Puerto Rico’s bankruptcy leaves US island facing hard times

San Juan (AFP) – In San Juan, chants of “the debt is illegal” and “colonial dictatorship” fill the morning air, as students from the University of Puerto Rico block a palm-lined avenue.Across the street, a board of overseers imposed by Washington is meeting with student representatives to hear their demands as they mull ever deeper cuts to pull this “Greece of the Caribbean” out of bankruptcy.To some, it’s a necessary corrective to get a stumbling Puerto Rico back on its feet.But to others like Mariana de Alba, a 27-year-old law student at the protest, it all smacks of colonial subjugation.”What they’ve come to do is to cut back the public budget and the island’s public services to give it to the big bond holders, to pay off a debt that we don’t even know whether it is legitimate,” she says.The Financial Oversight and Management Board for Puerto Rico — made up of seven members appointed by the US president and one by the island’s governor — is tasked with getting a handle on the territory’s crushing $74 billion debt.

Source: Puerto Rico’s bankruptcy leaves US island facing hard times

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