By A. Rodríguez
The dictatorial Wall Street Junta will govern with absolute powers and lead the working class to poverty while making the vultures of finance capital richer. It has already taken control over various entities of the territorial government. Among those, the government employee, courts employee and teachers’ retirement systems. The seven members of the Junta will reduce pensions in order to ensure payment to the vultures.
These pensions are not even sufficient to sustain quality of life. Imagine if they were cut or eliminated to pay the debt.
According to the Census Bureau, in 2012 pensioners had an average annual salary of $14,077. This sector of the working class lives on very low wages and in many cases under the poverty line. The precariousness in which the majority of pensioners live is complicated even more by inflation. The increases in taxes, electric bills, water and medicines make it impossible for pensioners to have a dignified quality of life.
The critical situation of pensioners as well as retirement systems was created by the mafiosos in the service of Wall Street such as government swindlers like Miguel Ferrer, the ex chief at the Swiss bank UBS in Puerto Rico.
UBS advised the Administration of the Retirement System (ASR) to emit $7 billion in bonds in order to inject funds to “cover obligations to pensioners.” The ASR ended up emitting $2.9 billion in debt. The swindlers at UBS profited $288,000 in transaction fees for ‘consulting’ as well as $27 million as a result of the sale of bonds while the ASR was left on the verge of bankruptcy.
The interests of finance capital represented by the Junta are the same that bankrupted the retirement system. They already took the lion’s share but are now coming for the whole pie. They are going to hand over our pensions to Wall Street and leave pensioners in abject poverty.
The working class, because it is the majority in Puerto Rico, is the only force that can stop PROMESA and the Wall Street Junta. Difficult times are coming; they will bring poverty, misery along with the separation of families due to emigration. Pensioners will be more impoverished, the sick will lack access to healthcare or medicines. We must decide. Do we accept poverty and exploitation by finance capital and the Wall Street Junta or do we organize as a class to directly confront our exploiters?
We communists insist that this is not a year to waist on elections. The class struggle is intensifying; it is time to organize a political force to confront the Wall Street vultures. Electoral boycott! People’s Assemblies, now! Let us build a mass front. What is needed is organization and struggle.