Vieques is a fifty-two square-mile island located eight miles off the east coast of Puerto Rico. Home to 10,000 citizens, it is a part of Puerto Rico and therefore a non-sovereign territory of the United States. This status grants American citizenship to its residents and allows them to serve and be drafted into the armed forces, but does not give them political representation in the U.S. Senate or allow them to vote in presidential elections. Since 1938, the U.S.
Luis Fortuño was elected Governor of Puerto Rico and sworn in on January 2, 2009. Two months into his term, Fortuño announced his plan to repair Puerto Rico’s struggling economy. He called for severe budget cuts, which some speculated would result in the laying off of over 30,000 government employees. Fortuño’s economic plan would be met with much resistance from workers, teachers, and students. In May, workers organized a march to San Juan in protest against the plans. In October, workers organized a general strike to protest these same budget cuts.
Luis Fortuño was elected governor of Puerto Rico in the 2008 general election. Fortuño was very popular within his own party, the New Progressive Party of Puerto Rico (PNP), and his popularity continued over to the election for governor. On November 4, 2008, Fortuño won the election for governor by 220,000 votes, which was the largest margin of victory in over 40 years.