Seeing the U.S. Empire through the Eyes of Puerto Rican Nationalists Who Opposed It


A poll conducted shortly after Hurricane María devastated Puerto Rico in September 2017 revealed the disquieting truth: only 54 percent of U.S. residents know that Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens.1 Not only do most people living in the United States not know this, but also they don’t realize that Puerto Rico has been a U.S. colony since 1898 and remains one in 2019—121 years later! Puerto Ricans living in Puerto Rico are not allowed to vote in federal elections—not for Congress, nor for Senate, and not for the President—let alone exercise self-determination. 2 U.S. colonial rule of Puerto Rico simultaneously confirms that the United States is an empire and demolishes the myth it is an altruistic or democratic ruler. The Trump administration’s response to the devastation of Hurricanes Irma and María attests to that most clearly. Continue reading below…