Last week was not a good week for Puerto Rico, a US territory, when it filed the largest municipal bankruptcy in the history of the US. The filing is a response to lawsuits from bond holders that hold billions in debt that the island cannot pay preceded by many defaulted bond payments.
Puerto Rican Governor Ricardo Rossello is handling the $70 billion debt load by trying to get some relief in federal bankruptcy court by starting the insolvency process. This comes after many pleas for the US government to help, pleas ignored by former President Barack Obama and not even heard by current President Donald Trump. After the court filing Trump tweeted “Democrats are trying to bail out insurance companies from disastrous #ObamaCare, and Puerto Rico with your tax dollars. Sad!” Problem is there is no bailout with tax dollars there is no aid at all and Puerto Rico is left to fend for its self.
The latest budget has made no allocation for bailout monies for Puerto Rico.
It is however Wall Street that is the angriest and you know what a bitch they can be when they aren’t paid. The current island budget calls for $800 million annual debt payments which only cover 20 percent of what creditors were being paid in the past.
Puerto Rico’s status as a US territory means that it is unable to restructure its debt like one of the 50 states can by filing Chapter Nine bankruptcy. The route Governor Rossello is taking is not a done deal a judge still has to approve the filing.
The Puerto Rican Governor tweeted he “chose to protect our people” meaning keep the little benefits, pensions, jobs, etc.. 3.4 million Puerto Ricans have versus taking more austere measures in order to pay creditors.
Puerto Ricans are already suffering under a decades long recession fueled by the exit of pharmaceutical companies, with a 45 percent poverty rate coupled with 12.4 percent unemployment. To make matters worse those that can leave the island are, there has been a massive decline in population, nearly 350,000 that have fled to the US.
The people of Puerto Rico are indeed suffering, which is something creditors and Trump feel they should do more of – suffer. The court filing was coupled with the announcement that Puerto Rico was closing 184 public schools while 60 percent of children already live in poverty.
HSN Staff Writers
HSN staff writers are a group of enthusiastic and talented creative-types that generate great story lines and write about current events with a distinctively Latino voice always respecting the audience it writes for.
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