Puerto Rico is beyond broke, has been shut out of the bond market, and is paying bills with credit. Unlike Detroit, it can’t declare bankruptcy. Mutual funds are big holders of Puerto Rico bonds, which have higher than normal interest rates and tax-exempt status in all states.
Pension debt is problematic, however their real problem is they sold way too many bonds, then sold more to pay for what they sold previously. Good luck with that. Large payments are due soon and they thought themselves sophisticated and participated in interest rate swaps. Banksters just love to see the unwary buy them.
Inquiring minds want to know. Where did the money go? Looks to me like it’s the usual parasitical bankster class and their cronies looting an entity until it’s dead then walking away.
Machetero is a meditation on violence as a means toward liberation. Post 9/11 definitions, ideas and notions of terrorism are challenged in this highly controversial and experimental film.
The structure of Machetero is built around songs from “Liberation Day”, a concept album centered on the liberation struggle of Puerto Rico, written and preformed by Ricanstruction. The songs in the film took on the quality of a narrative voice becoming a modern day Greek chorus. Ricanstruction also provides a completely improvised original score that moves from hardcore be-bop punk to layered haunting and abstract Afro-Rican rhythms.
Machetero is about terrorism and terrorists, how they are defined and by whom. It is a film that asks us to challenge the way in which we view the events that play out in the world. It is a film about the cyclical nature of violence that is perpetuated by those who choose to oppress and those who no longer wish to be oppressed.
In a nutshell, we have the political and ideological equivalent of George W. Bush for a governor. While he gives millions of dollars in contracts to campaign-funders, he has fired almost 30,000 people from government jobs, in many cases, both working parents in a family. He has plans to give away many ecological preserves so that private companies can build their exclusive hotels. As a matter of fact, one prominent member of his cabinet shamelessly gave a speech to some concerned citizens, basically saying that “If you are poor and don’t even have a quarter-dollar to buy yourself a [frozen drink], well ‘Such is Life’. Play the lottery or else all you will be able to do is watch the rich people buy expensive stuff.” Check out the link.
The Twitter feed is using the #ParoPR hashtag. Some of it is in Spanish, but some are in English. There are also a lot of pictures of the protests.
So far, the protests have successfully shut down the major highway going into San Juan as well as access to other areas of the capital; they have also amassed around one of the largest shopping malls in San Juan (Plaza las Américas, very centrally located) and students have taken over some of the streets surrounding the University of Puerto Rico (UPR).
The president of the University of Puerto Rico shut down the university during this week in order to deny students the right to assemble; he also closed down the university dorms, in many cases leaving students on the streets. The students responded by assembling on the streets and taking over the surroundings.
Well… gotta go now. It is too bad that I can’t be there to protest, but I am 100% in solidarity with the people.
Check out the Twitter feed, you might find more info in English. Alternatively, you can also check if you can use an automatic Tweet-feed translator.