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ORGULLOSO DE LO QUE DIJO ESTE BORICUA EN EL CONGRESO - Tienen que ver esto, de verdad. Compártelo, dale share, hazle saber a la gente que aquí no hay inocentes...Hasta los bonistas que le prestaron dinero a un gobierno irresponsable sabiendo que lo era... Así que tiene toda la razón, hay que buscar el desasrrollo económico y si esos cabilderos estuvieran pidiendo herramientas para crecer la economía en vez de paga y punto ya hubiéramos logrado salir de este debate... repito... aquí no hay inocentes. Recuerden que pueden ver las noticias mas importantes del día todas las mañanas en mi pagina de internet

Posted by Jay Fonseca on Wednesday, February 3, 2016

This past Tuesday during a House Committee on Natural Resources hearing about Puerto Rico’s economic crisis, Illinois Congressman Luis Gutiérrez (D), who is Puerto Rican, shared his thoughts about the island’s problems. Popular Puerto Rican political commentator Jay Fonseca uploaded a clip to Facebook with Gutiérrez’s remarks. The video has already surpassed 500,000 views in one day.

Here is an excerpt of what Gutiérrez said:

“I’m just going go back to the memorandum that was issued to everyone. At the end of the second paragraph on background, it says: ‘Congress retains plenary authority under Article IV, Section 3, Clause 2 of the U.S. Constitution to determine the ultimate disposition of the political status of Puerto Rico.’ That fact is that the Congress of the United States retains plenary powers over everything in Puerto Rico, not just the status of Puerto Rico. And that is fundamentally what should be at issue at this hearing, because you can’t resolve one without the other. You want to take the government of Puerto Rico, that doesn’t control how merchandise is brought in or out, because the Jones Act says we must use the U.S. Merchant Marine. We’re not going to discuss that today, tomorrow, or anytime between now and March 31st. …

You want to talk about economic development? How do you have economic development when if your energy is outlandishly expensive, and if you don’t invest in making sure that you have a clear water supply in a tropical island? So, look, there’s a lot of things, but fundamentally let’s deal with one thing. Because the background statement doesn’t say it. Why don’t we all just come to the conclusion, which I’m sure Mr. [Pedro] Pierluisi agrees as the resident commissioner of Puerto Rico — Puerto Rico is a colony of the United States of America. Puerto Rico is war booty from the war in 1898. It wasn’t– I mean, how does Puerto Rico become part of the United States of America? It wasn’t like the Puerto Ricans all got together one day in convention and said, “Will you allow us?” No. It was a military intervention in Puerto Rico. …

The truth is, we don’t control in Puerto Rico any of the basic things. We don’t control who comes to the island or who leaves the island, because that’s controlled by the federal government. Our court system? You simply appeal to the [U.S.] Supreme Court …. So when people say, “Oh, the people of Puerto Rico, they’re responsible for everything that happened bad there and they need to take responsibility” — no, the Congress of the United States has to assume responsibility over Puerto Rico, because we have, as is stated here, plenary powers over the people of Puerto Rico.

Why are we having this hearing here, and why aren’t they having it in Puerto Rico? Because they can’t have it there.

Gutiérrez is not the only politician talking about Puerto Rico these days, although he has been one of few who has addressed this issue for years. With the 2016 election kicking into high gear, Puerto Rico is slowly entering the national dialogue. Last week at the Republican Debate in Iowa, Jeb Bush was asked a question about Puerto Rico:

Here is an excerpt of what the former governor of Florida —the very same presidential swing state with over 1 million Puerto Ricans now living there now— told a national TV audience:

And I believe that Puerto Rico ought to have the right of self-determination. If I was a Puerto Rican, I’d vote for statehood so that they have full citizenship. They serve in the military. They would have to pay federal taxes. They would — they would accept the responsibilities of full U.S. citizenship. But they should have the right of determine — self-determination.

Before you get to that, though, Puerto Rico is going to have to deal with the structural problems they face. You know, it’s — it’s a fact that if you can pay for a $79 one-way ticket to Orlando, and you can escape the challenges of a declining economy and high crime rates, you move to Orlando.

And a lot of people are doing that. And the spiraling out-of-control requires Puerto Rico to make structural reforms. The federal government can play a role in allowing them to do that, but they should not — the process of statehood or the status of Puerto Rico won’t be solved until we get to the bigger issue of how you deal with the structural economic problems they’re facing right now.

Yesterday, Chris Christie also weighed in on Puerto Rico, according to Bloomberg:

Christie, New Jersey’s two-term governor, said he would support some form of assistance for the territory of 3.5 million people if he were president, but cautioned it wouldn’t come without “tough love.” He made his comments during a town-hall meeting in Lebanon, New Hampshire, six days before that state holds the nation’s first primary.

[President] Obama in October pressed Congress to give Puerto Rico bankruptcy powers not now available to American territories in order to reduce its $70 billion debt load. He also proposed a federal oversight board to help balance its budgets and manage borrowing. The president has called for increasing health-care funding for Puerto Rico and extending tax credits to the poor.

“This has been one of the real significant neglects by the Obama administration,” Christie said when asked how he would deal with the island’s fiscal problems. “I would be willing to help the people of Puerto Rico, but in return I would have to have strict control over their budgets going forward.”

All this comes at a time where Congress is considering a bipartisan deal for the island, an unincorporated US territory, The Wall Street Journal reported this week:

GOP staffers have discussed in recent weeks with Treasury Department officials how to pair a debt-restructuring authority, the top priority of Democrats, with a strong oversight board, the main goal of Republicans.

Numerous political land mines still loom, and the discussions haven’t produced a bill yet. One key question is whether both sides can agree on an oversight structure powerful enough to assure Republicans that Puerto Rico will follow through on overdue financial overhauls, but also structured to respect the island’s self-governance, a concern of Democrats.

Recently, Latino USA dedicated an entire hour to the economic and social crisis in Puerto Rico.

4 thoughts on “Rep. Gutiérrez: ‘Puerto Rico Is a Colony of the United States’

  1. Just discovered a French term that satirizes the Congressman’s opposition to permanent decolonization for Puerto Rico.

    Gauche caviar (“caviar left”) is a French term to describe someone who claims to be a socialist while living in a way that contradicts socialist values.

    Petit Larousse uses the term gauche caviar to describe someone who is “politically progressive with a taste for the finer things in life and all their accoutrements.”

    Another unattributed description refers to gauche caviar as a “free-thinking, authority-hating, individualistic, tolerant, socialistic outlook that shades into a “bohemian, existential, communitarian, fairly depressed” outlook espoused by people with money and good clothes.

    Sounds like an apt set of adjectives to define Gutierrez.

    Here is the evidence:

    Gutierrez: From chopping up ‘pig innards’ to owning $1.1M second home
    Gutierrez told the Chicago Sun-Times that he and his wife bought a home for more than $1 million last year on the northern coast of Puerto Rico.

    LUIS GUTIERREZ explains the purchase of a $1.1 million condo in Dorado, Puerto Rico on an Island-based news show

    In a 1970 essay, Tom Wolfe used the term radically chic” to describe these folks.

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