Caribbean geography lesson…

Every now and then I like to get out a map and reassure myself that when not knowing the location of Yemen, or Utah, or Antiqua (for example) all I have to do is look it up on a map. A paper map, preferably, but sometimes even an online map will do.

So I wanted to see if Puerto Rico was really far out in the middle of the ocean someplace, or, as I suspected…in the Caribbean. So I did a search “Puerto Rico” and Bing zeroed in on a nice map of the island, in great detail of cities and even roads and topographical details like mountains. Zooming out to get the big picture…including the Pacific Ocean and all of Russia…the exact location of Puerto Rico became instantly remembered.

Looking Southward, from Florida, the island is sort of beyond Cuba, north of Venezuela, and in a line with other islands and chains of islands in the Caribbean, forming a line of defense reinforced by territories possessed by friendly allies: the French, Dutch, and British. This was perfect—especially back in the days of the conquest by Spain of the New World.

Actually the United States was interested in keeping the Spanish at bay as much as possible, while maintaining a strategic position of buffering between the British (our best friends forever) and “other” European or South American nations from getting any ideas. Or Japan…or anyone else.

The last good-size war the U.S. had with Spain was the Spanish-American War, which effectively booted the Spanish out of the area and declared US hegemony in the close-in islands, including Puerto Rico. It is true that the U.S. had a good line of defense in the Caribbean, and although U.S.-Cuban relations suffered during the Cold War…to the point where until the Cubans would acquiesce in being beaten by the U.S. Embargo, which effectively put Cuba and the Castro Dictatorship in its place as an oppressed and bullied island which “refused to straighten out” and endured sixty years or so of hardship and political hassles because of it.

At the end of the Spanish-American War in 1899, part of the spoils agreed on by the two nations was the prize of Puerto Rico…ceded to the U.S. by Spain. One of the results was that the Spanish-speaking citizens were required to speak and use English-only.

Puerto Rico is a U.S. Territory, and thus Puerto Rican citizens are citizens of the United States, and are entitled to vote in U.S. elections…except for the office of President. They elect representatives to the U.S. Congress, who are on the same basis as reps and Senators from the 50 other states.

One difficult hang-over from the early 20th Century is THE JONES LAW, which forbids Puerto Rico to receive shipments of any materials or products from any sources except on officially sanctioned United States registered Ships. The result of this is that now that Hurricane Maria has devastated the Puerto Rican island, the Jones Law limits what foreign aid they can receive. The U.S. Congress has the power to rescind or modify the law…but has so far declined. It may be nteresting to note that the Jones Law has been suspended in other U.S. ports under emergencies created by Hurricanes that hit Texas and Florida, as well as other U.S. controlled islands in the Caribbean.

The U.S. Navy Hospital Ship Comfort has, as of this Wednesday morning, been sent to Puerto Rico. The reasons for the delay apparently have been worked out, especially the excuse of the ship being “too big to park in the harbor…” and the hospital ship will anchor off-shore and apparently transfer patients from the mainland of the island by helicopter.

https://www.bing.com/maps?&ty=18&q=Puerto%20Rico&vdpid=202&mb=19.029888040912922~-69.22080993652341~17.464867724672842~-64.03526306152341&ppois=18.2491397857666_-66.6280364990234_Puerto%20Rico_~&cp=18.2491397857666~-66.6280364990234&v=2&sV=1&style=r&trfc=&lvl=7

64 thoughts on “Caribbean geography lesson…

  1. Hey! did you say something about Spain, my country conquering anything…. we only did the crusades and wiped out half of the world, so you should be thankfull we didn’t wipe out all the world. Just an educated opinion

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      1. At least my dummy jokes don’t offend you, contrary to this other girl in wordpress, seems my dumb ironic jokes she took it quite bad.B I did told her that I was not sorry, either you like it or not and go with a “funny” flow, her loos

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      2. if you want please visit my post on my blog “Time Cat” you will like it. If I was 30 I’d be right there…but if I was 30 the girl in the video wouldn’t be born yet.

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      3. thanks. I need to get back to writing my poetry, but haven’t been in the creative mood for a few months. Did you see that high ladder going up into the ancient ruins? I don’t think I would have been able to climb up there…I don’t do heights well. That’s my second youngest granddaughter, the youngest will be 21 in a couple of weeks.

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      4. Throw her a party, but with alcohol, a bet she already taken it, but now she is officially legal to drink it. Grandma and grandaughter together drunk as a skunk in on the dancing floor to the song “giggy giggy”

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      5. I asked her if she was going to go all to hell when she turned 21, she said “probably.” joke of course. seriously though, her father is a serious alcoholic, so I think she will be careful. my Dad was too…and my brother and some sisters… alcohol is far worse addiction than most drugs. imho (in my humble opinion)

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      6. ha…I doubt that she will. She is an interesting character, knows absolutely everything…as if she was born with an encyclopedia in her head. when she was like three she’d get up in middle of the night and turn on the Science channel… family and others are always telling her do this…do that… but I never do that. Each individual person has their own life.

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      7. if you saw the video you see her cousin the rocker with a bottle of beer, a cigarette, she has been waiting for years for her cousin to come of age, ha! maybe she’ll go on a road trip with the band.

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      8. I did some work on a probability study I saw in a magazine about millions of years…I applied it to my own life span, which could conceivably reach 100…. if so I have already lived more than 75 percent of my life in OK shape. One of my dad’s cousins lived to 96, and my greatgrandmother lived to 93. So I might make it to 100… already past the life expectancy charts.

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      9. I think the oldest woman was a French woman who was like 117 or so. Jeanne something…a reporter asked her if she smoked and she said “oh no…I quit smoking like 12 years ago.” haha I quite smoking when I turned 40…all my friends still smoked, but my husband had quit long ago so it was easier to quit myself….went cold turkey.

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      10. Maybe you don’t like his politics, but point being is that even if you get old and not saying that because of you, you a grily girly sexy merly….. no wonder my grandmama laughed so much, I gave her life, and this guy is saying that, even if you get old you are still able to do things, within your self but you gotta love life, and that I know, that you do love life and for that I’m gratefull to meet you.

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      11. thanks Charly, that means a lot to me. old timers can either set around and whine and be “old” or they can try to continue their life as it is. As long as I don’t lose my mind and ability to write, I’ll be happy. I have made good friends on this blog, you included.

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      12. Hey there my granny! I’m included in your friendship world of wordpress, that actually makes me happy, you seem like a good women, and I sense that you are…. sexy! No worries, those things I told my grandmother and she just laughed at me o with me, either way she laughed wich was the important thing. Love ya

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      13. trump? its not his politics so much as his hypocrisy and that he is literally really insane. I watched his speech on “family values” a bit ago and to tell the truth I ran out of obscenities to shout at the TV.

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      14. I do know you are a leftist, I really don’t care for me is not about politics in this blog, I could argue about what you said but what would be the point? So…..so so I forgot, although you could give President Trump a cool hair cut.

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      15. I write about a lot of different things, and since I am a Historian by trade history and political situations is a big part of my interest. I do want to write more poetry and do more photos…that’s what my people seem to like. Once I did a post about cookies…gingersnaps…and that was the post that had the all-time most likers….127 I think.

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      16. I think is your blog, in my blog you can find crazy poetry as I call it, “normal”poetry, deep poetry (no so much of that though) the blog is called crazy life, my random absurd and I think funny thoughts that not even I believe them, to serious things, but I try to stay away from politics, although I do comment on other blogs about politics on ocassions. But I sort of find it futile since your never going to convert a socialist to become a capitalist. Point being is my blog and I write what I want if people don’t want to read it I could care less, some will, that’s enough for me.

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      17. yes, I like your poetry, has its own style. I am actually a historian, once taught at university, so it is hard for me to avoid serious political writing and history. Latin American History that is, mostly about Mexico and Central America. However, that said…the things my readers like the most are light-hearted poetry and photos of flowers etc. not my political rants. 🙂

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      18. You know, I have developed good “relationships” in wordpress with other writers that have completely different view of the world and politics, so if I go to their blog and see they are talking about politics I move on, politics is a subject that some people are very passionate about and you can easily offend them if you make a rational argument that goes contrary to what they think

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      19. right…I find certain ones like politics and some don’t. like you say if they don’t like it they move on to the next thing. I have some (maybe 15) that almost always drop in, and those people share my politics. Facebook is another matter…I hate facebook.

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      20. Not today but one of these days I will get into your blog and give you a dissertation papper as to why you are wrong, by the way believe it or not, when I was in college in the Republic of Communist California (nice girls by the way) I had a A- on one semester paper that was about 3 philosopers with three thoughts each and you had to argue why killing civilians in a war zone was legitimate or not, obviously the easy thing was to say it was not taking those 3 dudes with their 3 ideas and putting up on papper and say that it is wrong, I did the complete opposite since I found it boring to go the easy side like the rest of the class, actually the professor told me to explain it to the class, and I was thinking to myself what an ass hole, so I got up in front of 30 students at least and told them my rational, as you can imagine I was not very popular, but they did know not to fuck with me, and telling you the truth, I stook to the phylosophical thinking of those 3 and made the argument around their writings, and the teacher that was a very left wing guy at least he was a real good guy, gave me an A- as I said, I just flipped the arguments upside and down and up and down, and that, if I’m not high, I’m good at. Point being, the teacher I did at the end of the semester and thank him, even though we didn’t have the same point of view about the world he showed he was inpartial when teaching, and that is rare in those type of universities.
        Damn, what a long comment….. your fault

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      21. excellent. I’d like to read it. Don’t know if you know that I am a university instructor myself, retired now. Any good well based argument on a point of view earned good marks from me. The important thing is thinking…logic and reasoning…even if someone doesn’t agree with me I am always willing to listen to a reasonable discussion.

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      22. seriously, this situation here is almost beyond any control, the world is changing and it will just keep getting worse. That said… if I were younger I would pack up my books and I would be OUT of here.

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  2. So the island has been handed around from one superpower to another, improverished by the trade embargo, and now its president rails against it … who’d be a Puerto Rican? Thanks for this enlightening post.

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    1. that’s about it 🙂 Latin America is a news-neglected area, being as it is the infamous “back yard” of the USA. One of our former sec of state once said “[pity] poor Mexico…so far from God and so close to the United States.” In slow times just go beat up some southern nation.

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    1. thanks, I appreciate your comments. The past does indeed affect us all, but unfortunately too many don’t realize it…have no clue about why things are as they are. And so many if they do know, they don’t care.

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