Freshman U.S. Representative media sensation Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) issued three “demands’ regarding Puerto Rico’s government debts yesterday.
The first was to “audit the debt,” referring to a comprehensive audit vs. the review that the PROMESA Financial Board had done.
The second was to “cancel the debt,” because the audit would “confirm what we already know,” that the debt “is illegal and the consequence of Wall Street profiteering.”
The third demand was to “abolish La Junta” and replace the PROMESA Board with local oversight of Puerto Rico’s finances.
She also demanded a “Green New Deal for Puerto Rico” and expressed the hope of “one day having a process of self-determination” for the territory.
Ocasio-Cortez’s parents came from Puerto Rico and she grew up in New York but visited the islands. She has co-signed a few letters regarding Puerto Rico fiscal issues and she has sponsored an amendment that would require the Navy to detonate unexploded bombs on the island municipality of Vieques in chambers rather than in open air.
She has also advocated statehood or independence for the “colony.”
In other developments regarding “La Junta,” Gov. Vazquez has made it clear that she will continue the “Christmas Bonus” that the PROMESA Board has unsuccessfully tried to end. She said that the “additional compensation for employees is necessary,” with people counting on it, and she “will defend it in all fora.” She also said that she had explained this to the Board. A Board spokesman this morning said that the annual bonus could be paid if the Governor identifies funds for it. Last year, it was paid by Gov. Rossello over the objections of the Board. With the Board substantially underestimating the territorial government’s revenue annually, the payments have not caused budgetary problems.
The PROMESA Board will hold a Webcast hearing in Puerto Rico next Thursday at 1 PM focused on the territorial government’s “reforms” aimed at improving the islands’ environment for business.