Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez: U.S. Should Cancel Debt of ‘Invaded’ Colony Puerto Rico

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez
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Democratic-socialist and congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez on Wednesday declared her support for a “Marshall Plan,” to rebuild hurricane-wracked Puerto Rico, referring to the U.S. territory as an “invaded,” colony.

“120 years ago today (July 25th, 1898) Puerto Rico was invaded and made a colony of the United States,” began Ocasio-Cortez. “Puerto Ricans are US citizens. But they STILL don’t have the right to vote federally, nor do have voting rep in Congress (unless they move). Nor are they a sovereign people.”

Led by General Nelson Miles, 1300 U.S. soldiers launched the Puerto Rican Campaign against the Spanish-controlled island of Puerto Rico on July 25, 1898. Puerto Rican troops were no match for U.S. forces, who secured the island by August 13. Spain, acting through France, signed an armistice with the U.S. to relinquish control over the various territories, including Puerto Rico and Guam.

The Spanish-American War drew to a close after the Treaty of Paris was signed in December.

Ocasio-Cortez said she supports a Marshall Plan for Puerto Rico, an aide initiative introduced by far-left lawmakers Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) on Wednesday. “I support & ‘ Marshall Plan for Puerto Rico,” she said. “We must also talk about the cancellation of PR’s debt, much of which is suspected to be illegal; and the imposition of PROMESA. Puerto Ricans also deserve the right to self-determination.”

The US Territorial Relief Act of 2018 “aims to allow US territories to “terminate their public, unsecured debt” if they meet two of the following criteria: population decrease of 5% over 10 years, received major federal disaster assistance and per capita debt going beyond $15,000.” “Puerto Rico was already being squeezed before Hurricane Maria hit, and will now have to rebuild under the weight of crushing debt,” Warren said in a statement. “Our bill will give territories that have suffered an extraordinary crisis a route to comprehensive debt relief and a chance to get back on their feet.”

The Democrat upshot told reporters in June partly why she challenged Rep. Joe Crowley (D-NY), the fourth-ranking House Democrat and 10-term incumbent was because the “corporate Democrat,” supported the creation of PROMESA, the oversight board tasked with managing Puerto Rico’s debt. “My grandfather died in the storm,” the 28-year-old tweeted May 30. “Your acts shut schools and starved public services when we needed them most.”

Ocasio-Cortez’s mother hails from Puerto Rico.

 

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