Jubilee USA's Executive Director discusses the Puerto Rico Crisis with Weekly World News

Eric Lecompte, Executive Director of Jubilee USA, was recently quoted in The World Weekly on the need for debt forgiveness in Puerto Rico. Read excerpt below and follow link to full article.

America's forgotten crisis

By: Alex Izza 

Proposals are flying around for how to rejuvenate the island. The Puerto Rican government is looking to modernise its infrastructure to better withstand future storms. Governor Rosselló requested $94 billion in aid from Congress. Indeed, there are wider calls to ease Puerto Rico’s financial decay. “Without debt forgiveness, Puerto Rico will see no economic growth and the island’s future becomes even bleaker,” argues Eric LeCompte, executive director of financial non-profit Jubilee USA Network.

For now, Congress is focusing on allocating Puerto Rico one part of the $81 billion aid bill for disaster-affected areas in the US. It is currently stranded in the Senate. 

Amidst it all, Puerto Rican politicians are taking action. On the back of a pro-statehood result in last year’s referendum, and defying vast constitutional obstacles, this week seven members of Puerto Rico’s ‘shadow’ congressional delegation presented their credentials in Washington DC and demanded to be seated. 

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Eric LeCompte discusses Greek debt relief in Value Walk

Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of Jubilee USA was recently quoted in Value Walk about the need for debt relief for Greece. Read excerpt below and follow link to full article.

As Yields Tank, HSBC Warns Greece Needs More Debt Relief

By: Mark Melin

"The question of Greece pilling up debt and derivatives to an extent that cannot be logically be supported by their economy has been the hot topic that mostly remains unaddressed. Are those who structured the debt at all responsible if it created economic catastrophe?

This notion was put forth by those who advocated debt relief for Greece, including Eric LeCompte, a UN debt relief consultant and executive director at Jubilee USA Network.

'Greece isn’t out of the woods yet,' he told ValueWalk Thursday. 'If we really want Greece to get out of its challenges, this requires debt relief.'

Debt relief has been the third rail of the Greek negotiations. While some advocated flat out debt forgiveness, as was done in 1953 through the London Agreement that forgave Germany a significant amount of its war debt, LeCompte points to more structural relief.

With 80% debt held by the Eurozone, he points to extending maturity and reducing real payments and creating triggers in a payment system that is relative to the ability of the sovereign nation to pay. 'A successful Greece means a successful EU,' he said, noting that doesn’t mean a debt write off is required as such, but rather accommodation."

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Eric LeCompte cited in The Tablet on Puerto Rico

Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of Jubilee USA was recently quoted in The Tablet speaking on the urgent need for a disaster relief package for Puerto Rico when the Government resumes. Read excerpt below and follow link to full article.

Puerto Rico aid package falls foul of party bickering

By: Michael Sean Winters

“We believe Congress will take on all of these issues as soon as they come back to Washington,” said Eric LeCompte, executive director of JubileeUSA which has been working closely with religious leaders in Puerto Rico. This month, Congress must pass legislation to keep the Government open and it is hoped the disaster relief package will be part of that legislation.

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Your 2017 Gift DOUBLES 2018 Impacts

Dear Friend,

In 2017, we accomplished a lot. With your help, we can do even more in 2018.

This year we stopped "vulture funds" and won a super bankruptcy process for Puerto Rico in May. We moved the White House and G20 to endorse stronger standards on responsible lending and we introduced bipartisan legislation to stop financial secrecy. We defended consumer protections and global anti-poverty measures from repeal in Congress. We launched a new website and logo.

Because of your partnership in 2017, when the devastating hurricanes struck, our team sprang into action and supported major religious leaders in the US and affected islands to contact the White House, International Monetary Fund and Congress. We collected thousands of petitions and were quoted in thousands of newspapers around the globe. We appeared on CNBC and addressed the United Nations calling for relief for Puerto Rico, Dominica, the US Virgin Islands and Barbuda.

Your gift to Jubilee USA grows our bipartisan and interfaith work that addresses the root causes of poverty and inequality. All year-end gifts are tax-deductible and matched up to 20,000 dollars. Whether your gift is $5, $50 or $500 - your gift is needed, so appreciated and will be doubled before January 1st.

With your support in 2018, we can win debt relief and recovery aid for Puerto Rico, Dominica, the US Virgin Islands and Barbuda. Campaigns we win for these islands will create US and global precedents to protect countries when natural disaster strikes. Across the country, in the Caribbean, and around our world, we are launching more initiatives that support and train major religious leaders to prevent austerity policies, negotiate solutions to financial crisis and promote economic policies that protect the vulnerable.

When you give now, your gift will protect Dodd-Frank from being repealed in Congress. Your gift will make it easier for poor economies to get out of financial crisis and protect vulnerable populations. Your support now means we can expose the links between human trafficking and financial secrecy. And that support can help stop the shell companies that facilitate human trafficking and allow corrupt officials to steal money from their people.  In 2018, we'll promote trade policies that support access to medicine, are pro-development and prevent exploitation from "vulture funds." Across the United States, we’ll run grassroots organizing campaigns in Idaho, New York, Utah, Arizona and Georgia. 

Your investment in Jubilee USA builds a more responsible, transparent financial system that protects vulnerable and poor people. Please join me and make a tax-deductible year-end gift to Jubilee USA. That gift will be matched up to 20,000 dollars if you donate before January 1.

Thanks for your partnership,

Eric_Signature.transparent.jpg

Eric LeCompte
Executive Director

Twitter: @Eric_LeCompte
www.jubileeusa.org/support-us

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Take Action for Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands

Friends,

Last week Congress left town without voting for relief and recovery aid for disaster struck Puerto Rico, US Virgin Islands, Florida, Texas and California. 

Please send a message to your Senators and Representative and tell them Puerto Rico needs recovery funding to rebuild to withstand the next storm. Let Congress know that Puerto Rico needs debt relief. Tell them that US Citizens living in Puerto Rico should be able to receive the same level of access to Medicaid, Medicare and child tax benefits that citizens can access who live in the States.

Because of the pressure we put on Congress in recent weeks, we stripped the tax package of an "excise" tax on Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. Our collective actions make a big difference. In the days and weeks to come, Congress will make several decisions that will impact the people of Puerto Rico.

Unfortunately, Congress left town before agreeing on a recovery package for Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, Texas, Florida and California.

E-mail Congress now. Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands need recovery funding to rebuild to withstand the next storm. Tell them Puerto Rico needs debt relief. US Citizens living in Puerto Rico should be able to access Medicaid, Medicare and child tax benefits that citizens can access who live in the States.‎

Last week, Puerto Rico's Archbishop Roberto Gonzalez joined Jubilee USA's Director Eric LeCompte to meet with the teams of Speaker Ryan and Leader McConnell. 

Afterwards, Jubilee USA and our partners hosted a prayer service in a Congress office building for Puerto Rico. Supporting and participating groups included the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, United Church of Christ, Catholic Charities USA, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York, Franciscan Action Network, the National Association of Evangelicals, Muslim Public Affairs Council and Islamic Relief.

Archbishop Gonzalez reflected as we waited for Congress to vote on recovery aid:

"Puerto Rico desperately needs a complete debt relief, funding for rebuilding, and equal access to Medicare, Medicaid and child tax benefit funding. [...] Today we pray with the persistence and tenacity of the widow of the gospel; we pray full of hope that the miracle of compassion, openness toward and solidarity with Puerto Rico may come true."

Please click on this link and send a message to your Members of Congress now.

Thanks for taking action,

Kate Zeller
Campaigns Director
Twitter: @JubileeUSA
www.jubileeusa.org/support-us

FB Twitter Donate Blog Flickr
Jubilee USA Network
212 East Capitol St NE - Washington, DC 20003
(202) 783-3566 - coord@jubileeusa.org

 

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Crux Mentions Prayer Vigil for Puerto Rico in Story on Puerto Rico Recovery

Jubilee USA Network's Prayer Vigil for Puerto Rico was recently mentioned in Crux. Read excerpt below and follow link to full article.

Catholic expert calls Puerto Rico recovery “a tale of two islands”

By: Christopher White

"On Wednesday, the archbishop of San Juan, Roberto Octavio González Nieves, led a prayer vigil at the United States Capitol in an effort to remind congressional leaders of the plight of Puerto Ricans.

[Monsignor Kevin] Sullivan participated in the interfaith service sponsored by Jubilee USA, and said there should be a two-pronged focus going forward, with a focus on both the present needs, but also the future of the island."

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National Catholic Reporter Covers Jubilee USA’s Prayer Vigil for Puerto Rico

Eric LeCompte, Executive Director of Jubilee USA was recently cited in National Catholic Reporter speaking on the Prayer Vigil for Puerto Rico and the need for rebuilding and debt relief of the people of the islands. Read excerpt below and follow link to full article.

Capitol Hill prayer vigil draws attention to Puerto Rico's disaster relief needs

By: Julie Bourbon

“Eric LeCompte, executive director of Jubilee, articulated several priorities for Puerto Rico, including debt relief and a debt moratorium, a better building provision, and allowing residents of the island full access to Medicare and Medicaid benefits as well as the child tax credit.

Under the Stafford Act, LeCompte said, aid must be sufficient to rebuild infrastructure as it was. Jubilee and others are calling for the better building provision so that the island’s already failing infrastructure will be improved.

‘We know in Puerto Rico, if we rebuild what was, when the hurricane comes next year, what is rebuilt will not stand,’ LeCompte said. ‘The reality is the situation was tragic before the storm. What was a tragedy before has become a full blown humanitarian crisis.’”


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Congress Votes on Puerto Rico: Call Now Please

Friend,

Congress will vote today or tomorrow on a recovery package for Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands, Florida, Texas and California. Please call your Senators and Representative now and tell them Puerto Rico needs recovery funding to rebuild to withstand the next storm. Tell them Puerto Rico needs debt relief. Tell them that US Citizens living in Puerto Rico should be able to receive the same level of access to Medicaid, Medicare and child tax benefits that citizens can access who live in the States.

Already, because of your phone calls and e-mails, we stripped the tax package of an "excise" tax on Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. This happened because of the calls and e-mails we generated to Congress. While there still are some parts of the tax package that hurt Puerto Rico, we've made progress and we are getting commitments to fix this in the new year. Your continued action is so important.‎ Our actions as of now have secured provisions in the upcoming aid package to ensure that infrastructure will be built stronger than before.

Congress will vote on recovery funds for Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands as part of their vote to keep the government open.

Please call your Members of Congress now.

Yesterday, Puerto Rico's Archbishop Roberto Gonzalez joined Jubilee USA's Director Eric LeCompte to meet with the teams of Speaker Ryan and Leader McConnell. Afterwards, Jubilee USA and our partners hosted a prayer service in a Congress office building for Puerto Rico. Supporting and participating groups included the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, United Church of Christ, Catholic Charities USA, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York, Franciscan Action Network, the National Association of Evangelicals, Muslim Public Affairs Council and Islamic Relief.

Archbishop Gonzalez presided over the service and he reflected:

"Puerto Rico desperately needs a complete debt relief, funding for rebuilding, and equal access to Medicare, Medicaid and child tax benefit funding.  Puerto Rico, in spite of its colonial history with Spain and the United States for more than 500 years, with all the inequalities and humiliations that entails, has exemplified a Christian spirit of reconciliation towards Spain and the United States in its quest to live in dignity, freedom, equality and peace in the world community.

"Today, all of us, clergy, religious,  people representing many faiths and denominations, government officials, lay people and people of good will, gathered in this prayer service organized by Jubilee USA to pray for the people of Puerto Rico and for an awakening of the hearts of the Representatives and Senators in Congress and to give thanks to God for the precious God-given gifts of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Today we pray with the persistence and tenacity of the widow of the gospel;  we pray full of hope that the miracle of compassion, openness toward and solidarity with Puerto Rico may come true."

Your calls are urgently needed. Call Congress and say that Puerto Rico needs recovery funding to rebuild to withstand the next storm. Tell them Puerto Rico needs debt relief. Tell them that US Citizens living in Puerto Rico should be able to receive the same level of access to Medicaid, Medicare and child tax benefits that citizens can access who live in the States.

Thanks for taking action,

Lydia_Andrews_signature.png

Lydia C. Andrews
Deputy Director
Twitter: @JubileeUSA | www.jubileeusa.org/support-us
212 East Capitol St NE - Washington, DC 20003
(202) 783-3566 - coord@jubileeusa.org
 
 
 

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Archbishop, Faiths Pray for Puerto Rico at Congress

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 19, 2017

Archbishop and Religious Groups Hold Puerto Rico Prayer Vigil at US Capitol

Washington DC - As Congress considers recovery and relief packages for hurricane-hit Puerto Rico, the island's Archbishop and national religious on Wednesday will hold a prayer vigil in a Congressional office building.

"Puerto Rico needs a Congress that is sensitive to the pain of the people of Puerto Rico," noted Roberto González, Archbishop of the Catholic Archdiocese of San Juan de Puerto Rico. Gonzalez will be the primary presider at the service. "It needs a Congress that respects Puerto Rico's right to reconstruct with dignity."

San Juan's Archbishop will be joined at the prayer vigil by a number of major religious groups including: the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, the United Church of Christ, the National Association of Evangelicals, the Muslim Public Affairs Council, Catholic Charities USA, the Franciscan Action Network, Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York and Jubilee USA Network.

The various groups will be praying and calling for adequate rebuilding aid, debt relief and financing for healthcare and child benefits on par with what US States receive.

"Puerto Rico desperately needs adequate rebuilding aid so its power grid and infrastucture is strong enough to withstand the next storm," noted Eric LeCompte of the religious development group that is organizing the event, Jubilee USA Network. "Puerto Rico needs debt relief and equal access to Medicare, Medicaid and child tax benefit funding."

The event will be held at noon on December 20th from noon-1 pm in room 121 of Congress' Cannon House Office Building

Available for Interview: Eric LeCompte, Executive Director
Contact: Lydia C. Andrews, Deputy Director
lydia@jubileeusa.org / (o) (202) 783-3566 x109 (m) (847) 772-2305

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