The Militant is sending editor John Studer and correspondent Martín Koppel on a fact-finding trip to the U.S. colony of Puerto Rico May 25-28. A few weeks later Studer will speak for the Socialist Workers Party at the June 18 annual meeting of the United Nations Special Committee on Decolonization, explaining why the fight for revolutionary change and independence for Puerto Rico is in the interest of working people there, in the U.S. and around the world.
Eight months after hurricanes Irma and Maria slammed the island — already ravaged by the capitalist economic crisis — about 100,000 are still without electricity. Tens of thousands of homes have only a blue tarp as a roof.
None of this matters to the U.S. rulers. The U.S.-appointed Financial Oversight and Management Board, known as the junta in Puerto Rico, says it will impose its own cutback budget on the island. Their goal? To squeeze working people to pay for the $74 billion debt to wealthy bondholders, part of U.S. imperialism’s ongoing plunder of the island.
Thousands in Puerto Rican cities and towns, large and small, have joined protests demanding action to restore electricity, opposing the closing of hundreds of public schools and other anti-worker actions by the junta and the colonial government.
Studer and Koppel will meet with students at the University of Puerto Rico in San Juan, meet with union leaders, and visit some of the areas in the center of the island that are still without electricity and talk with working people there who have been part of the recent protests.
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