America's Last Fortress
A Wall Street Journal and USA Today Bestseller
“An enlightening, persuasive case for changing the status of Puerto Rico.” —BookLife
China’s Belt and Road initiative is on the way. Premier Xi’s agenda? For China to have unrestricted access to the rest of the world. At the focus is America’s last fortress, Puerto Rico, which sits primely at the southern entrance of the Caribbean from the Atlantic Ocean. The only way that China can exercise influence in Puerto Rico—and move freely around the globe—is if Puerto Rico becomes an independent nation.
Puerto Rico’s political process is in shambles and the island is now slipping toward independence. Author Alexander Odishelidze spent 30 years on decolonization with a preference for statehood. This is his firsthand account of the mistakes made during that process, and of the vested interests—both on the mainland US and in Puerto Rico—that fought to maintain the status quo. In the 1970s, independence drew less than 5 percent of the vote in Puerto Rico’s elections. During the last election, independence-leaning candidates received almost 50 percent of the vote.
The trend is away from statehood. And China is watching.
“An impassioned, well-researched examination of Puerto Rico’s strategic importance to the U.S.” —Kirkus
“…a fascinating look not only into the issues facing this island but also into the complex nature of the political process that didn't turn out the way [Odishelidze] expected or anticipated. Before reading this, I have to admit that I hadn't given the status of Puerto Rico much thought. But thanks to this book, it is something that I am now more aware of and will be following more closely in the future.“ —San Francisco Book Review
“Enthusiasts of nonfiction political books will love America’s Last Fortress…. [A] front seat in Puerto Rico’s political arena [and] the role it plays and would play both politically and economically to the United States and China, and insight on Puerto Rico’s political future.” —Readers’ Favorite
A Russian/Georgian born in Belgrade, Serbia, Alexander Odishelidze survived the Nazi occupation of Yugoslavia and the Holocaust. Despite losing his family and being shipped to refugee camps in Europe, Odishelidze grew into a strong, intelligent, and driven man. Immigrating to America with no grasp of the English language, no friends, and only twenty dollars in his pocket, he was drafted into the US Army, where he trained in Alaska and became an expert skier.
After the Army, Odishelidze began his career in financial services and became the youngest ever general manager of a prestigious MONY financial services operation in New York City. In 1971, he opened an insurance and securities operation in Puerto Rico. It was later purchased by Aetna. He also formed Eba, Inc. in 1979, as a Puerto Rican-based consulting subsidiary, and in 2008, Omanagement, LLC, a US-based financial and political consulting firm.
As a guru in his field, Odishelisze writes columns, newsletters, and books on finance. He and his wife Odette Bouret spend their time between their homes in Florida, St. John, and Colorado.