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Borinquen Title Loans Ponce Puerto Rico – Borinquén: Puerto Rico became a territory of the United States in 1898, and for most of the next fifty years Puerto Rico fought fiercely for that status. Should they fight for independence or become an American country or something in between? In this episode, we look at Puerto Rico’s relationship with the United States and the key figures who shaped the island’s destiny.

NEW ANONYMOUS JOURNALISM. 1: The first images are now coming in from Puerto Rico after a direct hit – Hurricane Maria is bearing down on the island and, as you may have heard, an official says the island is devastated.

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UPDATE #2: The death toll from the hurricane and its aftermath is now exponentially higher.

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PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: I hate to tell you, Puerto Rico, but you messed up our budget a little bit because we spent a lot of money in Puerto Rico.

UPDATE #4: … Times (ph) that President Donald Trump has discussed the possibility of selling Puerto Rico in 2017 after Hurricane Maria …

JUDY WOODRUFF: The 2020 tropical storm season is more active than ever. And meteorologists say there could be as many as six major storms.

AMY ROBACH: Puerto Rico has had a lot of trouble during this pandemic. He struggled to get food, supplies and tests. And so the question of what the future holds for Puerto Rico is now up for debate.

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ABDELFATAH: As I’m sure you know, Puerto Rico has had some really tough years. Hurricanes and political upheaval have forced the islanders to confront some tough questions — issues that have strained ties to the U.S. mainland. There was even a recent report that after Hurricane Maria, President Trump floated the idea that the US should sell Puerto Rico. He is said to have asked, “can we, name it,” “get rid of this property?”

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ARABLOUEI: And that raises a central question, one that we first explored about a year ago – what should the relationship between the United States and Puerto Rico be?

ARABLOUEI: Puerto Rico became a territory of the United States in 1898. And for the next 50 years, Puerto Ricans fiercely debated whether the island should seek independence or establish closer ties with the United States.

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ABDELFATAH: The battles fought over this issue are reflected today in how the Americas view the island with indifference, confusion or hostility – as well as in how the island struggles with political and economic instability.

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ARABLOUEI: In this episode, we’ll look back on the first 50 years of Puerto Rico’s relationship with the mainland and the key figures who shaped the island’s destiny.

JORDAN MOHAMMED: Hello. My name is Jordan Mohammed (ph). I’m from South Orange, N.J. And you listen by THROUGHLINE. I just want to say thank you for helping me pass AP Government and Politics (ph). You are a great help.

ABDELFATAH: This is a line for the indigenous name of the island – Borinquen. The language of the song is romantic and patriotic and is very characteristic of the national anthem.

ABDELFETAH: But the text of the version you are hearing was written in 1903 and is not the first version. The original text was written in 1868 by the poet Lola Rodriguez de Tio. And they were, shall we say, more violent.

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DANNY RIVERA: (Singing, subtitles) Wake up, Boricua. The call to arms came. He wakes up from a dream. It’s time for war.

ABDELFATAH: So Puerto Rico, Cuba, and the Dominican Republic are Caribbean island nations that used to be part of the Spanish Empire. But in the late 19th century, Spain was…

IMMERWAHR: Again and again he found himself fighting the rebels who were marching for independence. In 1890, Spain engaged in brutal acts of repression to maintain its rule.

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ABDELFATAH: Because of the broken state of the Spanish Empire and their history of brutal colonial rule, many Puerto Ricans wanted independence.

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FINDLAY: And the Spanish were recognized as slave owners, plantation owners, and so on. – sugar cultivation.

ABDELFATAH: So a revolutionary uprising began in Puerto Rico. It was not an armed rebellion like in neighboring Cuba. But the songs written by Lola Rodriguez de Tio still captured the spirit of the movement.

UNIDENTIFIED PERSON #2: (reading) Come on. The sound of cannons will make us happy. seen The Cuban will be free. The mosquito will free him. The mosquito will free him.

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ABDELFATAH: In 1897, the Spanish crown was under pressure to appease the Puerto Ricans and issued a decree allowing the island to establish its own independent government. Some time after…

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IMMERWAHR: The United States entered the war on the side of the rebels, under the banner of liberty, promising to be a force for liberty throughout the Spanish Empire.

ABDELFATAH: The Spanish-American War began in 1898. The United States invested heavily in the war effort, especially since Puerto Rico—like the rest of the Caribbean—was right in their backyard. Spain’s weak power was an opportunity to conquer the Caribbean islands.

ABDELFATAH: In 1898, Spain surrendered control of Puerto Rico in a ceremony in San Juan reported by the New York Evening Post.

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IMMERWAHR: Everything was quiet. There was no lack of enthusiasm. One hour after the street closing is requested. There was little sign that anything significant had happened—that with this brief ceremony, Spanish power on the island of Puerto Rico ended forever.

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HARRY FRANQUI-RIVERA: Compared to Spain, the United States looked like that city on the hill, like that beacon of democracy. For all its flaws, the United States was seen as something that many Puerto Ricans wanted.

FINDLAY: It was a civil war. Slavery failed. In particular, many black Puerto Ricans think that the United States is the land of Lincoln. It’s really interesting that we have — in Puerto Rico at the turn of the century, the nascent socialist party is strongly pro-American. attack

FRANQUI-RIVERA: In fact, immediately after the invasion of the United States of America and the establishment of a military government, the political parties that were formed wanted Puerto Rico to become a state of the Union.

FRANQUI-RIVERA: And I say that because there was a lot of condescension towards the United States. There was a lot of hope.

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ABDELFATAH: The United States of America annexed Puerto Rico to the United States. And within months of the annexation, the Americans appointed a military commander to rule the island, completely ignoring the parliament that Puerto Rico had from Spain. Nevertheless, Puerto Ricans remained optimistic for a while that relations with the United States would improve life on the island. And one of these people was a man who would become one of the most important figures in the modern history of the island – Pedro Albizu Campos.

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FRANQUI-RIVERA: He’s a Spanish boy and a woman of mixed descent, who was called a mulatto (ph) back then.

IMMERWAHR: And I was young around the time of the American invasion and occupation, growing up in the city of Ponce, which seemed to welcome the United States…

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ABDELFATAH: Albizu Campos himself did not come from one of these patriarchal or wealthy families. But because he lives in a rich city, he got a good education.

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IMMERWAHR: The accounts we have of his childhood are that he was really interested in his teachers from the mainland when he was studying in Puerto Rico. He went to the United States for his studies, first in Vermont, and then he transferred to Harvard.

ABDELFATAH: When World War I began, Albizu Campos, like many Puerto Ricans, believed that the U.S. would finally provide a better life for the island’s people. And while he was studying law in 1917, Puerto Ricans became US citizens.

IMMERWAHR: It was part of an effort to draw Puerto Rico into the war effort and bolster some of the legitimacy of the United States in a place where, you know, they found themselves in a bad position standing up for freedom on the world stage and yet this place as It has a large and famous colony.

IMMERWAHR: And we write him trying to understand – what does it mean that the United States is at war, and where are Puerto Ricans? And what he wrote – he wrote to the Harvard Crimson that Puerto Ricans now have citizenship. Now we are part of this project and we are really excited to be part of it. And he said, in the end I will stand behind the United States. He went to the military.

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FRANQUI-RIVERA: Albizu Campos attended an officer training camp in Puerto Rico, then called a regiment or for black Puerto Ricans. He trains. He was given the rank of first guard.

IMMERWAHR: And apparently he had

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