United States to return Puerto Rico to Spain


Many people were fooled by this headline; it was part of a satirical article by Puerto Rican newspaper El Nuevo Día on Childermas or the Feast of the Holy Innocents [Día de los Santos Inocentes], celebrated on December 28, and treated as an equivalent of April Fool’s Day on the island (and other Latin American countries). The lesson here is that one must always read more than the first few paragraphs. At the end of the article (in red) there was an editor’s note: “This story is not true. Happy Holy Innocents Day!” And the author of the article is [. . . drumroll] Inocente Díaz!

I am not sure how this religious day—a remembrance of a massacre—became a day to play tricks on people. The Mexican tradition makes more sense; in Mexico, children are allowed to rule for a day in their households and to play tricks on their older family members. [Time to do further research!] Here is a translation of the first few paragraphs of the El Nuevo Día spoof:

119 years after the Treaty of Paris, which enabled the transfer of ownership over Puerto Rico from Spain to the United States, Madrid and Washington have almost finalized an agreement to return the jurisdiction of the Caribbean island to the European country, as confirmed by endi.com sources in the three countries.

The deal, which has been under negotiations in secret for at least two years, is not yet official, but it has the approval of Presidents Donald Trump of the United States and Mariano Rajoy of Spain, and all that remains is to finalize certain technical details to make an announcement.

An announcement was expected before the end of the year, but it is possible that the emergence of last-minute complications will delay approval of the transfer until the first days of 2018. The agreement must be approved by the US Congress, which was busy until the last hours of its last session with the federal tax reform and did not have time to address this issue.

According to reports, the agreement enjoys overwhelming support in Congress. “This should have been done a long time ago. Moreover, the United States should never have taken possession of Puerto Rico. It was a mistake. Puerto Rico has cost us too much,” said Alabama Republican Sen. Luke McCullen.

The imminence of the agreement is due to the fact that Washington has not approved the funds for the reconstruction of Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria nor has been able to keep the government’s health plan afloat. They expect Spain to take care of these expenses.

[Translated by Ivette Romero.] See full article (in Spanish) at https://www.elnuevodia.com/noticias/eeuu/nota/estadosunidosdevolveriaapuertoricoaespana-2385581/


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