Puerto Rico was dragging more than $70 billion in public debt after decades of mismanagement, corruption and excessive borrowing to balance budgets. In June 2015, the government declared the debt unpayable, and in May 2017, Puerto Rico filed for the biggest U.S. municipal bankruptcy in history.
Maria, a deadly Category 4 hurricane, ravaged Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and Dominica nearly two years ago, and recovery has been slow. It's not just Puerto Rico's infrastructure that was battered. Emotionally, many here are still fragile.
The U.S. National Hurricane Center said that late Wednesday, the storm was centered about 445 miles (715 kilometers) north-northeast of San Juan and it was moving north-northeast at 15 mph (24 kph). The storm had maximum sustained winds of 40 mph (65 kph).
The Pentagon has identified the U.S. soldier who was killed Thursday by a car bombing in Kabul, Afghanistan.
This is the first reason but not nearly all of it: The big spending was fueled by a translation error between Spanish and English in the island's 1952 constitution. It enabled Puerto Rico to issue debt to fund many activities, including day-to-day operations. It all comes down to the interpretation of the phrase "recursos totales" -- total revenue or total resources? It was interpreted as resources, which is a broader term allowing the government to fund regular operations (e.g. education, policing, health care, etc.) via bonds.
Throughout the 20th century, from the birth of jazz to hip-hop, Puerto Ricans played a significant role in shaping the musical landscape of the United States, and to an extent, the rest of the world. Though they have not always received the credit.
With the end of the Spanish-American War later the same year, the island was fully in the control of the United States. Later on the Foraker Act solidified the colony, with only some self rule.
On April 2, 1900, U. S. President McKinley signed a civil law that established a civilian government in Puerto Rico. This law was known as the Foraker Act for its sponsor, Joseph Benson Foraker (an Ohio statesman), and also as the Organic Act of 1900. The new government had a governor and an executive council appointed by the President, a House of Representatives with 35 elected members, a judicial system with a Supreme Court, and a non-voting Resident Commissioner in Congress. In addition, all federal laws of the United States were to be in effect on the island. The first civil governor of the island under the Foraker Act was Charles H. Allen, inaugurated on May 1, 1900 in San Juan, Puerto Rico.