- #PROMESA creates a FISCAL CONTROL BOARD of 7 unelected congress appointed officials who will have full control of the island to settle it’s 70 billion in debt (Much of which has already been deem illegal).
- As the law is written (and it was REFUSED to be revised or amended before voting) the control board will have the power to dismiss ANY elected political official not cooperating with the board.
- It will give the governor the power to reduce the minimum wage to $4.24.
- It will force the Puerto Rican government, already in crisis, to pay the bill for the board to the tune of $370 million dollars.
- The board gets to receive gifts freely.
- The board gets to decide its own salary.
- The board will be free to manage Puerto Rico’s natural resources.
- The individuals in the board will be free of all and any consequences and will not be held accountable to ANYONE for their work.
Read the Full Text of the bill HERE.
What are its powers? It will unilaterally “re-structure the workforce of the Commonwealth government” , freeze public pensions and ensure “the payment of debt obligations.”
The PROMESA Authority will be the governor, banker, judge, jury, and pawnbroker of Puerto Rico. It will manage the entire Puerto Rican economy, and be accountable to no one on the island. It will tell the Puerto Rican government when to jump, and how high. It will issue debt, spend the money in any manner it sees fit, and leave Puerto Ricans to pay the bill.
This is our ‘Commonwealth’: an island of beggars and billionaires, owned by absentee landlords and clerked by politicians.
It will do nothing about the Jones Act, the loss of pensions, the privatization of public schools, or the hedge funds that will own the physical infrastructure of Puerto Rico—its schools, prisons, highways, electrical grid, and water supply.
This is where our Commonwealth relationship to the United States has gotten us: an island of beggars and billionaires, owned by absentee landlords, fought over by lawyers, and clerked by politicians. A dictatorship in the Caribbean, owned and operated from Wall Street, and disguised as a “management assistance authority.”
PROMESA proposes the establishment of an Oversight Board with seven members appointed by the United States President, who will be granted totalitarian control over Puerto Rico’s finances in order to restructure the Puerto Rican debt, which equals to: “Fuck you pay me”. Section #4 of the bill says, “The provisions of this Act shall prevail over any general or specific provisions of territory law, State law, or regulation that is inconsistent with this Act.”
Nevertheless, the creation of an apparatus like PROMESA should not be a surprise. The United States Congress had total control over the insular government of Puerto Rico, ever since the Foraker Act was approved in 1900. It wasn’t until the creation of the Free Associated State Constitution (ELA) in 1952, that Puerto Ricans were granted the right to elect their own governor and handle the internal administration of the country. Still when the United States Congress approved this, they sustained the capacity of imposing legislation over Puerto Rico’s Government and retaining ultimate power over all of Puerto Rico’s affairs.
Today is a historical moment: we are seeing how the United States Congress is making use of that supremacy they secured more than half a Century ago. The consequences are still to be seen. Some people talk about an ongoing humanitarian crisis, but the real humanitarian crisis is going to come when seven business men come to Puerto Rico to elaborate an economic plan as they get drunk on Barrilito in the beach of the San Juan Hotel.
That leaves Congress’ solution: a bill called PROMESA that allows an unelected fiscal oversight board with no ties to Puerto Rico to effectively colonize the commonwealth, taking what’s left of its sovereignty and dictating the island’s political and economic future.
It will do nothing about Jones Act reform, Chapter 9 bankruptcy relief, privatization of the island’s public schools, or the hedge funds that will own the physical infrastructure of Puerto Rico — its schools, prisons, highways, electrical grid, and water authority. It will issue debt, spend the funds as it sees fit, and leave Puerto Rico to pay the bill.
This is where our “Commonwealth” relationship has gotten us: a dictatorship in the Caribbean, created in Washington, operated from Wall Street, all disguised as a “management assistance authority.”
War Against All Puerto Ricans by Nelson A Denis