Puerto Rico: The World’s Oldest Colony

March 19, 2018 - 7:00 PM

Featuring a screening of  “Puerto Rico: Colonial Bondage and Resistance” and commentary from Julio Urrutia, Attorney and Puerto Rican Activist.

Presented as part of the Beyond War and Militarism  Alternative Education Series

Beyond War and Militarism Committee is a joint project of the CNY Solidarity Coalition and the Syracuse Peace Council.

Five months after Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, swaths of the island still have no electricity, while food and water supplies have been slow to arrive. The Federal Emergency Management Agency, known as FEMA, has been hit by a series of scandals, after it was revealed that only a fraction of the 30 million meals slated to be sent to the island after Hurricane Maria was actually delivered. FEMA approved a $156 million contract for a one-woman company to deliver the 30 million meals. But in the end, FEMA canceled the contract after she delivered only 50,000 meals, in what FEMA called a logistical nightmare. This came after FEMA gave more than $30 million in contracts to a newly created Florida company which failed to deliver a single tarp to Puerto Rico. –Source, Democracy Now!, Feb 18, 2018

Puerto Rico, is considered by some to be “the world’s oldest colony.”

To understand Puerto Rico’s current political status, it is important to know the events of the past.

Taíno Indians inhabited the island when Christopher Columbus landed in Puerto Rico in November 19, 1493. Soon after, Puerto Rico became a Spanish colony and remained under Spanish rule for over 400 years. In 1809 the first declarations of independence from Spanish rule occurred, and by the end of the 1800s, Spain had lost all of its New World colonies except Cuba and Puerto Rico. Puerto Rico is the only territory that never gained its independence. It was not until November 25, 1897 that Spain granted Puerto Rico self-rule. However, this autonomy was short lived, on 25 July 1898, American troops invaded and raised the U.S. flag over the island, formalizing U.S. authority over its one million inhabitants.  Source: topuertorico.org