Power 4 Puerto Rico Condemns ‘Unsustainable’ Debt Plan, Calls on Congress to Take Action

Jan 19, 2022
6:04 PM

“Judge Swain is out of patience. The people, food,” reads a protest sign outside El Capitolio in San Juan, Puerto Rico, October 26, 2021. (Carlos Edill Berríos Polanco/Latino Rebels)

On Wednesday, Power 4 Puerto Rico, a group comprised of diaspora leaders and allies advocating for Puerto Ricans on the island and abroad, released a statement condemning U.S. Judge Laura Taylor-Swain’s approval of a plan to cut Puerto Rico’s public debt by 80 percent and commence debt service payments through 2034, which the group describes as “unsustainable.”

“Power4Puerto Rico has consistently called for the abolition of the unelected, undemocratic and conflicted Junta ruling over Puerto Rico,” the group said. “The US law that created the Junta —PROMESA— is nothing short of enhanced colonialism.”

The Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico, known colloquially as “the Junta,” is a governing body created by the Obama administration to manage the U.S. colony’s finances.

“Congratulations, Puerto Rico!” the board’s executive director, Natalie Jaresko, after news broke of the judge’s decision on Tuesday. “Financial stability. A new chapter to lead to renewed economic prosperity!”

The Power 4 Puerto Rico statement noted that “the actions of the Junta have imposed catastrophic austerity on the backs of working Puerto Ricans, students and the most vulnerable. Now we are saddled with unsustainable debt payments for decades with little to no reforms to improve delivery of essential services, no tools for economic development, and no end in sight to the Junta’s yoke on our people. Now is the time to audit the debt, cancel illegal claims and make Puerto Rico whole again.”

“Judge Swain and the Junta have failed. President Biden promised to avoid these pitfalls and he too failed,” the group added. “Now it is up to Congress to abolish la Junta and cancel [the] illegal debt. Too many lives are at stake for this decision to prevail.”


Hector Luis Alamo is the Senior Editor at Latino Rebels and hosts the Latin[ish] podcast. Twitter: @HectorLuisAlamo