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Author: Sarah Haynes

Divisions emerge in Popular Democratic Party over how to address status, oversight board

The Popular Democratic Party in Puerto Rico is known for its rejection of statehood and independence. The PDP (Partido Popular Democratico in Spanish) usually firmly sits on the side of the status quo where Puerto Rico retains a sense of self-governance, but ultimately remains a part of the United States without full statehood, as an unincorporated territory. Many in this party, including the notable Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz, retain the idea of a free association with the ability to retain American Citizenship. With Governor Ricardo Rosselló’s political ambitions aimed firmly at statehood, it seemed that the PDP was about...

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Puerto Rico Department of Education continues downsizing

It has been reported that 25% of the schools in Puerto Rico are set to close within the year. These 238 schools will be closing amid dropping rates of students as many families have been leaving the islands following Hurricanes Maria and Irma in 2017. The Department of Education  has stated that the teachers are not being let go, but as the schools are being consolidated, the teachers and students are being reassigned to other schools. By the time that school starts in the fall of 2018, there will be less than 1000 schools open across Puerto Rico. Currently,...

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In state of the territory address, Rosselló promised pay increases, full recovery

On March 5, 2018 Governor Ricardo Rosselló gave the annual state of territory address, the first one following the devastation of hurricanes Irma and Maria. While the rebuilding process is still progressing, it is slow and many areas of Puerto Rico remain without power. The Governor outlined his plans for the future of Puerto Rico and his policy goals for the year and is hopeful each day will bring them closer to full recovery. While the governor laid out some plans in the speech, he was criticized for not addressing the debt crisis or updating the people on the...

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Puerto Rico’s self isolation and the budget deal

Even though Puerto Ricans are American citizens, they are not particularly involved in mainland party politics. Puerto Rico has no electoral college votes, and while votes can be cast in primary presidential elections, a Puerto Rican vote cannot be cast for candidates or causes in the general elections. This leaves many on the islands feeling isolated from the mainland and excluded from the systems that could be of benefit to them. Currently, the major party politics on the islands consist of the New Progressive Party (NPP)  and Popular Democratic Party (PDD). These parties have been focused on changing Puerto...

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Puerto Rico tourism takes off

Puerto Rico is officially reopen for business. Despite the massive damage from the hurricanes, and the continued lack of power, the Puerto Rican Tourism Company is expecting a solid visitor load this year. As of December they were already seeing an uptick in tourism, especially on cruise ships. These ships dock in San Juan which is the most touristic place in Puerto Rico. However, there are many places around the islands which previously relied on some form of tourism that are not, and will not, be ready for people for a while. El Yunque National Rainforest is a prime...

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