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Campaign Updates

01/25/2018

Center for Popular Democracy Denounces Puerto Rico Fiscal Plan

“Just another form of the colonialism that has haunted the island for its entire history,” says national community organizing network

01.25.2018

NEW YORK, NY – In response to Governor Ricardo Roselló's newly released five-year budget, which recommends substantial budget cuts and further privatization of essential services, the Center for Popular Democracy released the following statement from Julio López Varona, Director of Puerto Rican Campaigns:

“For years, Puerto Rico’s leaders have pursued a cycle of debt and austerity that has driven the island deeper and deeper into recession and triggered an economic crisis that has led to the mass exodus of hundreds of thousands of students and families. It’s just another form of the colonialism that has haunted the island for its entire history, allowing vulture investors to extract billions in wealth while pushing so-called ‘fiscal discipline’ measures that only reward the rich while punishing ordinary Puerto Ricans.

This fiscal plan only takes us further down that path. It delivers a death blow to PREPA, the island’s leading source of electricity, with a proposal to privatize the utility. Taking away the sole source of light and power for Puerto Ricans in the middle of a recovery completely defies logic. It imposes across-the-board tax hikes, putting even more strain on the pocketbooks of Puerto Ricans and perpetuating the Fiscal Control Board's oppressive, violent fiscal strategy. It will deepen the inequalities that Hurricane María revealed for all to see and will only prolong Puerto Rico's pain. It is a huge step in the wrong direction. We will fight this plan and all that it stands for with everything we have.”

This week, the Center for Popular Democracy will be holding a series of protests calling on America’s most prominent universities to divest from investors and bondholders that have pushed austerity measures for Puerto Rico’s public education system. The actions, targeted at Harvard, Yale, and Columbia, among others, are part of a broader push to curb the alarming pace of budget cuts and instead steer fair, no-strings-attached federal aid to the island.

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Media Contact:

Samy Nemir, solivares@populardemocracy.org, (929) 285-9623