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García Padilla: Rubio Is No Friend of Puerto Rico

By on February 26, 2016

SAN JUAN — Gov. Alejandro García Padilla said Friday that Republican presidential hopeful Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) “is no friend of Puerto Rico,” following the GOP candidate’s comments against providing the commonwealth with access to a debt-restructuring mechanism.

Through his official Twitter account, the governor said Rubio “is no friend of Puerto Rico. Not supporting a debt restructuring is slamming the door on the face of Puerto Ricans.”

“Shame on you,” García Padilla said.

During a GOP debate held Thursday, the Florida senator came out against providing bankruptcy protection to Puerto Rico, saying the commonwealth government is “doing a terrible job,” and “bankruptcy doesn’t work unless you change the way you’re operating or you’re going to be bankrupt again.”

“We can explore the use of bankruptcy protection, but not as the first resort, which is what they’re asking for, because it will not solve the problems on the island and you’re going to continue to see hundreds of thousands of people leave that beautiful place, and coming to the mainland,” Rubio said.

Puerto Rico Gov. Alejandro García Padilla

Puerto Rico Gov. Alejandro García Padilla

The governor later added that Rubio’s remarks about Puerto Rico’s fiscal crisis “confirm he works for the vultures that fund his campaign,” while making reference to a New York Times article that questions Rubio’s change of heart over the commonwealth issue, right after receiving donations from certain Puerto Rico bondholders.

“Do not send the governor whose [administration] borrowed more than any other, to answer for you. Answer this:…,” García Padilla tweeted—a veiled shot at former Gov. Luis Fortuño, who Rubio said “was doing a great job until he barely lost that election to someone who has taken a big government stance once again.” 

The commonwealth government continues to lobby for immediate congressional action over the Puerto Rico debt crisis, particularly over access to a broad restructuring regime. While House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) has said the lower chamber aims to come up with a solution before the end of March, the Republican-led Congress remains divided over how exactly it should deal with the problem.


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