lunes, 29 de septiembre de 2008

¿Ahora qué?





Sin el ánimo de convertirme en economista por un día, cosa que no pretendo, me atrevo a compartir mi preocupación luego de ver el rumbo de la economía de los Estados Unidos. Como dice un viejo dicho atribuido a Luis Muñoz Marin, si Estados Unidos estornuda, Puerto Rico sufre de pulmonía. En esta ocasión, señores, la situación en EEUU pasa de ser un catarrito.

El poderío económico de Washington, que desde hace años daba señales de debilidad ante los nuevos colosos que se levantan en el llamado Viejo Mundo, parece haber tocado fondo y ya en la isla se anticipa los efectos. Tras el desplome de Wall Street que siguió la negativa legislativa de aprobar el famoso plan de rescate, los economistas anticipan un panorama sombrío para la economía isleña.
Ya más de uno asegura que será más difícil conseguir que se le conceda crédito. Los compradores de casas deberán cumplir con más requisitos si pretenden que se les apruebe una compra e incluso se anticipan problemas con los planes de retiro. No hace falta mucho mas para asustarse.

El New York Times editorializaba sobre el asunto asegurando que la situación ha sido consecuencia de la inacción del gobierno. “Esta crisis es el resultado de la voluntaria y sistemática falla del gobierno en regular y monitorear las actividades de banqueros, prestamistas, fondos de inversión, aseguradores, y otros actores del mercado. Jugaban apuestas de póker muy alta con el sistema financiero, sin la adecuada transparencia, y supervisión”, insiste el NYT.

Para otros más críticos, el asunto no termina ahí. Ala ecuación debe añadirse, según aseguran, que el llamado capitalismo salvaje hace mucho que se excedió en sus excesos. Ese mismo capitalismo que ha dado alas a la inequidad social, al aumento de la pobreza, a la especulación y al excesivo enriquecimiento de la banca en detrimento de sus clientes, es el mismo capitalismo que hoy toca fondo. La pregunta ahora debe ser si alguien ha aprendido la lección.

martes, 23 de septiembre de 2008

Obama, Mc Cain, Palin




Como saben, en los Estados Unidos (y tambien en la Isla) los y las candidatas a posiciones de alta jerarquia en el gobierno son objeto del mas duro escrutinio publico. Un escrutinio que no solo se limita a sus antecedentes y preparacion profesional. Eso no es suficiente. A la mesa de juego entran entonces asuntos que van desde la religion que profesan, la iglesia a la que asisten, como y que comen, con quien lo hacen, como visten, como se ven y cuan numeroso es su nucleo familiar. Si alguno de estos elementos "no da el grado" entonces "algo anda mal". Esto me recordo este correo electronico que una de mis amistades me envio. Supongo que sera uno de esos multiples "forwards" que invaden nuestras "bandejas de entrada", pero lo dejo ante su consideracion.





I'm a little confused. Let me see if I have this straight.....* If you grow up in Hawaii, raised by your grandparents, you're "exotic, different."* Grow up in Alaska eating mooseburgers, a quintessential American story.* If your name is Barack you're a radical, unpatriotic Muslim.* Name your kids Willow, Trig and Track, you're a maverick.* Graduate from Harvard law School and you are unstable.* Attend 5 different small colleges before graduating, you're well grounded.* If you spend 3 years as a brilliant community organizer, become the first black President of the Harvard Law Review, create a voter registration drive that registers 150,000 new voters, spend 12 years as a Constitutional Law professor, spend 8 years as a State Senator representing a district with over 750,000 people, become chairman of the state Senate's Health and Human Services committee, spend 4 years in the United States Senate representing a state of 13 million people while sponsoring 131 bills and serving on the Foreign Affairs, Environment and Public Works and Veteran's Affairs committees, you don't have any real leadership experience.* If your total resume is: local weather girl, 4 years on the city council and 6 years as the mayor of a town with less than 7,000 people, 20 months as the governor of a state with only 650,000 people, then you're qualified to become the country's second highest ranking executive.* If you have been married to the same woman for 19 years while raising 2 beautiful daughters, all within Protestant churches, you're not a real Christian.* If you cheated on your first wife with a rich heiress, and left your disfigured wife and married the young heiress the next month, you're a Christian.* If you teach children about sexual predators, you are irresponsible and eroding the fiber of society.* If, while governor, you staunchly advocate abstinence only, with no other option in sex education in your state's school system while your unwed teen daughter ends up pregnant, you're very responsible.* If your wife is a Harvard graduate lawyer who gave up a position in a prestigious law firm to work for the betterment of her inner city community, then gave that up to raise a family, your family's values don't represent America 's.* If you're husband is nicknamed "First Dude", with at least one DWI conviction and no college education, who didn't register to vote until age 25 and once was a member of a group that hates America and advocated the secession of Alaska from the USA, your family is extremely admirable. OK, much clearer now.

viernes, 19 de septiembre de 2008

De Miramar, a Belgica a superestrella

Hoy es viernes, asi que no convienen las complicaciones. Quiza por eso mientras escucho a John Mayer, he decidido compartir con ustedese un descubrimiento que, aunque no es reciente, si los suficientemente novedoso como para no guardarme el secreto. Resulta que hace un tiempo una amiga (Angy) me trajo el CD de Gabriel Rios. El CD a su vez se lo regalo una amiga colombiana que vive hace an'os en Benelux (ese trio que conforman Holanda, Belgica y Luxemburgo). El asunto es que Gabriel Rios es un joven puertorriquen'o que en 1996 se graduo de la Academia Perpetuo Socorro. Conocio a una joven belga y, tras su graduacion de escuela superior, no lo penso dos veces antes de mudarse a Belgica para vivir con la muchacha. Varios an'os despues el sen'or Rios se ha convertido en toda una super estrella de ese lado del mundo. Su musica es una fusion entre rock, punk, hip hop y salsa. Aqui les dejo el video de uno de sus temas mas famosos. Broadayligth. Seguro que identifican algo de Ruben Blades en la cancion. Increible que exista alguien tan famoso, que sea puertorriquen'o y que por estos lares no se le conozca de nada. A ver que les parece. Buen fin de semana.

Julio
viernes 19 de septiembre. 7:26pm
video

jueves, 18 de septiembre de 2008

Ayuda para Cuba y Haiti

La Asociación de Agricultores y el Municipio de San Juan han habilitado un centro de acopio en el estadio Hiram Bithorn donde están recibiendo alimentos, ropa, medicamentos y otros artículos que serán enviados a Cuba y Haití. Como saben, nuestros vecinos se han visto afectados dramáticamente tras el paso de Ike y Hanna. En el video encontraran la información en caso que quieran ayudar.
video

miércoles, 17 de septiembre de 2008

Quedate calla'o

Aqui les dejo el video de la cancion "Quedate calla'o". El tema es de la autoria de Sietenueve (http://www.myspace.com/sietenueve) dedicado a Daddy Yankee y su endoso al candidato republicano a la presidencia de EEUU, John Mc Cain. ?Que les parece?
video

El HR 900

Saludos a todos y todas. Ya estoy en la cama porque toca madrugar. Pero, mientras reviso el internet, Facebook, el Blog y un par de correos electronicos, encontre este escrito en el que se analiza el proyecto HR 900, una medida de la que seguramente habran escuchado hablar y que propone una consulta de estatus. Si. Otra. Aunque en esta ocasion nos propone que escojamos entre la estadidad y la independencia. El proyecto ha sido impulsado por el comisionado residente Luis Fortun'o. El escrito, publicado por, fue escrito por Juan Carlos Toledano para el Concilio de Asuntos Hemisfericos o COHA, por sus siglas en ingles. Esta organizacion evalua las relaciones exteriores de EEUU sobre todo con respecto a Latinoamerica y propone politica publica. Leeanlo y cuentenme que les ha parecido. Yo lo leere completo en la man'ana.
Julio. 9:25PM

Puerto Rico, Another Lone Star State?
(H.R. 900, The Puerto Rico Democracy Act of 2007 proposes that the island decides between statehood or independence in a plebiscite that must take place no later than December 31, 2009)
In April 1991, Governor Rafael Hernández Colón made Spanish the sole official language of Puerto Rico. Despite the U.S. status of being a country with no official language, the Act of 1902 made English an official language on the island. This act had the formal effect of eradicating any trace of a Spanish colonial legacy and initiated the dominance of Anglo-Saxon culture. Yet, a century later, the main lingua franca on the island was still incontestably Spanish, and the vibrancy of its usage is for many Puerto Ricans proof of the unquenchable nature of their unique identity. Accordingly, Hernández Colón declared on April 5, 1991, “With this [his signature to the bill], we reaffirm the country´s will to exist. We declare our mother tongue to be our most precious sign of identity. We project our potential, discovering ourselves inside ourselves, wanting to be ourselves, fighting against being someone else. With the strength which comes down to us from the most intimate part of our ego, we are preparing to act in history. Through this great exercise of our will, we are protecting the rich heritage of the generations which preceded us, the generations which blended Indian, African and Spanish in that special way which makes a Puerto-Rican.”
Hernández´s message was directed to two obvious audiences; on one side was the US, its colonial master since 1898, who scarcely took notice of it, and on the other, the Hispanic world of which Puerto Rico has never ceased to be part. While Washington tended to see the act as nationalistic and provocative, Spain was so excited that the Madrid government awarded the prestigious Príncipe de Asturias Award for Letter to the “Puerto Rican People” that same year.This accomplishment —which was undermined two years later with the reestablishment of English as co-official with Spanish—can be seen as a significant example of the day-to-day tension that exists within the island in its quest for of identity and in the elusive process of decolonization from the mammoth mainland presence. While in the letter of acceptance for the Spanish award, Hernández Colón praised the United States for allowing the island to maintain its Spanish heritage, the letter also stated, “Our relationship with the United States of America is based on mutual respect and on each other’s freedom to be oneself.”
It is a fact that Puerto Rico has never been an independent country. Existing as part of the Spanish colonial empire until 1898, the island had only lived an agonizingly short and ill-fated moment of self-government in 1898, when the Carta de Autonomía of 1897 finally allowed the island to become more autonomous than the desire alternative –being a “province” of Spain. The Carta gave enough legal autonomy to decide on international affairs, hold elections for a bicameral assembly, as well as to send sixteen elected deputies and three senators to represent Puerto Rico in the Spanish Cortes (Parliament). Unfortunately for its timing, the Assembly of Puerto Rico, and the government of Luis Muñoz Rivera were established in March, only five months before the July US invasion of the island, as part of the 1898 Spanish-American war. In spite of this interruption, this short experience with autonomy provided Puerto Ricans with a taste of self-governance and allowed them to believe that American liberation would respect, at least, the already achieved level of self-determination, and bring them a step closer to real independence.The new dominance of the U.S. on the island and the hope that the history of its democratic values would be reflected in the new realities to be faced by the island under U.S. rule, soon overshadowed the Carta de Autonomía of 1897, despite the fact that the Puerto Rican political elite had tenaciously fought for it since 1867. However, after the Treaty of Paris of 1898 was signed, the island remained under U.S. military rule for two years. Later, in 1900, the US approved the Foraker Act, which basically legalized a new colonial status for Puerto Rico. This measure specifically made no allowances for islanders to elect their own governor, cabinet or even Supreme Court judges, with all of them to be appointed by the president of the U.S. The island would be permitted to have a resident commissioner in Washington, but with no vote. After much political maneuvering, Muñoz Rivera became the resident commissioner and was able to gain Puerto Ricans both US citizenship, and the right to elect a bicameral government with the passing of the Jones Act of 1917. However, these new U.S. citizens were not fully protected under the Constitution and could not, for example, vote for the president of the U.S. Under this new status quo, Puerto Ricans became de facto second-class U.S. citizens.
Puerto Ricans had to wait until 1950 for the approval of Public Law 600 which granted them the right to author their own constitution, with the years that followed witnessing the island becoming what today is known as Estado Libre Asociado (ELA) or “Commonwealth”. Yet, the limitations of this new level of political autonomy have made some Puerto Ricans invoke the memory of the Carta de Autonomía. In 1997 Alexis O. Tirado Rivera published in El Nuevo Impacto newspaper “La Carta de Autonómica de 1897: A cien años” (The Autonomous Act of 1897. A Hundred Years Later”) where he concluded that with the Carta Puerto Rico “…gained wider political and economical freedoms. Today we must remember that deed to help us define the aspiration of the majority of the people of the country.”
Although it is impossible to know what the Carta would eventually have meant for the future of Puerto Rico, the truth is that the ELA has allowed its people to vote on their destiny on three occasions: 1967, 1993 and 1998. On all of these, Puerto Ricans have supported the Commonwealth status quo. Furthermore, the independence option has never received even 5% of the vote.
If plebiscites are reasonable indicators of a people’s will, Puerto Ricans are quite comfortable being part of the US, even under non-statehood status. It would seem as if, given the chance, Puerto Ricans would maintain this arrangement indefinitely. However, H.R. 900, The Puerto Rico Democracy Act of 2007, can change all this, finally making the island decide between statehood or independence by plebiscite that must take place no later than December 31, 2009. The bill, although scheduled to be considered by the House as a whole, has yet to be formally discussed.
Therefore, Puerto Ricans are about to face what may be their last chance to determine their future. Will a territory that has never been recognized as an independent nation, but has held strong nationalistic feelings since the nineteenth century, choose independence? Is statehood the only reasonable path to both maintain the fiscal and non-financial benefits of belonging to the most powerful country on the globe while still bearing its own flag, as Texans do? Could Puerto Rico decide that, despite the almost one hundred years of US citizenship, it is better to be free and independent than maintaining what many consider a privileged relationship? We need to take note that today Puerto Rico is an island with a population divided into backing one of the two competing political almost equal size, and a very small pro-independence party. Puerto Ricans have held U.S. citizenship since 1917, and they now can vote in U.S. presidential primaries, but not in the general election for president. Although still bearing their own Olympic flag, Puerto Ricans are so abundant in New York that they have their own ethnic name, nuyoricans, and the population residing on the U.S. mainland is so large that it now outnumbers the Puerto Rican population on the island itself. What is more, the growth rate of Puerto Ricans in the U.S. is also much higher than on the island, making the present numerical gap widen in favor of those born and raised on the U.S. mainland, a group which may feel ultimately more attach to the U.S. than the island. This situation not only divides the population physically, but also tears at their hearts, minds, and pockets, making the status quo the easiest method of dealing with these divides. Although each case of national self-realization differs, we have witnessed in recent European conflicts how pro-independence movements can be conditioned by cultural and economic ties that surpass nationalism, breaking down otherwise peaceful societies.
In the final words of his acceptance speech at the 1991 Príncipe de Asturias Award, Hernández Colón, while pressing the U.S. to adopt an explicitly multilingual and multicultural policy, stated that Puerto Rico’s current status is the right option for the island’s ultimate self-realization. He highlighted the thesis that “Puerto Rico had the foresight to neither become federated nor separate from the United States. In order to shed its colonial status, Puerto Rico created its own self-governing political space, the Free Associated State, which provides the strength of political and economic union but also allows for the vigor of its own separate cultural identity.”
If HR 900 is finally approved, we will be at the doors of the final chapter of the decolonization of Puerto Rico, La Isla del Encanto.

This analysis was prepared by COHA Senior Research Fellow Juan Carlos Toledano, Ph.D September 17th, 2008

La fecha límite se acerca

El próximo martes 30 de septiembre es la fecha límite para ejercer el derecho a la exclusión u “opt-out” o, lo que es lo mismo, el derecho en ley concedido a estudiantes de escuela superior o sus padres a exigir por escrito que los datos de los menores no sean entregados a los reclutadores del ejercito de los Estados Unidos.
Me parece especialmente relevante destacar esta fecha, sobre todo por ser el “opt-out” un derecho que muchos desconocen y, porque quizá sobre su validación descansa el futuro de cientos de jóvenes en la isla. Parece increíble que ya van siete años desde que Estados Unidos, entonces con España e Inglaterra como aliados incondicionales, inició su “Guerra contra el terrorismo” bajo un argumento que hoy se ha probado como falso. En medio de la vulnerabilidad de la población estadounidense tras los ataques a las Torres Gemelas y quizá aprovechando la sensibilidad y solidaridad entonces viva en gran parte de la población mundial tras los hechos, la guerra inició y, con ella también el intento de vincular a Osama Bin Laden con el gobierno de Irak. Era una ecuación peligrosa. MUERTES EN TORRES GEMELAS=BIN LADEN=GUERRA=IRAK=SADAM HUSSEIM. El cálculo ha probado ser fallido. Su resultado solo ha sido la muerte de miles de vidas estadounidenses, puertorriqueñas e iraquíes. Y las muertes no se detienen aquí. La economía estadounidense parece haber caído víctima del derroche económico. Después de todo han sido mas de 500 billones los fondos utilizados para mantener vivo el conflicto que se perjura se encuentra en período de posguerra. A la sepultura también ha ido a parar la hegemonía de Washington en el mundo. Sus aliados incondicionales echaron pies fuera del conflicto, Latinoamérica alza vuelo superando el discurso del “patio trasero” y nuevos colosos económicos se levantan amenazantes. Es en esa coyuntura que nuestros adolescentes y sus padres deben analizar la alternativa del servicio militar. La decisión es sin duda personal y con riesgo individual, pero sin duda antes de tomarla se hace imperativo reflexionar sobre la deseabilidad de entrar a un conflicto que hoy, siete años después, nadie parece poder explicar por que comenzó.
¿Usted tiene idea?
video

martes, 16 de septiembre de 2008

Revive el caso de Vieques

En el dia de hoy he recibido informacion concerniente al caso de Vieques. Como saben, la limpieza del area de tiro continua pendiente y, en los pasados dias, la Marina de Guerra de los Estados Unidos ha adelantado sus planes para "limpiar". Sucede que segun la informacion que he recibido, la Marina ha pedido una dispensa a la Junta de Calidad Ambental para, en lugar de neutralizar cada bomba de manera individual (cosa que parece no ser costo efectiva para la Marina), dar paso a una quema a campo abierto de las bombas que aun quedan en la zona antes ocupada por ese organismo del Gobierno de EEUU. Esta alternativa, la de la quema a campo abierto, esta prohibida por el Reglamento de Aire de Puerto Rico, asi que por ello la dispensa solicitada.
Segun se ha sabido, la vista para discutir esta alternativa de "limpieza" tendra lugar el proximo miercoles 24 de septiembre en Vieques. Ya la comunidad plantea oponerse por cuanto -como es loico suponer- esa alternativa supondria la reanudacion de la contaminacion en la Isla Nena. Ya veremos que decide la JCA. Esperemos que el proposito de la vista sea genuino y no un frente para decisiones administrativas ya tomadas. Ya sabemos cuantas "dispensas" del gobierno se han tornado en catastrofes ambientales para nuestras comunidades.

Julio

PD. Acompan'o un video que seguro que nos refrescara la memoria.
video

Tu blogueas, yo blogueo, tod@s blogueamos

Saludos a todos y todas. Hoy me inicio en este asunto del "bloggeo" desde este espacio en el que pretendo mantener con ustedes un dialogo sobre asuntos de interes para el pais. Saben, como yo, que el espacio en los medios de comunicacion tradionales no siempre permite, por las razones que sean, la discusion extensa de los temas diarios o temas que se alejen en demacia de la agenda diaria de noticias. Asi que desde aqui pretendo conseguir la discusion de esos temas alejados de las presiones de los formatos tradicionales y las restricciones de tiempo o espacio. Gracias por su visita.
Bienvenid@s.
Julio
16 de septiembre de 2008