Compañeros lists the various organizations working with us to focus and resolve this crisis. You'll notice how each section there is further subdivided into a distinct webpage where posts or publications from each organization addresses this crisis from their respective contexts. Our visitors and members of our site (and Chapter) gain the strategic advantage of a broad range of insight and depth as well as the contacts gained resulting from this unifying approach.
This page will be referencing different articles from nuestros compañeros which address this complex challenge. The union of various organizations dedicated to resolving this issue is a work in progress. The problem which we confront is the result of a series of incidents that were not merely mistakes but intentional decisions of theft and abuse going as far back as Columbus himself. It is easy to intuit how any sequence of events or decisions affect an individuals life; it is much harder to comprehend however, how a nation undergoes such events especially one as old as Puerto Rico (which from Columbus forward) is 500+ years old AND BEFORE Columbus as Borínquen/Boriken is, at least in one estimation from an expert, at least ! A history which comprises an extremely complex mix of peoples, and experiences.
This page is one place where the exploration of how this crisis came to be morphs into a process of intelligent focus and strategy for advancing what can be done now to address it. Our first post on this page is from the NPRC.
Distinguishing hyperlinks from highlighted text: Hyperlinks change color and appearance, or have an underline appear beneath a phrase in response to when your finger or your cursor passes or moves over that selection. However text which is merely highlighted for emphasis, does not change.
Derick Centeno, Webmaster
Received from the NACOPRW National Committee Chair on the Puerto Rican Crisis, Past NACOPRW National President Ada Lopez, please read below:
NPRC STRONGLY OPPOSES PROMESA (H.R.5278)
Washington D.C. - Today the National Puerto Rican Coalition Inc. (NPRC) expressed its strong opposition to H.R. 5278 given its Machiavellian control board and its lack of long term economic development frameworks necessary to assist the 3.5 million American citizens that live on the island of Puerto Rico. The bill called "PROMESA" is being marketed by Republicans, Democrats, and The White House as -- the best option given the political environment in Washington D.C.
"First let me begin by praising the incredible efforts by Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi and his staff, that given their limited political power due to Puerto Rico's unequal footing in Congress, they have worked tirelessly to achieve the best deal possible for the American citizens they represent. We hope folks on the island recognize they need Pierluisi's experience, statesmanship, and intellectual acumen to continue to steer Puerto Rico out of its murky water. We also praise Senator Bernie Sanders, Senator Robert Menendez, and Senator Dick Durbin for anchoring the demand to defend American democratic values," stated Rafael A. Fantauzzi the President & CEO of the National Puerto Rican Coalition.
"Knowing the ins and outs of DC, this bill is yet another shameful dismissal of the situation Puerto Rico has been in since 1898. In our assessment it is crystal clear that the aggressive financial control board crafted by Congress and supported by the Obama Administration is a Trojan horse that will set the island back to the times of the sugar cane barons. Congress, The White House, and political candidates cannot continue to bamboozle the American citizens of Puerto Rico by maintaining that self- determination is up to them and then invoking the territorial clause from the Constitution to justify the creation of a control board to support the corporate welfare of Wall Street Hedge Fund companies. American citizens understand financial hardship, they also understand that their representatives in Congress must do everything possible to improve their financial outlook. Congress is NOT the corporate headquarters of Hedge Funds firms. Any justification to accept such an imperial control board is not compromise, it is lack of courage to engage in truth to power," stated Fantauzzi.
The wide disparity of opinions in Puerto Rico and on the U.S. mainland may be a hallmark of the democratic process, but they may also presage a tough battle in Congress to get the bill passed.
From: Ada Lopez
Subject: RE: PROMESA BILL SUMMARY and ALTERNATIVE VIEW
Date: Wed, 08 Jun 2016 08:07:54 -0700
Below you will find a copy of an article which describes the reason Congressman Gutierrez and Menendez have amendments to PROMESA.
Menendez, Gutiérrez Seek to Thwart House Puerto Rico Bill
Ryan Rainey | May 26, 2016
Two Hispanic Democratic lawmakers on Thursday said they will actively work to significantly change or sink a House bill to give Puerto Rico debt restructuring tools.
Sen. Robert Menendez of New Jersey and Rep. Luis Gutiérrez of Illinois said at a joint press conference that the current legislation, H.R. 5278, does not provide for an orderly debt restructuring process and places too much power in the hands of a fiscal oversight board whose members are still unknown. That type of action continues neo-colonialist behavior that Gutiérrez said has been all too common throughout the mainland United States’ relationship with Puerto Rico.
Gutiérrez said he will “actively work” to defeat the current language in the bill, adding that he has met with officials such as Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, the second-ranking Senate Democrat, to muster opposition to the House legislation. Menendez also said a number of unnamed Democratic senators appeared interested in his reasons for opposing the bill at this week’s closed-door luncheon.
Menendez said there is no hurry to help passage of a bill in a short time, including before a July 1 payment is due. He believes that deadline is “about paying bondholders” nearly $1 billion.
“I don’t believe in being jammed for a bad bill. So our goal here is to wave our sabers early, and to see change,” he said.
Some of Gutiérrez’s comments also hinted at a dispute over the merits of the oversight board among politicians involved in the issue, depending on if they support Puerto Rican statehood, complete sovereignty for the island, or maintaining its current relationship with the mainland.
Pedro Pierluisi, Puerto Rico’s non-voting representative in Congress, is a member of the island’s pro-statehood party and caucuses with Democrats, while Gutiérrez supports complete independence for the island. Another Puerto Rican party, to which Gov. Alejandro García Padilla (D) belongs, supports maintaining San Juan’s current arrangement with the mainland.
Gutiérrez chided Pierluisi for calling the current bill a precursor to statehood. Pierluisi is a supporter of statehood, and he has said the control board provisions in the debt restructuring bill could serve as “a bridge to a brighter future for Puerto Rico, a future that includes a 51st star being added to the American flag.”
“You think you’re going to have statehood [by] declaring Puerto Rico bankrupt?” Gutiérrez queried to reporters after the press conference. “I believe passionately in independence for Puerto Rico. I will not use this bill to promote my own personal position and ideological stance on the people of Puerto Rico.”
From Ada Lopez
Subject: RE: PROMESA BILL SUMMARY and ALTERNATIVE VIEW
Date: Tue, June 07, 2016 12:22 pm
I am also sharing another version of the legislation being put forward that will likely influence the negotiation process.
I am suggesting that we not only review PROMESA but the various versions that have been developed.
Puerto Rico and the very fabric of its society is at stake we, as part of a diaspora that is 5 million strong can make a difference.
Here’s a link to the bill.
Let's prepare for our meeting this Thursday night and send me your suggestions or questions.
Ada N. Lopez
NACOPRW , Chair Committee for Puerto Rico