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    UK Avalon Founder Bill Ryan's Avatar
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    Default People power in Puerto Rico

    There have been widespread popular protests in Puerto Rico, that ousted Governer Ricardo Rosselló — who was forced to resign.




    Then they effectively prevented the appointment of the next one, Pedro Pierluisi, who'd been appointed by Rosselló as he stepped down. And they don't want the woman who's next in line after that — and now she doesn't want the job, either. (Not surprisingly! )

    This is all the Puerto Rican younger generation.... great kudos to them. It's genuine people power there right now.

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    Canada Avalon Member Justplain's Avatar
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    Default Re: People power in Puerto Rico

    These happenings have not been well publicized. It would be interesting to hear from someone knowledgeable of the situation about what's happening on the ground in Puerto Rico.

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    Default Re: People power in Puerto Rico

    Quote Posted by Justplain (here)
    These happenings have not been well publicized. It would be interesting to hear from someone knowledgeable of the situation about what's happening on the ground in Puerto Rico.
    Country restrictions to view OP video. Not well publicized is right

    However here's more info

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/amp.usa...amp/2025597001
    Last edited by Tyy1907; 17th August 2019 at 23:36.

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    Default Re: People power in Puerto Rico

    I used a vpn, I had to set it for USA.

    trump said on twitter and reported in the video:

    Quote A lot of bad things are happening in Puerto Rico. The Governor is under siege, the Mayor of San Juan is a despicable and incompetent person who I wouldn’t trust under any circumstance, and the United States Congress foolishly gave 92 Billion Dollars for hurricane relief, much.....(pt 2)...of which was squandered away or wasted, never to be seen again. This is more than twice the amount given to Texas & Florida combined. I know the people of Puerto Rico well, and they are great. But much of their leadership is corrupt, & robbing the U.S. Government blind!
    Which is a pretty darned potent thing to be saying. No matter how anyone tries to spin it.

    That would be over $28,000US for each living soul in Puerto Rico.

    (Population 3.195 million)

    Yet, nearly none of it was seen by anyone?

    Riot. Plain and simple.

    Edit: the $92 billion number just has to be wrong.....

    If it is correct, then it would be akin to a school of Americas/skull and bones/CIA pay off.
    Last edited by Carmody; 18th August 2019 at 00:57.
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    Default Re: People power in Puerto Rico

    Quote Posted by Carmody (here)
    I used a vpn, I had to set it for USA.

    trump said on twitter and reported in the video:

    Quote A lot of bad things are happening in Puerto Rico. The Governor is under siege, the Mayor of San Juan is a despicable and incompetent person who I wouldn’t trust under any circumstance, and the United States Congress foolishly gave 92 Billion Dollars for hurricane relief, much.....(pt 2)...of which was squandered away or wasted, never to be seen again. This is more than twice the amount given to Texas & Florida combined. I know the people of Puerto Rico well, and they are great. But much of their leadership is corrupt, & robbing the U.S. Government blind!
    Which is a pretty darned potent thing to be saying. No matter how anyone tries to spin it.

    That would be over $28,000US for each living soul in Puerto Rico.

    (Population 3.195 million)

    Yet, nearly none of it was seen by anyone?

    Riot. Plain and simple.

    Edit: the $92 billion number just has to be wrong.....

    If it is correct, then it would be akin to a school of Americas/skull and bones/CIA pay off.
    Trump if anything is underestimating the scam!

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    Default Re: People power in Puerto Rico

    I'm a native of Puerto Rico and grew up been carried around rallies on my father's shoulders. My family still there and I go often. There are various factors impacting the situation there right now. That takes more than a simple post.

    Let me say first the people of Puerto Rico (puertorriqueños, puerto ricans, boricuas) are generally happy (love fiestas), boisterous, and very resilient. We are known for our hospitality and warmth. Also for been very passionate and even feisty. Most puertorriqueños are very proud and protective of the island, their culture and heritage. There is a strong sense of belonging and identity in most boricuas

    The protests were ongoing there for months. People want change and a transparent government, that is for sure. The situation is very complex because while everyone there agrees about the corruption in the government, and about the lack of response or support from the U.S. they don't necessarily have a clear way forward. Also the status issue comes up and that is very divisive.

    People in Puerto Rico are still in the recovery process after a couple of hurricanes including one that was devastating for the island in 2017. They also face a financial crises that started in late 1990's, it got worse in 2007 and peaked in 2015. In 2016 the island declared bankruptcy. The government started closing many schools and trying to shorten the college terms in an effort to cut expenditures. College students and teachers were not happy with the fact the quality of the education was getting affected. The college student leadership and teachers kept meeting with legislators and the board in charge of funds unsuccessfully. So the protests begun.

    At night there were gatherings in the streets many artists, expressing their sentiments in diverse ways. Lots of poetry, and music there! Mostly at the enter of the city. There were people from different ages but vast majority were the younger generation.

    Then there was a fraud that came up publicly involving about $15 million of government funds and some of the governor's cabinet were indicted. The investigation still ongoing.. People got even more angry and wanting a change more than ever.

    Then protests started to be more organized. People from all ages were coming but the ones holding that ongoing were the younger generation. They feel bitter, angry, frustrated and want change. They are not happy to be left in debt and feel oppressed by the financial disaster that is going on in the island. While they suffer the consequences these politicians, greedy bankers and corporations feast.

    The independent press of the island were doing an investigative report and got their hands in a copy of Telegram Chat between the governor, his staff and inner circle. In July 8 they released it all (over 800 pages!). The jokes, the way they talked about the situation and the people, it was incredible. There was an obvious lack of empathy to say the least about the crises the people in the island are going through. The exchange was full of vulgar, sexist, misogynistic, homophobic comments and all of it was out in the open for everyone to see. It showed the prejudicial group of people in leadership. This flooded every media outlet available.

    Then, high profile artists started to join the protests and doing public performances appealing to the culture which in turn drew more people in. One of the renown artists was directly mentioned in the chat pages released. Many living abroad traveled to the island to joined the protests and some participated in organized protests abroad. It was a union of many because these comments felt as an insult to women, to the LGBT and anyone who could relate to those who lost a loved one during the storm. In a general sense people in P.R. weathered out the storm and went through the aftermath together. As we know majority of people there got affected with the hurricane Maria one way or another. There is a common sentiment among them!

    They were well organized during the largest protest, the one that was so popular in the media. Trucks blocked streets for people to walk etc. The location chosen was very strategic as it blocked traffic to many financial institutions and a main highway. The amount of people who attended was reported to be close to 1 million (really!). There were other protest groups throughout the island as well. I didn't make it to that, part of my family participated. Many agencies had to closed down and tourism from cruise ships got affected as well. Lots of government and private sector employees participated. They warned of another large protest and that they were not stopping. Meanwhile the younger generation kept the protests going 24 hours in front of the governor's house, and some other places. Then 2 days later the governor finally resigned .. but it wasn't over. Who was going to take the governor's place?

    The secretary of state, who has been also under investigation for corruption was next in line (lieutenant), didn't want to take the governor's position. So the ousted governor decided to place the acting Secretary of State of Puerto Rico another member of his cabinet involved in the scandal. He is also known to be very corrupted (a former lobbyist!) and with a legal case for government fraud pending against him. Once again the people started protesting strongly. Then senate had file a lawsuit against it to get him out. The supreme court determined his nomination was unconstitutional. The secretary of state is currently serving as governor. She has been asking for a chance now as people are also protesting, just not as many.

    The protests were organized by various groups. One of them the most prevalent call MUS (Sovereign Union Movement). They organized the largest one. Their goal is decolonization and sovereignty. At this point all parties are agreeing on that, even most of the pro-statehood party for many reasons. One reason is this seems to be important to be able to deal more efficiently with the financial situation. As there are many restrictions in the current status.

    Many people see what is happening in Puerto Rico as a decolonization process. Some view it as an opportunity for that, while others may see it as an opportunity to become a state. Then there are others who are afraid of changing because the association with U.S. is all they have known. Many also feel in the condition the island is now needs protection and stability the most. However, either way the vast majority of puertorriqueños are afraid and/or unwilling to loose their cultural heritage and autonomy of the island.

    A historical/political background is needed in order to see and understand what is happening there, the undercurrents. That is where general media stops short. That may call for another post, this is a lengthy post already!

    Currently throughout the island the younger generation is organizing assemblies all over the island. The party leaders of MUS are letting the younger generation lead the assemblies.

    These organizers bring different formats according to the people that attend. The assemblies are supposedly held clear of political agendas, only as private individuals. These are to present proposals and ideas for achieving the social and economic change stemming from the people. I have not been to one of those yet but that is in my "things to do" list! There are other organizations and groups engaged in activism and in the process of assisting with the situation throughout the different areas affected.

    So there is something really amazing taking place there. People coming together to bring change! The younger generations are defying the corrupted system in place, while supported and guided by the older generations. They are playing an important role as they are been engaged in the process. They are all looking for change, transparency and are taking steps to make it happen.

    In all they are fighting corruption and standing up against injustice together as best they can. My heart expands enormously when I see what is happening there. A great example of what is possible when we can place our differences aside for a greater cause. Throughout the protests there were no flags or signs of any political party affiliation. There was unity!

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    Default Re: People power in Puerto Rico

    Quote Posted by Carmody (here)
    I used a vpn, I had to set it for USA.

    trump said on twitter and reported in the video:

    Quote A lot of bad things are happening in Puerto Rico. The Governor is under siege, the Mayor of San Juan is a despicable and incompetent person who I wouldn’t trust under any circumstance, and the United States Congress foolishly gave 92 Billion Dollars for hurricane relief, much.....(pt 2)...of which was squandered away or wasted, never to be seen again. This is more than twice the amount given to Texas & Florida combined. I know the people of Puerto Rico well, and they are great. But much of their leadership is corrupt, & robbing the U.S. Government blind!
    Which is a pretty darned potent thing to be saying. No matter how anyone tries to spin it.

    That would be over $28,000US for each living soul in Puerto Rico.

    (Population 3.195 million)

    Yet, nearly none of it was seen by anyone?

    Riot. Plain and simple.

    Edit: the $92 billion number just has to be wrong.....

    If it is correct, then it would be akin to a school of Americas/skull and bones/CIA pay off.
    Regarding the funds after hurricane Maria, the U.S. government ALLOCATED $42.5 billion dollars almost half of that is via binding agreement. About $12 billion were distributed and the rest is in future FEMA cost "over the life of the disaster". That is the key term here as that could go over decades.

    Important here to understand also is that there is a board the US government chose and placed to oversee the disbursement and use of funds. That was back in 2016 is called Puerto Rico Oversight Management and Economic Stability Act (PROMESA which means promise in Spanish) The problem is the disclosure for the expenses related to the board "chosen" by U.S. are just outrageous. So people are very angry and frustrated.

    The expenses for fiscal year of that board for 2018 just in professional services were over $52 million, then $3 million more added to that in "contracted" services. Between that and equipment, salaries, travel, rent, etc. It all add up to a whopping $59.8 million. That is only for 1 year. How is that possible? A good example of it is they were charging $500 per each traffic space marker. Those orange traffic cones we see around on the road! All while the island is in a financial crises.
    Last edited by Cara; 20th September 2019 at 07:29. Reason: Fixed tags

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    UK Avalon Founder Bill Ryan's Avatar
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    Default Re: People power in Puerto Rico

    So interesting. The huge popular upheaval in Puerto Rico has gone almost unreported — in any depth — in the English mainstream. I was looking for videos, but there are very very few that aren't in Spanish. And nothing on YouTube that's newer than a month old.

    But here's a detailed and interesting Huffington Post article from 4 days ago.
    Puerto Rico’s Crises Could Break The Island’s Two-Party Politics

    In a U.S. territory where the two parties revolve around statehood or commonwealth status, a new movement wants to offer an alternative.

    It’s been 121 years since the United States conquered this island, 13 years since its economy went into recession, two years since painful austerity began and more than 3,000 people died in a catastrophic storm, and two months since historic protests toppled a corrupt, scandal-struck governor.

    But for the political party promising to end these crises, it’s the next four months that really matter.

    Movimiento Victoria Ciudadana, an upstart political party, needs 49,000 signatures to qualify as an official party on the 2020 ballot. MVC ― whose name translates to Citizens Victory Movement ― has gathered more than 27,000 since it launched in March and is vowing to shake up a party system that revolves almost entirely around the question of Puerto Rico’s relationship to the United States.

    People march in protest in San Juan on July 29, 2019, against the next in line for Puerto Rico’s governor, Wanda Vazquez, Puerto Rico’s current Secretary of Justice.

    The center-right New Progressive Party, which controls the legislature and governor’s mansion, wants Puerto Rico to become an official U.S. state, which would give the island full representation in American government and increase access to resources. The centrist Popular Democratic Party advocates maintaining the status quo as an unincorporated territory, preserving the island’s distinct identity while retaining the nominal benefits of American citizenship.

    For more than half a century, these two parties have dominated Puerto Rican politics in much the same way Republicans and Democrats do on the U.S. mainland. A leftist Independence Party, hampered by the decades when U.S. authorities criminalized its push for autonomy, occupies a marginal third-party position akin to the mainland Green Party, regularly eking out a small percentage of the vote.
    People are starting to wake up to the fact that these parties don’t represent the Puerto Rican people.
    — Tristán Queriot Rodríguez Vélez, Sunrise Movement Puerto Rico
    But as austerity’s squeeze and the climate crisis loom ever larger in Puerto Ricans’ lives, MVC is charting a different path for the island.

    “People are starting to wake up to the fact that these parties don’t represent the Puerto Rican people,” said Tristán Queriot Rodríguez Vélez, a teenage activist who leads the climate justice group Sunrise Movement’s Puerto Rico chapter. “While one should look at every political party critically, Victoria Ciudadana could be a potential champion for something like a Green New Deal in Puerto Rico.”

    The MVC platform calls for a new effort to prosecute corruption and end revolving-door loopholes that let ousted Gov. Ricardo Rosselló appoint a former coal utility lobbyist as his replacement before resigning in August.

    Three women sit with their mouths taped shut outside the government mansion La Fortaleza, where a small group of protesters gathered in San Juan Puerto Rico, Friday, Aug. 9, 2019. The protests that led to the resignation of Gov. Ricardo Rossello on Aug. 2 and continued on a smaller scale until the Supreme Court removed his chosen successor are dissipating.

    It proposes hiking the minimum wage, restoring labor rights and passing sweeping new regulations that make environmental protection a top priority. The platform also demands a referendum on whether to abandon what it considers colonial subjugation and second-tier U.S. citizenship in favor of either statehood or increased sovereignty like that of the Federated States of Micronesia. (Micronesia closely associates with the United States and receives large federal grants but governs and represents itself independently on the world stage.)

    Puerto Rico’s $129 billion in debt and unfunded retiree pensions loom large in the manifesto. MVC calls for halting payments on the $74 billion in bonds owed to so-called vulture fund creditors on Wall Street, and auditing the debt.

    “We feel that Puerto Rico has been divided for too long,” said Rosa Seguí Cordero, an MVC spokeswoman and attorney. “Political parties have centered their programs on status preferences and not on developing an economic and sustainability plan for Puerto Rico. It’s time for that to end.”

    The party is pushing a decentralized, democratic model based in part on protests that University of Puerto Rico students staged in 2017 against tuition hikes. MVC is holding assemblies across the island to field concerns from voters and practice a bottom-up style of decision-making built on consensus. Earlier this month, MVC hosted a forum in Guayama, a southeastern city dealing with pollution from a coal-fired power plant. Days later, it held another assembly with 400 members in the southern municipality of Juana Díaz.

    Yet political stars are central to the movement. Alexandra Lúgaro, an independent gubernatorial candidate who finished in third place in 2016 with 11.1% of the vote, is one face of MVC. Another is Manuel Natal Albelo, a member of Puerto Rico’s House of Representatives who quit the Popular Democratic Party and now governs as an independent. The movement received some tacit celebrity backing, with Puerto Rican rapper Residente saying he’d vote for Natal as governor if he met the 35-year age requirement for the position. The politician is 33.

    Artists Residente and Bad Bunny joined a march along F.D. Roosevelt avenue a day after Puerto Rico’s governor Ricardo “Ricky” Antonio Rossello Nevares announced he will step down effective Aug. 2, after 13 days of protests all across Puerto Rico, on Wednesday, July 25, 2019.

    MVC officials are hoping the celebrity endorsements will help maintain the political momentum of the July protests. But some fear the party is too far behind in gathering signatures to play a significant role in the next election.

    “They don’t seem to have the numbers to become politically viable but it remains to be seen how they can build on the political momentum generated across Puerto Rican society this summer,” said one prominent Puerto Rican scholar who requested anonymity for fear of damaging ties to the party at an early stage in its development.

    Skirting the status question risks undermining the messaging among voters who see self-determination as the only pathway to retooling the economy to the benefit of working-class Puerto Ricans, said María de Lourdes Santiago Negrón, an Independence leader who ran as the party’s gubernatorial candidate in 2016.

    “That’s a huge mistake,” she said in an interview at the party’s offices in San Juan. “You cannot talk about economic development under the colonial status or under enhanced commonwealth status or statehood.”

    She said that may be partly why MVC is “well behind the collection of signatures they need to register as a political party.”
    You cannot talk about economic development under the colonial status or under enhanced commonwealth status or statehood.
    — María de Lourdes Santiago Negrón, Independence Party leader
    At the same time, other political factions are vying to capture the anger that prompted upward of a million peopleto fill the streets of this capital city earlier this summer demanding “Ricky Renuncia.” Earlier this month, hundreds marched in the San Juan neighborhood of Hato Rey declaring themselves the Movimiento Revolución Estadista, or Statehood Revolution Movement.

    That movement, traditionally associated with the political right in Puerto Rico, stands to benefit from the Democratic Party’s growing support for statehood. Puerto Rican statehood was once a conservative position that politicians like President Ronald Reagan backed, but many Democrats now see it as a pathway to not only ending colonial restrictions on the island but securing control of a Senate that favors states that historically lean Republican.

    Still, there’s “a huge opportunity for a third-party candidacy” in Puerto Rico’s 2020 election, said Ed Morales, author of “Fantasy Land,” a new book on the island’s political history and colonial struggles.

    “Both parties are just not looking good ― really, the worst they’ve ever looked ― because the political power they have is seriously undermined by the fiscal oversight board,” he said. “It’s a wide open political opportunity for a group like Victoria Ciudadana.”

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    Default Re: People power in Puerto Rico


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