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LaRouche: Murder of Puerto Rico Is on Obama; Get Him Out!

Aug. 4, 2015 (EIRNS)—Lyndon LaRouche commented today that the responsibility for the genocide imposed on the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico lies with Barack Obama, who is totally in Wall Street’s camp and has refused to do anything to deal with the island’s economic and social catastrophe or recognize that the United States has a historical obligation toward this U.S. Territory.

Three days ago, in response to a question about Puerto Rico during an Aug. 1 Town Hall meeting with activists in Manhattan, LaRouche had stated:

"The Puerto Rican situation is one of a great injustice. That’s a fact! Now, the fact that there is a great injustice in that case, what do we do about it? What can we do about it? Well, there’s nothing we can do about it, unless we get Obama out of the Presidency! Nothing you can do, for Puerto Rico, as long as Obama remains in the Presidency. And there are a lot of other parts of the planet which are threatened similarly to Puerto Rico."

The gutting of the island’s healthcare system is one example of what Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla has called the "death spiral" the economy will experience, if it is forced to pay an unpayable debt. According to The New York Times Aug. 2, 60% of Puerto Ricans are on Medicare or Medicaid. Yet, because of the vast disparity in federal funding for healthcare, compared with the fifty states, Puerto Rico receives far less annually in federal funds for Medicaid, for example, than every other state—even though it pays the same Medicare and Social Security taxes, and is poorer than the poorest state of Mississippi.

Today, $25 billion of the island’s $72 billion debt stems from money the island government was forced to borrow over a period of years, to keep programs like Medicaid afloat and close the funding gap. In January, when the federal government cuts payments by 11% to Puerto Rico’s popular Medicare Advantage plans, in which three-quarters of the Medicare population are enrolled, the results will be catastrophic.

"Healthcare in Puerto Rico is headed for a collapse," warns Dennis Rivera, chairman of the Puerto Rico Healthcare Crisis Coalition. "These are a cascade of cuts that will have disastrous, gigantic implications," on an island that has among the highest rates of diabetes, asthma, and other chronic illnesses in the United States, and whose doctors are fleeing the island for better-paying and less stressful jobs on the mainland. Five thousands have left in the past five years.

In today’s London Telegraph, Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, agent of the British monarchy, does some hand-wringing over the depth of Puerto Rico’s crisis, and what it implies should the vulture funds that own a large portion of Puerto Rico’s debt, succeed in dictating harsh austerity to the island, as a recent vulture fund-commissioned report by the Centennial Group Latin America does. "Puerto Rico," he concludes

"is becoming a test case of whether hedge funds and financial creditors can legitimately dictate terms to sub-sovereign states, or whether there is a greater social interest in limiting their legal powers."

Ask Argentina and Greece about that.