Sunday, June 3, 2012

Puerto Rico: Many Questions, Many Answers....

What will become of Puerto Rico?

In a recent conversation with a friend, I asked the question, "What are your sentiments toward the current Governor of Puerto Rico and where do you believe the island is going?" I asked this question because he was born and raised on the island yet currently lives and works in NYC. He owns a home in Puerto Rico and travels there extensively and his children are also being raised on the island.

I felt his reply was honest and heartfelt. He replied that he felt the Governor of Puerto Rico was no different than past Governors or politicians. That his motives were not of the people but rather self driven political aspirations. As for the direction the island is going, he would only reply, that if Puerto Rico were to become a state it would be an even greater opportunity for corporations, money grubbing realtors and the like to sink their teeth onto the island. It would be like a gentrification of sorts where many of the island folk would not be able to afford the very land that they have lived on for years and they would have to move on. For the people to believe that they would receive more assistance via statehood is absolutely absurd. They have been coached to believe that by constantly being provide with crumbs by the American government. That the identity of the Puerto Rican nation will, with time, become so minute that it will be nearly all but forgotten except by the truly ardent Puerto Rican.

Our conversation may have ended there but it remained in my thoughts. It is, after all, a year that revisits yet another plebiscite on the island. Where the politics of the island status has taken a seat alongside the gubernatorial election. I also wonder about the motives and aspirations of that Governor. Is it for the people or self driven? The bottom line is what will happen at the end. The tunnel that leads to the islands political status is dark and dank and has been for a very long time. There is no doubt that the people fear the light at the end of the tunnel. It is marred by the same repeated questions with many answers that lead to the same end.

It does lead me to other questions. Such as, what is the reason behind the U.S. Army Reserve investing heavily in Puerto Rico? What is really in the future of the former Roosevelt Roads Naval Station site? With the Governor seemingly bent on higher Washington aspirations, is this all tied to an inclination toward a statehood coating of the cake?
Depending on which side of the political spectrum one stands, the answers are never easy to swallow. The frustration never seems to have an end. What will become of Puerto Rico?

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