Puerto Rico’s citizens want their status to be one of three things - independent of the U.S.A., the 51st state, or for it to remain as it is - a free associated state, and/or commonwealth of the U.S.A.
But Puerto Rico is not Scotland. Scotland has quite a few things going for it that Puerto Rico does not. Size and popluation; for example. Scotland is about eight times larger than Puerto Rico, and has almost twice as many people residing within its borders. Scotland also boasts a great whisky industry, as well as having the largest oil reserve in the UK. The Puerto Rican economy relies on manufacturing, tourism, and American subsidies. Puerto Rico’s enchanting exports include rum, music, boxers, baseball players, and gorgeous women, but that’s about it. At one time, it used to import the world’s best coffee and sugar. The island also has wonderful fruits and vegetables that grow nowhere else. I wish that Puerto Rico could get back to an economy that produces goods for others and not rely on America for work.
These days, I am rooting for Puerto Rico’s independence - but not yet. Once Puerto Rico can get a great economy of their own going, they will be there. As it is, many Puerto Ricans are flocking to American shores to escape the economic hardships of life over there. But others remain; my little brother is putting his sociology degrees to use over there, and he works hard to grant citizens access to governmental documents that pertain to the island’s wellbeing. He is opening a restaurant featuring dishes made from Puerto Rico’s harvests, too.
As far as Scotland is concerned, I am sure that there are other policies in place that I am missing - agreements that benefit both Scotland and England. But from my far away and largely uneducated position, Scotland looks like it is ready - ready in a way that Puerto Rico is not. So, I am rooting for them, and hoping to learn from them, too.
photo credit: Flickr