Fantasy Island: Colonialism, Exploitation, and the Betrayal of Puerto Rico

Ed Morales



A crucial, clear-eyed accounting of Puerto Rico's 122 years as a colony of the US.

Two years after Hurricane María, Puerto Rico is still reeling from the storm's physical destruction and the ensuing infrastructure collapse. The devastation compounded the harmful effects of over a century of exploitative US economic, political, and social policies, including the trauma inflicted by its $72 billion debt crisis.

In Fantasy Island, Ed Morales traces how, over the years, Puerto Rico has served as a colonial satellite, a Cold War Caribbean showcase, a dumping ground for US manufactured goods, and a corporate tax shelter. He also shows how it has become a blank canvas for mercenary experiments in disaster capitalism on the front lines of climate change, hamstrung by internal political corruption and the US federal government's prioritization of outside financial interests.

Taking readers from San Juan to New York City and back to his family's home in the Luquillo Mountains, Morales shows us the machinations of financial and political interests in both the US and Puerto Rico, and the resistance efforts of Puerto Rican artists and activists. Through it all, he emphasizes that the only way to stop Puerto Rico from being bled dry is to let Puerto Ricans take control of their own destiny, going beyond the statehood-commonwealth-independence debate to complete decolonization.

ISBN 9781568588995
List price $28.00
Publisher Bold Type Books
Year of publication 2019