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Thursday, June 11, 2015

Puerto Rico, The Colony, Part 2: Puerto Ricans Resist


Worker's World

Berta Joubert-Ceci

Puerto Rico has been selling itself off since the 1990s, when the telephone
company was privatized under Gov. Pedro Rosello. Since then, all Puerto
Rico’s governments have been privatizing all public property, including the
airports, health services, roads, the valuable pineapple industry, etc. The slo-
gan of the progressive independence movement since then has been, “Puerto
Rico is not for sale.”

The “reconfiguration” of schools is actually another attempt to privatize edu-
cation. The few agencies that remain under public control do so thanks to the
ceaseless struggle of their workers. The class-conscious union UTIER, for
example, has defended the nationalized Electric Power Authority tooth and

Apart from the sell-off, the government wanted to pay the debt by applying
tax measures that the working class would have to pay. While transnational
giants and megastores like Walmart take in billions in profits while paying
minimal taxes, if any, the government loaded a tax on sales and services of
11.5 percent — the IVU — with the possibility of imposing a Value Added
Tax later. In fact, the 16 percent VAT that GarcĂ­a Padilla wanted to impose
was rejected by the legislature in mid-May due to the population’s massive
rejection of this tax...[CONTINUE READING]

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