Portal:Puerto Rico

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The Puerto Rico Portal

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The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico (Spanish: Estado Libre Asociado de Puerto Rico) is a archipelago located east of the Dominican Republic in the northeastern Caribbean. Puerto Rico, the smallest of the Greater Antilles, includes the main island of Puerto Rico and a number of smaller islands and keys, including the populated island-municipalities of Vieques and Culebra, as well as unpopulated Mona island, located halfway between the islands of Puerto Rico and Hispaniola.

The nature of Puerto Rico's political relationship with the United States is the subject of ongoing debate on and off the island. Those who support maintaining the current formula insist that upon attaining this status, Puerto Rico entered into a voluntary association with the U.S. "in the nature of a compact", but opponents of the Commonwealth status, disagree: according to them, Puerto Rico is no more than an unincorporated organized territory of the U.S., subject to the plenary powers of the United States Congress.

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The participation of Puerto Ricans in World War II as members of the United States armed forces included guarding U.S. military installations in the Caribbean and active combat participation in both the European and Pacific theatres of the war. Puerto Ricans and people of Puerto Rican descent have participated as members of the U.S. armed forces in every conflict in which the United States has been involved since World War I.

Puerto Ricans had obtained U.S. citizenship as a result of the 1917 Jones-Shafroth Act and were expected to serve in the military. When a Japanese Imperial Navy carrier fleet launched an unexpected attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941, Puerto Ricans were required to bear arms in defense of the United States. During World War II, more than 53,000 Puerto Ricans served in the U.S. military. Soldiers from the island, served in either the 65th Infantry Regiment or the Puerto Rican National Guard. Those who resided in the mainland of the United States were assigned to regular units of the military. They were often subject to the racial discrimination that was widespread in the United States at the time. (more...)

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Photo credit: Carlo Giovannetti (Thief12)

Old San Juan is characterized by a mixture of Spanish architecture, cobblestone streets and open public plazas. Most buildings and plazas are maintained to preserve their history, with some, such as the Quinto Centenario Plaza being modernized with recent architecture and works of art.

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Did you know...

  • ...that the myth of the Chupacabra has its origins in Puerto Rico?


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Captain Humbert Roque "Rocky" Versace (July 2, 1937–September 26, 1965) was a United States Army officer of Puerto Rican-Italian descent who was awarded the United States' highest military decoration — the Medal of Honor — for his heroic actions while a prisoner of war (POW) during the Vietnam War.

While acting as intelligence advisor to South Vietnamese fighters, their unit was ambushed by opposing forces, and Versace provided sufficient covering fire for his unit to evacuate. However, he was wounded and taken prisoner deep in the jungle along with two other Americans. He tried to escape a total of four times, all unsuccessful. Versace insulted the Viet Cong and cited the Geneva Convention treaty during the indoctrination sessions, and was last seen singing "God Bless America" as he was taken away for execution. He was the first member of the U.S. Army to be awarded the Medal of Honor for actions performed in Southeast Asia while in captivity. (more...)

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Puerto Rico-related topics

All Puerto Rico-related topics
History Pre-recorded | Black history | Military history | African immigration | Chinese immigration | Corsican immigration | French immigration | German immigration | Irish immigration | Grito de Lares | Foraker Act | Jones-Shafroth Act | Migration to Hawaii | Migration to New York
Politics Constitution | The Commonwealth | Governor | Puerto Rican citizenship | Resident Commissioner | Legislative Branch (Senate - House of Representatives) | Supreme Court | Political parties | Military | Independence movement
Geography Municipalities | Islands | Mona Island | Dry Forests | El Yunque National Forest | Rivers | Puerto Rico Trench
Economy Companies | Operation Bootstrap | Tourism | Puerto Rican peso (1895-1898) | United States dollar (1898-present)
Society Puerto Rican people | Puerto Ricans in the United States | Demographics | Education | Holidays | Religion
Culture Art | Buildings and Structures | Casals Festival | Cinema | Cuisine | Literature | Music | Sports
Ecology Fauna of Puerto Rico | Herpeto fauna | Endemic fauna | Endemic flora | Puerto Rican birds | Vieques birds | Puerto Rican Amazon | Golden coquí | Monito Gecko | Puerto Rican Crested Anole | Mona Ground Iguana | Elfin-woods Warbler | Puerto Rican trees
Other Flag | Transportation | Rail transport | Slangs | Communications | List of Puerto Ricans | List of Puerto Rican fraternities and sororities | Scouting in Puerto Rico| Piragua

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