Demand debt relief for Puerto Rico
Donald Trump spent the last few months desperately fighting to prevent even "a single dollar going to Puerto Rico" for disaster aid. Congress finally passed a disaster relief bill over Trump's objections. But while it will help the nation recover, it does too little to stop Wall Street from continuing to prey upon the people of Puerto Rico.1
American citizens in Puerto Rico aren't just struggling in makeshift houses with uncertain power supply. They are also fighting off Wall Street predators.2 Sen. Elizabeth Warren's U.S. Territorial Relief Act would wipe out the debt of storm-ravaged U.S. territories while protecting the few debt holders who aren't Wall Street vulture funds, and it deserves our support.3
Demand debt relief for Puerto Rico.
Puerto Rico has to recover from Hurricane Maria while undoing the damage from Congress' racist, colonial treatment of the island. Congress turned Puerto Rico into a tax haven for manufacturing and pharmaceutical companies and then let those tax breaks expire. This caused an economic collapse and ballooning debt. In response Washington imposed an unelected, Wall Street-backed “fiscal control board” to institute harsh austerity measures and help speculators profit off the disaster.4
Today, Wall Street hedge funds that bought Puerto Rico's debt for cents on the dollar are demanding the island's government pay in full. They used their leverage to force Puerto Rico’s government to slash infrastructure and the social safety net in order to get billions in interest and fees. They even doubled down after Hurricane Maria and demanded precious tax revenue go to them, not to rebuilding. Now Puerto Rico faces the impossible task of trying to rebuild while being forced to line creditors' pockets.5
Much to Donald Trump's dismay, Puerto Ricans are American citizens. He called the death toll from Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico "fake news" and a Democratic conspiracy to make him look bad, sabotaged recovery efforts, lied about how much aid the island received, floated the idea of not rebuilding the island and mocked its leaders.
Puerto Rico does not need more racist, colonial micromanaging. We have failed in our obligations to the people of Puerto Rico for far too long. Congress must invest in massive rebuilding and end Wall Street control over the island. Forgiving Puerto Rico's Washington-created debt is a major step in the right direction. We need to help Sen. Warren and other Democrats show what real solidarity with the people of Puerto Rico looks like.
Sign the petition to demand debt relief for Puerto Rico.
Thank you for speaking out.
- Tina Nguyen, "After failing to 'shut out' Puerto Rico, Trump declares himself its savior," Vanity Fair, June 6, 2019.
- Camilo Montoya-Galvez, "Some progressives worry Puerto Rico is being left behind on 2020 campaign trail," CBS News, June 7, 2019.
- David Dayen, "2020 Democrats band together to call for Puerto Rico debt cancellation," The Intercept, July 25, 2018.
- Juan Gonzalez, “Puerto Rico's $123 billion bankruptcy is the cost of U.S. colonialism,” The Intercept, May 9, 2017.
- Dayen, "2020 Democrats band together to call for Puerto Rico debt cancellation."
- Nguyen, "After failing to 'shut out' Puerto Rico, Trump declares himself its savior."