As proud as I’m at how my people raised to the task of kicking that S.O.B out of office, a historical feat indeed, a bit of ‘putting the feet back on the ground’ is now necessary. What REALLY happened there?
This is my take on it.
First, one has to keep in mind that Wall Street/Promesa owns the island now. At it’s root, the people’s fight is a fight against those two. Second, WS/Promesa wanted Rosselló out, not because he is a corrupt politician; WS wouldn’t exist without corrupt politicians. They wanted him out because he was not following the script. My argument here will be that WS could not give him a coup (bad optics) so it choreographed the only way they could kick him out: the FBI and WS leaked the tweets. But in the process, the people now feel empowered, and WS will NOT allow them to continue being an example to the world of ‘people’s power’. At the end, WS/Promesa’s cut-throat capitalist goals of enslaving the people, will let the blood spill next time.
To get a hint at the answer to the question up there, go to Wall Street (WS), not the street but Wall Street as in the masters of the universe. Take as example this article by the WS Journal‘s editorial board (the masters’ official voice) discussing the ‘origins’ of the Roselló issue, “Puerto Rico’s political melt down”. The root of all problems in Puerto Rico, as they see it, is:
“Puerto Rico’s main problem is democratic socialism”
First, the WSJ makes it look as if Puerto Rico is an independent nation which happens to be ‘socialist’. Puerto Rico is a colony of the USA, what happens there is because the USA lets it or wants it. Second, the fact that the island is a colony of the USA is not a problem for the WSJ, that’s OK for WS, they actually like it like that. All capitalists and imperialists love to have colonies, it’s kinda a prestige thing for them, it has always been. Remember WWI? The war was fought in great measure to the fact that the allies and central powers wanted each to keep their colonies, and those who had none wanted to get some because natives are cute, not.
So what’s the definition of “democratic socialism”, according to WS?
“Puerto Rico’s main problem is democratic socialism, and Mr. Rosselló is typical of a political class that buys votes with handouts.”
The answer is “handouts“, democratic socialism is a verb, is the act of handing out something for nothing, according to the capitalists masters of the universe own dictionary. Is there any other way for politicians to get elected, apart from outright lying to the public to protect Wall Street interests? GOP, anyone? Old dems? Wall Street honchos pay for the handouts to get the people elect WS’s representatives, and remove them from a politician who doesn’t obey the master.
Interestingly enough, that‘s Roselló sin, he sinned in a way that WS could not save him from himself despite having tried. Roselló failed his masters where it hurts them the most: in their Ayn Rand philosophy of inhumane excessive greed for money and power: in their stocks, i.e. Don’t jump to conclusions yet; Rosselló is the scum of the earth. He might have just been set up, though, by Wall Street.
When you read the WS Journal’s list of crimes committed by Rosselló you understand why he got kicked out, why he was framed by WS. You see, WS didn’t and doesn’t care about his or anyone’s political and financial crimes against the people of Puerto Rico because said crimes are actually MANDATES from WS. Let me give you a taste of mandated crimes against the people, as listed in the article:
“Yet Mr. Rosselló has fought and flouted reform. The board last year eliminated Christmas bonuses for public workers, but Mr. Rosselló paid them anyway. He has refused to implement furloughs demanded by the board. As Mr. Rossello quipped in a leaked message to an aide: “Dear oversight board, go [expletive] yourself.
The board has slashed spending, but the Governor has sued to block the board’s labor and fiscal reforms”
Poor Rosselló. It would seem as if he got shafted not only by WS but by THE PEOPLE too; he could have been the people’s hero with that quote about the “expletive“.
Of course not; the man is podrido (rotten) to the core. He was “shafted” by the greed and amorality in his DNA inherited from his father. But let’s admit too that greed and amorality is the other half of the human condition, together with the possibility of moral attitudes and choices. There is no difference between them and him: WS CEOs are as he is, the difference being that they are his bosses and he is their servant.
His political and financial crimes against the people of Puerto Rico (translated into death when it comes to his abandoning the people after the huracán) are his, his choice. He deserves more than just being kicked out of office because he has no sense of shame to make him regret his actions. He needs to be put in jail.
This is where the cookie crumbled for him and WS and Congress: they forgot the lesson not learned in the Cuba’s Bay of Pigs incident: listen to the natives you have rented to do your dirty work for you.
You can’t just dictate from outside the poverty of a nation and expect the people to stay on their knees all the time. That attitude or belief that it can be done is mere imperialist’s arrogance. In the Bay of Pigs the Cuban soldiers of fortune told the CIA that the Bay was the worse place for landing, but heck, ‘we are the CIA, we know your nation and people better than you know them’. The rest is history. The same thing is kinda happening here in good old Puerto Rico, that’s why the WS Journal calls it “a melt down”, as in ‘something got out of our hands’.
The Promesa (now there’s sarcasm from Congress and WS) was created to feed Wall Street’s shark-bondholders of Puerto Rico’s debt:
“The mess drove Congress in 2016 to pass legislation called Promesa that established a seven-member bipartisan control board to restructure government operations and debt.”
It’s the debt, stupid. “Government” there means the empire’s political and financial control over the island in order to make the colonized pay for a debt which they didn’t ask for in the first place. That’s the point of having a colony, isn’t it, force them into poverty, educate them into thinking that they are worthless and need US’s WS to run their lives, and then use their politicians to accept a ‘loan’ which can’t be repaid except by expropriating the island’s infrastructure and cultural real estate property; and keeping the natives in a state of slavery. WS always pays the loan processors a percentage for selling a debt-trap loan to the innocent consumers, in this case the loan processors are the elected politicians. Rosello was their man.
The minimum salary in Puerto Rico is a ‘huge’ $6.55 an hour, but cost of living is the same as in New York, and unemployment is actually manipulated by the masters in their interest ( “implement furloughs” fancy word for ‘unemployment’). And yet “The board has slashed spending” in an island sinking in poverty in order to send the federal money to the sacrosanct “bondholders”. The problem is not “democratic socialism”, it’s not handouts; Rosselló knows this to be the biggest contradiction facing greedy men: I can’t draw more blood from the dying!
The board dictates from afar, Rosselló promised WS, in exchange for the governor chair, to do as they wanted; then he found out that, in order to embezzle mo’ money from the feds BEFORE been kicked out in the next elections, he HAD to throw some crumbs -handouts to the people. Any corrupt politician in his place with a smidgen of greed would have done the same thing. This is what WS sharks can’t see from the tip of Manhattan, that Rosselló couldn’t withhold the crumbs if a revolt was to be prevented.
Promesas’s cut-throat capitalists orders will keep the island in a permanent “melt down” situation because the real thieves are them, WS masters of Promesa. But WS is not interested in keeping the island functioning for the Puerto Ricans. WS wants to get the island as a trophy, and put the people to work as slaves for WS. That’s why there is no discussion about the political status of the island: it’s immaterial to WS.
WALL STREET CHOREOGRAPHED ROSELLÓ’S OUSTING
Rosello had it coming from both sides, the poor thing, but it was WS who choreographed his ousting. And as in Bay of Pigs, they got a whacking from the natives. They WANTED Rosselló out for not following their orders. They tried keeping him in place until the next elections, but what for, if he was not following orders, just stealing everybody blind? WS wanted Rosselló out NOW. So they leaked the tweets to manipulate public opinion. The people already hated him, but there was still support for him from the typical right-wingers. We know the island is run by corrupt men, there is no secret there. The capacity of the people to tolerate them is painfully enormous.
PROMESA COULD NOT REMOVE ROSELLÓ: BAD OPTICS.
Short of a coup directly from WS/Promesa board, they leaked the material. The people were offended by his disrespect to the dead from Maria and how he embezzles the federal money; by the outright amorality of that S.O.B. Now there was a ‘coup‘ rolling, never before seen in the USA.
Except that they underestimated ( a typical mistake of imperialist capitalists) the people’s anger. And now they have a hot potato in their hand: the people feel empowered.
Wall Street/Promesa didn´t listen to the people nor to Rosselló and walked in like an elephant in a small gift shop. Rosselló thought he could clip some money from the top of the WS mafia money and, somehow, believed he could get away with it without ´Gotti´s ire.
So they set him up. And now, if WS/Promesa don’t want to see more ‘melt down’ in the form of blood running through San Juan, they will have to roll out those damn handouts.
You see, it all comes back to the US way of appeasing the people: handouts. That’s how we got food stamps in the first place: in the 60s, when the people were ready to vote for the independence of the island, the US flooded the island with food stamps. Voila! And then they shame the people for being kept in poverty.
The people of Puerto Rico need to examine this historic moment with complete emotional detachment after the celebrations. These are some of the problems they will be facing:
- The #rickyrenuncia movement was spontaneous, lacking political organization. This type of success can seldom be reproduced in a a sustainable fashion.
- They must understand the power of WS to manipulate them through the media. The artistic class (they didn’t start the marches but were instrumental, the credit is not being given to the rightful people who started this on July 10)) can’t be relied on as political organizers, unless this a truly new form of political organizing never seen before. WS and the US government prefer to see politics in Puerto Rico run by the artistic class, not by a some umbrella organization uniting all the different political flavors. It’s exactly what happened in the 2016 US elections: WS and the tech billionaires were terrified at the possibility of a coalition of women, workers, people of color, immigrants all under one umbrella challenging them. So Trump got appointed. It was an early coup to the people, not to Hillary Clinton.
- The status is the root of the problem in Puerto Rico when it comes to the inability to have control over the decisions that affect their lives. You can’t be ruled by a WS and Congressional “board” and expect benevolence and compassion.
- Puerto Ricans want to work, they are intelligent and brave, but the fear sowed in their heart by the capitalists since 1900s is eating their dignity. There are times when dignity is the tool that can set you free. Making the colony ‘more efficient’ is an illusion. They know it: Rosello is the tip of the iceberg.
- It’s not “El Grito Boricua”. The difference is enormous. El Grito de Lares (to which el grito boricua is referenced) was a short lived victory of pro independence effort to separate from Spain. There is no ‘independence’ or cries to separate from the USA here; the colonial status is intact, only the men running it are being judged, not the status, at least not yet.
But how do you break with 100 years of colonial brainwashing?
It might be that we are closer than never before to it. If we can just ditch the delusions.