Until 1983, Puerto Rico had been a self-governing unincorporated territory of the United States. The collapse of the U.S. left the island free to follow their existence alone.
Like all of the United States, Puerto Rico was affected by Doomsday. The Roosevelt Roads Naval Station on the northeast coast of the island was hit, causing major damage to the surrounding area. The main island was raked with fallout from the Southeastern US mainland and Cuba. Governor Carlos Romero Barcelo declared a state of emergency. The area surrounding the Roosevelt Roads strike was quarantined, and citizens were ordered to stay inside at all times to avoid the fallout. Despite these precautions, many people died from radiation poisoning. There was also a wave of suicides, as many people believed that the world was ending and decided to take their own lives before things got worse. Attempts were made to contact the mainland, though these proved fruitless due to the EMP's (electro-magnetic pulses) that destroyed both receivers and transmitters there.
By this time, many citizens of the Commonwealth were still in the dark about the state of the American mainland. Many people had relatives there who were most likely killed by the nuclear strikes. As refugees from the mainland poured in on makeshift boats, the government of the Commonwealth concluded that the USA had been destroyed beyond all doubt, and it was time for Puerto Rico to move on. On June 26, 1984, nine months after Doomsday, Puerto Rico declared independence. In the November elections, former governor Rafael Hernandez Colon became the new nation's first President.
Meanwhile Puerto Rico kept in contact with the new government for the former United States Virgin Islands. Though the two nations agreed to mutual aid during the crisis, the Virgin Islands rejected any proposal to form a more permanent union between the two island nations.
Puerto Rico managed to remain self-sufficient in the years after Doomsday and became a regional economic powerhouse. In 1987 it rejected an offer to join the East Caribbean Federation, seeking to remain completely independent, though it did try to foster good relations with the new federation, especially since the Virgin Islands had become a member state.
The 21st Century
Puerto Rico grew closer to the economic powerhouses in South America following the turn of the century. In 2006, Puerto Rico petitioned to join the South American Confederation. After long negotiations the SAC decided not to expand into the Caribbean, but granted Puerto Rico observer status, making it the first nation to become an observer in the SAC.
From 1952 to 1983, Puerto Rico had three political parties which stood for three distinct future political scenarios. The Popular Democratic Party (PPD) sought to maintain the island's "association" status as a commonwealth, improved commonwealth and/or seek a true free sovereign-association status or Free Associated Republic. The other parties were the New Progressive Party (PNP) (which sought statehood) and the Puerto Rican Independence Party (which sought independence).
Following Doomsday in 1983 and Puerto Rico's declaration of independence in 1984, the Puerto Rican Independence Party merged with the PPD, making the party the largest on the island nations. Since independence, other parties have grown in importance in the Puerto Rican government, such as the Puerto Ricans for Puerto Rico Party (centre-left, green) and the Socialist Workers Movement (socialist with ties to the USSR).
Their are three branches to the Puerto Rican military. These are the Puerto Rico Air Force (PRAF), the Puerto Rico Coast Guard (PRCG) and the Puerto Rico Army (PRA). In the years following Doomsday, the military used old US military equipment, but has since re-equipped with equipment and vehicles from the SAC.
There is a somewhat large American survivor community in Puerto Rico. Like the American communities in Oceania, it has attempted to preserve its cultural heritage. The Committee to Restore the United States of America have long-range plans to open a chapter house in San Juan in the future.
Baseball is the national sport of Puerto Rico. Though the country has its own national league, most of the better Puerto Rican players play in the national leagues of Mexico and Cuba. The Puerto Rican league tends to act as a minor league to the other leagues. Little League baseball was restarted in 1992.
Football (aka soccer) is also popular in Puerto Rico and the country is a member of FIFA. Puerto Rico, however, failed to qualify for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Basketball is also played in Puerto Rico.