Good morning, on today’s Majority Report, Fernando Tormos-Aponte from Scholars Strategy Network joins Michael Brooks to discuss his recent piece in the Jacobin, “Puerto Rico Rises,” to explain how the Puerto Rican people organized and mobilized for change in their government after leaks of Governor Ricardo Rosselló and his administration’s callous communications. We’re live at 12:00 pm EST.
Brooks and Tormos-Aponte begin the interview looking back at the now former governor, Ricardo Rossello, who Tormos argues has been bred for the governorship since his youth when his father, Pedro Rosselló, was governor of Puerto Rico and young Ricardo was educated at private schools and Ivy League schools in the States. Tormos-Aponte then details the leaked text group involving Rossello and his executives, which showed the government’s corruption with its fiscal control board and the elected officials cruel remarks about Hurricane Maria victims and the LGBTQ community. But why did leaked group texts lead to the governor’s resignation? Much of Puerto Rico’s financial distress and growing poverty can be attributed to the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act or PROMESA, which established strict oversight of the island’s finances and austerity leading to large cuts in the public sector. Beyond PROMESA’s austerity, Puerto Ricans believe Rossello has not fought hard enough on their behalf, where budgets to education and law enforcement have been cut and the electrical grid privatized. According to Tormos-Aponte, the island has not seen such strong protests since 2001 when cross-sectional mass protests called for the removal of the US military from the island municipality of Vieques. Tormos-Aponte says the next steps in taking back the government are just as important as removing Rossello. This is a bottom up revolution that will investigate the debt issued to Puerto Rico and one that won’t stop with Rossello, who “they know he’s just a figurehead,” says Tormos-Aponte. Brooks ends the interview asking how the continental 48 can extend solidarity to Puerto Rico. For Tormos-Aponte, it’s a simple, advocate for a constitutional assembly in Puerto Rico decide its own future, whether that be statehood or outright independence.
And in the Fun Half:
Anti-BDS measures are meant to drive wedge on the left, ICE terrorizes black and brown people to ethnically cleanse America, Cole James Cash tells all about his Jesse Lee Peterson experience, Bernie gives his pitch to the NAACP conference in Detroit, Trump’s next big global peace efforts in Kashmir, ICE officers break a migrant’s car window without a seizure warrant, Josh Hawley is seeding the ground for national socialism, plus your calls and IMs!
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