Puerto Rico Introduction - 2002
SOURCE: 2002 CIA WORLD FACTBOOK
Populated for centuries by aboriginal peoples, the island was claimed by the Spanish Crown in 1493 following Columbus' second voyage to the Americas. In 1898, after 400 years of colonial rule that saw the indigenous population nearly exterminated and African slave labor introduced, Puerto Rico was ceded to the US as a result of the Spanish-American War. Puerto Ricans were granted US citizenship in 1917 and popularly elected governors have served since 1948. In 1952, a constitution was enacted providing for internal self-government. In plebiscites held in 1967, 1993, and 1998 voters chose to retain commonwealth status.
NOTE: The information regarding Puerto Rico on this page is re-published from the 2002 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Puerto Rico Introduction 2002 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Puerto Rico Introduction 2002 should be addressed to the CIA.