an island in the West Indies, south-east of Florida. The capital and largest city is San Juan. Puerto Ricans are US citizens but govern themselves, pay no US taxes and cannot vote in US elections. The island produces metals, chemicals and sugar and tobacco products. It was discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1493, captured by Juan Ponce de León in 1508, passed to the US in 1898 after the Spanish-American War, and became the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico in 1952. Some Puerto Ricans want it to become a US state, and many have moved to New York.