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JSKanga84


Member

Posted Fri May 8th, 2009 12:16am Post subject: Any Puerto Ricans out there? Halp!
So, where does popular opinion sit, these days? I'm writing a paper about how Rosario Ferre's novel, The House on the Lagoon portrays the conflict between nacionalistas y los que deseaban ser un estado de los Estados Unidos. I'm not Puerto Rican, so I have no idea what the situation is now. Are citizens generally satisfied, or are they still on the cusp of statehood vs. independence? Also, have you read Rosario Ferre's novel, and what do you think?
Anyone? Bueller....Bueller...

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IdeaCollector


Member

Posted Sun May 10th, 2009 8:52am Post subject: Any Puerto Ricans out there? Halp!
I used to live in Puerto Rico for a short while but honestly the subject never really came up all that much and when it did people seemed fine with becoming a state on the whole.

However I have found an article with a bit of insight into it
http://www.drclas.harvard.edu/revista/articles/view/1065

I've not read the book but if I were honest I would prefer Puerto Rico remain independant to keep its national identity and history. But on another hand they sure could use our help...the poverty on the south end of the island a mere 20 minutes outside the major city of Ponce is immense. I still have friends living and working in Juana Diaz and Cuamo. But a few people can only help so much.

I used to be EternalStudent on these forums until the switch over. So don't get excited..I'm not someone new and exciting. I'm just me :P

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MaryK


Member

Posted Sun May 10th, 2009 12:30pm Post subject: Any Puerto Ricans out there? Halp!
Well, here are my two cents...


My grandmother was born in Ponce; she spoke Spanish fluently. Ergo, yo soy un cuarto puertorriqueña (pero desafortunadamente, yo hablo un poquito la lengua.) My great-grandma and she were eligible to vote on the status of Puerto Rico both times but surprisingly would never tell us what they would vote for if they had the chance: Great grammy left Puerto Rico during the Depression and I suspect she felt it wasn't her place to say anything on the matter as she almost never returned there.

As for me, I wonder if a new kind of status could be invented that would give Puerto Rico just enough autonomy to settle local matters but also receive support from the US government, something more than what they've got but less than full statehood. My reasoning is this: Puerto Rico has a distinct Spanish flavor mixed up with African and Indian beliefs, plus a dash of Caribbean spice. I would not want it to lose that: if you look at history, Louisiana had similar traits but has gradually lost them over time (Cajun French is endangered and the culture once present has been watered down over the second half of the twentieth century.)

I certainly do not want the current status quo to continue because it clearly is not working, but I also know that freeing Puerto Rico outright could do more harm than good. Puerto Rico is a Caribbean island with not many natural resources to trade from. Its nearest neighbors are not doing well economically or socially: Haiti has an environment that has been so badly damaged that the deforestation can easily be seen on Google maps; the government is corrupt and vile, and children die from simple diseases like flu. The Dominican Republic is better than Haiti but there is gross inequality between rich and poor and politically it hasn't always been stable. Jamaica has a reputation for poverty in its capital that defies belief, more than the occasional corrupt politician or cop, and shanties overfilling with kids who can't even afford to buy shoes let alone get to school. And no matter what you think of communism or the embargo, the fact remains that Cuba is still keeping its public largely ignorant of the outside world and neither Fidel nor Raul allow for dissent...ever. (Raul is notorious for hauling folks off to prison for being infected with HIV and leaving them there to die.) Though I believe it was right to return Elian Gonzalez to his father all those years ago, I find it very interesting that he is probably the only person his age within Cuba to get an unbiased glimpse of America or even an uncensored news report on tv. I also find it interesting that he is being used as a prop by the government now to legitimize their "struggle" (somebody ought to tell the Cuban public the real reason why the embargo was never lifted: the US doesn't want Cuba to become an easy operating point for other authoritarian regimes to spy on us..like Russia China or North Korea.)

In short, I would fear that Puerto Rico would meet a similar fate to the other larger nations in the Caribbean, left only with the pretty beaches she has to trade on. I think she does need better protection, especially her environment (it badly needs to be cleaned up.) I think she needs better schools, public ones that teach in Spanish so parents won't have to scramble so much to make tuition fees. I think she does deserve real representation in at least the lower house of Congress where her vote gets counted on certain issues that directly concern her (war measures, military budgeting, energy bills, etc.) I also think with a little work she can become again what she was originally founded for:trade. She is nicely positioned as a place with strong US connections but also nice ties linguistically and culturally to South America.

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JSKanga84


Member

Posted Tue May 12th, 2009 10:42pm Post subject: Any Puerto Ricans out there? Halp!
Thank you both so much!!!

This helps a lot.

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