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Mark Anthony Bimbela


May 31th, 2016

Hon. Paul D. Ryan

of the United States
House of Representative
1233 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, DC20515
Dear Mr. Speaker:
Greetings on behalf of the members of the Colegio de Abogados y Abogadas de Puerto
Rico (Puerto Rico Bar Association), the oldest professional institution in our Country and
the Caribbean, which this year celebrates its 176th anniversary.
Our Institution has great concern about the actual economic situation in Puerto Rico,
which has been a colony of the United States of America since General Miles arrived -by
military invasion- on the south of the Island on July 25, 1898.
For almost a century, the Colegio has denounced the state of defenselessness of Puerto
Rico because of the Cabotage Act (Merchant Marine Act of 1920 and Jones Act) imposed
on the Islands shipping and trade. Last year we warned President Obama that Puerto
Rico was on the verge of a humanitarian and food crisis. Unfortunately, as you see, time
has proved us right. As if that were not enough, the House of Representative, in which
you are the current Speaker, is threatening to undermine the civil rights of 3.5 million
citizens in Puerto Rico by the potential imposition of a Fiscal Control Board. The
legislative proposal (H.R. 5278), called by its acronym PROMESA, which cynically
means promise in Spanish, was approved by the Natural Resources Committee of the
House and establishes a dangerous modern day dictatorship where the rights and lives of
the Puerto Rican People are subordinated to the rights of bond investors.
Our objections to PROMESA rest on the principle that it attempts to deal with the
problems of the Island from a colonial perspective, and not within the standards currently
regulated by the United Nations and international public law. Moreover, Congresss
responsibility is not to secure its territorial control with more legislation, but to enable the
full exercise of self-determination of the people of Puerto Rico, including the

PO Box 9021900 San Juan, PR 00902-1900 Tel. 787-721-3358 prescapr@capr.org www.capr.org

International Covenant on Civil and Politics Rights, ratified by the United States Senate
in 1992. In that regard, PROMESA falls short of addressing the problems caused by US
colonialism in Puerto Rico, and we cannot support or encourage it. For this reason, on
April 16th, 2016 the Government Board of the Colegio passed Resolution No. 26 to
express disapproval to the bill known as the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and
Economic Stability Act (PROMESA) and the Fiscal Control Board. Enclosed you will find
a copy of this resolution.
We respectfully urge you to stand with the Colegio, with Puerto Rico, and with our
People, and oppose this dangerous legislation. We ask that you work with us to find
dignified, fair, and comprehensive solutions to our current crisis. We are hopeful that our
country can come out of this precarious situation and bring peace to millions of families
on the Island and to the other five million Puerto Ricans living in the United States.

Mark Athony Bimbela