It finally happened.
For the past three months, I have been warning that the U.S. was preparing to establish a “Financial Control Board” over Puerto Rico.
I kept on warning about it. No one listened very seriously. Now it is about to happen.
According to the New York Times, Congressman Jeffrey D. Duncan has called for “a control board to take over the island’s beleaguered government.”
Duncan, a Republican congressman from South Carolina, is a senior member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, and chairman of the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere.
In a letter to his fellow lawmakers, Duncan wrote that some “management changes” may be necessary on the island, and that “legislation to require the establishment of a financial control board…to put Puerto Rico back on the road to self-determination, may be needed.”
This is a masterpiece of political double talk. Duncan is telling the U.S. government to take over the island’s government, and take over the island’s economy, in order to put the island “on the road to self-determination.”
This is the equivalent of a schoolyard bully who takes your lunch money, in order to improve your nutrition.
The worst part about this is…IT IS GOING TO HAPPEN.
The U.S. government, and Wall Street investors, want to force Puerto Rico to pay its $73 billion “public debt,” even though the Wall Street rating services have demoted this debt to “Junk Bond” status.
Because of this “Junk Bond” demotion, the government of Puerto Rico has no further access to the credit markets. It can only pay this debt by raising revenue internally: through more and more taxes on the people of Puerto Rico.
That is why you have an 11.5% IVU.
Why gasoline taxes rose twice in one year.
Why electricity and water rates are soaring.
Why property and small business taxes are at historic highs.
Why pensions have been rolled back, or cut off entirely.
Why teachers’ health benefits were cut.
Why 1,000 people per week are fleeing the island.
Puerto Ricans can no longer afford to live on the island where they were born. They are being taxed to death, and taxed off the island.
Meanwhile under laws such as Public Act 22, hedge fund operators and billionaire US investors are being welcomed to the island, with open arms, with a 20-year tax break on all capital gains, interest and dividend income.
In New York City, everyone is familiar with the term “gentrification.” Over the next 20 years, we will see the gentrification of the entire island of Puerto Rico.
This “financial control board” is the first step in that gentrification.
It has nothing to do with putting Puerto Rico “on the road to self-determination.”
It has everything to do, with ending Puerto Rico as we know it. The final process of turning Puerto Rico into a playground, for the rich and famous of USA, is about to begin. It is going to HAPPEN, unless we do something about it.
The first step is very clear.
Puerto Rico must RESIST this “Financial Control Board” and REFUSE to pay the $73 billion public debt.
The debt is a violation of international human rights. It should not even exist.
PUERTO RICO MUST REFUSE TO PAY IT.
PUERTO RICO MUST NOT ALLOW HERSELF TO BE STRANGLED.