The Shortcomings of Decolonization Efforts In International Law : A Case Study of the Unique Status of Puerto Rico
Arroyo, Jacqueline M.
MetadataShow full item record
In this project, I argue that the U.S maintains a colonial relationship with Puerto· Rico. Although the United Nations considers colonialism to be a relic of the past, it recognizes that some places continue to live under virtual colonial rule. These places are referred to as ·Non Self- Governing Territories" by which the U.N Charter defines as the territories "whose people have not yet attained a full measure of self-government". The U .N urges administering powers to safeguard the people's right to their natural resources, act in accordance with the will of the people, provide moral and material assistance when needed, and work to develop selfgovernance in these territories. The U.N does not recognize Puerto Rico as a Non-Self Governing Territory, which has allowed for the U.S to maintain a relationship with Puerto Rico that disregards international efforts towards decolonization. The U:S has been criticized by the U.N Decolonization Committee, yet the U.S denies that the United Nations has any jurisdiction over Puerto Rico, as it is legally considered a part of the U.S. The main purpose of this work is to detail the shortcomings of international law in its decolonization efforts by utilizing Puerto Rico as a case study by which measure the effectiveness of standards set by international law. The literature review will present existing discourse from contrasting perspectives on the relationship between the U.S and Puerto Rico: those who reject and those who accept the notion that colonialism exists within their relationship. The examination is composed of two subsections comparing the implications of the U.S-Puerto Rico relationship in accordance with relevant international law. Lastly, the discussion demonstrates how the responses to Hurricane Maria shows that Puerto Rico's "self-governing" status proves to be inaccurate. The conclusion will summarize my thesis and bring the entirety of the work to a close by discussing the future of Puerto Rico in terms of the limits of international law and suggest areas for future research in the area of Political Science.