Puerto Rico: We Won, We Pray, We Still Must Act

May 7, 2017

Dear Friends,

We won.

Puerto Rico begins a process that can deal with all of their debt. We won initial financing for healthcare in Puerto Rico. We stopped any amendments to legislation to derail or delay Puerto Rico's access to bankruptcy protection. What was won in Puerto Rico shows a new model is possible to prevent financial crisis and protect the vulnerable. 

The tools that Puerto Rico now has are tools that are needed from Chicago to Mozambique to Saint Lucia.

For more than a year and a half, Congress received calls and e-mails from you and tens of thousands of Jubilee friends across the US. Hundreds of Jubilee USA faith communities organized for Puerto Rico. From the US Conference of Catholic Bishops to the National Latino Evangelical Coalition, national US religious bodies made a decisive difference on Puerto Rico. Against millions of dollars of special interest lobbying, it was our voice that carried the day. 

It's that voice that continues to unite Republican and Democratic leadership on Puerto Rico.

What now is possible, could only be possible because of the efforts and sacrifice of religious leaders on the front lines. Because of the leadership of San Juan's Archbishop González, Bible Society Head Reverend Martínez and religious leaders across the island - not only is a new path for Puerto Rico possible, a new path for our world is possible. In July of 2015, the world was alerted to the growing crisis when Archbishop González wrote about how his people were suffering because of the crisis in Time Magazine. A month later major Puerto Rico religious leaders were calling for a Jubilee for their people. Jubilee USA and US religious partners campaigned on each step of this journey.

Although we won a powerful process that stops vulture funds, cuts the debt and moves forward transparency - our journey together is not over yet. 

We need to be vigilant. We need to monitor the bankruptcy process and negotiations. We need to be sure the debt is cut enough, transparency is promoted and the vulnerable are protected. We need to be sure that American citizens living in Puerto Rico can access the same child and healthcare benefits that American citizens can access in the 50 states. We need to win responsible lending and borrowing legislation that can prevent this kind of crisis in San Juan, Chicago, Lusaka or Saint Lucia.

Our solidarity with Puerto Rico's people is essential. Unfortunately, life on the island will likely get worse before it gets better. But now, because of all of our efforts together, we can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

We are grateful for your partnership as we continue our journey together.

As I close this "update," I ask you to join me and support our efforts on Puerto Rico and our global efforts to build an economy that serves everyone. Gifts are matched right now up to $2000.00 and are tax-deductible. Every dollar is needed and appreciated.

You can make your matching gift here: www.jubileeusa.org/support-us.

Gratefully,

Eric LeCompte
Executive Director

Twitter: @Eric_LeCompte
www.jubileeusa.org/support-us

 

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Jubilee USA Network
212 East Capitol St NE - Washington, DC 20003
(202) 783-3566 - coord@jubileeusa.org


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