate investment of United States in Puerto Rico. Proponents of the investment venture presented a number of proposals through which the investment environment could be facilitated and greater economic revenues could be extracted that could prove helpful for the economic progress and development of the region.
But things were also operating in an opposite direction, views from the local population of the Puerto Rico suggested that the people and the resources possessed by the place were being exploited by the advocates of corporate globalization from the United States as a result of which the wealth that was being extracted from the place was only concentrated within a few limited hands of the investment companies and was not accessible or utilized by the local population of the country.
Secondly most of the manufacturing sector industries were being set in different states of the US rather than concentrating on exploring the manufacturing capacities and potentials where the raw materials are being extracted in the first place. In addition to these taxes payment issues also added further woes to the living standard of people (Burneet and Bruke, 2001).
Finally in order to resolve the conflict as peacefully as possible Puerto Rico and its people were provided immunity to payment of taxes to the Federal government from the payments they earn from the Commonwealth and secondly, another incentive provided was an expansion in the range of responsibilities of the Commonwealth government than the US government. Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic
So far the issues that have been discussed were of transnational nature, but the relations of Puerto Rico with Dominican Republic provide an international dimension to the entire issue. Since Puerto Rico and the neighboring Dominican Republic have always shared very amiable and diplomatically sound relationships, the amiability has always been a source of immense and mass scale migration of Dominican people into Puerto Rico (Dominguez, 2000).
The country which has always been a contentious place because of multiple and serious nature issues such as racism, civil war revolts, economic crisis and unemployment, its people have found a safe sanctuary in the form of taking refuge in the territory of Puerto Rico. According to a survey that was conducted in the year 2006 by the Puerto Rico Community Survey it was estimated that over 69,854 Dominicans in Puerto Rico who are involved in multitude service providing and low-wage based jobs in the Commonwealth and most of them have entered Puerto Rico through illegal means.
The administration of the place is showing concerns that with the increasing percentage of illegal immigrants flocking into the place many illegal and illicit nature activities such as drug and child trafficking may also spark that may pose a threat to the social fabric of the entire society and is also contemplating to take cohesive and concrete measures to halt or restrict such kind of movement into the place (Claire, 2005). References Morris, Nancy 1995 ‘Puerto Rico: culture, politics and identity’ ABC-CLIO
Burneet, Duffy Christina, Marshall, Burke 2001 ‘Foreign in a domestic sense: Puerto Rico, American expansion and the Constitution’ Duke University Press Baralt, Jose 1999 ‘The Policy of United States with its territories with special reference to Puerto Rico’ LA Editorial UPR Dominguez, I. Jorge 2000 ‘the Future of inter-American relations’ Routledge Publications Ribando M. Claire 2005 ‘Dominican Republic: Political and Economic conditions and relations with the United States’ CRS report for Congress, retrieved on August 13 from: http://fpc. state. gov/documents/organization/46402. pdfSample Essay of StudyFaq.com