11 March 2016

How the United States will STEAL Puerto Rico…a second time

Escrito por Nelson A. Denis

The United States is preparing to rule over Puerto Rico through a “Financial Control Board.” U.S. Congressman Jeffrey D. Duncan – Chairman of the House Committee on the Western Hemisphere – is demanding this Financial Control Board right now, immediately, “for the good of the Puerto Rican people.”

Implicit in Duncan’s demand is the unspoken attitude that Puerto Ricans are unfit to manage their own economy, or their own government. The demand also indicates a fundamental misunderstanding of the relationship between Puerto Rico and the U.S.

Let’s try to correct that.

The U.S. “liberated” Puerto Rico from Spain in 1898. Later that year, Hurricane San Ciriaco demolished thousands of the island’s farms and almost the entire year’s coffee crop. Of fifty million pounds, only five million were rescued.

American hurricane relief was strange. The U.S. government sent no money. Instead, the following year it outlawed all Puerto Rican currency and announced the island’s peso, whose international value was equal to the U.S. dollar, to be worth only sixty American cents. Every Puerto Rican lost 40% of their money overnight.

In 1901, the U.S. passed the Hollander Act, which imposed new taxes on every farmer in Puerto Rico.

With higher taxes, crippled farms, and 40% less cash, the farmers had to seek loans from U.S. banks. But with no usury law restrictions, interest rates were so high that within ten years, the farmers defaulted on their loans and the banks foreclosed on their farms.

The banks aggregated all these farms, and turned a diversified island harvest (coffee, tobacco, sugar, and fruit) into a one-crop, cash-cow economy.