Puerto Rico governor rips GOP rep over ‘truly disturbing’ letter

Puerto Rico governor rips GOP rep over ‘truly disturbing’ letter
© Camille Fine

The governor of Puerto Rico is defending his administration’s right to lead the island through bankruptcy after Rep. Rob BishopRobert (Rob) William BishopSenate votes to extend key funding mechanism for parks Republicans push back at first climate hearings Climate change on front burner after 8 years of GOP rule MORE (R-Utah) said in a letter that the island should seek input from its financial creditors on how to stabilize its finances.

Gov. Ricardo Rosselló in a letter on Monday accused Bishop of wanting to take the territory back to a time when it was under the will of the federal government, Reuters reported.

ADVERTISEMENT

Bishop was a leader in the 2016 federal law called Promesa, which put Puerto Rico’s finances under the management of a federally appointed board. In his recent letter, Bishop censured the board for not making enough progress on restructuring the island’s debt and called for new input from financial creditors.

Rosselló, however, said Bishop's proposal goes against Promesa, which calls for cooperation between the governor and the board. He also said there has been progress on restructuring Puerto Rico’s debt.

“I cannot and will not permit you to elevate concerns of bondholders on the mainland above concern for the well-being of my constituents,” Rosselló said in his 6,000-word letter, which was seen by Reuters.

“Your letter is truly disturbing in its reckless disregard for collaboration and cooperation in favor of an anti-democratic process akin to a dictatorial regime,” he added.

Puerto Rico is still making efforts to recover from Hurricane Maria, which decimated the island’s infrastructure and left it completely without power in September.