You turn to Democracy Now! And that, of course, raises a constitutional crisis in Puerto Rico without precedent, because: Is this named governor the real governor? To see all our coverage of Puerto Rico, visit democracynow.org. It has an independent elected local government but not all the power and benefits of being a state — including a lack of real representation in Congress. The government of Puerto Rico was unprepared too. JUAN GONZÁLEZ: She’s filed her own lawsuit, yes. Puerto Ricans take to the streets as leaked chats among top officials show dysfunction amid Hurricane María We rely on contributions from our viewers and listeners to do our work. No questions about how to fortify the island’s fragile power grid. The statehood movement has been building support since Hurricane Maria, but it’s not like Congress was about to admit Puerto Rico into the union. Puerto Rico has a new governor — sort of. The solution of the crisis of Puerto Rico is very complicated.From a political point of view, Governor Roselló brokered a referendum about the legal relationship with United States that remains unsettled. A smaller number favor full independence from the US. Justice Department Secretary Wanda Vázquez, the FBI arrested a dozen government officials, tourists booked at least 185,788 hotel rooms and other accommodations, has treated disaster victims in Puerto Rico far differently, academic research later suggesting that 3,000 to 4,000, fewer than a quarter of registered voters, Why the CDC changed its Covid-19 quarantine guidelines, Joe Biden is taking office amid a poverty crisis, The Armenia and Azerbaijan war, explained. Rosselló said earlier this year that he was open to organizing another referendum. This is viewer supported news. It’s a huge deal. And why does it matter? President Trump is still really upset that Puerto Ricans haven’t shown him the respect he thinks he deserves after Hurricane Maria hit in 2017. ”Now that we are on the subject, don’t we have some cadavers to feed our crows?” he wrote in an apparent reference to government critics. That would do more damage to the statehood movement than anything else. So far, that hasn’t happened, but two elected officials in his party are reportedly jockeying for the position, according to El Nuevo Día newspaper. because you trust that when we're reporting on the pandemic or the uprisings against police brutality—or the climate crisis—our coverage is not brought to you by the fossil fuel, insurance or weapons industries or Big Pharma. Both Rosselló and Trump downplayed the casualties from the storm, initially celebrating that it was only a few dozen. That’s largely a result of the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, also known as the Jones Act, which requires companies to hire US-based shipping crews to transport goods between US ports instead of letting them hire crews who offer the best price. One of them is Rep. Jenniffer González-Colón, the congressional delegate who represents Puerto Rico in the US Congress, and the other is Puerto Rico’s Senate president, Thomas Rivera Schatz. The territory’s constitution also allows Puerto Rico to balance it… The corruption scandal, which involves mismanaged government contracts, has more to do with Hurricane Maria than the chat message one. He claimed a successor, Pedro Pierluisi, who was not the secretary of state as per the Constitution, but he named him secretary of state to be able to succeed him. In April, tourists booked at least 185,788 hotel rooms and other accommodations, a 31 percent increase from April 2018. Trump administration to place new restrictions on billions in aid for Puerto Rico amid island’s political crisis President Trump and Gov. How Puerto Rico's financial crisis erupted: Population loss. And he's insisting that he is the governor. As a state, Americans citizens living on the island would have the same rights — and pay higher taxes — as those who live on the US mainland. Beginning with Christopher Columbus's arrival on the island in 1493, Spain colonized Puerto Rico. While Puerto Ricans have been fighting about their political status for decades, Congress has shown little interest in changing anything. We speak with Democracy Now! Then Hurricane Maria came that September and made everything worse. President Donald Trump likes to remind everyone that Puerto Rico was already a mess before Hurricane Maria. But it’s nowhere near enough to lift up the economy enough to pay off the government’s debts. So what does this all mean? But two recent scandals sent them over the edge. The storm inflicted about 94 billion in damage on the island, shuttering some businesses for good and temporarily wrecking its valuable tourism industry. I’m very proud to be Puerto Rican!! The outcry has brought the island to a crossroads. The Political Crisis in Puerto Rico A leaked group chat involving the governor set off protests demanding his resignation. An independent bankruptcy-like court operating under the Promesa Act has been helping Puerto Rico restructure its debt, and board members asked Rosselló to come up with a new, post-hurricane fiscal proposal. co-host Juan González for his analysis of the current political climate. For more than a week, hundreds of thousands of protesters stormed the streets, demanding that the governor of Puerto Rico step down. After 12 days of massive anti-government protests, Puerto Rico’s embattled governor, Ricardo Rosselló, announced last week that he will resign. I know the people of Puerto Rico well, and they are great. These are some of the leaked chat messages at the center of Puerto Rico's political crisis. On Monday, the Puerto Rican Senate sued to block the appointment of Pedro Pierluisi as the new governor following Ricardo Rosselló’s resignation last week. With the exception of Castro and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who’ve made campaign stops in San Juan, the Democratic candidates vying for the White House have made minimal efforts to address the issues that Puerto Ricans care about. Juan, if you can explain the latest and what this means, new governor in Puerto Rico? Elected officials in Puerto Rico have been involved in so many corruption scandals that they’re hard to keep track of. Puerto Rico has been a US territory since 1898, when it was annexed at the end of the Spanish-American War. First, the so-called PROMESA Act of 2016, the anti-democratic austerity measure signed by Democratic President Barack Obama to oversee Puerto Rico’s debt crisis, basically dictates what … It was all by the power of people. China trolled Australia on Twitter about it — and Canberra took the bait. The political crisis in Puerto Rico continues as its Senate has sued against the appointment of Pedro Pierluisi as the new governor following Ricardo Rosselló’s resignation last week. I’m Amy Goodman, with Juan González, as we end today’s show looking at the political crisis in Puerto Rico. Right now, it doesn’t. The Federal Emergency Management Agency did send thousands of emergency responders, but they were unprepared for the task. Why tens of thousands of farmers are blocking roads into India’s capital city. JUST WATCHED We rely on contributions from our viewers and listeners to do our work. Instead, Vázquez asked Rosselló to appoint a new secretary of state before he leaves office, so that person can then take his place as governor. This is a rush transcript. The past 24 hours in Trump’s legal issues and pardon news, explained. That’s partly because there is no defined process for statehood. Experts say the island’s economic crisis is rooted in[PDF] twentieth century legislation that encouraged Puerto Rico’s reliance on debt to fill federal funding gaps. Rosselló couldn’t get government employees back to work and had no plan to get food and water to Puerto Rican families trapped on remote parts of the island. Frustrated voters kicked the party out of office in 2009, but the pro-statehood party has its own corruption problems now. The secretary of justice is the next in line, but Justice Secretary Wanda Vázquez says she’s not interested. Rosselló filed for bankruptcy-like protection in 2017 after defaulting on payments to Wall Street creditors (Puerto Rico owed $74 billion in bond debt). That move, which coincided with the Great Recession, collapsed the territory’s tax base and led the Puerto Rican government to issue even more bonds and rack up massive debt to pay its bills. One possibility is that the new pro-statehood administration will focus on government ethics reform and organize another referendum vote on the statehood issue before the 2020 election. Taking the job is “political suicide”, says Carla Minet, the chief editor of the CPI . Farmers say it will cause their ruin. Earlier this month, the FBI arrested two former cabinet officials in Rosselló’s government as part of a corruption probe over their handling of $15.5 million in post-hurricane contracts. They basically said —. Please do your part today. There were no questions about the US territory’s debt crisis. Both are party insiders who were reportedly weighing a primary run against Rosselló in 2020. We talked to Massol-Deyá, a 2019 Grist 50 Fixer, about his latest project, why energy independence means political power, and how Puerto Rico is … Politico ran a good piece that sums up the different reactions. Well, Pierluisi spent the whole weekend meeting with agency heads and other government officials but did not make any public appearances. Help keep Vox free for all by making a contribution today. Right now, the Puerto Rico Admission Act only has 58 co-sponsors (32 Democrats, 26 Republicans) who support Puerto Rico’s bid to become the 51st US state by 2021. JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Well, yes. But the corruption and political chaos could end up damaging the trust of the New Progressive Party beyond repair, leading it to lose the governor’s mansion (a.k.a. A financial contribution to Vox will help us continue providing free explanatory journalism to the millions who are relying on us. 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