World Country Puerto Rico

About the world country Puerto Rico, its location, size, population, and who is in power.



Location: Major Caribbean island, east of Hispaniola, plus adjacent smaller islands. Size: 3,435 sq. mi. (8,897 sq. km.). Population: 3,400,000.

Who Really Rules: Puerto Rico is a U.S. territory with limited self-government. It is part of the U.S. customs zone. Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens, although those who remain on the island do not pay federal taxes and cannot vote in U.S. elections.

In 1980 Gov. Carlos Romero-Barcelo barely won reelection while promising a referendum on possible statehood in the U.S. The pro-Commonwealth party came in a close second, and pro-independence force trailed. Romero Barcelo argues that annexation will bring additional federal subsidies.

Economically, Puerto Rico is a colony of U.S.-based multinational corporations, particularly the petrochemical and pharmaceutical industries, which take advantage of the island's lax environmental regulations. The U.S. military operates several bases in Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Navy uses the island of Vieques, off the east coast, for target practice.

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