July 25 marks the 115th anniversary of the US invasion of Puerto Rico, which led to the end of the Spanish-American War a few weeks later. While two of the war’s spoils, Cuba and the Philippines, eventually became independent nations, Puerto Rico experienced a more complex and convoluted relationship with the United States that has yet to be fully resolved.
Make no mistake, Puerto Rico is one of the world’s last colonies, the stark reminder of an outdated US manifest destiny policy that no longer applies to the political realities of the 21st century. Although officially listed as a commonwealth, Puerto Rico’s territorial status is still colonial in nature. It is not a commonwealth, not a state, not an independent nation. It is an island in perpetual political limbo.