The history of the colonial relationship between Puerto Rico and the United States has been one of missed opportunities in the name of an untenable illusion, being the colonial economic model a serious threat to the survival of the Caribbean nation.
The American dream in Puerto Rico expired, died, and has been reduced to an absurdity. The so-called Isla del encanto (The Enchantment Island), branded as an “economic miracle” and as an American “democracy window”, has become a bad cartoon of what it was pretended to be. Sunken in the marginalization of forgetfulness and irrelevance, the Island is taking a course that will convert it into an insignificant small barren island in the Caribbean. Deliberately isolated from the world by the United States, without any will of influence in anything or anybody, it has become more difficult to be a Puerto Rican in Puerto Rico.
If for more than half a century Puerto Rico was full of optimism and confidence, today a rare and worrisome pessimism on the future of the Country predominates. The demoralization and the paralysis has kidnapped the will of the Puerto Ricans. It seems that the “good old days” are long gone now, and Puerto Ricans are unable to face the challenges of the present and the future, mainly for the socioeconomic development. When the past is remembered as a better one, the present and the future will be always outlined as devastating panoramas.
Throughout most of its history, Puerto Rico has lived in an economic and trade isolation from the rest of the world. Although at another time this could be justified, today it is anachronistic and counter-productive to its well-being. The penetration of the United Sates in the market of the Island, as well the economic preferences on which Puerto Rico within its colonial relation counted, were in a time factors of sufficient relevance to maintain the economic efforts to leave the abjection and poverty. The economic advantages and the certainty that the United States was defending its interests while defending those of the Island created a Puerto Rican isolationist mentality resulting into a negative effect in the socioeconomic development.
It is a colonial tragedy that Puerto Rico cannot promote and defend its own interests in the world. Still worse, the absurd and ingenuous idea that the United States defends Puerto Ricans interests in the international forums, creates an uncertain future for the Island. Some people in Puerto Rico think that if they present their worries to the United States government they will be listened. This idea calms and numbs their preoccupations.
Puerto Ricans should realize that globalization has and will have consequences on its socioeconomic development, and that only they will be able to defend their interests. There is no greater naivete than to think that the colonizer will defend the interest of its colonies. As an example, whenever the United State subscribes a free trade agreement with a country or a group of countries, Puerto Rico loses competitiveness and access to United States markets.
Due to the ignorance and lack of interest about Puerto Rico, and the fact that the Puerto Rican interests resemble more those of a developing country than that of a developed country, it is imperative that the United States decolonizes and hands sovereignty to Puerto Rico.
Contributor: Efraín Vázquez-Vera Source: Huffingtonpost