Election 2020 Elections 2020 Latest Opinion Politics Presidential Candidates Presidential debates Puerto Rico Sandra Guzmán

Puerto Rico is a presidential issue that needs to be addressed

Puerto Rico is a presidential issue that needs to be addressed

Democratic presidential candidates on stage during Democratic presidential debate at Fox Theater on July 31, 2019 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photograph: Scott Olson / Getty Pictures)

I watched and waited for 2 nights when Democratic candidates talked about every thing from health care to climate change, and never solely did the Puerto Disaster over eight hours of speak time. Rico invented. This removing was not only outrageous and unlucky but in addition a blow to the face of every voter in Puerto Rico, particularly for the lots of of hundreds of people peacefully protesting corruption and democratic reform. Within the final debate, one candidate, former Secretary of Housing and City Improvement, Julián Castro, talked about Puerto Rico, but solely in the course of the breakthrough, throughout his opening remarks, and didn’t critically announce the proposal or motion plan. By all indicators, the island is on hearth and Puerto Ricans, together with myself, know precisely who is going to mild the island. Whether or not or not it understands the White House reporters or post-graduate reporters – Puerto Rico is a elementary presidential query that needs to be addressed.

Beneath discussion in Puerto Rico is the elephant within the room – American imperialism. [19659003] What the world sees in Puerto Rico is a functioning democracy. From 13 July onwards, tired colonial tasks – because the island was relocated from a dropping kingdom from Spain to America – took to the streets and haven’t stopped. They demanded the structural modifications and the actual democracy that has been missing because the arrival of Spain since 1493 and the signing of the Treaty of Paris on December 10, 1898, to hand over the world.

American voters, together with eight million Puerto Rican individuals, earn. and we would like to hear what the presidential candidates have to say concerning the island. Core points affecting the island, comparable to the necessity for financial improvement, strengthening infrastructure, schooling and health amenities, eradicating corruption and, to identify a few, climate change, must be addressed at the highest ranges of Congress and the White House.

Everyone who has been paying attention knows that Puerto Ricans, born of US residents since 1917, are suffering. They have been round for a while, however particularly after the devastating hurricanes Irma and María in 2017. Dwelling on the island seems like an excessive amount of to a boiler. It is not simply a political and financial crisis, it is a looming humanitarian emergency.

All over the place you look, there are catastrophic indicators.

Suicide charges continue to rise. In accordance to the Puerto Rico Ministry of Well being, Puerto Rico commits suicide each 24 hours. By comparability, the number of suicides on the planet is every 28 hours. Not only is suicide worrying, gender-based violence is simply as surprising. According to a 2012 ACLU report, the per capita per capita island leads the world within the variety of ladies murdered by a domestic companion. The couple's killer is killed every 14 days by the Colectiva Feminista en Acción, one among many ladies's organizations that seek to declare a state of emergency because of gender-based violence. One of many final victims was a 13-year-old woman whose boyfriend stirred her with gasoline and set her on hearth.

Contemplating the Caribbean archipelago is smaller than Rhode Island and has a population of three and a half million. – these numbers are unforgivable. Now, citizens will not be simply pointing their finger at La Fortaleza – the place the governor lives – however they’re starting to point to Washington DC – the place the island's affairs are handled. They accuse the US government of methodological genocide. Because of the alarming numbers, how might they not?

Individuals marched to San Juan on July 25, 2019, in the future after the resignation of Governor Ricardo Rossello of Puerto Rico. (Photograph: Ricardo Arduengo / AFP / Getty Pictures)

"We live the systematic and deliberate killing of human beings," brushes Ruth Figuero, a 25-year-old university scholar and one of many tens of millions of radical-demanding protesters.

A younger feminist comes from the Carolinas neighborhood where the Basemer Corridor of Famer and humanitarian Roberto Clemente have been born and raised. Since 2016, he and hundreds of others have opposed the Puerto Rico Authority for Supervision, Administrative and Financial Stability (PROMESA), La Junta on the island. A government created by President Barack Obama and voted for by Congress has referred to as for austerity measures. He says he is intently affected by the cuts and in addition the oppressive nature of D.C.'s present and ratified methods. He can hardly afford to pay tuition because of the high value of dwelling on the tourist island, regardless that he is alone and works full time. Much more devastating, he has lost four pals to suicide last yr alone.

He rightly points out to the moderator: Puerto Rico is beneath the jurisdiction of the Congressional Committee on Pure Assets, which also oversees the reservation of indigenous peoples. . There is a clear pattern of neglect and abuse when taking a look at alcohol levels, violence towards ladies, environmental abuse, melancholy, and suicide in the indigenous peoples of america, and comparing them with these in Puerto Rico.

“What more evidence does the world need to show to understand our challenging situation?” Asks Figuero, an African and indigenous tribe, two of the island's most outstanding and in addition marginalized communities.

Once I tell her that Birthday Island seems like a planting, once I visit or speak to my mom, family and friends who reside there, she expands. "Actually," he says, "Puerto Rico is a reservation that is handled like planting and hosted by America."

Just because Congress and the White Home are the guardians of the nation, presidential candidates have to answer questions and liberate politics. In the USA, which is additionally on the verge of a constitutional crisis.

I would like to hear candidates speak about imperialism and its penalties. I would like to hear concerning the liberation of the island, which has been beneath colonial rule for over 100 and twenty years. And yes, I would like to hear concerning the compensation for the tens of millions that have been used as guinea pigs in experiments – all the elements orange, cancer, tuberculosis, oral contraceptives and the newest within the 1990s: opioids.

And then there is the corruption issue that is seen.

The Middle for Investigative Journalism revealed almost 900 pages of private discussions that pressured Governor Ricardo Rossello to resign after two weeks of every day demonstrations. However regardless that the messages between the governor and his closest allies have been filled with silly, misogist and homophobic scams, the middle additionally found a million-dollar corruption community. Two of the governor's talking federal allies are lobbyists Elías Sánchez, Rosello's former roommates and employers, and Edwin Miranda, communications supervisor. Between the 2 males, they both received or arranged for their shoppers to get over $ 1.three billion in government contracts. A few of the contract shoppers are Walgreens and Microsoft, US corporations that don’t pay taxes due to profitable gaps.

The problem was great and happened as a result of 30,000 families nonetheless reside underneath the blue tarps and virtually two years after Hurricane Maria. destroyed the island. To today, lots of of Hurricane María's our bodies are in refrigerated wagons waiting to be reunited with their family members for correct burial.

Throughout last week's demonstrations, residents awoke to aerial pictures in lots of of water instances. determined hurricane survivors – expelled and deserted in Dorado, a coastal area also residence to a battered billionaire class. Lots of them have taken benefit of tax holes like Singapore, which allow wealthy individuals to legally evade taxes.

Outgoing Governor Roselló additionally added chaos when he appointed Pedro Pierluis, a former enemy and controversial member of La Junta, as Secretary of State. He turned governor on August 2 at 5:01 p.m. He launched new protests and lawsuits challenging lawsuits.

Pedro Pierluisi holds a news conference after swearing he is governor of Puerto Rico in San Juan, Puerto Rico. , August 2, 2019. (Photograph: Eric Rojas / AFP / Getty Pictures)

This will likely clarify why the demonstrations stay unrested.

that takes me again to the Democratic debates in Detroit last week and why imperialism must be discussed by the candidates for the US Presidency.

All aspiring presidents, Republicans or Democrats, Socialists or Capitalists, the Blue Dog, or the progressive, neoliberal or conservative, must explain the place of Puerto Rico if they want the Puerto Rican vote. —Great battlefields in states like Florida, Texas, and central places in Ohio, Michigan, and Pennsylvania.

President of the Republic Donald J. Trump has already tweeted his position – and as soon as he didn’t lie after calling the island authorities. Corr UPT-. What he didn't tweet, though, was that this corruption is in his house. La Junta chairman Jose Carrión is the tallest Latinos member for Trump and in addition the brother of the lately defeated Governor Pierluis.

To date, only three out of 20 Democratic candidates have only three. showed curiosity in Puerto Rico – Senators Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, and former HUD secretary Julián Castro. Nevertheless, nobody has put forward a Puerto Rico plan that is being discussed and mentioned.

Power4PR, a coalition of sixty organizations, allies, and leaders of the Puerto Rican Diaspora, is calling for democratic candidates to publish comprehensive proposals.

“No So far, the candidate has published a comprehensive policy platform in Puerto Rico. It is unacceptable to sixty organizations that support the #ShowUsYourPRPolicy campaign, ”stated Erica Gonzalez, coalition chief. "The eight million Puerto Ricans of the island and the state demand to be heard."

It is not solely about voices but in addition about ethical duty.

Puerto Ricans have shown their want for elementary modifications in governance, lots of which name for congressional exercise and presidential leadership. Protesters have pointed out two issues among the dozens – the cancellation of the $ 72 billion debt and the repeal of the Jones Act.

Demonstrators demand the cancellation of a $ 72 billion debt that the previous administration had failed to pay. are right. Why ought to the islands – together with the unbiased island home-owner – repay a debt that has no concept the way it has collected? Archivists consider that bonds have been issued illegally and have referred to as for an audit.

Thus far, the Federal Supervisory Board has refused to examine debt. As an alternative, La Junta began to drive cuts all the time by paying bond holders and leaving the island to endure much more catastrophic cuts. The identical authorities collects exorbitant expenses at the expense of taxpayers. The salary of the CEO of La Junta is $ 625,000. Chapter islands, with a minimum wage of $ 7 per hour, are grotesque. Taxpayers will hold the tab.

Puerto Ricans are additionally calling for the repeal of the Jones Act of 1917, which ensures that only American ships can enter Puerto Rico and that these ships must be constructed, manned and owned by Americans. . This is the way you strangle the island. For example, if a neighboring Dominican farmer dwelling, for example, a 45-minute boat experience needs to promote Puerto Rican yachts for 25 cents, the Jones Act prohibits a Dominican farmer from sending direct routers instantly to a PR port, as an alternative having a Dominican boat sail will be removed after which reinserted on a ship owned, manufactured and manned by People to return to the Caribbean. This is a twenty-five hundred mile drive forwards and backwards that might have lasted the morning. The local weather is not only affected by this trade, as are the pockets of the islands. The identical yachts, which initially value 25 cents, value the islands one greenback. Economists have rightly argued for decades that the outdated Maritime Regulation passed by Congress and signed by the proud white boastful Woodrow Wilson is an impediment to long-term and sustainable financial progress. It doesn't require a physician. in economics to see who benefits. And in addition, who loses.

Since Congress passed the regulation and was signed by the US President, the devastating collateral injury of the empire is the desire of the Congress and the President to repair it. This historic regulation shouldn’t solely be revised but in addition repealed. And why wasn't it mentioned?

The areas of America have not all the time been apathetic. According to Northwestern University historian Daniel Immerwahr, anti-imperialism was a main issue within the 1896 and 1900 presidential elections. In his e-book, How to Disguise a Kingdom: Historical past of the USA, in his guide on American colonies, he consists of passages from the Democratic Get together system: “No state can final half a republic and a empire for long. Imperialism overseas shortly and inevitably leads to despotism at house. "

One hundred and twenty years later, imperial despotism is flourishing on the island of Puerto Rico, and it is allowed and punished by a country on prime of democracy. Imperialism has detrimental results on the island residents who fought within the warfare and who’ve contributed in countless methods to the health, well-being and financial system of the empire.

It's time for the presidential candidates to start speaking truthfully about its areas. , and name them what they’re – belongings whose economies have been arrange to procure assets, use them as residents of guinea pigs, and legally evade taxes. in an open lot at Dorado 40km west of San Juan, July 28, 2019. (Photograph: Ricardo Arduengo / AFP / Getty Pictures)

I watched talks with my 17-year-old son, 18 years previous earlier than the 2020 presidential election. This is the first time he has voted. Once I requested him who gained the talk, he stated, "Nobody – they all lost, nobody talked about Puerto Rico."

My teenager cares deeply concerning the islands where his mother was born and where his grandmother and grandfather, cousins, aunts, extended family and pals stay. For him, the younger voter, in addition to many other voters of all ages in Puerto Rico, candidates must deal with the island and its affairs if they need our vote.

In the 20th century, the imperialist discussion board gained. Imperialism has not turn out to be a critical electoral issue. It's time for it to rise once more. What better case research to talk about the consequences of imperialism than Puerto Rico, America's oldest colony?

The island is going via probably the most transformational moments since america took it as a Spanish boot in 1898. Rico demands the visions and leadership of the president and congressman. Residents are involved and involved. Individuals have rightly misplaced their faith in their leaders and continue to demand transparency. There are lots of gifted leaders on the island who need the opportunity to construct a new future, clear governance, corruption and true democracy.

Bypassing, ignoring, doing offers behind closed doors, or appointing extra federal observers hasn't worked. If the counting of the final eighteen days and day by day demonstrations has shown one thing, Puerto Rican, weak to all ages, tax brackets, races and ethnicities, sex and sexual orientation, is livid with corruption, authorities infectiousness and neglect at both the local and federal ranges.

Not solely does every candidate have a duty to inform voters what their views are about imperialism and Puerto Rico, journalists and moderators have a duty to ask these questions and maintain candidates accountable.


Sandra Guzmán is an EMMY award-winning journalist, documentary and writer of The New Latina's Bible. He is the producer and leading interviewer for the movie "Toni Morrison: Pieces I Am," a bio-documentary about Nobel Laureate legendary African-American writer Toni Morrison, who is now in theaters.