Seminar: 'Puerto Rico: Savage Neoliberalism, Colonialism & Financial Despotism'
April 13—April 14, 2017 1:30 pm-7:00 pm
UMass Amherst Campus
This past June Congress approved the establishment of a fiscal oversight board to take control over all budgetary decisions by the government of Puerto Rico.
The board, known in Spanish as “Junta de Control Fiscal,” consists of seven persons, all appointed by President Obama acting on recommendations by both the Republican and Democratic congressional leadership. President Obama appointed all members, three of whom are Puerto Ricans. The governor of Puerto Rico is an ex-officio member of the board with voice but no vote.
The governor of Puerto Rico is mandated by the law that creates the Junta to submit all fiscal plans and annual budgets to this seven-members body, which will in turn determine whether these budgets help the island to return to the financial markets. Tellingly, the Congressional bill did not stipulate economic growth as one of its goals.
Rather, the explicit objectives seek to make the government more efficient in the provision of public services; to organize the local finances to make possible that bond holders of Puerto Rican debt, contingent on resources available, will be paid; to open doors in the financial markets now closed to the central government and its public corporations, and to foster projects aimed at reducing the island’s dependence on oil for all its energy needs.
The Campus Center is located in the middle of campus at 1 Campus Center Way. Parking is available in the Campus Center Garage.