Wednesday, June 26, 2013

García Padilla: Puerto Ricans do not want to be a U.S. state

via FOX News on 6/26/13
Puerto Rico Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla said here Wednesday that "Puerto Ricans don't want to be a U.S. state." "We want to continue being Puerto Ricans, since we've voluntarily decided to have a relationship of citizenship and affection with the U.S., but we're not going to stop being Puerto Ricans and Latin Americans," the governor told Efe prior to taking part in the 12th Santander-Latin America Meeting.

Puerto Ricans don't want to become U.S. state, gov. says

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Puerto Rico Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla said here Wednesday that "Puerto Ricans don't want to be a U.S. state."
"We want to continue being Puerto Ricans, since we've voluntarily decided to have a relationship of citizenship and affection with the U.S., but we're not going to stop being Puerto Ricans and Latin Americans," the governor told Efe prior to taking part in the 12th Santander-Latin America Meeting.
Puerto Rico came under Washington's sway in 1898 and island residents were granted U.S. citizenship in 1917, yet they cannot vote in presidential elections, though Puerto Ricans living in the continental United States can.
Since 1952, the island has been a self-governing, unincorporated territory of the United States with broad internal autonomy, but without the right to conduct its own foreign policy.
Garcia Padilla's PPD party advocates preserving the commonwealth relationship with the United States, albeit with greater flexibility.
The main opposition PNP wants the island to become the 51st U.S. state.
Last November, Puerto Ricans voted 54 percent to 46 percent in a non-binding plebiscite to end the island's current commonwealth relationship with the United States.
Of those opposed to the current status, 61.1 percent voted for U.S. statehood.

"Puerto Ricans don't want to be a U.S. state. We're Puerto Ricans, we're a nation, not a province of another (one) and we want to continue being Puerto Ricans," Garcia Padilla said. EFE

García Padilla: Puerto Ricans do not want to be a U.S. state
Santander (Spain), June 26 (EFE). - The governor of Puerto Rico, Alejandro Garcia Padilla, said today in Spain that "Puerto Ricans do not want to be a U.S. state" because they are "a nation and not one province to another. "
"We want to remain Puerto Ricans, who have voluntarily decided to have a relationship with the U.S. Citizenship and affection, but we will not stop being Puerto Rican and Latin American countries," said the president.
The governor of Puerto Rico was expressed well told Efe before participating in the XII Santander-Latin America, and in relation to the possibility that the country is a U.S. state
In this respect, García Padilla explained that both the U.S. and Puerto Rico have rejected that possibility as "the annexation request again lost".
"Puerto Ricans do not want to be a U.S. state We are Puerto Ricans, we are a nation, no other province and Puerto Ricans want to remain," he reiterated.

epa - european pressphoto agency: García Padilla: Los puertorriqueños no quieren ser un estado de EE.UU.

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García Padilla: Los puertorriqueños no quieren ser un estado de EE.UU.
Santander (España), 26 jun (EFE).- El gobernador de Puerto Rico, Alejandro García Padilla, aseguró hoy en España que "los puertorriqueños no quieren ser un estado de EE.UU.", ya que son "una nación y no una provincia de otra".
"Queremos seguir siendo puertorriqueños, que hemos decidido de forma voluntaria tener una relación de ciudadanía y afecto con EE.UU., pero no vamos a dejar de ser puertorriqueños y latinoamericanos", insistió García.
El gobernador del Puerto Rico se expresó así en declaraciones a Efe antes de participar en el XII Encuentro Santander-América Latina, y en relación a la posibilidad de que el país sea un estado más de EE.UU.
Al respecto, García Padilla explicó que tanto EE.UU. como Puerto Rico han rechazado esa posibilidad, ya "que la solicitud de anexión volvió a perder".
"Los puertorriqueños no quieren ser un estado de EE.UU. Somos puertorriqueños, somos una nación, no provincia de otra y queremos seguir siendo puertorriqueños", reiteró.

Analysis: Puerto Rico - a vacation oasis overrun with high debt

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By Tiziana Barghini and Michael Connor
Tue Jun 25, 2013 2:48pm EDT

(Reuters) - Puerto Rico's turquoise Caribbean waters lap white sandy beaches under year-round sun, making the island a safe place to relax.

But beyond its shoreline, U.S. investors see a threatening view, a tropical version of a near-bankrupt industrial city - Detroit, whose stressed finances are run by a state-appointed manager.

"A lot of the same drivers that have been going on in Detroit are at work in Puerto Rico," said Robert Donahue, of Municipal Market Advisors, Inc, pointing to an underfunded government pension system, a shrinking population, heavy borrowing and an eroding tax base.

Credit agencies hold Puerto Rico debt just a step above the junk level with a negative outlook, meaning that another cut is possible. Donahue said receivership may be in the cards adding, "the political system is not solving the problems."


The fourth-largest Caribbean island, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico stands at the crossroads between North and South America and is a U.S. territory that has flirted with becoming the 51st state. Its residents are U.S. citizens but are unable to vote in federal elections; they also do not pay federal income taxes.

After a federal tax exemption for U.S. corporations based in Puerto Rico was phased out, the island'seconomy fell into a deep recession in 2006. There was an uptick for much of 2012, but the commonwealth's economy has been shrinking for six months. Some forecasters see that continuing in 2014.

Meanwhile, it has been financing its budget deficit with debt. As a result the debt has nearly tripled from $24 billion in 2000.

Moody's Investors Service calculates Puerto Rico's net tax-supported debt is $14,053 per capita, nearly 10 times the U.S. state average. By comparison, Illinois, a state with an outsized level of debt and big pension problems, last year had net debt of $2,526 per capita.

Puerto Rico 10-year bonds yield more than three percentage points over typical triple-A-rated issues. Illinois, judged the second-riskiest borrower, pays less than half Puerto Rico's premium.

As a result, mainland investors have snapped up Puerto Rico debt, which is exempt from federal, state and local taxes, building a mountain of debt that is 2 percent of the $3.7 trillion U.S. municipal bond market.

These days, there are fewer and fewer people to pay off the debt.

Puerto Rico's population has shrunk more than 3 percent from a peak of 3.8 million in 2000 and its unemployment stood at 13.4 percent in May, higher than any U.S. state.

While Puerto Rico's economy has historically tracked the U.S. economy, economists say that is no longer the case. Now, it is following the Caribbean region, where growth is faltering.

Gustavo Velez, chairman and founder of independent consultancy firm Inteligéncia Económica in Puerto Rico, forecasts the economy will shrink 0.8 percent in the next fiscal year. In the worst-case scenario, he said the economy could shrink up to 1.7 percent compared with the Puerto Rico Planning Board's forecast of 0.2 percent growth.

"The market is ignoring the potential extent of the problem," said Peter Hayes, who helps manage $114 billion of assets as head of municipals at BlackRock and sees debt restructuring as one possible outcome.


The 2012-elected governor, Alejandro Garcia Padilla, has been praised for his rigorous budget and for a sweeping reform of public pensions. The reform was approved earlier this year, but the $35 billion of pension debt will remain for years.

Padilla and legislative leaders are set to approve later this week an on-time $9.8 billion budget and have agreed to raise taxes by $1.5 billion in the fiscal year starting July 1, a sign of fiscal discipline welcomed by credit agencies.

But Puerto Rico has not been to the municipal bond market in over a year, and financial transparency is clouded because the government has yet to file its consolidated, audited financial report from fiscal year 2012 that ended June 30, 2012. The deadline was May 1, but the audit is now pledged by July 30.

Puerto Rico's government and its financing arm, the Government Development Bank, plan to refinance up to $3.4 billion bonds in 2013 on a bond market dominated by rising interest rates, as the Federal Reserve is seen abandoning years of relaxed monetary policy.

About 60 percent of the Puerto Rico's debt matures in 10 years to 30 years, and it is not under any imminent threat of being placed in receivership.

"A lot of pieces have to fall into place for receivership to happen. It's a little premature to speculate as to when it would happen. The situation has to devolve into a real crisis in which the government is not able to meet its obligations and operating expenses," MMA's Donahue said.

And if there was a crisis, would the federal government ride to the rescue? Unlikely, said Alan Schankel, managing director at Janney Capital Markets.

"In today's contentious (Washington) D.C., there's no way they would," he said. "The federal government would provide some help, but I don't think it would be big and in the form of a bailout. They are letting Detroit go it alone."


Investors are already leaving Puerto Rico, partly over fears that bond ratings will be cut to junk status.

Mutual funds, in the year through March 31, reduced their overall exposure to Puerto Rico, according to Lipper. Total Puerto Rico debt holdings among more than 400 funds tracked by Lipper shrank to $11.9 billion at the end of the first quarter of 2013 from just under $13 billion as of March 2012.


Graphic - Are municipal bond funds leaving Puerto Rico?


All three major rating agencies have Puerto Rico on a negative outlook, and the market is bracing for action.

"Even if only one agency were to take them to non-investment grade, we think it could have a tremendous impact," said Lyle Fitterer, Wells Fargo Advantage Municipal Bond fund manager.

(Reporting by Michael Connor, Tiziana Barghini, Additional reporting by a Reuters correspondent in San Juan; Editing by Peter Henderson and Leslie Gevirtz)
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Somos un gueto ahora bajo el ELA – Vocero de Puerto Rico

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Somos un gueto ahora bajo el ELA

“Los 50 estados se encuentran en mucha mejor condición socioeconómica que nosotros”

En una entrevista televisiva reciente en CNN en Español, el gobernador Alejandro García Padilla afirmó cándidamente que de Puerto Rico convertirse en un estado de Estados Unidos terminaría por transformarse en un gueto latinoamericano. De no ser que ya nos tiene acostumbrados a sus afirmaciones descabelladas y deshonestas sin fundamento, probablemente este último contrasentido hubiese sorprendido a muchos. Sin embargo, lo que no deja de ser sorprendente es su persistente empeño en tratar de confundir y descaradamente transponer los términos del debate sobre el estatus político subestimando la inteligencia de nuestro pueblo, a pesar de que la evidencia histórica y empírica lo desmiente contundentemente
Me explico. Los indicadores económicos reflejan que hoy, bajo su presente estatus territorial colonial, la Isla exhibe todas las características de un gueto cuando comparamos su desempeño socioeconómico con el promedio nacional y el de dos estados que vienen al caso; Misisipi por constituir el estado más pobre de la Nación y Hawai por ser un archipiélago isleño tropical como nosotros. Semejante a un gueto, Puerto Rico exhibe las tasas de desempleo, pobreza y criminalidad más altas de Estados Unidos. Así como la mediana de ingreso familiar, el salario promedio por hora y la tasa de participación laboral más bajas en toda la Nación.
Ni Misisipi, el estado más pobre, se acerca a nosotros en niveles de pobreza (su tasa de pobreza es menos de la mitad nuestra), marginación social (su mediana de ingreso familiar es el doble de la nuestra) y su nivel relativo de desempleo apenas es poco más que la mitad del nuestro.
En comparación con Hawai, nuestra similitud a un gueto aumenta exponencialmente en todos los renglones; duplicamos su tasa de desempleo, Hawai cuadruplica nuestra mediana de ingreso familiar, casi duplica nuestro salario promedio por hora y su tasa de participación laboral es 62% mayor a la nuestra.
Resulta que los 50 estados se encuentran en mucha mejor condición socioeconómica que nosotros bajo el ELA, pero por alguna extraña razón y por arte de magia si nos incorporamos como estado, es entonces que pasaríamos a ser un gueto. No señor Gobernador, somos un gueto ahora bajo el ELA y al igual que los 37 últimos territorios que se incorporaron como estados de la Unión, Puerto Rico no será la excepción y experimentará una bonanza económica que nos sacará de nuestra actual condición de gueto con reducciones significativas en el desempleo, la pobreza y una mejora significativa en nuestra calidad de vida.
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Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla Travels To Spain, Seeking Investment Opportunities

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San Juan –  Puerto Rican Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla departed for Spain on Monday  to seek investment opportunities that would benefit the island's economy, the island's government announced.
Garcia Padilla is scheduled to hold several meetings in Spain with private business and banking and his trip is primarily designed to promote Spanish and European investment in the U.S. commonwealth's pharmaceutical and medical equipment sectors.
The initiative is part of the Puerto Rican government's plan to create jobs, especially in the island's pharmaceutical sector, which is one of the most well-developed in the world.
Puerto Rico's economic development and trade secretary, Alberto Baco, and the head of PRIDCO industrial development company, Antonio Medina, are accompanying the governor.
The bioscience industries sector employs 35,000 people in Puerto Rico, where leading U.S. pharmaceutical firms have been established for decades due to labor cost advantages.
It is calculated that more than 18 percent of the pharmaceutical products sold in the United States are manufactured in Puerto Rico, including the medications Lipitor, Zocor, Prilosec and Norvasc.
Garcia Padilla is scheduled to travel to the cities of Madrid and Santander but no meetings with Spanish government officials are on the agenda for this trip.

1 comment:

  1. Who’s the radical, Oscar López Rivera or the US?

    There are some who call for keeping Puerto Rico political prisoner Oscar López Rivera in prison forever, because he is a radical terrorist responsible for the killing and injury people. Is Oscar the really the radical?

    It was the government of the United States (US) that illegally invaded Oscar’s country 116 years ago to make Puerto Rico a colony. The United States government has used everything it could think of to train Puerto Ricans to want to be a colony of the United States for over a century. Through its educational system and mass media it has tried to shape the minds of Puerto Ricans. And when that hasn’t been enough, it has resorted to state terrorism to repress those who want independence for Puerto Rico. All nations have an inalienable right to self-determination and independence according to international law. That is so, because it is a natural thing for a nation to want to be independent. That’s why most nations are.

    So, Oscar is doing what is natural of wanting his nation to be independent. The US government, however, is doing the unnatural or radical thing of trying to prevent Puerto Rico independence.

    What the US government is doing is so radical that it is committing a crime against humanity. The United Nations declared it so, because colonialism is a threat to world peace. So by the US government having Puerto Rico as its colony, it is creating the conditions for people like Oscar to resort to any means necessary to obtain decolonization. International law also give colonies the right to use any means necessary to decolonize itself. And that why colonialism is a crime.

    This is why, after 33 UN resolutions ignored by the US government asking it to immediately decolonize Puerto Rico, and the US government’s refusal to release Oscar from prison despite tremendous world pressure to do so, we must continuously protest until it happens!