As I once said on one of my tweets: I believe that American democracy is designed to give its people the right to choose their leaders and their form of government. It “seems” to me that this right has somehow been denied to the US citizens who live in Puerto Rico.
If Puerto Ricans and mainlanders both hold the same citizenship, why not give them the same rights?
Following the provisions of the Foraker Act, changes were made on the way business was to be done on the island. On the economic side, the United States took this opportunity to implement taxation of all islanders. A fifteen percent tax was levied on all articles entering Puerto Rico from the United States and vice-versa. Along with a tax increase, the United States instituted, “the coastwise shipping laws, prohibiting less expensive foreign carriers from shipping cargo between Puerto Rico and the United States”. Essentially, the United States mandated that Puerto Rican commerce was to be carried out on American ships, and failing to do so often led to severe economic consequences. Political leaders from both the United States and Puerto Rico were appalled that such a law was permitted to pass through Congress. In many ways the US Congress contradicted some of the fundamental philosophies of its Constitution. As it was stated by their founding Fathers, in response to the British taxation of the thirteen colonies, “taxation without representations is a crime that will not be tolerated by the people of this island”.
I found this contradiction while leafing through the thesis of Nils Zetterstrand, The Globalization of the pharmaceutical industry in Puerto Rico”, 2001.