Puerto Rican Independence Party Seeks to be the Alternative in 2020 elections
Sen. Dalmau’s platform aims to address island’s immediate problems before holding a status referendum
SAN JUAN — For the first time in modern times, the Puerto Rican Independence Party (PIP by its Spanish acronym) is seemingly seriously considered by a large sector of the Puerto Rican electorate to become the next administrators of an island that is clearly mired down by governmental and institutional corruption scandals.
And the irony is evident in that the party that seeks the separation from the United States could qualify to carry out the titanic task of guiding a country in times of climate change, racial strife in the North American nation and the systematic impoverishment of the island due to public debt and the impositions of the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management and Economic Stability Act (Promesa), which established the island’s Financial Oversight and Management Board and bankruptcy-like process.
The PIP’s gubernatorial candidate, Sen. Juan Dalmau, spoke at length with Caribbean Business about his government platform, which the party christened Proyecto Patria Nueva, or the New Homeland Project.
“Our government program contains elements that can be addressed immediately; there are others that due to political responsibility must be pointed out as limitations that must be faced and part of them are achieved based on confronting that relationship of political subordination, that antidemocratic regime,” the candidate explained, pointing to the cabotage laws imposed by the Jones Act of 1920 as an example.
Dalmau was emphatic in that he intends to reevaluate with Washington the relationship between the two jurisdictions, but speaking on the same plane not as a subordinate.
The PIP official has kept an open dialogue with the public, laying out an appeal that, were voters to elect his party in November, they would only be electing an administration for four years, given the fact that the status resolution process requires negotiations between both sides, as well as a democratic consultation process.
However, he insisted that considering the current situation a new government will have to identify the areas where it must improve and identify revenue shortfalls to improve the services it offers.
“The first thing to look for is what doesn’t work. There are many things in the government that have economic leaks that could well be directed towards addressing other pressing needs such as unemployment and the lack of economic development,” Dalmau said.
“An example of this is that in Puerto Rico there hasn’t been a real and serious review of the consequences of the exemption decrees and tax credits that are granted. They are awarded under the premise that they will achieve [certain] levels of job creation and economic development; however, the Department of the Treasury does not have the statistics or analytical metrics to prove that these exemptions are producing what they promised,” he added.
Dalmau categorically assured that it is not possible to establish an economic development policy instinctively, but that it must be based on concrete data that show it achieves the expected revenue and economic development for the island.