The Dan Rather interview on Puerto Rico

In late 2017, Dan Rather interviewed Nelson Denis on the subject of Puerto Rico: its history, politics and economic future.

Mr. Rather showed a sincere and thoughtful interest in the island and its residents.

The discussion was far-ranging and no topic was off the table. Here are two segments of the Dan Rather interview:


 

Many thanks to Dan Rather and his producer Scott Marlowe, for sharing this information about Puerto Rico.

–Nelson Denis

 
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

Swedish Public Radio is aware of Puerto Rico

War Against All Puerto Ricans: Revolution and Terror in America’s Colony

The public radio system of Sweden is better informed than the US congress, with respect to Puerto Rico.

They recently conducted an investigation of the Jones Act, the Financial Control Board, the US government response to Hurricane Maria, and the economic history of Puerto Rico. You can hear the Swedish radio broadcast here:

http://sverigesradio.se/sida/avsnitt/987848?programid=2946

Apparently, the Swedish radio public has a higher attention span than our own US congress.

The journalist who conducted the investigation is named Fernando Arias.

We thank him for his consideration of Puerto Rico.

–Nelson Denis

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

US Congress prepares to add a 20% tax to ALL products from Puerto Rico

War Against All Puerto Ricans: Revolution and Terror in America’s Colony

Six weeks after a devastating hurricane, the US Congress is preparing another hurricane for Puerto Rico. Just four days ago, on November 9, the House Ways & Means Committee approved a bill that will add a 20% tax to EVERY product that enters the US from Puerto Rico.

This bill is part of the 2017 congressional “tax reform” package.

You can read the entire bill here.  The relevant section is Sec. 4303, which starts on page 397. 

You can also read a summary of the bill here.  Sec. 4303 is discussed on pages 6 and 7.

A delegation of Puerto Rico legislators immediately flew up to Washington, DC, to show congress how this “Puerto Rico tax reform” will further devastate the island.

The Spanish-language press covered this “Puerto Rico tax reform” repeatedly, immediately, with front page headlines and in great detail.

Until today, the only English-language press is a small article in Caribbean Business

The US Senate is considering an alternative “Puerto Rico tax reform” with a lower import tax of 12.5%, which is expected to pass shortly after the Thanksgiving break. But even this “tax reform” will doom the island’s economy.

“It would be devastating for Puerto Rico,” said ex-governor  Anibal Acevedo-Vila.

“It would be a third hurricane for this island,” said Rodrigo Masses, president of the Industrial Association of Puerto Rico.

It would cause “the total collapse of the island’s economy,” said Fernando Montalvo, coordinator of the Puerto Rico Private Sector Coalition.

State-by-State Comparison

To place this in context, consider the chief exports of various US states: lobsters from Maine, coal from West Virginia and Pennsylvania, diamonds from New York. Airplane parts are the chief export of twelve states: Arizona, Arkansas, California, Connecticut, Georgia, Hawaii, Kansas, Kentucky, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma and Washington.

Now imagine what would happen if the US Congress slapped an additional 20 percent tax on all lobsters, coal, diamonds and airplane parts.

An open rebellion would break out in most, if not all, of those states. The National Guard would have to mobilized; martial law would be declared. Crime, suicide and homelessness would skyrocket. Wall Street values would plummet.

Now multiply all this exponentially in Puerto Rico, where ALL products will be indentured with a 20% export tax – just six weeks after a hurricane, on an island with no electricity and a per capita income of $16,000  –  half that of Mississippi, the poorest state in the US.

Oh, I almost forgot. The island also has a Financial Control Board screaming PAY ME.

Hurricane Hustlers

Mercenary capitalism is nothing new in Puerto Rico. The Naomi Klein “shock doctrine” has been applied there for well over 100 years.

After Hurricane San Ciriaco, the worst hurricane of the entire 19th century, flattened Puerto Rico in 1899, the US de-valued the island’s monetary currency by 40% in 1900. The very next year (1901) they inflicted the Hollander Act: a steep property tax on all Puerto Rican farmers.

This was not intended as hurricane relief. It was a calculated and efficient land grab – and sure enough, by 1930, eighty percent of Puerto Rico’s farmland was owned by US banking syndicates.

Now in the 21st century, nothing much has changed. Puerto Rico continues to stare into the rifle barrel of the US capitalist system.

The combination of the Jones Act, which inflates all Puerto Rico import prices by 20%, and now this “Puerto Rico tax reform,” which taxes all Puerto Rican exports by 20%, will surely doom any effort at economic recovery in Puerto Rico.

A Century of Second-Class Citizenship

In view of the human devastation of Hurricane Maria, this looming economic implosion is both frightening and saddening. After  a century of citizenship, Puerto Ricans have little to show for it.

After one hundred years of citizenship, Puerto Ricans enjoy the media images of the American dream and the underside of the US Constitution. They are free to be poor, under-educated and unemployed; free to be invisible and unheard; free to lose their homes to Wall Street; free to flee the island in utter desperation, as hundreds of thousands have done in recent years.

Puerto Ricans are being blown by one hurricane after another. The latest one is a 20 percent tax on all their products, six weeks after a hurricane, thanks to the US Congress.

 
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

Puerto Rican children are for sale

War Against All Puerto Ricans: Revolution and Terror in America’s Colony

 

Puerto Rican children are about to be sold by the US Department of Education.

If this statement sounds like an exaggeration, consider the following:

Three weeks ago, on October 24, sixty-one members of US Congress delivered an official letter to the US Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos. The letter urged the release of immediate emergency funds for the island’s educational system.

This funding need is desperate.

Even before Hurricane Maria, from 2010 to 2015, one hundred and fifty (150) schools were closed in Puerto Rico. Then this year, in 2017, Puerto Rico’s Secretary of Education Julia Keleher closed yet another 179 public schools, in every town throughout the island.

Today, due to Hurricane Maria, 499 of the remaining schools (45 percent) are also closed. In other words, only one-third of the schools that existed in 2010, are still open for Puerto Rico’s children.

And so, Puerto Rican children are for sale.

Three weeks after receiving this urgent letter from 61 members of Congress, the US Secretary of Education finally visited the island for one day, on November 8, 2017. She didn’t visit any open schools. She didn’t meet with a single teacher.

She visited one closed school in San Juan: the Loaiza Cordero Elementary School, about one mile from the Governor’s mansion.

She glanced at it from outside. She then had a “private meeting” with Secretary Keleher and Gov. Roselló. Then she announced that the United States – the richest country in the world – will generously donate $2 million in federal money “to help rebuild” Puerto Rico’s storm-wrecked schools. 

And so, Puerto Rican children are for sale. 

BOTH secretaries of education – Sec. DeVos and Sec. Keleher – have announced their aggressive plan to privatize as many schools as possible. 

Gov. Roselló has openly declared a war on public schools, which is why he is closing as many of them as possible…as quickly as possible…and keeping them closed.

DeVos’s trip from Washington DC, has nothing to do with “helping to rebuild” Puerto Rico’s damaged schools. Her insulting $2 million donation proves it, since $2 million is barely enough to fix even one school.

No…the purpose of DeVos’s trip, is to lay the foundation for a widespread privatization of Puerto Rico’s school system. This privatization plan already existed before the hurricane, and now they see the opportunity to accelerate it.

Gov. Roselló is keeping his end of the bargain. He started selling public schools from the moment he took office. Even before Hurricane Maria, in just one short year, Roselló closed more schools than any other governor in the history of Puerto Rico.

Now in 2018, all that Roselló and his “Secretary of Education” Keleher will need to do, is keep the schools closed for as long as possible…then let Sec. DeVos swoop in with hedge funds, lobbyists and lawyers from the United States, to “save” the Puerto Rican educational system.

Of course Roselló, Keleher and their families will receive “benefits” from these hedge funds and lobbyists, and from a billionaire named Betsy Devoseven as thousands of schoolteachers, all over the island, will lose their jobs and pensions.

The question will then become…where will these new “privatized” teachers come from? How can these new teachers possibly teach “better” than the original teachers from the island? No one is asking this question. No one seems to care. 

Because Puerto Rican children are for sale.

 

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

New York Times editorial: Suspend the Jones Act in Puerto Rico!

War Against All Puerto Ricans: Revolution and Terror in America’s Colony

The time has come to remove the Jones Act in Puerto Rico.

In today’s editorial pages, the New York Times shared the urgent and powerful reasons, why this needs to happen:

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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