The winds of Hurricane Maria left a wound across the island of Puerto Rico, not just in its devastating physical impact but by accelerating the need for conclusion and swift resolution as pertains the islands' economic woes.
The most contentious possible remedy is that of Statehood. Opinions of the population are divided, thanks to many years of seemingly broken promises, mismanagement and in many cases, extortion.
Previous successful endeavors to establish Puerto Rico as a corporate paradise with beneficial tax strategies have been dissolved, leaving her with an aging network of defunct warehouses, factories and industrial facilities without businesses to operate within. More recent efforts such as the Act 20 - 22 law do little to bring employers, instead attracting wealthy individuals seeking an "onshore" tax haven.
Meanwhile an increasing number of lower-middle income citizens leave the island for the perceived security of mainland USA, and since Maria the one remaining industry stronghold of tourism took a brutal hit as many vacationers opted for alternative locations. Whether Statehood or independence will prevail is a question that goes beyond partisan politics, beyond any one administration. Since before the turning of the 20th century Puerto Ricans have known first-hand the devastating effects a dictatorial regime can have, and even when they became the spoils of the Spanish-American war in 1898 and the United States took over with a more platonic hand, the end-result has left the island weakened, open to rampant corruption, without personal resource or the avenue to seek security beyond federal agencies. It is this half-hearted nature of US control that leaves many disillusioned by the opportunities for statehood, certainly with no official word or action in sight. On the other hand, could independence provide any kind of answer? With sprawling debt and skilled workers seeking economic refuge elsewhere, Puerto Rico is between a rock and an increasingly hard place.
Here after the breaking dawn of the 21st century, public opinion is a great asset. Communication and information is as impactful a weapon as any military can aim. Redfish Media is an organization dedicated to distributing these ideologies, to providing a platform for the unheard, the inconvenient, the lost and repressed.
The Forgotten Colony is a documentary produced by Redfish Media, with production service provided by CereProds. Redfish have a strong background in disruptive journalism, covering issues such as the crisis reportedly caused by Austerity measures in the UK and the Nambian quest for the return of native-land from their German colonizers dubbed Apartheit Continued.
Whether or not Puerto Rico becomes the 51st star on that flag of freedom, only time will tell.