Puerto Rico Got Screwed

“The approval of this bill will go down as one of the darkest chapters of American history. The suffering of the people in my homeland and the shutting down of hundreds of schools for our children there should not be celebrated as a ‘political or economical strategy.’”
Opinión
Political analyst and consultant. He was selected as the only Puerto Rican to serve in the 2012 White House Internship, having worked in the office of Vice President Joe Biden.
2016-07-05T16:07:21-04:00


For the last year, Puerto Rico has received considerate attention under the national spotlight as a result of its severe fiscal crisis due to an over 70 billion dollar debt. Politicians from both sides of the aisle in Washington, DC were quick to play political football with the issue in hopes of wooing the Puerto Rican vote in their respective districts.

However, during almost the entirety of that year, no action was taken in Washington , DC to establish a solution to the island's crisis, until literally 1 month ago, the Republican majority presented a Bill known as PROMESA to "save" the island. The bill proposes the establishment of a "Fiscal Control" board composed of 7 members appointed by the Republican majority in Congress that will take TOTAL control over the island's government. Oh and get this; the board provides a seat for the Governor of Puerto Rico, but he or she will be the only member of the board who shall NOT have a vote!

But wait, it gets worse, the Bill clearly states that environmental issues will be addressed and attended by the "fiscal board" WITHOUT any hearings or public participation of the people. But the real dagger, is a provision within the bill that will lower the minimum wage in Puerto Rico to $4.25 an hour for workers 25 years old or younger, while obligating the Puerto Rican government to pick up the bill for the cost of the Fiscal Board's operations at the tune of $320 million!

So, you're probably thinking, "Well, no surprise Republicans crafted that bill, democrats will surely oppose it". WRONG. Disgustingly, democrats in the House and Senate sold their concience to Wall Street and voted in favor of the bill, which was passed by the Senate yesterday and was signed by President Obama. Microsoft is one of the Democratic Party's biggest donors, and the company evades BILLIONS of dollars in Corporate Taxes through a subsidiary it has on the island, thats why Puerto Rico's demand for statehood in a referendum held on the island was ignored by Washington. Connecting the dots?

In conclusion, Republicans were able to get this bill passed thanks to the backing they received from corporate america and the democrats favored the bill because the provision lowering the minimum wage in PR for young people will force an even bigger exodus of Puerto Ricans to the battleground state of Florida. Guess how the majority of Puerto Ricans vote in Florida? Yep, you got it, they vote majority democrat. Its a HUGE chance for democrats to continue to win Florida and eliminate its "battleground state" status by making permanently blue.

The approval of this bill will go down as one of the darkest chapters of American history. The suffering of the people in my homeland and the shutting down of hundreds of schools for our children there should not be celebrated as a "political or economical strategy." The Democrats and Republicans pulled off a truly macquiavelacal political move , in where Puerto Rico and its people were left screwed.

There is no democracy and no Justice in Puerto Rico thanks to the very same US government that preaches "freedom and democracy" in Iraq and abroad. The passage of the PROMESA BILL proves that the "freedom and democracy" preached by the US internationally is just as fake as Santa Claus. In November of 2012 the 3.5 million American citizens of Puerto Rico left cookies for Santa when 61% voted for statehood. As we all know, Santa never showed up.

Just a little something to think about while you're flipping those burgers on the grill next year on 4th of July.

Disclaimer: We selected this Op-Ed to be published in our opinion section as a contribution to public debate. The views and opinions expressed in this column are those of its author(s) and/or the organization(s) they represent and do not reflect the views or the editorial line of Univision Noticias.

RELACIONADOS:OpinionUnited StatesPuerto RicoCrisis económicaCongreso de EE.UU
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