|Imperialism and Resistance|
Caribbean and the U.S.
War in Iraq
Operation Bootstrap is mostly about this economic program that had a major impact on the Puerto Rican economy. Puerto Rico was promised a better economy as the outcome of Operation Bootstrap. "Operation Bootstrap was an attempt to improve the Puerto Rican economy… It encouraged United States businesses’ to build factories in Puerto Rico. These businesses would not have to pay taxes to the Puerto Rican government for 15-17 years. They did not have to pay United States taxes either..." (34) This makes Operation Bootstrap seem like a good idea.
Good outcomes at the beginning Edit
Don’t get confused, Operation Bootstrap had some pretty good outcomes in the beginning. "...It improved public health care by building more hospitals and training more doctors…It started vocational schools to teach industrial skills to people who had been farmers all their lives.It spent more money on education to increase literacy. It built new power plants, housing units and paved roads." There were some outstanding improvements in Puerto Rico after Operation Bootstrap took the lead.
Illusory riches Edit
The illusory riches that Puerto Rico became fond of were rapidly taken away and replaced with long term economic drought. This was the result of two factors in particular. One, the death of peoples' livelihoods, and two, the end of the tax-exemption that the US companies had enjoyed for 17 years. "During this period of building up industry, jobs were being lost in rural areas because very little attention and money was going toward farming. With less food being grown in Puerto Rico, most food had to be imported and food cost went up." (35) The agricultural and fishing economy was taken over by artificially supported industries. This proves that Operation Bootstrap was ‘negative’ from the jump start. It back- fired on Puerto Rico. It was supposed to improve the wealth and economy of Puerto Rico but it made it worse. They were now the United States.
Tag along Edit
In effect of the economic drought, Puerto Rico had to tag along to the only country they could get any type of reliance from: the United States. "As more factories shut down and relocated in other countries, the unemployment rate grew. Food costs kept increasing. By 1975, the United States government had to provide food stamps for 50% of the Puerto Rican population. Many others survived on United States surplus food and welfare payments.” This demonstrates how Puerto Rico ended up depending on the United States for survival, food and money.
The only real reason America took over Puerto Rico is because they saw that they could make money, benfit from Puerto Rico's rich land and and get the great natural resources that Puerto Rico has.