The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico
: 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
, 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.
Black history in Puerto Rico
initially began with the African
freeman who arrived with the Spanish Conquistadors
. The Spaniards enslaved the Taino
s, who were the native inhabitants of the island, and many of them died as a result of the cruel treatment that they had received. This presented a problem for the Spanish Crown since they depended on slavery as a means of manpower to work the mines and build forts. Their solution was to import slaves from Africa and as a consequence the vast majority of the Africans who immigrated to Puerto Rico did so as a result of the slave trade. The Africans in Puerto Rico came from various points of Africa, and suffered many hardships and were subject to cruel treatment.
When the gold mines were declared depleted and no longer produced the precious metal, the Spanish Crown ignored Puerto Rico and the island became mainly a garrison for the ships. Africans from British and French possessions in the Caribbean were encouraged to immigrate to Puerto Rico and as freemen provided a population base to support the Puerto Rican garrison and its forts. (more...)
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) by the community, as a result of many collaborative efforts of users and readers just like you.
Selected anniversaries for June
- June 4, 1870 - Moret Law was passed which granted freedom to slaves born after September 17, 1868
- June 4, 1918 - Birth of Noel Estrada, composer of En Mi Viejo San Juan (d. 1979)
- June 9, 1976 - Birth of Sharif Fajardo, member of the Puerto Rico national basketball team
- June 11, 1948 - Governor Jesús T. Piñero signed a law which made the public advocation of independence unlawful.
- June 12, 1826 - The Municipality of Comerío was founded.
- June 13, 1899 - Birth of Antonio S. Pedreira, author and educator (d. 1939)
- June 13, 1983 - Death of Alicia Moreda, television soap opera actress (b. 1912)
- June 15, 1598 - The Royal Navy, led by George Clifford, 3rd Earl of Cumberland, landed troops from 21 ships to the east in Santurce with aims to overtake the city.
- June 16, 1944 - Death of Luis Lloréns Torres, poet, journalist, playwright, and politician (b. 1876)
- June 16, 2005 - Death of Enrique Laguerre, writer and poet (b. 1905)
- June 17, 1833 - Birth of Francisco Oller, artist (d. 1917)
- June 18, 1984 - Birth of Wilfredo Vázquez, Jr., professional boxer
- June 21, 1939 - Birth of Rubén Berríos, president of the Puerto Rican Independence Party
- June 22, 1772 - The Municipality of Moca is founded.
- June 24, 1820 - The Municipality of Ciales was founded.
- June 25, 1972 - Birth of Carlos Delgado, Major League Baseball first baseman
- June 25, 1835 - Queen María Cristina abolished slave trade to Spanish colonies, which included Puerto Rico.
- June 26, 1983 - Death of Concha Meléndez, educator, poet and writer (b. 1895)
- June 26, 1984 - Birth of José Juan Barea, professional basketball player
- June 28, 1968 - Birth of Chayanne (Elmer Figueroa Arce), Latin pop singer
- June 29, 1993 - Death of Héctor Lavoe, as a result of conplications of AIDS (b. 1946)
- June 30, 1823 - The Municipality of Hatillo was founded.
- June 30, 1960 - Birth of Lunna, pop and jazz singer
- June 30, 1979 - Birth of Rick Gonzalez, actor
- June 30, 1983 - Birth of Juan Manuel López professional boxer
- ...that Puerto Rico is not an independent country, but is rather a Commonwealth of the United States?
- That the public display of the Puerto Rican Flag was once considered a felony (from 1892 to 1954) and that anyone who did so could end up in jail?
- ...that Staff Sgt. Modesto Cartagena, U.S. Army, is the most decorated Hispanic in history?
- ...that the Camuy River is the third-longest underwater river in the world?
- ...that the myth of the Chupacabra has its origins in Puerto Rico?
- September 8, 2011: The US Justice Department issues a report decrying systematic civil rights abuse by the Puerto Rico Police Department, including illegal searches, use of excessive force, and corruption, sparking a wide call for action from the public and an announcement of reform by Gov. Luis Fortuño.
- August 21, 2011: Tropical storm Irene passes through Puerto Rico and its surrounding islands while becoming a hurricane just north of San Juan, the first of the 2011 Atlantic season.
- June 29, 2011: Jose "Piculin" Ortiz, a former professional basketball player in the NBA (Utah Jazz) and the Puerto Rican Olympic team and the Superior Basketball League, is arrested for drug-related charges.
- June 12, 2011: In professional basketball, José Juan "J.J." Barea, helps the Dallas Mavericks defeat the Miami Heat (4-2) and win the 2011 NBA Championship. A national welcoming party is held in his honor in Puerto Rico.
Captain Humbert Roque "Rocky" Versace
(July 2, 1937–September 26, 1965) was a United States Army
officer of Puerto Rican
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...)
A lot of Puerto Rican Americans sometimes feel outside of the Puerto Rican experience..., and then they get ridiculed from that. Some people may call them a "fake Puerto Rican". And I don't think that that's fair, because they still grew up on rice and beans. They still listen to salsa and merengue.
You know, you may not be born in Puerto Rico, but Puerto Rican is definitely born in you.
|— Rosie Perez, April 27, 2006 interview with NPR.
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