The following is a slightly edited version of a press release issued April 18 by The Puerto Rico Is Not for Sale Campaign coalition.
On April 20, The Puerto Rico Is Not for Sale Campaign protested the Hispanic Federation’s Annual Gala, at the American Museum of Natural History, and the presence of Luis Miranda and his family for their continual funding of U.S. colonialism in Puerto Rico.
The Puerto Rico Is Not for Sale Campaign is an international coalition of Puerto Rican organizations and individuals who work to dismantle the PROMESA bill in Puerto Rico. Luis Miranda and the Hispanic Federation lobbied Congress to pass the PROMESA bill, which instituted an undemocratic Fiscal Control Board. This board has caused the closure of 600 schools throughout Puerto Rico, dismantled pensions and other retirement benefits. It has led to the privatization of public services and the rampant disemployment of many workers in those fields.
Luis Miranda, through the Hispanic Federation, was able to personally profit and benefit from the consequent destruction of the coffee industry on the island, onboarding large corporations such as Nespresso. Under the guise of ‘community,’ Luis Miranda’s lobbying group, MirRam, accepted $100,000 for failed anti-unionizing efforts against Amazon workers.
Miranda received an additional $100,000 from Industry City to influence Latino legislators for rezoning purposes in Sunset Park, pushing for displacement of longtime Boricua, Latinx and Asian communities.
The Hispanic Federation acts as a quid pro quo apparatus for large corporations, such as Banco Popular and AirBnB, to donate to, knowing that these institutions will benefit from the bonds that are paid at the expense of the austerity measures implemented by the Fiscal Control Board.
This money is invested under the guise of arts and academics, but what it really does is reinforce the colonial power that the U.S. has on the Puerto Rican people. By accepting their money, Luis Miranda Jr. and the Hispanic Federation become complicit in their destructive practices.
“The Puerto Rico Is Not for Sale Campaign will continue to denounce those whose opportunism continues to harm the people of Puerto Rico and demand the independence of the archipelago,” said Lorraine Liriano, campaign spokesperson.