An insult to anyone who loves freedom.
Read my article. NYC to honor convicted terrorist as “National Freedom Hero”
An insult to anyone who loves freedom.
Read my article. NYC to honor convicted terrorist as “National Freedom Hero”
The guy is an unrepentant terrorist who used his own apartment as a bomb-making factory. López Rivera was involved directly or otherwise in at least 146 bombings.
Joseph Connor, son of one of the nine people López Rivera killed, writes in the NY Post (emphasis added),
The words “disgrace” and “outrage” do not come close to describing the insanity, insult and pain that honoring this terrorist thug brings to our family, the families of all FALN victims and all Americans. The idea is truly sickening.
In the early ’80s, 11 FALN members were arrested, tried and convicted of (among other serious felonies) weapons possession and seditious conspiracy. Lopez was convicted in 1981 and sentenced for crimes including seditious conspiracy, interference with interstate commerce by threats or violence, carrying firearms during the commission of those two crimes and interstate transportation of stolen vehicles.
There was testimony by a cooperating FALN insider that Lopez was personally involved in bombing and incendiary attacks, trained members in bomb-making techniques and had been a prime recruiter for the FALN.
In 1987, he was sentenced to an additional 15 years for participating in a conspiracy to escape.
Yet [NY City Council Speaker Melissa] Viverito and her ilk call Lopez a “National Freedom Hero.” They are deranged.
Some claim he is a “freedom fighter” for Puerto Rican independence against US colonialism of the island. But aside from being a terrorist, what has he done to support “freedom” in Puerto Rico?
The FALN’s first attack, in December 1974, targeted the NYPD, severely maiming Angel Poggi, a young NYPD officer of Puerto Rican descent on his first day on the job. Is this the act of a hero of the Puerto Rican people? Lopez has never represented Puerto Ricans.
López Rivera will never represent me.
Barack Obama commuted López Rivera’s sentence unconditionally. Under Obama’s commutation order, Lopez Rivera’s prison sentence expires on May 17, less than a month from the Puerto Rican Day parade.
Move over, Detroit,
Puerto Rico to File Largest Public Sector Bankruptcy in History.
A headline on Monday;
Puerto Rico Debt Gains After Bondholders Reject Governor’s Offer
– Commonwealth may get $295 million in Medicaid funding
– Prices on GO bonds are below island’s best-case 77-cent offer
Puerto Rico Creditors Sue Over Debt-Cutting Plans. Lawsuits naming Puerto Rico, oversight board filed after legal freeze expires (emphasis added)
Bond insurer Ambac Assurance Corp., which has $10 billion in guarantees on the line in Puerto Rico’s debt crisis, filed lawsuits in federal court challenging the territory’s debt-cutting plan. Hedge funds holding sales-tax bonds called Cofina s also sued to prevent Puerto Rico from spending their collateral for other purposes.
. . .
Meanwhile hedge funds led by Aurelius Capital Management LP sued Puerto Rico in New York state court, seeking to recoup past-due payments on $1.4 billion in defaulted general obligation bonds. Creditors holding Cofina bonds and general obligation bonds were already battling in another case for top priority.
The mounting legal claims signaled a collapse in restructuring negotiations, heightening the likelihood that the federal board overseeing Puerto Rico’s finances will place the territory under bankruptcy protection, though no such filing appeared to have been made by Tuesday evening.
The fact is,
A legal shield protecting Puerto Rico from lawsuits expired Monday. Without having invoked Title III or signed standstill agreements with creditors, Puerto Rico for the moment is exposed to debt-related claims stemming from its fiscal plan, which allocates roughly $800 million a year over the next decade for debt payments. Creditors are owed more than four times that amount annually.
Now the lawyers are needing to get paid, too.
For decades Puerto Rico funded its overspending by issuing bonds. Investors ignored the disastrous spending even after the bond ratings collapsed because they were betting on high yields.
On Monday demonstrators protesting austerity measures vandalized the business district in Hato Rey, threw pepper spray canisters at the police, and blocked access to the airport,
VIDEO: Manifestante encapuchado lanza lo que parece es gas a agentes de la Policía en la Milla de Oro.
Cortesía: Telenoticias pic.twitter.com/xQu6D85Mcd
— NotiUno 630 (@NotiUno) May 1, 2017
— Alerta Progresista (@aprogresista) May 1, 2017
The University of Puerto Rico has been closed due to a strike; now it is losing its Middle States Commission on Higher Education accreditation (link in Spanish). Losing this accreditation means students will find it near-impossible to transfer to colleges and universities in the U.S. and overseas without losing all their credits, even if they completed a high school international baccalaureate.
Spanish was declared Puerto Rico’s official language in 2015, providing a disincentive for English-language multinationals to establish businesses in the island.
Mary O’Grady was in the Batchelor Show talking about Venezuela and Puerto Rico:
The governor noted that he does not support the PROMESA bill, nor do many on the island since many say it reeks of colonialism. In truth, the board is acting in a function that is no different from the various state takeovers of American cities (Harrisburg, Detroit) we’ve seen who were in disastrous financial condition. Still, even here, the notion of an unelected board overruling the representative body is disconcerting. Regardless, despite his opposition, the governor understood that this is the law and the new reality.
Roselló wants to cut spending by 25%.
Good luck with that. When Republican Luis Fortuño was governor, he was voted out after his first term because he tried to cut expenses.
The governor said he would petition Puerto Rico’s federal oversight board to invoke a quasi-bankruptcy law that puts its standoff with creditors before a judge. His decision marks the start to what could be a lengthy legal fight as Wall Street watches closely to see how other indebted municipal governments may fare in confrontations with investors.
The slide into bankruptcy would mark a new low in Wall Street’s relations with Gov. Rosselló, a political newcomer who pledged as a candidate to repay the territory’s debts, shrink the government and strengthen ties with the U.S.
. . .
A bankruptcy filing by the board, which creditors lobbied Congress to create, could mean deeper losses on bonds than they anticipated. Puerto Rico will face off against angry hedge funds, mutual funds and bond insurers in the court-supervised proceeding known as Title III, a legal mechanism created by Congress to restructure debts by force if negotiations broke down
This is going to wind its way through the courts, since as Matthew Wirz explains, “key provisions of Title III have never been interpreted by the courts, and the law includes protections for creditors that chapter 9 doesn’t.”
The Democrats want to shut government if we don't bail out Puerto Rico and give billions to their insurance companies for OCare failure. NO!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 27, 2017
Democrats have been pushing to help Puerto Rico cover a Medicaid shortfall. The U.S. territory is currently facing a multi-billion dollar debt crisis.
Prior posts on Puerto Rico here.
This article was submitted by Vicente Longo.
The Puerto Rican Colony
By Vicente Longo
A few days ago I watched on Fox News Tucker Carlson’s interview of Ricardo Roselló, Puerto Rico’s current governor.
Ricardo Roselló is the president of the Partido Nuevo Progresista (New Progressive Party, or PNP), which promotes statehood for Puerto RIco. Tucker asked Roselló about some of his statements to the Miami Herald, where Roselló mentioned that Puerto Rico’s current financial crisis is largely due to the island’s colonial status.
I would like to comment on Puerto Rico’s colonial situation.
In 1898, Americans arrived in Puerto Rico as a result of the Spanish-American War. Up to that moment, Puerto Rico had been Spain’s colony. Americans were well received by the Puerto Ricans.
Later, in 1917, the Jones Act enacted by the United States Congress granted U.S. citizenship to all Puerto Ricans. At that time, Puerto Rico’s governors were appointed by the U.S.
In 1940, the people elected the first Puerto Rican governor, Luis Muñoz Marin, president and founder of the Partido Popular Democrático (Popular Democratic Party, or PPD). The PPD is Puerto Rico’s version of the national Democratic Party.
In 1952, President Harry S. Truman signed Law 600, which purported to resolve the island’s colonial status. The law, which governor Muñoz Marín called the ELA (Estado Libre Asociado, literally “Free Associated State”, but officially “Commonwealth” in English) was presented to the people of Puerto Rico for vote in 1952.
By then, the PPD and Muñoz Marín dominated the media (radio, press, etc.) in puerto Rico. As expected, the people supported Law 600.
Law 600 effectively perpetuated the colony. Puerto Rico’s American citizens could not vote for the President of the United States nor did they have Senator or Representatives as other American citizens have. Hence, 3.4 million American citizens in Puerto Rico have continued to be second-class citizens.
The “ELA” promulgated by the PPD and supported by the Democratic Party has only served to defend the Democratic Party’s interests (and those of multinational companies), and likewise, those of their friends in the PPD. Colonialism is what is convenient, and Puerto Ricans’ rights are not a priority.
In 2012, Puerto Ricans held a plebiscite with gathered over 80% voter participation. Three options were presented:
Statehood prevailed by a 58% majority.
Presently, moving to the 50 states is the only means by which Puerto Ricans can attain all their rights as American citizens. An estimated 5.5 million Puerto Ricans live in the states.
We Puerto Ricans value, treasure and love our American citizenship, but now, after a century of second-class citizenship, is the time for Puerto Rico to become a State of the great American Nation with full duties and rights.
We Puerto Ricans are proud of our American citizenship and it is fair that it be first-class.
Puerto Rico plans to hold a statehood-or-independence referendum in June this year. It would be the first binary choice referendum, as prior referendums have included the current Commonwealth status.
The Admissions Clause of the Constitution reads,
1: New States may be admitted by the Congress into this Union; but no new State shall be formed or erected within the Jurisdiction of any other State; nor any State be formed by the Junction of two or more States, or Parts of States, without the Consent of the Legislatures of the States concerned as well as of the Congress.
Puerto Rico’s governor Ricardo “Ricky” Roselló was on the Tucker Carlson show last night talking about the plebiscite,
Carlson started by quoting this Miami Herald interview, where Roselló said (emphasis added),
“The United States is always demanding democracy in other parts of the world,” Rosselló told the Miami Herald, “but it seems to me it doesn’t have the moral standing to demand democracy in Venezuela or Cuba if it won’t extend [democracy] to 3.5 million of its own citizens.”
In the Miami Herald interview Roselló blamed the U.S. for the island’s catastrophic fiscal problems,
For Rosselló, the debt crisis and the island’s political status are inextricably linked: “Puerto Rico’s colonial situation is what has provoked this crisis.”
“If we compare ourselves with the other 50 states, the fundamental difference is our lack of rights, our lack of participation, and our lack of resources to move our jurisdiction forward,” he said. “Our colonial condition creates a situation of incredible inequality.”
This may play well with home audiences, but to everyone else it’s insulting.
Worse yet, last night at Carlson’s he dug in his heels in accusing the U.S. of undemocratic behavior (2:00 into the video).
In fact, the mere holding of a free plebiscite shows that there is democracy in Puerto Rico; Puerto Ricans in the island don’t vote on national elections only have a Resident Commissioner (not a Senator or Representative) in Congress. Puerto Ricans living in the 50 states vote in National elections.
The economic crisis:
As you may recall, Puerto Rico‘s debt crisis has been in the news, but the profligate spending has been going on for decades. The island may run out of money by July. Nearly one third off all employment is government jobs, thousands of them sinecures (locally known as batatitas). Roselló did mention that his administration reduced 20% of political appointees in government jobs and cut the budget by 20%, and aims to bring down the number of government agencies from 131 to “30 to 35” (3:40 into the video).
Why would the 50 states benefit by adding one more state?
Roselló spoke of Puerto Rico having added value as a destination, which it does, but its strategic value decreased, while there are thousands of destination spots across the U.S. and Caribbean. Its only sea container terminal is in San Juan. It does not have a Panamax port.
When Carlson asked, “Would English be the official language of Puerto Rico?”, Roselló replied (4:10 into the video),
“The United States is also a Spanish-speaking country. It’s the third-largest Spanish-speaking country in the world, and the United States itself doesn’t have an official language. So I don’t oppose, as a matter of fact our public policy is, bilingualism.”
Unfortunately, as any visitor to the island will tell you, fluency in English is woefully inadequate among the general public.
A brief analysis:
I have not lived in Puerto Rico since the 1970s. From before I was born, the status (i.e., statehood-commonwealth-independence) issue has served as a catch-all for all problems, from corruption to criminality to government waste and spending.
Governor Roselló made a very weak case last night for Puerto Rico’s statehood.
If he could factually state, “look, we are cutting government spending, ending corruption, adhering to the rule of law, and are making sure every child learns not only fluent English but also respect for the Constitution of the United States. We value our culture while we are fully committed to assimilating American values. We appreciate your help,” he would make a stronger case for statehood.
Until he’s willing to make that speech, efforts to bring statehood to the island will continue to look like giving the Democrats another state, since the Democrat party machine is very strong in Puerto Rico and among Puerto Rican communities in the U.S.
The referendum is scheduled for June 11, 2017.
The federal board installed to supervise Puerto Rico’s debt restructuring met last week with major creditor groups, some of which are sizing up whether the island’s government needs an immediate infusion of liquidity, and if so, how much, these people said.
Hedge funds holding senior bonds backed by sales-tax revenues, called Cofinas, have offered roughly $800 million in emergency financing to alleviate a potential cash crunch, these people said.
. . .
Congress passed a rescue law for Puerto Rico last summer to install the board and establish two debt-restructuring mechanisms, one of which allows for consensual settlements with creditors. If negotiations fail, Puerto Rico can petition a court to initiate a quasi-bankruptcy process known as Title III and potentially force creditors to accept unfavorable repayment terms.
Let’s hope Puerto Rico avoids bankruptcy.
Joe Connor, whose father was murdered at the 1975 Fraunces Tavern bombing, writes,
Alexander Hamilton Wouldn’t Approve of a Terrorist’s Clemency. Lin-Manuel Miranda’s shameful performance for a man who helped murder my father. (emphasis added)
López Rivera was a longtime leader of the Armed Forces of National Liberation, known by its Spanish acronym FALN, a group claiming support for Puerto Rican independence. It was actually a Marxist organization intent on subjugating Puerto Ricans and imposing a Castro-like communist regime. From 1974 to 1983, the group claimed responsibility for more than 100 bombings and other violent crimes in U.S. cities, making it the most active domestic terrorist group in U.S. history.
. . .
López Rivera organized and personally led numerous FALN bombings, armed assaults and hostage takings in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. He also was a prime FALN recruiter; a crucial trainer in bombing, sabotage and other techniques of guerrilla warfare; and the mastermind behind the establishment of a series of FALN weaponry safe houses and bomb factories. When the FBI finally arrested him in 1981, it found in his residence a large quantity of dynamite, blasting caps and other bomb components.
Connor points out that in 1976 the FALN bombed a location near where Hamilton is playing in Chicago.
At least Obama did not pardon FALN chief William Morales, who has been living comfortably in Cuba where he sought political asylum – and whose extradition Obama did not seek while easing relations with Cuba.