Way Forward – Puerto Rico: Learns its status with America

Go Lean Commentary

You love America.
But does “she” love you back?

This is the reality of unrequited love. The people of the island of Puerto Rico love America – they give blood, sweat and tears. But America does not always love the island back. This has always been evident and obvious, but now even more so after Hurricane Maria devastated the island in 2017 and the US Federal Government lackluster response. Puerto Ricans, on the island and in the Diaspora, must accept that they are treated as the “ugly step-child”.

Today, we learn that the 45th President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, is now vocalizing that there is a fast approaching limit for gratitude towards Puerto Rico. See that story here:

VIDEO – Puerto Rico’s governor sending warning to Trump – https://news.yahoo.com/puerto-ricos-governor-sending-warning-175145864.html

CNN – Posted March 28, 2019 – “If the bully gets close, I’ll punch the bully in the mouth,” Rosselló said when asked about a tense meeting Wednesday between members of the Trump administration and Puerto Rican officials. “It would be a mistake to confuse courtesy with [lack of] courage.”


Title: Puerto Rico’s governor warns Trump: ‘If the bully gets close, I’ll punch the bully in the mouth’
By: David Knowles
Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló is through playing nice with President Trump.

After months of soft-pedaling his criticism of the president as Puerto Rico struggles to recover from Hurricane Maria in 2017, Rosselló voiced his frustration with the White House in a Thursday interview with CNN.

    “If the bully gets close, I’ll punch the bully in the mouth,” Rosselló said when asked about a tense meeting Wednesday between members of the Trump administration and Puerto Rican officials. “It would be a mistake to confuse courtesy with [lack of] courage.”

The Washington meeting — which was attended by White House trade adviser Peter Navarro and members of Rosselló’s government — was requested after reports that Trump was considering halting further disaster relief to the beleaguered U.S. territory.

In a Wednesday meeting with Senate Republicans, Trump said the amount of aid Puerto Rico had so far received “is way out of proportion to what Texas and Florida and others have gotten,” according to Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., who attended the meeting.

Though it has already slashed benefits, Puerto Rico faces a $600 million shortfall to administer food stamps. So far the U.S. government has spent more than $6 billion on disaster relief to Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria, which was blamed for killing more than 3,000 people. In June, Texas received $5 billion in federal aid for housing and infrastructure repairs stemming from Hurricane Harvey, which left 103 people dead.

Rosselló, who avoided criticizing Trump in a 2018 interview with Yahoo News, lashed out at the president over his latest reported comments.

“He treats us as second-class citizens, that’s for sure,” Rosselló told CNN. “And my consideration is I just want the opportunity to explain to him why the data and information he’s getting is wrong. I don’t think getting into a kicking and screaming match with the president does any good. I don’t think anyone can beat the president in a kicking and screaming match. What I am aiming to do is make sure reason prevails, that empathy prevails, that equality prevails and that we can have a discussion.”

Trump, whose administration’s response to Maria was criticized as inadequate, has long been seen as reluctant to offer aid to Puerto Rico. In October the president again signaled his disapproval of giving aid that might be used to help alleviate the financial distress the island was experiencing even before Maria hit.

Source: Posted March 28, 2019; retrieved March 29, 2019 from: https://news.yahoo.com/puerto-ricos-governor-warns-trump-if-the-bully-gets-close-ill-punch-the-bully-in-the-mouth-162447705.html?.tsrc=notification-brknews

There is no love for Puerto Rico … within their American eco-system.

This theme aligns with previous commentaries from the movement behind the book Go Lean…Caribbean; see a sample list here:

http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=15012 In Life or Death: No Love for Puerto Rico
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=14101 ‘We Are The World’ Style Campaign to Help Puerto Rico
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=13391 After Maria, Failed-State Indicators: Destruction and Defection for PR
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=11647 Righting a Wrong: Puerto Rico’s Bankruptcy
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=7963 ‘Like a Good Neighbor’ – Being there for Puerto Rico
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=6260 Puerto Rico Bondholders Coalition Launches Ad Campaign
http://www.goleancaribbean.com/blog/?p=599 Ailing Puerto Rico open to radical economic fixes

As related in this previous blog-commentary, Puerto Rico devotes more human capital – and sacrifice – to US military endeavors than any other state or territories per capita.

Never kill yourself for people who are willing to watch you die.

Way Forward
This consideration brings to mind, an overall discussion of the Way Forward for this country – Puerto Rico – and all Caribbean countries. Our current disposition is dire, a crisis, near-Failed-State status. Yet, the movement behind the Go Lean book posits that a “crisis is a terrible thing to waste”. Here for April 2019, we present a full series of commentaries related to the Way Forward for these 30 Caribbean member-states. The full series is presented as follows:

  1. Way Forward: Puerto Rico learns its “status” with America.
  2. Way Forward: Virgin Islands – America’s youngest colony
  3. Way Forward: ‘Solutions White Paper’ – An Inadequate Plan for the Bahamas

In this series – incomplete as of this date, many other national plans will follow – reference is made to the need for a more comprehensive roadmap for elevating the societal engines of Caribbean communities. Of all the plans out there, this – roadmap presented in Go Lean…Caribbean – is the only one that double-downs on the prospect of regional interdependence.

No man is an island; no island is an island.

Considering entry 1 of 3 of this series for April, what should be the Way Forward for Puerto Rico?

There are 3 options that have been detailed by this Go Lean movement. Here, again, with references to updated information:

Whatever the selection by the people of Puerto Rico – it should be their choice alone – the Go Lean movement still presents the strategies, tactics and implementations to make this island a better homeland to live, work and play. But, it is hardwork …

Actually, it is overdue work. It is the same “Growing Up“, “Managing Your Affairs“, “Taking Care of Business” that was always needed for this island nation.

Others (countries) have done “it” well – we can learn from them; i.e. consider the Iceland experience.

Some have done “it” bad – we must learn from that too; i.e. consider Republic of Venezuela.

With the proper guidance, blood, sweat and tears, it is conceivable, believable and achievable for this island to actualize and be recognized as one of the greatest address on the planet – not just some “ugly step-child”.  🙂

About the Book
The book Go Lean…Caribbean serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the technocratic Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU), for the elevation of Caribbean society – for all member-states. This CU/Go Lean roadmap has these 3 prime directives:

  • Optimization of the economic engines in order to grow the regional economy to $800 Billion and create 2.2 million new jobs.
  • Establishment of a security apparatus to ensure public safety and protect the resultant economic engines.
  • Improve Caribbean governance to support these engines, including a separation-of-powers between the member-states and CU federal agencies.

The Go Lean book provides 370-pages of turn-by-turn instructions on “how” to adopt new community ethos, plus the strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies to execute so as to reboot, reform and transform the societal engines of Caribbean society.

Download the free e-Book of Go Lean … Caribbean – now!

Who We Are
The movement behind the Go Lean book – a non-partisan, apolitical, religiously-neutral Community Development Foundation chartered for the purpose of empowering and re-booting economic engines – stresses that reforming and transforming the Caribbean societal engines must be a regional pursuit. This was an early motivation for the roadmap, as pronounced in the opening Declaration of Interdependence (Pages 12 – 13):

xi. Whereas all men are entitled to the benefits of good governance in a free society, “new guards” must be enacted to dissuade the emergence of incompetence, corruption, nepotism and cronyism at the peril of the people’s best interest. The Federation must guarantee the executions of a social contract between government and the governed.

xvi. Whereas security of our homeland is inextricably linked to prosperity of the homeland, the economic and security interest of the region needs to be aligned under the same governance. Since economic crimes … can imperil the functioning of the wheels of commerce for all the citizenry, the accedence of this Federation must equip the security apparatus with the tools and techniques for predictive and proactive interdictions.

xxiv. Whereas a free market economy can be induced and spurred for continuous progress, the Federation must install the controls to better manage aspects of the economy: jobs, inflation, savings rate, investments and other economic principles. Thereby attracting direct foreign investment because of the stability and vibrancy of our economy.

Sign the petition to lean-in for this roadmap for the Caribbean Union Trade Federation.


Appendix A – Florida lawmaker introduces bill to make Puerto Rico 51st State

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – A Florida congressman and Puerto Rico’s non-voting representative in Congress have introduced a bill that seeks to make the U.S. territory the 51st state.

The Puerto Rico Admission Act of 2019, which is sponsored by Rep. Darren Soto, D-Florida, and Puerto Rico Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González-Colón, would give the island statehood within 90 days of passage.

Our historic legislation will finally end over 120 years of colonialism and provide full rights and representation to over 3.2 million Americans.”

The legislation is partly in response to the Trump administration’s handling of Hurricane Maria relief efforts. According to reports, President Trump complained to Senate Republicans about the amount of disaster aid designated for Puerto Rico. He also asked why the island was given more money than some states affected by hurricanes.

“We have seen time and time again that colonial status is simply not working. Look no further than the abysmal Hurricane Maria recovery efforts and the draconian PROMESA law to prove this point all too well,” Soto added. “The Puerto Rican people have spoken. It’s time for Congress to finally make Puerto Rico a state!”

“From the day I was sworn in as Puerto Rico’s sole representative in Congress, and filed the Puerto Rico Admission Act, I stated very clearly that I would work different strategies, across all platforms to achieve the full equality for Puerto Rico, which can only be achieved through statehood, For more than a century the people of Puerto Rico have been U.S. citizens, but has been denied the right to vote for the President and members of Congress, leaving us without representation in the federal government, which enact the laws that rule the land. Democracy and equality for American citizens is an issue of justice and civil rights. Us, as American citizens, want to have the same benefits and duties, as all American citizens have in the states,” she continued.

Governor Ricardo Rossello was also in attendance and called on members of Congress to support the bill and “join in our quest to achieve equal treatment for the over 3 million U.S. citizens in Puerto Rico.”

Source: Posted March 30, 2019; retrieved April 2, 2019 from: https://www.wfla.com/news/florida/florida-lawmaker-introduces-bill-to-make-puerto-rico-51st-state/1888575456

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