In the past I’ve published critiques of articles that appear in the mainstream press about Puerto Rico. Today’s publication by The New York Times of “A Surreal Life on the Precipice in Puerto Rico” affords another prime opportunity. The article, which features as its main theme the now-clichéd idea that Latin American life is “surreal” a la García Márquez’s magically surreal town of Macondo, is a fitting example of a liberal New York perspective on the island territory. It presents the debt crisis as “sudden” and only vaguely related to its colonial relationship with the U.S., focuses largely on the local perception that government entitlement programs have created a corrupt “culture of cheating,” and that the ultimate expression of the debt crisis is a kind of mournful descent into a tropical chaos of the kind that existed before European colonization.
What follows is my annotated critique.
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