Caribbean Labour Solidarity sends its support and solidarity to the Puerto Rican people and the students of the University of Puerto Rico, currently on indefinite strike. Puerto Rico has been a colony of the United States since the invasion of 1898 and shares many of the problems facing the other countries of the Caribbean. The island is saddled with a debt of $72 billion, at least a half of which was attributed in an illegal and unconstitutional manner.
The US federal government has imposed a Junta Federal de Control Fiscal [financial control committee] to take charge of the island’s finances, with powers to override the elected legislature and governor of the colony. This Junta has demanded that the government of Puerto Rico balance its budget by 2019 and required, amongst other measures, a cut of a billion dollars in the health budget and a reduction of $500,000,000 in the budget of the public university. The cuts at the University of Puerto Rico are effectively dismantling public higher education.
In protest against this attack on their institution, the students of the University of Puerto Rico have declared an indefinite strike.
We send our solidarity to the striking students and support their struggle for sustainable and inclusive socio-economic development as an independent and sovereign nation.