Puerto Rican Agenda, PRCC and Campaign to Free Oscar López Rivera host OAS live telecast

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OAS INTER-AMERICAN COMMISSION HEARING ON PUERTO RICO: PUBLIC DEBT AND POVERTY
by Anthony de Jesús, Puerto Rican Cultural Center

The Puerto Rican Agenda, the PRCC and the Campaign to Free Oscar López Rivera, co-hosted the hearing, at which almost 50 people attended. Afterwards, Puerto Rican Cultural Center Executive Director José E. López responded to questions from the audience and summed up by speaking about the April 22-23rd conference in NYC, Puerto Rico/Puerto Ricans: A Diasporic Conference, which will be focusing on the above points.

Puerto Rico has become a victim of poverty, colonization, and systematic gentrification. This economic crisis has afflicted the educational system by forcing schools to close and jobs have been sacrificed to “save money.” Individuals have lost their homes and these vacant properties are now being purchased in large quantities by conglomerates, corporations, and big businesses for privatization.
The Washington-based Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) conducted a hearing on the public debt, fiscal policy and poverty in Puerto Rico on April 4. The hearing took place in order to discuss possible solutions for the crisis, one being declaring bankruptcy, but it is possible that not much can be accomplished unless the United States Congress makes the decision. Puerto Rico belongs to but is not a part of the United States prevents any outside entity and Puerto Rico from making decisions regardless of best interest. Representatives from Puerto Rican civil society testified about the impact of the crisis, from education to healthcare to housing. The US and Puerto Rican governments also gave testimony and responded. The importance of the short, albeit important, hearing was the international character, as it opened yet another venue for mobilizing solidarity around this very important issue.

Where is the justice for the people of Puerto Rico?

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