Same old politics in Puerto Rico

Book - 12-10


 
Five weeks ago, Wanda Vázquez Garced refused to become the next Governor of Puerto Rico.
“Not me!” she declaimed. “Find someone else!”

https://www.cnn.com/2019/07/28/us/puerto-rico-governor-successor-declines-job/index.html

Then someone escorted her up Mount Quarantania, and Vázquez changed her mind.

On August 7, 2019, Vázquez was sworn in as the 187th Governor of Puerto Rico…

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2019/07/25/puerto-rico-who-is-wanda-vazquez-poised-replace-gov-rossello/1824814001/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_governors_of_Puerto_Rico#List_of_Governors_of_Puerto_Rico

And in five short days, she evolved from a terrified civil servant to a spinmeister par excellence.

Gov. Wanda Vázquez Garced


On Sunday August 11, Gov. Vázquez found a tiny sacrificial lamb and heaved it toward the bloodthirsty mob. She cancelled a $450,000 contract between PREPA (the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority) and Stantec, a Canadian consulting company.

https://ktla.com/2019/08/12/puerto-rico-gov-vazquez-moves-to-suspend-450k-hurricane-recovery-contract/

The very next day, Monday August 12, Gov. Vázquez announced that she “might” declare a “state of emergency” with respect to violence against Puerto Rican women.

https://www.elnuevodia.com/noticias/locales/nota/wandavazquezevaluadeclararunestadodeemergenciaporlaviolenciadegenero-2511311/?fbclid=IwAR2hwpumR6RSXrlvbpEckbpSexVRz1TJgno7-12BtwCIT0zOY7qdaSfrUKQ

Both of these announcements are facially proactive: showing that this governor is a serious lady!
She tackles government corruption and macho murderers, all within a 24-hour news cycle!

 
And that is precisely the problem…because almost immediately, Gov. Vázquez has shown her method of non-governance: 1) find easy targets, 2) grab quick and easy headlines, 3) create the appearance
of action, 4) conduct this “action” in emotionally charged policy areas (i.e. domestic violence), and
5) make it difficult, preferably impossible, for anyone to track or gauge your results.

TWO QUICK ANNOUNCEMENTS

Consider these two “proactive” announcements by the new governor.

PREPA is currently in debt for $9 billion. After Hurricane Maria, it entered a massive $300 million “power restoration” contract with a company named Whitefish, which had only three employees.

https://www.vox.com/policy-and-politics/2017/11/15/16648924/puerto-rico-whitefish-contract-congress-investigation

Fortunately this contract was cancelled, but PREPA currently has many multi-million dollar “restoration contracts,” and a massive $1.8 billion in contracts with Mammoth Energy Services’ subsidiary Cobra Acquisitions, which are under federal investigation.

https://www.pbs.org/newshour/nation/new-puerto-rico-governor-pledges-to-scrutinize-all-contracts

https://oklahoman.com/article/5636393/federal-investigation-into-mammoth-subsidiary-cobra-acquisitions-work-on-puerto-rico-continues-filings-show

While serving as Secretary of Justice…did Vasquez investigate the Whitefish contract, the multi-million dollar contracts, or the $1.8 billion deals with Cobra?

No.

Is she investigating them now, as governor?

No.

Instead, she picks a relatively miniscule contract with a Canadian company, in order not to ruffle any US feathers. She then promises an “in-depth review” of all outstanding PREPA contracts, despite her complete inaction on any of them during her tenure as Secretary of Justice.

In addition, during her twenty years as a district attorney in the Puerto Rico Dept. of Justice, Vázquez never prosecuted, investigated, or even discussed PREPA’s purchase of poisonous sludge oil…

https://www.nytimes.com/2016/02/16/business/dealbook/at-puerto-ricos-power-company-a-recipe-for-toxic-air-and-debt.html

Or PREPA’s falsification of lab reports…

https://www.bondbuyer.com/articles/suit-accuses-oil-traders-of-bilking-prepa

Or PREPA’s Ponzi scheme of municipal finance…

https://www.bondbuyer.com/articles/suit-accuses-oil-traders-of-bilking-prepa

https://observer.com/2016/06/did-fbi-and-justice-dept-enable-puerto-ricos-financial-meltdown/

Or PREPA’s $36.7 million dollar contract with Lisa Donahue for a “financial restructuring” which never occurred.

https://waragainstallpuertoricans.com/2016/08/04/the-cleaner-of-prepa-makes-36-7-million-in-23-monthswhile-blackouts-and-electric-bills-skyrocket-throughout-puerto-rico/

But now as governor, she is an energy crusader…rooting out a whopping $450,000 in Canadian fraud!

Her “possible” declaration of a “state of emergency” regarding violence against women is equally facile and convenient. As a district attorney, Vázquez handled domestic violence cases, so she now draws on this career platform. But what exactly does a governmental “state of emergency” mean?

When asked if it meant municipal curfews, a revised penal code, added law enforcement, workplace monitoring, domestic violence hotlines, a public education campaign and/or curricular reform, she ignored all of these and simply stated: “We will evaluate our resources and alternatives, to see what our agencies can do.”

https://www.elnuevodia.com/noticias/locales/nota/wandavazquezevaluadeclararunestadodeemergenciaporlaviolenciadegenero-2511311/

Vázquez knows that the Financial Control Board will not allow her to expend funds or resources in any new areas, including this one. But since she can’t declare a war or pursue weapons of mass destruction, she “might” declare a “state of emergency” on violence against women. Then she’ll visit crime scenes, console victims and grab more headlines.

WANDA “LEANS” TOWARD THE REPUBLICANS

Barely one week later, on August 20, Gov. Vázquez told El Nuevo Dia (the island’s largest newspaper) that she hopes to meet with Donald Trump, and that she “leans” toward the US Republican Party.

https://www.elnuevodia.com/noticias/politica/nota/lagobernadorawandavazquezseinclinahacialafilosofiarepublicana-2513013/

This is the party that passed the PROMESA bill, and sent a Financial Control Board to Puerto Rico.

https://newrepublic.com/article/132307/colonizing-puerto-rico

The party that blocked any Chapter 9 bankruptcy relief – so that Puerto Rico could not question or re-negotiate its “debt” to Wall Street vulture funds.

https://apnews.com/993ffe5783b7455da4a03516b27747c3

The party which – after Hurricane Maria – slapped an additional 12.5% export tax on many products from Puerto Rico.

https://www.orlandosentinel.com/opinion/os-ed-taxing-puerto-rico-to-death-20180110-story.html

The people of Puerto Rico are desperate for new solutions and a new destiny.

But in the end, after weeks of demonstrations and millions of people marching, they ended up with the same old politics: a career hack with no intention of discussing, let alone challenging, the deeper economic and political issues that have plagued their island for over a century.

That would require a leader.

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

 

The David Begnaud Book Club

Book - 12-10


David Begnaud is much more than a journalist. Over the past two years, he has become a gladiator for Puerto Rico.

Ever since Hurricane Maria, Begnaud’s in-depth and on-the-ground reporting from the island have set a new standard for insight, courage, fact-checking, and deep-context journalism.  This high standard has been widely recognized: in February 2018, Begnaud received the prestigious George Polk Award for Public Service for his journalism on Puerto Rico.

David Begnaud reporting live from Puerto Rico


Petitions are now circulating in support of Begnaud winning an Emmy Award and a Pulitzer Prize for his journalism on Puerto Rico.

A few weeks ago, War Against All Puerto Ricans came under the David Begnaud microscope.  Begnaud recently started a book club, and he made WAAPR one of the first “book club selections.”  But he didn’t stop there. Begnaud also aired three podcasts: each containing his own personal review, of several chapters in the book.

HERE ARE THOSE THREE PODCASTS:

In every podcast the detail of Begnaud’s commentary, and his level of textual attention, is striking.  This attention is balanced: Begnaud acknowledges certain critics who questioned the book’s accuracy and sourcing (despite its more than 700 footnotes).  But more than anything, the attention is laser-sharp.

With a journalist’s instinct for the key word, the telling detail, Begnaud shares his insights on the Ponce Massacre, the Carpetas progam of FBI surveillance, the sterilization of Puerto Rican women, the cancer experiments of Dr. Cornelius Rhodes, the Tydings Independence Bill, the sugar empire of Charles Herbert Allen (the first civilian US governor of Puerto Rico) and the tortured personal life of Luis Muñoz Marín, the island’s first elected governor.

The Begnaud reviews appeared on Instagram and Facebook.  They received over 150,000 views and generated thousands of comments.  Within two days, the book sold out on Amazon and the publisher had to rush-deliver some more.  Clearly, the David Begnaud Book Club is a force to be reckoned with!

Now that Labor Day is winding down, folks are returning from vacation, and Amazon has re-stocked the book, many of us hope that David will complete his fascinating reviews of War Against All Puerto Ricans.  With just a few podcasts, he sparked a nationwide discussion of the history of Puerto Rico…and how that history continues to haunt us.

Thank you, David, for sharing our history.

Thank you for helping the US to understand what’s happening: to our island, and to our people.

Thank you for giving new life and meaning, to my grandmother’s words: “Puerto Rican eyes are all dark, with lots of yesterdays in them.”


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

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez reveals “How Business is Done” in Washington, D.C.

Book - 12-10


In 2010, the Citizens United decision by the US Supreme Court, opened the door for anonymous and unlimited election spending by corporations: and by the wealthy people who own them.

For nearly a decade, this unlimited money has been funneled through super PACs: Political Action Committees which distribute millions (even billions) of dollars to “cooperative” US senators, congresspersons, governors and state legislators throughout the country.

Last week, Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez pulled the curtain on this scheme…in a way that our entire nation could understand.

Here is how she did it:



This is one of AOC’s unique and powerful gifts: like Norma Rae, Ana Maria Polo, and Jimmy Stewart in Mr. Smith Goes to Washington, she speaks simply and directly…in terms that everyone can understand and identify with.

Citizens United is being applied cynically and aggressively in Puerto Rico.

The island needs to see the immensity, and the urgency, of what AOC has just dramatized for them.

Here are some examples, of how money and media are destroying Puerto Rico:

https://waragainstallpuertoricans.com/2016/04/08/dark-money-group-spends-200000-in-tv-ads-to-keep-puerto-rico-from-receiving-any-debt-relief/

https://truthout.org/articles/puerto-rico-needs-a-paradigm-shift/

https://truthout.org/articles/empire-of-lies-how-the-us-continues-to-deceive-the-world-about-puerto-rico/

Three cheers for AOC…Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a gladiator in 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.com

The United States public debt is THREE HUNDRED times higher than that of Puerto Rico

Book - 12-10


According to the Treasury Department, the US public debt is now $22 trillion. This is the highest level of debt, by any government, in all of human history. 

https://www.aol.com/article/news/2019/02/12/national-debt-tops-dollar22-trillion-for-the-first-time/23668110/

It also places the alleged “debt” of Puerto Rico in a clearer perspective. Consider these figures:

When you compare $22 trillion to $73 billion (the alleged “debt” of Puerto Rico), the US owes three hundred times (30,000%) more money than Puerto Rico.

With a population of 326 million, the US government now owes $67,484 for every man, woman and child in the US. But with a population of 3.4 million, Puerto Rico owes only $21,470 for every person on the island.

And so, on a per capita basis, the US is more than three times (300%) in debt than Puerto Rico. Every man, woman and child in the US has over three times more debt service and interest payments on their head, than the people of Borinquen.

In other words, Uncle Sam is broke. That is why he wants YOU.

Brother, can you spare a colony?


Here is a 2015 study, which shows where this money is owed.

http://politicalcalculations.blogspot.com/2015/05/spring-2015-to-whom-does-us-government.html#.VzKwNvPD-M8

U.S. DEBT TO CHINA AND JAPAN

As of 2015, the US owes $1.25 trillion to China and $1.15 trillion to Japan.

This US debt, to just these two countries, is 30 times greater (3,000%) than the $73 billion which Puerto Rico allegedly owes to the US.

http://politicalcalculations.blogspot.com/2015/05/spring-2015-to-whom-does-us-government.html#.VzKwNvPD-M8

DEBT / GDP RATIO

In addition, we must consider public debt as a percentage of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). The Debt-to-GDP ratio is considered a key index of a nation’s economic health.

With a Puerto Rico GDP of $105 billion and a debt of $73 billion, the public debt of Puerto Rico is 70% of GDP.  

http://www.tradingeconomics.com/puerto-rico/gdp

With a US GDP of $19.39 trillion and a debt of $22 trillion, the public debt of the US is 113% of GDP.

In other words, the Debt-to-GDP ratio of the US is 43% higher than that of Puerto Rico.

http://harvardmagazine.com/2015/07/dealing-with-debt#article-images

http://www.statista.com/statistics/188105/annual-gdp-of-the-united-states-since-1990/

PUBLIC DEBT AROUND THE WORLD

Not only compared to the United States…but compared to the entire world, Puerto Rico’s public debt is nothing to be ashamed of.

Four years ago in 2015, according to Harvard Magazine, “The debt levels in many advanced economies exceeded 100 percent of gross domestic product (GDP). In the United States, for example, government debt is currently 105 percent of GDP.”

Harvard Magazine then provided a helpful graph, which shows this rapidly mounting debt, all around the planet:

PUBLIC_DEB-GDP_RATIO_GRAPH

The sloppy horizontal line on the right shows where Puerto Rico’s “External debt as a percentage of GDP” falls, in relation to the other 22 “advanced” economies.

As you can see, Puerto Rico’s 2015 debt level was less than one-third of the debt levels in the 22 other “advanced” economies. These economies include the US, Japan, Germany, United Kingdom, Australia, France, and Canada.

THE SUBPRIME MORTGAGE CRISIS

In 2007, the entire US economy became so infected with poisonous debt, that the federal government stepped in and saved Wall Street with a $2,000,000,000,000 ($2 trillion) bailout. The Wall Street debt hustlers kept all the money, while millions of people lost their homes.

Many of those debt hustlers – such as John Paulson, Nicholas Prouty, Salomon Brothers, Stone Lion Capital Partners – are now devouring the beaches, bridges, highways, hotels, marinas, office buildings…and soon the electrical grid and water supply of Puerto Rico. 

WE MUST SEND A FINANCIAL CONTROL BOARD IMMEDIATELY

This is clearly a dangerous state of affairs. The US is both choking with debt and addicted to it.

A debt-addicted society has no morals…it only has an insatiable thirst, for the virgin blood of other republics.

For this reason, Puerto Rico must send a Financial Control Board to the United States: to help them manage their economy, and control their dangerous addiction to debt-and-spending.

If we don’t send this Financial Control Board immediately, the debt-addicted US will devalue Puerto Rico’s currency by 40%, take 80% of our land, cut wages by 50%, close 200 schools and 9 hospitals, raise electricity rates by 300%, hike water rates by 60%, raise gasoline taxes twice in one year, impose an 11.5% sales tax, raise the tolls on PR-5, PR-22 and the Teodoro Moscoso Bridge, privatize our electrical system, steal our pensions, buy our beaches, imprison our leaders, accuse us of “owing”
them $73 billion, send us a Financial Control Board, and pass a Jones Act.

Oh wait a minute…I’m sorry, I forgot…the US already did that.

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
 

The Deep Secret, of the Puerto Rican Day Parade

Book - 12-10

 

The Puerto Rican Day Parade has a dark secret.

It has nothing to do with celebrities, rich corporations, or slick politicians.

It is a deep mystery, from the heart and history of Puerto Rico, which explains the whole parade…

Seventy years ago, Boricuas were given the worst jobs and housing in New York City. They were also beaten by their neighbors and the NYPD.

And yet in 1958, some brave Boricuas dared to hold a humble parade where they could march with pride, arm-in-arm, through the heart of Manhattan.

Mothers clapped their hands…to the bombas and plenas of their childhood.

Fathers schooled their children…explaining the floats dedicated to Puerto Rican towns known for sugar cane, tobacco, coffee, pineapples and plantains. 

The Puerto Rican pride spread rapidly.

By 1966, the parade was already a “must do” event for politicians and celebrities.

Today, the parade is a celebrity spectacle with 2 million spectators, 100,000 marchers, and a stampede of corporate sponsors.

Rita Moreno, Ricky Martin, Jennifer Lopez, Marc Anthony, Hillary Clinton and Mayor De Blasio have all “starred” in it.

But even as “The Parade” has become one of the nation’s largest outdoor celebrations, there is a secret that few people suspect…

A secret that reaches into the heart of every Puerto Rican, without their even knowing it.

It is the secret of the Puerto Rican flag.

AN INCREDIBLE DISPLAY

Have you ever noticed the wild, uncontrollable, impassioned display of flags at every Puerto Rican Day Parade?  

No matter where you look…it is a tidal wave of flags!

Mile after mile, you see this:

And this:  

And this:

And even this:

This is no coincidence.

There is a deep reason for this emotional attachment.

There is a reason why Que Bonita Bandera and Preciosa bring tears to our eyes…and sometimes we don’t even know why.

It is because this flag represents an ideal…the ideal of lost youth and forgotten illusions…just like last night’s dream, or tomorrow’s TV advertisement.

But there is one more reason, why this flag is the emotional heart of the parade.

It is the secret which explains everything.

We adore our flag because for many years, any Puerto Rican who owned one, would go to jail for ten years.

THEY TRIED TO CRUSH DON PEDRO 

For many years, the United States wanted only one flag in Puerto Rico.

Here is that flag, in the inauguration of the first US Governor of Puerto Rico, in April 1900:

Pedro Albizu Campos refused to salute this flag.

In order to crush Don Pedro and the Nationalist movement, a law was passed in 1948, right after Don Pedro got out of jail.

It was called Public Law 53, and also known as La Ley de la Mordaza…the Gag Law.

Law 53 made it a felony to sing a song, whistle a tune, or utter one word against the US government, or in favor of Puerto Rican independence.

This included singing La Borinqueña, or owning a Puerto Rican flag.

Own a flag…ten years in jail.

Every day, the FBI and Insular Police raided people’s homes, searched for flags, and hauled Puerto Ricans off to jail. 

They did it all over the island.

In November 1950, they arrested 3,000 Puerto Ricans within one week! Some of them were only eight years old.

In many cases the flag – all by itself – was the sole piece of evidence.

Own a flag…ten years in jail.

  

The Gag Law violated the US constitution. But it took nine years to repeal it, in 1957. 

The very next year, in 1958, the first Puerto Rican Day Parade was held in New York City.

THE PARADE EXPLODES

The Puerto Rican flags and celebration were everywhere…the passion was astonishing…New York had never seen anything like it!

The Puerto Rican Day parade exploded into New York City, with the emotion and power of an entire people…that had finally found a voice…for one day…on Fifth Avenue. 

The politicians couldn’t explain it, but they did know one thing…that they better get in front of this parade, and yell “¡Que viva Puerto Rico!”

That much they did understand.

THE DEEP SECRET OF OUR PARADE

The deep secret of the Puerto Rican Day Parade is this: 

The parade was born in the hearts of an entire nation…where everyone was declared a criminal…         if they dared to show their flag.

And now for one beautiful day, through the heart of New York City, we show that flag to the whole world.

Let them throw a Financial Control Board at us.

Let the US Supreme Court call us a “territorial possession.”

We all know what is in our hearts, and in our memory…

We will never give up our island…

And that is why we will win.

Que bonita bandera 

Que bonita bandera 

Que bonita bandera es la bandera Puertorriqueña

¡ QUE VIVA PUERTO RICO !

 

Book - 12-10

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