Puerto Ricans and Allies, Including Ald. Roberto Maldonado and SEIU Local 1, Rally In Chicago to Demand President Trump and Congress Provide Real Relief and Rebuilding After Hurricane Maria
Day of action across the U.S. called on federal authorities to move on immediate relief to the island and cancel Puerto Rico’s $72 billion in public debt
CHICAGO – Puerto Rican leaders, community allies and Ald. Roberto Maldonado (26th) rallied today to demand immediate and sufficient federal aid to relieve and rebuild hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico, including eliminating the island’s $72 billion in public debt, which is currently under review in federal bankruptcy court.
At the rally outside Merrill Lynch Wealth Management’s offices, members of Vamos4PR—the coalition of community, labor and civil rights organizations fighting for a fair economy for all Puerto Ricans—drew attention to the banks that helped create the Puerto Rican debt crisis and insist on continuing to profit in the wake of Hurricane Maria.
Merrill Lynch was a leading underwriter for nearly 90 percent of Puerto Rico’s borrowings, reaping billions in fees from a distressed economy.
“Instead of thinking about how the island would need resources for the immense rescue, recovery and rebuilding efforts it faces, the banks that have profited from the debt crisis expect to get more,” said Janeida Fuentes, the Chicago coordinator of the National Boricua Human Rights Network and a member of The Puerto Rican Agenda. “It’s immoral to insist that before Puerto Rican families can rebuild their homes, hospitals, schools and roads, they must first pay back the banks.”
The rally was part of a day of action in a dozen U.S. cities to highlight the plight of 3.4 million U.S. citizens in Puerto Rico who have no electricity and drinking water, face shortages in fuel and food and are dealing with severely crippled telecommunications.
Vamos4PR members called on the federal government to provide Puerto Rico with all the aid it needs and eliminate the island’s public debt.
BACKGROUND: For information on the Puerto Rican debt crisis and the bankruptcy case click here: http://bit.ly/2jYicND