Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla is in a world-class mess.
As of February 10, 2016, the U.S. Senate sent him a nine-page, single-spaced letter, demanding answers to over four dozen questions. It also demanded 63 separate financial accountings, 217 documents, and thousands of agency transaction summaries…all due in less than three weeks, by March 1.
The entire letter is densely worded, stuffed with legal and accounting terms, and written in cruel and complex English. Poor Alejandro Garcia Padilla…he will not understand even 5% of this letter.
As they say in East Harlem, “se chavó el gobi.” Here is the entire text of the letter:
Unfortunately, the governor can barely speak English.
…and the Secretary of Economic Development, Alberto Bacó, is a certified idiot.
…and the president of the Government Development Bank (GDB), Melba Acosta, has been talking out of both sides of her mouth for the past 16 months.
She is therefore unable to deliver a credible “financial accounting” to her corner grocer, let alone the Finance Committee of the U.S. Senate.
Gov. Garcia Padilla asks for an extension on “that little report you asked for”
And so, the government of Puerto Rico which has no money, will now pay several million dollars to McConnell Valdés or some other law firm in order to meet, resist or finesse this information demand from the U.S. Senate.
THE U.S. SENATE IS ACTING LIKE A HIRED THUG
The government of Puerto Rico is clearly responsible for maintaining adequate financial records. But there is another dynamic behind this “demand for information,” which cannot go unnoticed.
Within a few months, several dozen hedge funds may be suing the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico for payment on their municipal bonds. These hedge funds are using the Finance Committee of the U.S. Senate, and its chairman Orrin Hatch, as instruments of “forced discovery” from the government of Puerto Rico.
The hedge funds are using the U.S. Senate not only as their “litigation partner” to develop their case against the island. They are also using the Senate as their own private detective, forensic accountant, and collection agency.
This is not an appropriate role for the U.S. Senate…particularly since there are strong indications, that the hedge fund “investments” are actually an odious debt, which violates the constitution of Puerto Rico.
WALL STREET KNOWINGLY VIOLATED THE CONSTITUTION OF PUERTO RICO
Article VI, Section 2 of the constitution of Puerto Rico limits all annual debt payment by the insular government to 15 percent of its total revenues.
But in 2016, the Puerto Rican government will spend up to 42 percent of its revenues on debt. In other words, the island’s debt payments are nearly 300% (three hundred percent) over the constitutional limit.
Wall Street not only knew this…they designed the bonds which circumvented the constitution of Puerto Rico, known as COFINA bonds. They knowingly violated the island’s constitution, and now seek to be rewarded for their violation.
There is plenty of blame to go around – the colonial relationship, the Jones Act, the greed of Wall Street, the treachery of both the PPD and PNP – all of these have victimized the people of Puerto Rico for over sixty years.
But that does not excuse the U.S. Senate for stuffing its pockets with Citizens United dollars, and becoming a for-hire collection agency and litigation pit bull for the vulture funds that are preparing to strangle the entire island’s economy.
In the meantime, se chavó el gobernador de Puerto Rico.
He better learn some English, real quick.
**Please Note: The stripping of ERISA protections in the Senate’s letter (see p. 7, par. e) was also highly suspicious. There was no reason to mention it, since Commonwealth pensions are public. But with looming “privatization” all over the island, the hedge funds may be laying the foundation for cutting pensions in their upcoming “public private partnerships.”
For a history of the War Against All Puerto Ricans, read the book…
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