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The Irrational Hillary Clinton: Gutierrez, Rivera & Mark-Viverito Connection
por Elliot Monteverde Torres Friday, Apr. 15, 2016 at 5:39 AM
elliotmtorres@yahoo.com

Hillary Clinton has always been corrupt and double talking. Why do the most progressive Puerto Rican elected officials (i.e., Rep. Luis Gutierrez, Assemblyman José Rivera and Speaker of the NY City Council Melissa Mark-Viverito) pledged allegiance to the establishment’s preferred child - Hillary Rodham-Clinton? An explanation is in order.

The Irrational Hilla...
hillary-sanders.jpg, image/jpeg, 299x168

The three highest Puerto Rican elected officials in the United States today are José Serrano (D-NY), Nydia Velazquez (D-NY) and Luis Gutierrez (D-Illinois). The next Democratic primary election to be held is to occur in New York on April 19th. And in this state there are two other Puerto Rican elected officials long associated with progressive ideologies and causes: state assemblyman José Rivera (D-NY) and Melissa Mark-Viverito (D-NY), Speaker of the NY City Council.

Let’s break this down. José Serrano and Nydia Velázquez are renowned and unyielding establishment/pro-status quo political militants who would never do anything if it means putting at risk their own careers or that of the political enterprise of the Democratic National Committee. In other words, they always play it safe and don’t rock the boat. Essentially, both Serrano and Velázquez are like most politicians: hollow, fill with hot air and, the type that “when they see light at the end of the tunnel, go out and buy some more tunnel.”

So. . . that brings us to Luis Gutierrez, José Rivera and Melissa Mark-Viverito, the last two representing New York. Both Gutierrez and Rivera have long been associated as supporters of progressive causes, including the freedom of Puerto Rican political prisoners, like our Oscar López Rivera. And, as a newcomer, Mark-Viverito has also more or less supported the same causes. But, decidedly, among all Puerto Rican elected officials coast-to-coast, Gutierrez and Rivera are the two most outspoken and committed advocates for human rights, social justice and for an end to Puerto Rico’s colonialism. But, as if a contradiction to this, now that the primaries are ongoing, not only has Gutierrez and Rivera publicly continued to pledge their support for Wall Street’s favorite presidential candidate Hillary Clinton - but so has Mark-Viverito. All three have pledged allegiance to the establishment’s preferred child: Hillary Clinton.

The truth, however, is that the connection Hillary: Gutierrez/Rivera/Mark-Viverito is difficult to gage, is suspicious and should be questioned.

Right off the bat there’s a huge ethical conflict. End of story. It’s immaterial whether you’re a constituent or not. The reason is simple: there’s an elephant in the room and his name is senator Bernie Sanders (D-VT), the other leading party candidate in the presidential race for the Democratic Party nomination. He is far from perfect but he’s running on a platform that seems to underscore congruence at every level with both Gutierrez’s and Rivera’s conventionally espoused values and beliefs, and, not least of all, their political agenda. In contrast, too many moral and tangible differences exists between Sanders and Clinton of which the campaigning finance system of each is one among many salient factors. For instance, Sander’s campaign finance DOES NOT comes from Super Pac’s but rather campaign donations averaging $27.00. No matter how carefully Hillary Clinton chooses her words, she can’t say the same thing. In fact, with Hillary it’s exactly the opposite on almost all matters. And that’s just for starters.

Specifically, on the topic of Puerto Rico, Sander’s position is noteworthy. Sure, he needs to simply advocate for the decolonization of Puerto Rico and aligned his rhetoric fully along the universally accepted international principles of law and ethics on colonialism, a policy deemed a crime against humanity. Yet, contrary to Hillary Clinton, Sanders has stated the following regarding Puerto Rico:

“The economic situation in Puerto Rico will not improve by eliminating more public schools, slashing pensions, laying off workers, and allowing corporations to pay starvation wages by suspending the minimum wage and relaxing labor laws,” wrote Sanders in a letter to Treasury Secretary Jack Lew on Oct. 21, 2015. . . [And] earlier this month Sander's campaign released a statement following legal action by insurance companies over Puerto Rico's efforts at paying some creditors over others. It is unacceptable that Wall Street vulture funds have chosen to take Puerto Rico to court instead of working out a fair deal. Puerto Rico must be given the time it needs to restructure its debt and grow its economy. Vulture funds on Wall Street must understand that they cannot profit from this crisis while Puerto Rico suffers high unemployment rates, struggles to rebuild its economy and children go hungry,” said Bernie Sanders’ Latino outreach director Arturo Carmona.”

His use of the term “vulture funds” is telling considering the word gained prominence after Argentina battled for years to prevent these kinds of funds from extorting billions from the country. That Sanders' campaign would link Puerto Rico's current struggles to those of another Latin American nation is promising.” (Telesur)
“While Sanders has argued that any debt acquired unconstitutionally should be written off, Clinton has said that Puerto Rico should “find a way to pay back its debtors in an orderly fashion. . .” (Telesur)

With the New York democratic primary right around the corner, questions about the connection Hillary and the Puerto Rican elected officials must be sincerely and urgently scrutinized. Allegiance is not obedience. It is an alignment of will. Why are there not more people and news outlets asking questions about this inconsistent connection? Transparency and understating requires communication. The question is valid and urgent. Why is José Rivera, Luís Gutierrez and Melissa Mark-Viverito supporting the candidacy of someone like Hillary Clinton, who has always been corrupt and double talking?

Saying, as José Rivera did a few days ago, that Sanders has Calle 13 and Hillary has Marc Anthony in her corner is not just an over-simplification but a failed attempt at manipulating the loyalty of the people by using culture as a political weapon. And that’s because culture does matter. But, be that as it may, Gutierrez, Rivera and Mark-Viverito have a responsibility to fulfill and an explanation is in order.

Elliot Monteverde-Torres, J.D. M.Ed. Ph.D. student at UNT
Grand Jury Resister
¡Viva Puerto Rico libre!
14 April 2016

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