Rosselló: Obama Paints Grim Picture of Puerto Rican Fiscal Crisis
SAN JUAN – New Progressive Party (NPP) gubernatorial candidate Ricardo Rosselló said President Barack Obama’s remarks in his weekly Saturday address “reflect the intemperate, exaggerated and alarmist message delivered by the administration of [Gov. Alejandro García Padilla] to hide its inability to address the problems of Puerto Rico.”
The NPP president said, “There is no doubt our island is facing a fiscal and liquidity crisis at the government level, but the gloomy picture painted by the president in his message is only to justify the lack of action by the federal executive [branch] and that a bill that is bad for Puerto Rico has been approved.”
Rosselló reiterated that H.R. 5278, the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act (Promesa), which the U.S. House passed, “harms our youth, retirees and civil servants, does not provide economic development measures and is tied to our colonial situation.”
“Our citizens understand we are going through difficult times, but what the message the García Padilla administration has taken to Washington has done is continue to hinder economic development, investment and harm important areas, like tourism,” the politician argued.
In his view, “the reality is there is consensus in Washington in that the fiscal control board is bad for Puerto Rico, but this administration has decided to…deliver an alarming message amid the failure of its public policy. What they don’t seem to understand is such actions are counterproductive for our people.”
He also stressed that “President Obama has tried to minimize the fiscal control board’s powers to focus on debt restructuring powers. But the reality is the board limits Puerto Rico’s governance and can affect all aspects of governance.”
He said he has “always advocated a collaborative mechanism that can address the debt problem and restore the credibility the government has lost,” and that he has presented that alternative in Washington, D.C.
“Contrary to the president of the Popular Democratic Party, we are the only team with a specific plan we can present to a board with concrete goals to pull Puerto Rico out of the crisis and prevent [the board] from exercising broad powers over Puerto Rico,” Rosselló assured.
Saying that since Obama recognized in his video message that “Puerto Ricans are as much U.S. citizens as stateside residents are,” Rosselló asked that the president “respect the will of Puerto Ricans, and instead of supporting bills tied to the colony, start initiatives to promote decolonization and achieve the definitive solution to the crisis: statehood.”
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