requiring a large cut in its unproductiverncivil service or massive devaluation,rnwhile the banana islands will be in deeprntrouble when the European Communityrndeclines their (presently subsidized) fruitrnfor cheaper and better substitutes outrnof Costa Rica. I have flown over thernlarge Costa Rican banana plantationsrnand watched the spraying of the crop;rnthere can be no question as to whose isrnsuperior. Meanwhile, Puerto Ricanrnwages are four times those in Mexico,rnand the country remains an agreeablernplace in which to live, indeed to thrive,rnwhen compared with its neighbors.rnSpanish Harlem loses its attraction, evenrnas a staging-point for immigrants, particularh’rnwhen the same American welfarernbenefits can be obtained on the islandrnitself. It is well-known that onlyrnone percent of Puerto Rico’s populationrnvoted for independence.rnApart from spouting the customaryrnCastroitc rhetoric, this element has arguedrnthat the island’s success is due to arnsection of the U. S. tax code known asrn936, which offered incentives in thernform of tax credits to U. S. companiesrnlocating on the island, especially in electronics,rnpharmaceuticals, and the like.rnSure it did. Why? Because 936 companiesrnidentified a skilled and diligentrnwork force before sinking their moneyrninto this “poorhouse of the Caribbean,”rna once joke-country that is now the Singaporernof the region. Puerto Rico’srnGNP has soared from $3.7 billion inrn1950 to more than $20 billion today.rnOf course, the average vacationer willrncare little for statistics, heading for Condado’srnfleshy beaches and the mile-longrnresorts built along them. Such are perhapsrna trifle depressingly reminiscent ofrnMiami Beach or Fort Lauderdale, 4istrnmarshmallow skyscrapers run into eachrnother like mammoth dice. Still, theyrnsupply the world’s weary, and theirrnoung, with the backdrop they want, andrnone cannot say them nay. Plus it is easyrnto close eyes and ears to the raucous rockrnmusic and overfed bodies grilling underrnthe pitiless sun and hie on past to thernsplendid Morro fortress, nemesis ofrnDrake, where a million-dollar restorativernproject has preserved the last of the 18thrncentury—churches, belfries, cobbledrnstreets—in the erstwhile capital.rnThis section of San Juan has greatrncharm, with its wrought-iron miradorsrnand gingerbread balconies, which arernpresided over by potted plants and waryrncats. I stayed at the gracious EI ConventornHotel, a converted convent besidernthe cathedral and overlooking a leafyrnsquare. This is no mere hostelry; therninstallation has preserved all the originalrndecorative elements (stained-glassrnwindows, chandeliers, rustic tiles, andrngoatskin lamps) and was carried out entirelyrnby indigenous architects respectfulrnof the continuity of the site’s religiousrnpast.rnThis old center may be small but itrnis larger than similar architectural relicsrnof its kind in South America, all succumbingrnto the depradations of highrisernoffice buildings; Salvador da Bahiarnin Brazil is a case in point. But if thernrenovations of Old San Juan have beenrnaccomplished with taste under the auspicesrnof the island’s Institute of Culture,rnthe folkloric artifacts sold in the luxuryrnstores crowding these cobbled streets—rnacres of gold jewelry on offer here—lackrnin comparison with the architecture.rnThe authenticity of the latter is conspicuouslyrndegraded by the crudity ofrndolls, figurines, plates, bowls, and generalrngimcrackery of a vulgarity thatrnmakes sad contrast with the lingeringrntradition of ceramic tiles, wooden stairwayrnrisers, and courtyard gardens.rnIn this respect I fear that tourism,rneven high tourism, has a deadening effect;rnart has to be made out of affectionrnor fun, not simply to satisfy what arernconceived to be the desires of a touristrnmarket. Time and again I have returnedrnto sources of charming folkloric art inrnSouth America only to find them vanishedrnor degraded.rnFinally, it remains to be seen whatrnroute Puerto Rico and its new governorrnwill take in the coming months. Willrnthe country be content to keep its currentrncommonwealth status or will it decidernto become another state? The formerrnrelationship confers on its citizenryrnvirtually all the benefits of full Americanrncitizenship, but educated opinionrnon the island seems resigned to a symbolicrnvote for statehood. In this casernPuerto Rico would have more representativesrnin Congress than the whole ofrnNew York State, a sobering considerationrn(apart from that of taxation). For itrnis unlikely that such servants of the publicrnwould read this Hispanic success storyrnof the past half-century for what itrnsays between the lines: namely, that arnpeople who are not treated as secondclassrncitizens, or coddled by affirmativernactions and condescended to by UnclernSam’s subsidies as victims perpetuallyrnreminded of past injustices, can do veryrnwell on their own, thank you.rnGeoffrey Wagner, author of some 30rnsuspense fictions, lives in retirement inrnGrenada.rnLetter FromUtahrnby William GriggrnThe Execution ofrnSt. WilliamrnThrough the mysterious alchemy ofrn”social justice,” criminals become martyr-rnsaints. Habitual criminal RodneyrnKing is now spoken of in the same piousrntone once reserved for icons like plagiarist/rnphilanderer Martin Luther King, Jr.rnWilliam Andrews, who was executedrnlast year by the state of Utah for his rolernin the 1974 torture-slayings of threernpeople, has now joined the leftist pantheon.rnNineteen years ago, William Andrewsrnand Pierre Dale Selby were airmen stationedrnat the Hill Air Force Base nearrnOgden, Utah. Selby had a reputationrnfor violence; Andrews’ military recordrndepicts him as a compulsive troublemakerrnwho was well on his way to a dishonorablerndischarge. One evening inrn1974, Andrews and Selby broke into arnhi-fi shop in Ogden. In the course of arnfour-hour robbery—inspired, in part, byrnthe need to appease drug habits—Andrewsrnand Selby tortured five people,rnthree of whom died.rnThe burglars brought an arsenal thatrnincluded two handguns and a supply ofrnDrano. The handguns were to be usedrnto conduct the robbery, but the Dranornwas to be used as a murder weapon. Andrewsrnpoured caustic cocktails that werernforced down the throats of his victims.rnThe victims’ mouths were taped shut,rnapparently to prevent them from expellingrnthe poison.rnAfter administering the Drano Andrewsrnleft the hi-fi store, apparently tornact as a lookout. While Andrews wasrngone, Selby raped one of the victims andrnkicked a ballpoint pen deep into the earrnof another. Selbv then shot the latterrnMARCH 1993/37rnrnrn