June 8 2016
Ahead of the House vote this week, Puerto Rico’s Roman Catholic Archbishop, Roberto González Nieves OFM has announced his support for Puerto Rico’s debt crisis legislation, according to a press release issued by Jubilee USA Network.
In an op-ed in The Hill, Archbishop Gonzalez noted the crisis is rooted in Puerto Rico’s “colonial status” and called on the people of the island to come together.
“Fundamentally, Puerto Rico is a colony of the United States,” wrote Gonzalez. “Before our island faces the next crisis, we must self-determine who we want to be and our relationship with the United States.”
“[Roberto Gonzalez] is calling out all groups in Puerto Rico to come together before the next crisis,” Eric LeCompte, the Executive Director of Jubilee USA Network told teleSUR.
He echoed the Archbishop’s comments, saying that the crisis is rooted in the island’s status being unclear.
“If Puerto Rico was a U.S. state, it would be able to use U.S. bankruptcy laws. If it was a country, the IMF could help,” he said, of the colony’s limited options in absolving its debt crisis. “But it’s neither and so it couldn’t go down traditional paths.”
That’s precisely why Archbishop Gonzalez is calling on resolving Puerto Rico’s status.
“Archbishop Gonzalez is a courageous advocate for his people,” shared LeCompte.
Besides supporting Gonzalez’s support for action in Congress, he is also hoping for stronger legislation around child poverty reduction. “56 percent of children in Puerto Rico live in poverty,” he said. “It’s just criminal, the worst in the U.S.”