SAN JUAN – The Puerto Rican government has prepared the way with the few resources at its disposal for the next non-payment of its debt, knowing that Washington will not allow it to declare bankruptcy before July 1.
Thousands of people gathered Saturday in San Juan’s largest stadium to protest against the bill Washington is preparing to allow the island’s government to declare itself in bankruptcy, in exchange for which it will submit to the control of a federal oversight board of seven members that will have more powers than the local government itself.
The Puerto Rican government is also opposed to the imposition of the board, but considers it a necessary evil in order for Washington provide a legal way forward, during which it will be protected from the avalanche of lawsuits that might otherwise ensue following its next non-payment on July 1.
On that date the debt comes due for close to $2 billion that the government has already said it can’t pay and which includes some $700 million in general obligations, or GOs.
Though Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla has been all week in Washington trying to pressure senators into approving the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act, known as “Promesa,” before July, there are indications that the text, which has already been passed by the U.S. House of Representatives, could take some time in going forward.
To show their rejection for the ongoing crisis, a demonstration has been called Saturday afternoon in a San Juan stadium where hundreds of local organizations are expected to be on hand.
And in New York, the Puerto Rican exodus organization, A Call To Action in Puerto Rico, called the imposition of financial control an act of “dictatorship,” for which it is necessary to “educate the people and unmask the predatory empire.”