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Author: William-Jose Velez

Mr. Garcia Padilla goes to Washington

Despite the postponement of the 2012 Plebiscite results Senate hearing originally to be held in June, the Governor of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico is headed to Washington, DC to meet with several federal officials. The territory’s El Nuevo Dia newspaper reports that Garcia Padilla is expected to meet with cabinet officials such as Education Secretary Arne Duncan and with the Attorney General Eric Holder. The governor’s mansion bare bones website did not contain the schedule or the purpose for these meetings, although they are likely to concern the federal government’s efforts regarding drug trafficking in Puerto Rico, and the Department of Education’s funding for the state agency, which has been struggling for years, and has recently been involved in a scandal concerning funds used for students’ transportation services. Garcia Padilla also took part in the National Puerto Rican Day Parade held in New York City. His participation in the event has garnered criticism, ranging from accusation to Garcia Padilla of abandoning his post in the middle of the economic crisis Puerto Rico faces, to rhetorical questions of how he will be celebrating Puerto Rican culture in a state when his party commonly says statehood implies the loss of Puerto Rico’s...

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The Government of Puerto Rico knows best

At the same time as Puerto Rico is receiving stark news of impending financial troubles from economists and wall street advisers across the board, the Secretary of Economic Development and Commerce Alberto Baco is dismissing their warnings, since according to him “economists only focus on the negative.” Metro has the full report on the expressions of the territorial government’s secretary during the Puerto Rico Tech Summit, where he also dismissed the opinions of business owners who oppose Puerto Rico Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla‘s plans to implement a business to business tax, that many fear will result in a net tax increase for consumers, stifling the already disappearing economic recovery, while not meeting the revenue projections necessary to avoid further financial troubles. This report comes on the same day Caribbean Business reported that Alexandra Lebenthal, CEO of Lebenthal and Company, advised municipal bond investors to stay away from Puerto Rico’s bond due to the high level of debt and near-certain possibility of a credit rating downgrade to junk status. The statement by the secretary falls in line with what some see as the general disposition of the current territorial administration of carelessness when it comes to the financial situation of Puerto Rico and its credit rating, which currently stands just one notch above junk status. Several weeks ago, Governor Padilla expressed how he did not care what opinion the accrediting...

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