National Geographic : 2003 Jul
Forum . . March 2003 Writer Andrew Cockburn has said thatpolitics is a national sport in Puerto Rico, and we have the mail to prove it. A month after publication, his article had generated lettersfrom nearly 800 readers-most of them angered by what they see as a distortedportrayalof PuertoRico. Opinions alsoflared in more than 3,800 postings on our online forum (nationalgeographic.com/ngm/0303), a new record. Puerto Rico By concentrating on interviews with people who favor indepen dence, you did a disservice to 95 percent of the population, who favor either the current status or statehood. Puerto Ricans pay social security and medicare as do taxpayers on the mainland. Puerto Ricans have joined the U.S. military in every conflict since WWI. A Puerto Rican was the pilot in the only plane shot down during the attack on Libya in 1986. During his burial ser vice his mother said she was very proud that her son had given his life for our country. DAVID PLACERES Orlando,Florida Was the article created in revenge for some bad experience on the island-a mugging or a loss of equipment? Andrew Cockburn and Amy Toensing manage to make Puerto Rico look like the hellhole of the Caribbean. Maybe the next time they visit, they MEMBERSHIP Please call 1-800-NGS-LINE (1-800-647-5463). Special device for the hearing-impaired (TDD) 1-800 -548-9797. Online: nationalgeographic.com/ngm AOL Keyword: NatGeoMag should leave the slums and tour the island. I did, and managed to find a lot of beautiful places. LOUIS REVERON Tall Timber, Maryland It was obvious to me that there was an intent to portray only the grotesque and the obscure. Why were Puerto Rican professionals and their work places, houses, and families not featured? Why weren't average middle-class families profiled? There are drugs and lost souls in every society. I wonder how Texans would react if the "Lone Star Republic" was portrayed with photos of the Ku Klux Klan, Enron executives, and people shooting up in Houston's fifth ward? RAM6N BERROCAL San Juan, PuertoRico How does a state withdraw from the Union and become a com monwealth? I nominate my home state, Ohio. Puerto Ricans pay no federal income taxes, yet get the privileges of citizenship and seemingly unlimited welfare without verification of income that's what I want for everyone in Ohio. I gladly will give up our votes in Congress. GARY HRUSCH North Ridgeville, Ohio NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC * JULY 2003 NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC SOCIETY "For the increase and diffusion of geographicknowledge." The National Geographic Society is chartered in Washington, D.C., as a nonprofit scientific and educational organization. Since 1888 the Society has supported more than 7,000 explorations and research projects, adding to knowledge of earth, sea, and sky. JOHN M. FAHEY, JR., Presidentand CEO Executive Vice Presidents TERRENCE B. ADAMSON LINDA BERKELEY, President,Enterprises TERRY D. GARCIA, Mission Programs JOHN Q. GRIFFIN, President,Magazine Group NINA D. HOFFMAN, President,Books and School PublishingGroup CHRISTOPHER A. LIEDEL, CFO BOARD OF TRUSTEES GILBERT M. GROSVENOR, Chairman REG MURPHY, Vice Chairman JOAN ABRAHAMSON, WILLIAM L. ALLEN, MARTHA E. CHURCH, MICHAEL COLLINS, ROGER A. ENRICO, JOHN M. FAHEY, JR., JAMES H. GILLIAM, JR., DANIEL S. GOLDIN, JOHN JAYISELIN, JAMES C. KAUTZ, J. WILLARD MARRIOTT, JR., FLORETTA DUKES McKENZIE, PATRICK F.NOONAN, NATHANIEL P.REED, WILLIAM K. REILLY, ROZANNE L. RIDGWAY, JAMES R. SASSER, B. FRANCIS SAUL II, GERD SCHULTE-HILLEN TRUSTEES EMERITUS Joe L. Allbritton, Owen R. Anderson, Thomas E. Bolger, Frank Borman, Lewis M. Branscomb, Robert L. Breeden, Lloyd H. Elliott, George M. Elsey, William Graves, Mrs. Lyndon B. Johnson, Laurance S. Rockefeller, Robert C. Seamans, Jr., Frederick G. Vosburgh COUNCIL OF ADVISORS Roger A. Enrico, Chairman;Michael R. Bonsignore, Howard Buffett, Craig D. Campbell, Juliet C. Folger, Robert A. Hefne III, Samuel C. Johnson, Bruce L. Ludwig, Sally Engelhard Pingree, W. Russell Ramsey, Edward P. Roski, Jr., Alice Rog( Rubenstein, B. Francis Saul II, Garry A. Weber RESEARCH AND EXPLORATION COMMITTEE Peter H. Raven, Chairman;John M. Francis, Vice Chairmanand Executive Director; Richard S. Williams, Jr., Vice Chairman; Martha E. Church, Scott V. Edwards, Willian L. Graf, Nancy Knowlton, Dan M. Martin, Scott E. Miller, Jan Nijman, Stuart L. Pimm, Elsa M. Redmond, William H. Schlesinger, Bruce D. Smith, Hans-Dieter Sues, Henry T. Wright, Patricia C. Wright EXPLORERS-IN-RESIDENCE Robert Ballard, Wade Davis, Sylvia Earle, Zahi Hawass, Louise Leakey, Meave Leakey, Johan Reinhard, Paul Serene CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS-IN RESIDENCE Sam Abell, Annie Griffiths Belt, David Doubilet, Karen Kasmauski, Emory Kristof, Frans Lanting MISSION PROGRAMS Education Foundation: Barbara A. Chow. Exhibits: Susan S. Norton. Expeditions Council: Rebecca Martin. Geography Bee: Mary Lee Elden. Lectures: P. Andrew van Duym, Gregory A. McGruder School Publishing: Ericka Markman, Sr. Vice President. International: Robert W. Hernndez, Sr. Vice President. Human Resources: Thomas A. Sabl6, Sr. Vice President. Communications: Betty Hudson, Sr. Vice President. Treasurer: H. Gregory Platts, Sr. Vice President NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC VENTURES DENNIS R. PATRICK, Presidentand CEO Television: Timothy T. Kelly, President. National Geographic Channel: David Haslingden, Presiden International; Laureen Ong, President U.S . Contributions to the National Geographic Society are tax deductible under Section 501(c)(3) of the U.S. tax code. Copyright © 2003 National Geographic Society. All rights reserved. National Geographic and Yellow Border: Registered Trademarks ® Marcas Registradas. National Geographic assumes no responsibility for unsolicited materials. Printed in U.S .A.