PRACO had a lease on this property, which was owned by the Interior Department of the United States.
The period during which Vieques felt the influence of PRACO lasted only about two years, from the end of 1945 to mid 1947.
PRACO was created at a moment of transition in Puerto Rico.
What was true of the Land Authority in the island of Puerto Rico was also true of PRACO in Vieques.
The government of Puerto Rico created PRACO by approving Law #31 of April 24, 1945, in order to promote scientific investigation, industries, and commerce related to agriculture.
Later in 1946 PRACO purchased an additional 2,500 acres, which were privately owned, and in 1947 purchased the remaining 1,373 acres from the Eastern Sugar Associates (Pico 1950: 215).
10) Fennell justified the premium prices paid by PRACO, arguing that the going value to PRACO had to be taken into account and that the company's program had to be implemented as soon as possible.
In 1947, when the Navy announced that it wanted to use Vieques for training exercises, the management of PRACO naturally opposed having to return the lands to the Navy, as this would entail the liquidation of their projects.
The proposal to revoke the lease between Interior Department of the United and PRACO immediately opened a phase of dispute between the cattle ranchers and PRACO, on the one hand, and between PRACO and the Navy, on the other hand.
The Navy would benefit Vieques economically, but even if both PRACO and the economy of Vieques were affected, "above all else there is the issue of our security in the face of the serious situation which we are living" (Santana 1947).
These findings were public, and they had prompted the insular government to create PRACO in 1945 to alleviate poverty in Vieques.
The reassignation of lands to the Navy would entail the cancellation of the leases to PRACO, which was using the land for cattle ranching and pineapple production.