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American Sugar KingdomThe Plantation Economy of the Spanish Caribbean, 1898-1934$
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Cesar J. Ayala

Print publication date: 1999

Print ISBN-13: 9780807847886

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: July 2014

DOI: 10.5149/9780807867976_ayala

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(p.248) Epilogue
American Sugar Kingdom

César J. Ayala

University of North Carolina Press

This chapter describes how sugar production is practically nonexistent today in Puerto Rico. Between 1950 and 1960, the Constancia mill in Ponce, Central San Jose, Pasto Viejo in Humacao, and Centrales Rochelaise and Victoria closed. In the first half of the 1960s, El Ejemplo, Guamani, Juanita, and Plazuela shut down. Centrales Canovanas, Cayey, Machete, Rio Llano, Ruhna, San Vicente, Santa Juana, and Soller all closed between 1965 and 1970. Cortada, Juncos, Lafayette, Los Canos, and Monserrate closed between 1970 and 1975. The giants of the industry, which were established in the first decade after the U.S. occupation of the island and controlled much of the wealth of the insular economy for decades, collapsed in the late 1970s and 1980s. Central Fajardo of the Fajardo Sugar Company closed in 1978. Central Guanica, which in the first decade of the century had been the largest sugar mill in the world, closed in 1982. Central Aguirre, whose yearly dividends of 50 percent to its owners earned it the title of “Drake's Treasure” in the 1930s, stopped grinding in 1991.

Keywords:   sugar production, Puerto Rico, U.S. occupation, insular economy, Central Guanica, Central Aguirre, Drake's Treasure

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