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But the impositions from Washington upon Puerto Rico go much further than that.

The Jones Act, which stipulates that a foreign cargo ship cannot off-load and on-loan goods in Puerto Rico before doing so on the US mainland first, has made headlines since Hurricane Maria struck Puerto Rico, with critics arguing that the protectionist law dating from 1920 was hindering the humanitarian response to the hurricane.

To make matters worse, the industry Puerto Rico had initially excelled in, agriculture, is now also in tatters — Puerto Rico has to import 85% of its produce.

Predictably, as corporations fled Puerto Rico, they took job opportunities with them.

While more than 60% of Puerto Ricans are on the programs' payrolls, the territory receives much less federal funding for its insurance programs than do states on the US mainland, meaning that Puerto Rico has to finance the remaining costs itself.

The effort paid off, and Puerto Rico's economy flourished.

When America's eyes turned to Puerto Rico after the island was devastated by Hurricane Maria last month, President Donald Trump was quick to condemn the "massive debt" the island was dealing with, even while the US territory was still in the throes of the storm's aftermath.

He went on to remind Puerto Ricans that this debt needed to be paid back to Wall Street, and blamed local officials for the poor response to the island's humanitarian crisis.

After World War II, as the rest of the US was going through the post-war economic boom, the federal government sought to modernize Puerto Rico's largely agricultural colonial economy and bring industry and manufacturing to the island though various tax breaks.

A 1976 tax break basically created a tax loophole by which US manufacturers could get away with paying almost no income taxes on the island.

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With massive deficits piling up but no way to tax its way out, the Puerto Rican government began borrowing massive amounts of money and selling $61 billion in bonds to Wall Street in hopes of getting fast cash to carry it through its economic downturn.

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