New York City Bar Association calls for ending the Jones Act in Puerto Rico

Book - 12-10

After five years of research and advocacy, there is finally some movement on the Jones Act.

On May 10, 2018, the New York City Bar Association submitted an official report to US congress, which “strongly encourages Congress to permanently exempt Puerto Rico from the requirements of the Jones Act.”

Ignorance was the First Obstacle

The road has not been easy. For decades, proponents of Jones Act reform were met with blank stares and one question: “what the devil are you talking about?”

Until recently, the vast majority of the American public – including the press, elected officials, academics, union officials and business leaders – had no clue about Section 27 of the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, aka the Jones Act, and its destruction of the Puerto Rican economy.


Even today, many readers confuse it with the 1917 Jones-Shafroth Act – which imposed US citizenship on Puerto Ricans, and drafted them into WWI.

Other individuals, some of them self-interested, have claimed that Jones Act reform will “hurt maritime workers” or “eliminate union protections,” which is simply untrue.

A Long Lonely Road

For many years, I waged a nearly one-man battle against this ignorance. I knew that many corporate interests had a well-funded program in place, to perpetuate this level of national ignorance and confusion with respect to the Jones Act in Puerto Rico.

It was a corporate smokescreen of the highest order, with Citizens United money – i.e., 501(c)(4) “dark money” organizations – behind it. The only way to confront this was head-on.

I taped segments on Univisión:

Spoke on network TV:


Wrote repeatedly in War Against All Puerto Ricans:




Walked into the lion’s den at Fox News:


A video on Pero Like was viewed nearly 8 million times:


The New York Times Editorial

For three years I submitted an editorial to the New York Times. Finally after Hurricane Maria hit, they decided to run it on September 25, 2017.

It received so many views that, two days later, they translated and ran it again, in Spanish.


Over the next three days (Sept. 25-28) the op ed was analyzed and adopted in the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, New York Daily News, Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Bloomberg News, Reuters, Time Magazine, Newsweek Magazine, and The Atlantic.

During those same three days, the media carried the “Jones Act Story” on NBC News, CBS News, ABC News, CNN, NPR, PBS, WNYC and New York 1.

Here are the LINKS for all of the above stories:





After years of explaining and struggling against the Jones Act, the world finally began to see how this one law was strangling the economy of Puerto Rico: for nearly a century, since 1920.

The media pressure became so great that, within two days of the NY Times editorial, Pres. Trump announced a 10-day “waiver” of the Jones Act in Puerto Rico:

The Cavalry rides in…and just in time

Politically and tactically, Trump’s ten-day waiver was a successful move. It didn’t accomplish anything for Puerto Rico – but it took the steam out of the Jones Act story, and enabled other headlines to dominate the news cycle.

By the end of those ten days, the press had moved on to other subjects: most notably, Trump’s tossing of paper towels to a roomful of reporters in San Juan.

We therefore went into organizing mode: coordinating with Misión Boricua in Orlando, and Respect and Justice for Puerto Rico in New York, to organize the state of Florida for a “March on Jacksonville.” Adela López and Zoraida Rios Andino in Orlando; and Julio Pabon, Emilio Morante and Eduardo Rosario in New York, have all been vital in this effort.

And then the cavalry arrived: on May 10, 2018, the New York City Bar Association demanded a permanent Jones Act repeal for Puerto Rico.

The NYC Bar Association is a major national presence: with 24,000 members, it is one of the premier lawyers’ organizations in the US. With a detailed press release and 15-page report, they are calling for immediate action by the US Congress, in regard to this Jones Act relief.

Press Release:


Full Report:


This is no small matter. On September 27, 2017, two days after the NY Times editorial, the NYC Bar Association sent a letter to the Dept. of Homeland Security urging a suspension of the Jones Act in Puerto Rico. The very next day, Pres. Trump announced his 10-day waiver.

Now in May 2018, the Bar Association’s report is even more detailed. It lists two dozen members of Congress, from both parties, who support exempting Puerto Rico from the requirements of the Jones Act.

It cites a petition “to waive the Jones Act for Puerto Rico” that gathered half a million signatures in just five days.

It notes that repealing the Jones Act’s restrictions on Puerto Rico would not harm national security, or cost anything to U.S. taxpayers, or reduce the union protections to any maritime workers.

It notes that shipping companies use the Jones Act to create illegal price-fixing schemes, and illegal antitrust conspiracies, to maximize the profit from their captive captive market in Puerto Rico.

The report concludes that: “Exempting Puerto Rico from the Jones Act, much like the U.S. Virgin Islands, would be a way for Congress to help Puerto Rico’s economy at no additional cost to American citizens. The New York City Bar urges a permanent exemption to allow the global markets to help Puerto Rico and remove impediments to its economic growth. There is broad bi-partisan support for this exemption from the Jones Act. The time to take action to help those in Puerto Rico is now.”

We must also eliminate the 12.5% “Export Tax”

We salute the NYC Bar Association for their courage and leadership on behalf of Puerto Rico. We extend our thanks to John S. Kiernan (President), Roger Juan Maldonado (Chairman of the Task Force on Puerto Rico) and Neysa Alsina (In-house Counsel) for their steadfast advocacy, and detailed research, on the Jones Act issue.

If at all possible, we also encourage them to challenge the 12.5% export tax that was recently slapped on Puerto Rico, as an alleged “foreign tax” jurisdiction.

This 12.5% tax was thrown at the island after Hurricane Maria, as part of the GOP tax plan.


In view of its horrific timing, demonstrable and immediate damage to the island, and clear conflict with the 2016 Supreme Court decision that Puerto Rico is a “territorial possession” of the US (i.e., not a foreign jurisdiction) this 12.5% export tax is arbitrary and capricious in its application to Puerto Rico, and clearly subject to Article 78 relief.

For a history of the War Against All Puerto Ricans, read the book…

War Against All Puerto Ricans: Revolution and Terror in America’s ColonyBuy it Now

Si prefiere ver la página web en español por favor visite: http://www.guerracontratodoslospuertorriquenos.com


NBC News reports on “Make America Great Again”

This week, NBC News reported on a new film called Make America Great Again.

Starring Angel “Chi Chi” Salazar (Scarface, 1983) it tells the story of Rogelio Yola, who arrives in New York City in search of the American dream.

But instead he finds a nightmare, when he is accused of being a “Dominican terrorist” and chased by ICE agents all over Washington Heights.

According to writer/director Nelson Denis, “Donald Trump dehumanizes people, which makes it easier to attack them. I want to put a human face on the issue of immigration and ICE arrests…and show the physical and emotional violence that people are suffering.”

The issue of ICE arrests and deportation is very personal to Denis. His own father was a supporter of Fidel Castro. Two weeks after the Cuban Missile Crisis of 1962, the FBI knocked on his door at 3 a.m. They grabbed his father and deported him to Cuba.

Denis was eight years old at the time. He never saw his father again.

Here is the NBC News article:


$43 million fraud at the Puerto Rico Energy and Power Authority

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In autumn of 2014, the Puerto Rico Energy and Power Authority (PREPA) hired a woman named Lisa Donahue as its “Chief Restructuring Officer.” Between September 2014 and August 2016, Donahue was paid $43 MILLION to restore PREPA’s “fiscal and operational health.”

Then in February 2017, Donahue simply resigned and walked away.

So what did Puerto Rico get for paying $43 million to Lisa Donahue?

Let’s go through the list…

           Was the PREPA debt resolved ?   NO.

           Did the electrical rates go down ?   NO.

           Was the PREPA infrastructure improved ?   NO.

           Has PREPA stopped the use of toxic sludge oil ?   NO.

           Was the debt service on PREPA’s debt been reduced ?   NO.

           Were the number, duration and severity of blackouts reduced ?   NO.

           Was anyone been jailed for “sludge oil kickbacks” from Petrobras ?   NO.

In fact, the electrical rates negotiated by Donahue went up another 15-20%, and the number of blackouts increased by 449% in 2014-2015 — precisely during the time period of Donahue’s employment.

And now, PREPA will be sold off to a series of private Wall Street financiers: the same financiers that helped drive PREPA, and the entire economy of Puerto Rico, into the gutter.


Clearly, Donahue was not “restructuring” PREPA for the benefit of electrical consumers.

A 15-20% rate hike over proved that, very convincingly.

Donahue got and shared $43 million for something…and here it is.

When the new Sheriff rode into town (the Financial Control Board) PREPA had all its audited financial statements — in neat little rows, and in accordance with GAAP (generally accepted accounting principles).

PREPA’s illegal Triple A bonds, all issued between 2009 and 2013, did not appear as a 4 billion dollar Ponzi scheme in those financial statements — yet that is exactly what they were.


Instead, the bonds were all SEC compliant, and Dept. of Justice approved.

Lisa Donahue helped to 1) whitewash PREPA for decades of corruption and mismanagement, and 2) shield Wall Street from any major inquiries or indictments.

She reconciled the books so professionally, that an entire generation of journalists will now apologize for dreaming that Caleb Brett Labs would falsify 600 oil analysis reports; or that the PPD and PNP would poison their own people with toxic sludge oil; or that William Clark, or Luis Fortuño, or anyone would take bribes from a fuel oil cartel.



In the end, Lisa Donahue performed the role of Harvey Keitel in Quentin Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction.

Donahue was a cleaner.


For a history of the War Against All Puerto Ricans, read the book…

War Against All Puerto Ricans: Revolution and Terror in America’s ColonyBuy it Now

Si prefiere ver la página web en español por favor visite: http://www.guerracontratodoslospuertorriquenos.com

Ex-governor Luis Fortuño should go to JAIL for destroying, and then selling, PREPA

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PREPA (the Puerto Rico Electrical and Power Authority) may soon be sold to Wall Street. Some call this “privatization.” Others call it a felony. In this second group, is a Puerto Rico politician named Manuel Natal Albelo.

Natal Albelo is a member of the Puerto Rico legislature.

According to him, the political party (PNP) that is selling PREPA is the one that destroyed it…and committed FRAUD to do it.

He recently spoke clearly and forcefully, about who stole from PREPA…how much they stole…

And who should be going to jail.


Rep. Natal Albelo declares that Luis Fortuño should be in jail


We salute the clarity and commitment of Rep. Natal Albelo.

There was a multi-billion dollar theft in Puerto: so finely engineered by Wall Street, so cleverly disguised by high-ranking politicians, that the people of Puerto Rico were not even aware. The entire island now will now pay for these criminals, with a “privatized” energy system…

Owned by Wall Street, and brokered by the same politicians that stole it.

According to Albelo, the TOP engineer was ex-Governor Luis Fortuño: who buried Puerto Rico under more debt — $16.4 billion in just four years — than any other governor in the history of Puerto Rico.

Out of this historically high debt, over $4 billion was siphoned away for “sequential and derivative interest payments” from PREPA to Wall Street firms. In plain English, at PREPA, $4 billion disappeared into a fraudulent Ponzi Scheme.



This theft in broad daylight was cleverly executed and camouflaged, so that the PEOPLE of Puerto Rico would have to pay for it…

With a “privatized” energy system owned by Wall Street.

Unless of course, Rep. Manuel Natal Albelo and a few other patriots, insist on a complete investigation…and JAIL for the people who destroyed PREPA.


For a history of the War Against All Puerto Ricans, read the book…

War Against All Puerto Ricans: Revolution and Terror in America’s ColonyBuy it Now

Si prefiere ver la página web en español por favor visite: http://www.guerracontratodoslospuertorriquenos


How Governor Ricky Roselló is STEALING Puerto Rico for Wall Street

Book - 12-10

The governor of Puerto Rico, Ricky Roselló, recently announced his plan to “privatize” PREPA…in other words, to sell the island’s entire energy system to Wall Street.

The best way to assess this “privatization” plan, is to study how other plans have done. Have they benefited Puerto Rico?

These plans are often called P3s, or public private partnerships. The latest P3 was engineered by two governors from BOTH political parties: Alejandro Garcia Padilla (PPD) and Luis Fortuño (PNP). 

And now Gov. Ricky Roselló will pull off the EXACT same scam, by selling off PREPA.

Ricky Roselló, dancing while Puerto Rico burns

Fortuño and Garcia Padilla used the island’s most profitable highway, PR-22, in order to steal $1.25 BILLION DOLLARS for Goldman Sachs and Abertis Corporation.

Here is how…

PR-22, aka José de Diego Expressay, is 51 miles long. It runs from Santurce to Hatillo, passes through San Juan, and is the island’s busiest highway. Every day, more vehicles pass through PR-22, than any other road in Puerto Rico.

The annual toll revenues from PR-22 are $85 million.

In 2011, Luis Fortuño turned PR-22 into a “public private partnership” (aka “P3”) with Goldman Sachs and a Spanish corporation named Abertis.

This P3 gave Goldman Sachs and Abertis a 40-year lease on PR-22 and PR-5, for which they would receive 50% of the toll revenues (roughly $1.8 billion) in exchange for a $1.4 billion investment, for a profit of approximately $400 million.


The ROI (return on investment) on this deal seemed reasonable…but now in 2016, the deal suddenly changed.

In the immortal words of Johnny Guitar Watson, “Somebody doing something slick…downtown.”

Five years into the deal, in April 2016, Gov. Garcia Padilla quietly altered the initial contract.


Under the new terms, in exchange for an additional investment of only $115 million, the governor decreased the island’s revenue share on PR-22 from 50% to 25%, and extended the lease term for an additional 10 years.

So for 35 years, Goldman/Abertis will receive an additional 25% annually…


For 10 new additional years, they will receive 75% of 85 million.

The math works out like this:

25% additional of $85 million per year x 35 years = 21 x 35 = $735 million


75% of 85 million x 10 years = 63 x 10 = $630 million

The total added revenue is thus $1,365,000,000 ($1.365 billion), on an investment of $115 million…for a new, additional profit of $1.25 BILLION.

Did you hear about this?

I certainly didn’t.

Somebody doing something slick…downtown.


Eight months after this “New Deal” for Goldman Sachs and Abertis, in December 2016, a little news item emerged in Caribbean Business. Luis Fortuño had been named onto the board of directors of Abertis, because Abertis allegedly wanted “independent directors on its board…seasoned experts with a variety of professional profiles.”

Fortuño is certainly seasoned.

He marinated himself in public debt, during his brief stint as governor, by “borrowing” $16 billion from Wall Street. In just 4 years, Fortuño “borrowed” more money from Wall Street, than any other governor in Puerto Rican history.

$9 billion of that money was spent on “private contracts” which, to this day, have not been accounted for.

So at the precise moment that a new $1.25 billion scam goes public, one of the key players hires Fortuño for a “board membership” that will provide elegant vacations to Spain for Fortuño’s family, and hefty board fees to Fortuño.

Fortuño was bribed – some would say “hired” – to provide Abertis and Goldman Sachs with additional influence over the PROMESA Financial Control Board (FCB), which is supposed to “investigate” these questionable deals.


Puerto Rico allegedly “owes” $72 billion, and the FCB was created to “help them” pay it.

One of the best ways to do this is to investigate, annul and even prosecute any questionable deals which provide extraordinary and unexplainable profits to a few individuals and private entities, at the expense of the entire Commonwealth.

The PROMESA Control Board did not investigate or prosecute this $1.25 BILLION DOLLAR SCAM… which involved a foreign corporation, a US investment bank, and two governors from both major parties in Puerto Rico.

And now, a NEW P3 scam will devour the island’s energy system. The “privatization” of PREPA will not be a P3.

It will be a P5: a Public Private Partnership for the Plunder of Puerto Rico.

The $300 million Whitefish contract was just a dress rehearsal.


For a history of the War Against All Puerto Ricans, read the book…

War Against All Puerto Ricans: Revolution and Terror in America’s ColonyBuy it Now

Si prefiere ver la página web en español por favor visite: http://www.guerracontratodoslospuertorriquenos

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