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Power4PuertoRico updates

UN Hears Case for Self-Determination Over 60 organizations and individuals from Puerto Rico and its diaspora testified before the United Nations Decolonization Committee on June 22nd to assert Puerto Rico’s right to self-determination. The committee passed a resolution in support of the self-determination and independence of Puerto Rico, as it has done on 40 previous occasions.

The resolution was supported by the non-aligned movement, which includes 120 neutral nations, and unanimously by the 29 member countries of the Decolonization Committee, of which Ireland, Chile, India, Saint Lucia, Antigua and Barbuda, among other nations, are members. The hearing included testimony from pro-independence, pro-free association, and pro-statehood advocates, including on behalf of the Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Administration. The testimonies aim to highlight Puerto Rico’s ongoing colonial relationship with the United States and call for a decolonization process. The session also addressed the impact of Congress’s fiscal oversight board, commonly called La Junta, on the lives of Puerto Ricans. 
 Power Outages Continue During Hurricane Season 
Puerto Ricans across the archipelago were put on high alert as an advisory from the National Hurricane Center warned last month that Tropical Storm Bret could directly impact Puerto Rico. While the storm, fortunately, had a minimal impact on Puerto Rico, it raised more concerns among Puerto Ricans over LUMA Energy and the central government’s hurricane response plan.  After Hurricane Fiona, a smaller storm in comparison with previous natural disasters, some Puerto Rican communities were left without power for weeks. 
 Rep. Grijalva on Puerto Rico Status Act, PROMESARanking Democratic Member of the House Natural Resources Committee, Rep. Raul Grijalva concluded a three-day visit to Puerto Rico on June 28th where he met with local groups and political leaders across party and ideological lines to discuss amendments to PROMESA, federal funding for the Departments of Housing and Education, and to hear opinions on HR 2575, the Puerto Rico Status Act. Grijalva expressed pessimism that PROMESA amendments and the Status Act will move forward with the current Republican majority.

Currently, the Republican Chairman of the Natural Resources Committee, Bruce Westerman, opposes amendments to PROMESA and has stated he will not move forward on the Status Act unless it includes an English-language requirement for the Government of Puerto Rico under statehood. Grijalva, however, expressed optimism that the Democrats will regain House control in 2024 and move forward on both pieces of legislation. 

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