“Activists in Puerto Rico say that sounds a lot like the “emergency manager” plans Michigan Governor Rick Snyder has imposed on the cities of Flint and Detroit. Unfortunately, this is how austerity works. In a difficult circumstance, power is taken from the great mass of citizens and handed to those who are most likely to address a crisis by cutting employment and services.”

Just in Time for the July 4 Break, Congress Imposes ‘Colonialism at Its Worst’ on Puerto Rico

John Nichols: “As Congressman Luis V. Gutiérrez, D-Illinois, who opposed the PROMESA proposal when it came before the House (where it was approved 297-127, with the support of most Republicans and Democrats) says, “this process is driven by Wall Street’s demands, not by the legitimate needs of the Puerto Rican people to keep schools open, hospitals staffed, and first responders at work protecting the people. In the rush to do something, the U.S. Congress has ignored the Puerto Rican people, stolen their democracy, and layered on pet projects to weaken wages, threaten the environment, and reassert in a most dramatic way the colonial rule of the United States over Puerto Rico.”

If Oversight Board austerity proves to be unpopular, tough. While Puerto Rican voters can elect officials to represent their interests, those officials are restricted in their ability to do so by legislation that declares:

Neither the Governor nor the Legislature may—

(1) exercise any control, supervision, oversight, or review over the Oversight Board or its activities; or

(2) enact, implement, or enforce any statute, resolution, policy, or rule that would impair or defeat the purposes of this Act, as determined by the Oversight Board.”