Did I miss something? Did we not just experience a “revolution” to throw out the governing elite? Didn’t the citizens of Puerto Rico rise up to demand better leaders? Didn’t we say we wanted more transparency? Didn’t we stipulate we must have real accountability? Didn’t we refuse to accept corruption?
Apparently not, since we seem to have replaced one governor with just another one with a different face. The political system continues on unaltered. The ruling elite are merely shuffling roles.
Do they not understand that the protests were not just over the horrible misdeeds of a few, but because of the systemic failure of our government to serve our people? Do they think we haven’t noticed what has been going on behind the curtain? Do they believe the smoke and mirrors have covered their tracks? We know the emperors have no clothes.
The tag team of red and blue pirates pillaging our economy over the last few decades resulted in technical bankruptcy a number of years ago, and although ignored, it reached the breaking point in 2016, ushering in justification for the colony to be returned to the “good old days” of having an appointed governing body.
The Financial Oversight & Management Board for Puerto Rico, also known as the Oversight Board or the FOMB, was set up under PROMESA to help restructure Puerto Rico debt and get the financial house in order. With a couple of board members dripping with conflicts of interest, their integrity is suspect, and the group assumes an image more like that of a privateer. Economic development is not their charge.
When we evaluate the blame game, it is imperative to fully understand that the debt crisis was based upon a Ponzi scheme created by corrupt politicians and cooperating financial institutions. This is nothing that the people of Puerto Rico had real knowledge of, and few here outside of the elite and their contractors received any real benefit.
By not following through and by refusing to audit the process, the FOMB is now complicit in the fraud that has been waged against the people of PR. Most of the “Robber Barons” turn out to be our own elite. Most of the ones that are (and will continue) paying the price are actual residents.
Now, we, the people, are in double jeopardy: we are first robbed and then forced to pay our own restitution. All this, and the governing elite have the audacity to play whack-a-mole by inserting the same old faces into the key positions.
For those who thought the war was over because we won a battle to oust Rosselló, think again. Since the governor agreed to resign:
- Rosselló, the Legislature, and the Senate passed a couple of bills to reduce transparency and public access to information;
- Rosselló opaquely signed another 60 or so bills/orders about which no information has been released;
- Rosselló made a recess appointment of Pedro Pierluisi as Secretary of State, and then swore him in as governor on Aug. 2;
- Pierluisi signed an executive order (of some sort) to authorize Rosselló a couple of security people while in the U.S. at our expense, which until that moment had been against the law; and,
- Senate President Thomas Rivera-Schatz has continued power politics as usual in his efforts to use his great map of skeletal remains and leverage to become governor.
The situation will be addressed by our Supreme Court based upon Constitutional issues, and this will lead to some resolution. It is entirely unlikely this will in any way solve the real problems of the corrupted two-party system or with the arrogant self-serving governing elite.
Ricky isn’t gone because of legal action. He chose to leave because of popular sentiment. We should stand ready to flex that same power of the people when the “solution” turns out to be another hoax. Remain vigilant!