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Friday, July 9, 2010

Puerto Rico: de facto coup by NPP?

What Puerto Rican dramatist
Roberto Ramos-Perea denounces[es] regarding the political situation in Puerto Rico sounds most worrisome.

He denounces that the pro-annexation New Progressive Party, which won the elections in 2008, lead by Senate President Thomas Rivera Schatz and Chief of Staff Marcos Rodríguez Ema, is making an institutional coup that has caused strikes and violent confrontations. The theoretical leader of the party and the country, Governor Luis Fortuño is claimed to be without will, without opinion and without public presence nor responsibility.

Ramos-Perea informs that the conflict began with the firing of more than 20,000 public servants with the pretext of solving public deficit along with strangling the budget of art institutions. Meanwhile the government hired at great cost many companies and advisors akin to the NPP.

The NPP also placed four party members in the Supreme Court, which totals seven members. Then it suppressed student participation in the University government causing a student strike that lasted 60 days, followed by a legal modification of the number of members of the University government (Junta de Síndicos), that again granted the NPP total control.

The NPP has also privatized a large fraction of the natural area known as "Karso del Noroeste", that gathers 1/3 of all water in the country. The new country's budget and associated laws will promote privatization and hand public funds to the private sector without surveillance. When approving these laws, the microphones of opposition representatives and senators were turned off.

Two weeks ago the FBI arrested Senator Héctor Martínez, right hand of Rivera Schatz, on corruption charges. Martínez was taped in his last instance of graft and is said to have links with narcotraffic. Rivera Schatz defense of the "innocence" of his friend caused even greater political upheaval.

In June 30, date in which the text seems to be written, student and citizen groups claimed their right to assist to the deliberations in the Puerto Rican Congress, being beaten and tortured by the police. The National Guard was mobilized and sent to the Capitol, causing more clashes and repression.

So far the synthesis of what Ramos-Perea denounces as happening these last months in Puerto Rico. I am somewhat surprised of not having known anything about this earlier, a clear sign of media disinterest or censorship.

If any reader can point me to more extensive information, I'd appreciate it.

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