One of the particularities of Puerto Rico, besides the fact that it may not conclude treaties with other sovereign states, is that it’s usually considered by international organizations not as a state itself, but instead it’s treated as if it were a former state of the American Union. That’s to say, Puerto Rico is neither a United Nations member (to be in the UN you must be a sovereign nation), nor is it an OECD* member.
Nevertheless, Puerto Rico does belong to some other international bodies:
- Caricom (observer)
- ECLAC** (associate member together with the British Virgin Islands, the Netherlands Antilles and the US Virgin Islands)
- FAO (associate)
- Interpol (subbureau)
- WHO (associate)
Also, in the popular belief of Latin Americans, we tend to treat Puerto Rico as a State itself for obvious reasons: language, religion, music…
I was working out this morning to the rhythm of Newyorican singer Tito Puente on my Ipod and listened to this song called “Fiesta con Puente“. It goes something like this:
“Panameño, panameño vámonos de fiesta que con Tito Puente va a gozar mi gente.
Puerto Rico, Puerto Rico vámonos de fiesta que con Tito Puente va a gozar mi gente.
Argentina y Venezuela, vámonos de fiesta que con Tito Puente va a gozar mi gente.
Brasileiro y Colombiano…”
I was actually kind of pleased to hear that Tito also thought of Puerto Rico as a single Nation, far away from the American culture and, instead, closer to the Latin American fiesta spirit.
Fiesta con Puente
* OECD: Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development
** ECLAC: Economic Commission for Latin America and the Caribbean