Puerto Rico Info
For additional information about Puerto Rico go to http://www.caribbeanbusinesspr.com/about_puerto_rico/eng/index.php
100 miles long and 34 miles wide, Puerto Rico is the smallest of the Greater Antilles in the Caribbean.
Sub-tropical; average 75 Fahrenheit degrees in winter, 81 Fahrenheit degrees in summer.
3.0 million U.S. citizens. A population density of some 1,056 inhabitants per square mile is the seventh highest in the world.
Local Government is based on the principle of separation of powers, with Executive, Legislative and Judicial Branches. General elections are held every four years.
Puerto Rico is under the U.S. customs jurisdiction. Borders are open between P.R. and U.S. mainland, allowing for free movement of people and merchandise. Because of its status as a territory associated with the United States, Puerto Rico enjoys a degree of authority over its internal affairs, even though it falls under territorial clause. Such authority includes fiscal autonomy; i.e., it administers its own tax system, and most federal taxes are not levied on income earned in Puerto Rico, with the exception of benefit-related taxes, such as Social Security, Medicare, and unemployment insurance. Federal courts and federal agencies operate in Puerto Rico for the most part as they do in the 50 states.
Puerto Ricans do not vote in the U.S. national elections while residing on the island. Neither do other Americans who relocate from any of the 50 States to Puerto Rico. As U.S. citizens, however, the full voting rights of Puerto Ricans are recognized when they move to U.S. mainland. Puerto Rico participates in the national political process by sending delegates to the Democratic and Republican national conventions.
Puerto Rico is represented in the U.S. Congress by a Resident Commissioner, who sits in the House of Representatives. The Resident Commissioner does not vote on the House Floor, but votes in committees and caucuses to which he belongs. Unlike other House members, Puerto Rico’s Resident Commissioner holds office for a four-year period, being elected at the time of general election in Puerto Rico.
Historic and Cultural
Background Puerto Rico is a society with a strong Latin American and Caribbean historical and cultural heritage that became a part of the United States as a result of the Spanish-American War of 1898.
Currently a three-party system, but essentially bipartital, political alignment follows status preference; the Pro Independence Party (PIP), the pro-commonwealth Popular Democratic Party (PDP) and the pro-statehood New Progressive Party (NPP). Since 1968 the NPP and PDP have alternated the electoral results, the last gubernatorial election being won by NPP.
As volunteers and under Selective Service, Puerto Ricans have served in the U.S. Armed Forces and have fought in all U.S. wars since World War I in 1917.
TransportationSan Juan is one of the world’s 10 busiest container ports and a major Caribbean hub for maritime shipping. San Juan’s Muñoz Marin International Airport was among the top 33 passenger airports in the U.S..