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Program Information
 Building Bridges 
 Weekly Program
 Ken Nash and Mimi Rosenberg  
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Bankruptcy judge upholds juntas power over Island Nation, further legitimizing Puerto Ricos colonial status
Prof. Rafael Bernabe, is a researcher and professor at the University of Puerto Rico. He is the author, with Csar Ayala, of Puerto Rico in the American Century: A History Since 1898. He is a social justice advocate and belongs to the Working Peoples Party in Puerto Rico.

Governor Ricardo Rossell and Puerto Ricos legislature filed lawsuits in July claiming the board, now known as the Junta, which was created by the U.S. Congress under the so-called PROMESA Act in 2016, overstepped its power by imposing a belt-tightening fiscal plan and budget on the government that require public policy actions. Now, a U.S. judge ruled that Puerto Ricos federal oversight board has the power to enforce fiscal discipline on the bankrupt islands government through the budgetary process. Gov. Rossello blasted the ruling for giving total budgetary authority to the unelected members of the oversight board, which supersede that of the elected officials of the Government of Puerto Rico and its legislature. Rossello, said it was proof that Puerto Rico, which is a U.S. territory, is in fact more like a U.S. colony.

Pro. Barnabe will talk about this latest assault against the self-determination of the people of Puerto Rico - its implications on governance, as it obviously means that the Island's elected governor and its legislature now have much less authority than they've been claiming to have and in terms of people's lives, it means that, people can expect more cuts to services, benefits, even pensions. Some of these cuts have already begun, like, to public education and to health benefits and on an island, where about half of its 3.4 million people live in poverty, further cuts will certainly pierce the very heart of Puerto Rico people.
Produced by Ken Nash and Mimi Rosenberg
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00:27:42 English 2018-08-13
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