“Operation Sport”: Puerto Rico’s Recreational and Political Consolidation in an Age of Modernization and Decolonization. Antonio Sotomayor, Ph.D. Assistant Professor and Librarian for Latin American and Caribbean Studies International and Area Studies Library The Questions • Why Puerto Rico? • • Why sports to understand politics? • • Only territorial/colonial country in Latin America Popularity, government agency. Why the 1950s? • Modernization, industrialization, Commonwealth “Operation Sport” Mass recreation programs in order to alleviate workers’ stress in a rapidly industrializing society. Comprehensive island-wide recreational and athletic programs, not only building parks. Legitimize the PPD, the Commonwealth, and its reforms. The problems • Shortcomings: Not enough funds, too many requests. (Similar to overall modernization) • Critics of populism: expropriation, centralization, fear of Communism. (“red scare”) • Aid in the colonial reorganization (Commonwealth). • Hegemony building (local and U.S.).