Puerto Rico: More Than Baseball

We are the largest of the Lesser Antilles and the smallest of the Greater Antilles. After the Hispanic American War, Spain gave us to the US as a military loot when signing the Paris Treaty in 1898. Since then we have been a U.S. incorporated territory.    More than four million people (US citizens) live on this island, we have about 1,000  people per square mile. 

Not that I want to be a baseball hater, or that I don't feel any pride because our baseball team is playing in the finals, but it seems people here on this speck in the Carribean are getting a little bit carried away.  Sports allow people of all nationalities to come  together and enjoy themselves,  sharing for a brief moment  one common interest.  I really don't get what the fuss is all about, but more than anything else, what I really don't get is why are they making it all about politics.  When they played against the US, people all over the social media were talking as if we were engaging in some imaginary quest that seemed to be taking them back to the historical moment when General Nelson Miles landed on Guanica and occupied our Island. We were talking about being better than those "Americans" (what the hell).   

Thank God the finals will be decided between two neighbors Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico because if not  fans would not be as happy,  either way a Hispanic team will win, or will they? Who are the team members of the Puerto Rican team anyway?  How many of them have actually been born here or live here?  I was listening to a team member (which I don't really remember his name) say that even though he lived and was born in the States he would play for Puerto Rico because it was is heritage.  That seems a valid reason, and it's fine if it only has to do with sports.  Fans that are following the game don't even know that Puerto Rico is part of the States.  That by means of the United States Constitution any Puerto Rican (God forbid) can become President of the United States.  That one of are own, Justice Sotomayor, is Puerto Rican and holds a bench in the allmighty Supreme Court.  That our boys have to be enlisted when get reach the age of 18, and if at some point the draft is activated they would have to go to war for whatever the President of the United States is fighting against.  We love to hear the words Puerto Rico being said over and over again, it just fills us with phony nationalism. 

ESPN published an article on its website about Puerto Rico and one of the things that were said there was, that even though Puerto Rico is part of the States when it comes to sports we talk as we were a country; despite that are athletes are scouted like the boys in the US which means that they often lost some of the benefits they would have if they were contracted as free agents from a foreign country.  Furthermore, the game narrator refers to the teams as neighboring countries. We are not a country, we are not sovereign, the federal court is always above our own judicial system, and the President is our Commander in Cheif.  

Bottom line are Island has a lot of social, economical and cultrual problems to be making such a fuss over the game.  We could use the attention we are getting in the media to push forward our status problem.  We're the oldest colony that is left in the World.  We should have the opportunity of deciding our political future with the approval of Congress.  If not now, then when??? Let's cheer our athletes, but let's not make it seem that they are going to solve all of our problems. 


Maritza

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