Puerto Rico: A U.S. Colony in the Caribbean

by Margaret Power Illinois Institute of Technology In 1898 the U.S. military invaded and seized Puerto Rico and Cuba during the Spanish-American War. Unlike Cuba, Puerto Rico has not yet achieved independence and the United States continues to exert political, economic, judicial, and military control over the Island. Two early twentieth-century decisions defined U.S. policies toward Puerto Rico. First, in 1901 the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that “Porto Rico is