Wednesday, August 26, 2015

What is happening in Puerto Rico?

Communist Party of Puerto Rico

June 30, 2015
San Juan, Puerto Rico

Press Release

We are workers and honest men and women suffering the tyranny of capital on our backs more and more, and the moment of truth has arrived.The crack in the colonial apparatus is now a fact. It’s one that’s been warned about and denied - even now, but one that is recognized by the colonial bureaucracy that governs us. There’s no doubt that the people, the working and dispossessed masses of our country, can expect difficult times ahead.

We communists of Puerto Rico have to denounce and condemn the dishonest behavior of those in charge of managing the country. There’s not been even the slightest show of leadership of the country toward dealing with chaos. They waste our money hiring public relations people who rely on the official press of finance capitalism to tell us what the whole country already knows. In cowardly and irresponsible fashion, they “inform” us from a distance and are not available to be questioned by the press. What we see is the moral and ideological bankruptcy of the bourgeois parties along with their agents, actual pillars of the colonial system.

That clique of bankers, true puppets in the service of Wall Street, has fallen into criminal behavior over the past decades. They’ve cruelly delivered “austerity” prescriptions to our country on behalf of international financial organizations. They preach at us to meekly accept environmental destruction, wholesale imposition of taxes, anti-worker laws, plunder of public employees’ retirement plans, and privatization of public property. It’s always been about “saving the country from the abyss,” “stimulation of economic progress,” and other big lies.

If the administration of García Padilla has shown anything, it’s that all the “bitter medicines” they’ve handed out or approved in headlong fashion, like the coming sales tax increase to 11.5 percent, are not really intended to solve anything.
To the contrary: they are aimed at using the colonial system to recycle debt continually at higher and higher interest rates and through privatization to channel to Wall Street ever greater portions of social surplus that working masses in Puerto Rico have produced. Intermediaries and local “bookies,” some disguised as government officials, made off with their cut of bond transactions. The social and environmental cost of this colonial model of super-exploitation represents one of the biggest expropriations in all our history - in other words, systematic robbery.

AGP (Alejandro Garcia Padilla,governor of Puerto Rico), the legislature, and his “economic team” regard the increased sales tax as a valid solution to Puerto Rico’s deep problems caused by colonial capitalism. Such is their great cynicism in the midst of this whole situation.
Nevertheless, before putting forth his “plan,” AGP argues with considerable arrogance that “this is no question of politics, it’s about mathematics.” In fact, that’s precisely what it is - a question of politics. The exploitative relations that capitalism has imposed on us are power relationships, and therefore politics.

But AGP’s “plan” is that of continuing to apply the politics of austerity: in other words the same failed strategy of layoffs, privatizations destructive of the environment, plunder of public property, and all of it is disguised as “production incentives.” How will he ever convince that parasitic bourgeoisie that all it succeeds in doing is merely hoarding money in New York banks and fiscal paradises when that money actually could be invested in productive activities with no government subsidy? Is he pretending to develop his “plan” within systems of the colonial apparatus? Or will decisions be made affecting the whole of society through his version of CAREF (Advisory Council on Economic and Fiscal Reconstruction), which is a non-elected agency, without worker or social participation?

We must point out that there is a balancing act at the heart of empire in the form of rivalries playing out in the corridors of power in the United States. While their national bourgeoisie, associated with production and commercial sectors, chiefly agricultural, is fighting to preserve colonization in Puerto Rico, the financial oligarchy and its entire army of “government functionaries” are working to lift the remaining obstacles to free circulation of capital, obstacles that the colonial regime sustains, at least some of them.
On one side, that national bourgeoisie, represented in part by the Tea Party, wants to retain Puerto Rico as a captive market for its agricultural products and for merchandise produced by the working class of China. On the other, the financial sectors, who own money, want to broaden the scope of exploitation of the working masses of Puerto Rico by means of public debt and the building of unnecessary infrastructure.

Meanwhile, the U.S. Congress is considering the imposition of a receivership on the colonial government. For this to occur, the U. S. government, paladin of democracy in the world, would be removing from the ELA its facade of “a democratic regime” and would be displaying the colonial regime in all its crudity before our eyes and the world. (1)

Nevertheless, this critical situation presents great opportunities for change, and they have revolutionary potential. But we must set ourselves on the road toward construction of a more just society, one without colonial attachments and one that would allow for full development of the human being. And that is socialism. But on the other hand, populism and fascism are lying in wait also, especially if capital wants to inflict them on us as an essential mechanism for attaining its goals.

The prospect of collapse of the colony turns organization of the working class into an imperative. That means organization of all social sectors into a mass front in order to move toward a conglomeration of political forces fit for stopping the capitalist offensive. We must also mobilize ourselves to force their puppets in the empire to reach a solution to the colonial problem. We must mobilize as a society to demand the resignation and criminal prosecution of all colonial functionaries who have taken part in plundering our public property.

We must mobilize to demand that all anti-people measures they have applied be ended, in particular the increased sales tax and privatization of AEE (Puerto RicoElectric Power Authority, by its Spanish initials). We must organize ourselves to force colonial bureaucrats to not pay the debt.

Workers, men and women, people of Puerto Rico, if there has ever been a time to struggle for our future, that time is now.

Revolution or submission!
Communism or barbarism!

From the Political Commission of the Communist Party of Puerto Rico

1.  ELA are Spanish language initials for the "Associated Free State of Puerto Rico,” the colony’s official name, as per its 1952 Constitution)
Source:  (web site of Communist Party of Puerto Rico)
Also at:

Translated by W. T. Whitney Jr.

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