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About Puerto Rico
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History & Politics of Puerto Rico
The Commonwealth of Puerto Rico also Porto Rico (archaic) and more commonly Puerto Rico, is a United States territory with Commonwealth status located in the northeastern Caribbean, east of the Dominican Republic and west of the Virgin Islands. The archipelago of Puerto Rico includes the main island of Puerto Rico, the smallest of the Greater Antilles, and a number of smaller islands and keys, the largest of which are Mona, Vieques, and Culebra.
The government of Puerto Rico is based on the Republican system composed of 3 branches: the Executive branch headed by the Governor, the Legislative branch consisting of a bicameral Legislative Assembly (a Senate and a House of Representatives) and the Judicial branch. The legal system is based on a mix of the civil law and the common law systems. The governor as well as legislators are elected by popular vote every four years. Members of the Judicial branch are appointed by the governor and approved by the senate. Puerto Rico is divided into 78 municipalities, each of which elect a mayor and a municipal legislature.
Historical & Tourist Attractions in Puerto Rico
The capital city of San Juan is divided into the old and the new. The old part was founded in 1521 and is now officially declared a National Historic Zone, and many 16th- and 17th-century buildings have been restored and refurbished in the original Spanish style. This part of the city boasts many shops, restaurants, art galleries and museums. The Pablo Casals Museum has manuscripts and photographs relating to the work of the famous cellist.
There are old colonial towns at San Germán and Mayagüez and a Tropical Agricultural Research Station near the Mayagüez division of the University of Puerto Rico, with cuttings of hundreds of tropical plants.
Many of the drives through the center of the island take in spectacular scenery and are to be recommended. The Espíritu Santo is a navigable river that flows from the Luquillo Mountains to the Atlantic, and has 24 passenger launches available for river tours along 8km (5 miles) of the route. Special arrangements can be made for groups (through a tour operator); the boat ride usually takes about two hours.
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