2016-07-01 16:33:25

Puerto Rico Debate: Is Debt Bill Dangerous Colonialism or Vital Protection from Wall St?

As Puerto Rico is set to default today on a key debt repayment, President Barack Obama has signed into law the so-called PROMESA bill that puts in place a federally appointed control board with sweeping powers to run Puerto Rico’s economy. The legislation’s supporters say it will help the island cope with its crippling debt crisis by allowing an orderly restructuring of its $72 billion in bond debt, but critics say it is a reversion to old-style colonialism that removes any semblance of democratic control by the people of Puerto Rico over their own affairs.

DN! hosts a debate between Eric LeCompte, executive director of Jubilee USA Network, which has backed the PROMESA bill, and José La Luz, a longtime labor activist who opposes it. "If we didn’t act by today, the vulture funds were being invited to the party, and Puerto Rico was about to become the next Argentina," says LeCompte. "The truth is that this colonial junta is nothing but a glorified collection agency for the hedge funds and the vulture funds," counters La Luz.

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