Over the last century, the United States has enforced its economic and ideological desires throughout the world, but perhaps no other country has been as deeply and diversely impacted by these as Puerto Rico. In order to understand the socioeconomic effects of this volatile relationship, this paper examines the history and workforce of Fort Buchanan, a U.S. Army base in the San Juan metropolitan region. Using an interdisciplinary approach, the thesis presents the qualitative and quantitative effects of the base within the historical context of the United States’ imperial and military occupation of the island. The case study of Fort Buchanan demonstrates how exchanges between the two countries are characterized by dynamic flows, persistent tensions and negotiations, and variability across time, space, and politics. While the United States’ changing volitions and consistent subjugation have limited the options for growth and prosperity in Puerto Rico, the thesis argues that both parties can use the dynamism inherent in this relationship to their benefit. Even without sovereignty, Puerto Ricans have ensured their continued existence and ability to negotiate with the United States by adapting to and accommodating its changing imperial and military desires. This is shown to be especially true concerning the opportunities for employment and economic development that result from U.S. military presence on the island, which are difficult to find otherwise. Given the depth of socioeconomic impacts that result from these transnational exchanges and an uncertain future ahead, the thesis concludes by arguing that the cultural and qualitative aspects of this relationship merit further study.

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Fazzi, D
Global Markets, Local Creativities (GLOCAL)
Erasmus School of History, Culture and Communication

Trueblood, Molly. (2019, August 13). El Centinela Borinqueño: Working for the U.S. Army at Fort Buchanan in Puerto Rico. Global Markets, Local Creativities (GLOCAL). Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/2105/54487