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Dont Cry For Me Puerto Rico, Do It For The Poor
By Arturo J. Guzmán
August 25, 2002
Not to be outdone by absolutely anyone or anything, it seems as if we now have our own local version of "Evita" crusading in favor of Puerto Ricos "descamisados". Anyone that was willing to endure the latest performance given by Governor Calderon before the territorial legislature witnessed such a well-rehearsed play that we may even lose a governor but gain a new stage star! I can already visualize the brightly lit Broadway marquees announcing the new play: "Silita"
This latest performance was a second act, to the previous weeks gathering of left-wingers, socialists, communists, and fellow travelers who gathered here under the subterfuge of "world peace" to manipulate every opportunity to blame Uncle Sam for all the world ills, and particularly poverty.
In a typical demonstration of their solidarity with the downtrodden, the conference participants traveled to the Island first class and enjoyed their stay in a 5-Star Hotel, and not one mentioned that they would set the example by donating all their individual and collective personal wealth to the cause of peace and poverty, nor that they would reconvene in Iran, Iraq, North Korea, Cuba or any other peace-loving nation that has resolved the poverty problem in their own population.
A tear-eyed Calderon, addressed her guests and spoke of Puerto Ricos poor as a prelude to her legislative message. This is the same scion of the Creole oligarchy that survives by standing upon the poor to preserve their colonialist interests and the same person who presides over a party-ideology that denies the poor the learning and educational tools that would lead them out of poverty!
Miraculously, Calderon is also the person who less than a year ago was reminding us daily that she had inherited a government in fiscal deficit and debt, and who now has a spare billion Dollars to subsidize her version of the "war on poverty", which in typical ultra-liberal fashion aims to throw tax-payers hard earned money at the problem, instead of at resolving the problem.
It would be inevitable that someone with Calderons "classicist" and colonialist background would try and resolve the problem of poverty by creating more dependency in government in order to refrain poor people from emancipating by keeping their economic condition subservient to their political loyalties.
If Calderon were really sincere in an effort to help eradicate poverty in Puerto Rico, she would start by identifying and differentiating those that are really poor, from those that claim to be poor and thrive in the underground economy, and from those that are poor as a result of their own neglect and abandonment as each of these groups require different strategies and solutions.
Before she forces it to vanish and join the poorer classes, Calderon would lead by offering relief to the middle class who bears the burden of Puerto Ricos socialist economy. She would reduce the size of government by at least two-thirds, privatize hundreds of enterprises and properties who had no place in government to begin with, she would vastly improve the educational system, continue growing the infrastructure, and develop the "workfare" programs that restore human dignity as a way out of poverty.
But most importantly, if Calderon had to suffer for just one day in her life the misery and inequities of poverty, she would abandon her false ideological pretensions and she would seek the full integration of Puerto Rico into the American Union, not because there are no poor in the states, but because all fifty have proven that full empowerment for Americans offers the best tools and opportunities to overcome endemic poverty.
If Calderon likely refuses to recognize reality, when she starts another song and dance act asking us "Dont cry for me Puerto Rico", tell her not to worry because we wont! Instead, well continue crying for the poor.