The Corner

Re: Puerto Rico Is a Latin American Country

Mario’s post on Puerto Rico is very sensible, but doesn’t continue to the logical conclusion. Puerto Rico has indeed benefited from being able to develop under American tutelage, as, I would argue, India on balance did from British rule. But the time has come from Puerto Rico to leave the nest, and independence is now an imperative.

It’s no surprise that many in Puerto Rico don’t want independence; many in Belize, Djibouti, the Comoros, and other small leftover colonies also didn’t want independence at the tail end of decolonization (nor do most people in places that stayed on as colonies, like Martinique, Guadeloupe, and others), since under modern conditions it’s a pretty lucrative deal to be a colony of a rich, first-world country. But like it or not, their U.S. citizenship was granted by Congress and can be revoked by Congress, and the sooner we start untangling our long relationship, so that Puerto Rico can take its own place in the family of nations, the better.

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