Thursday, March 23, 2023

Time to Turn the Page

By on October 21, 2022

After surviving a tumultuous five-year period that has included the effects of fiscal restructuring, Hurricane María, seismic Lactivity and Hurricane Fiona, it is time to turn the page for Puerto Rico. I have argued recently that we urgently need to speed up the rebuilding of our infrastructure. Now, with so many eyes on Puerto Rico, let us draft a strategy to let the world know how we can emerge as a stronger, stable economy, and a committed society that is ready and willing to support investment and improve quality of life to retain our people and welcome new ones to our shores.

Undoubtedly, there have been setbacks and unnecessary roadblocks in a cash-strapped government to undertake the island’s reconstruction. The good thing is that the White House, FEMA as an agency, Congress and our local government are aware of the obstacles, and are keen on facilitating reconstruction. The recent visit by President Biden is an opportunity to present our calling card to the world. Many leaders in the business world, as well as in civil society, are ready to take on the challenge of turning the page on Puerto Rico.

This is a critical moment to make our case. Out of disaster, we get the chance to rebuild our power grid and ensure green energy implementation. It may take five to ten years, but it will take place. Judge Laura Taylor Swain, in her recent decision, did not give up on Puerto Rico and the restructuring of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority’s debt. If she would have caved to creditors’ demands to dismiss Prepa’s bankruptcy, Puerto Rico could have easily been doomed. Instead, she forced everyone to go back to the table. The more focused we are in resolving the current controversies, the more likely we will be able to speed up our reconstruction.

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