For Immediate Release
Jubilee USA Launches Puerto Rico Radio Spots Ahead of Florida Presidential Primary
Ads Focus on Island's Debt Crisis and Air in Spanish and English across Florida
WASHINGTON - Jubilee USA is running radio spots focused on Puerto Rico's debt crisis in Florida ahead of the state's March 15th presidential primary. The ads first ran in Texas ahead of the state's "Super Tuesday" primary. The radio placement urges presidential candidates to address the crisis. Florida's primary may play an important role in the US presidential election and is home to more than 1 million Puerto Ricans.
"Puerto Rico's debt crisis is a critical campaign issue," stated Eric LeCompte, executive director of Jubilee USA, a religious development coalition. "The American citizens on the island are being treated like second class citizens and the Puerto Ricans in Florida are voting with the crisis on their minds."
Jubilee USA's radio placements emphasize the humanitarian crisis facing the US territory. Puerto Rico cut health funding by $42 million last year and is now battling the Zika virus spreading on the island. Nearly half the population lives in poverty and the government is cutting social services. Puerto Rico's government has said it cannot make its next debt payment in full.
At a recent Republican debate, Florida Senator Marco Rubio repeated his opposition to granting Puerto Rico access to Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection. While former candidate Jeb Bush supported bankruptcy protection, the other remaining Republican candidates have not spoken in detail about the Puerto Rico crisis. The remaining Democratic candidates support bankruptcy protection. Congress is actively considering bankruptcy tools for Puerto Rico to restructure the $72 billion debt.
"Congress needs to provide Puerto Rico with comprehensive tools to resolve the crisis in a timely way," noted LeCompte. "If Congressional action is not comprehensive, Puerto Rico will still be knocking on the doors of Capitol Hill."
Listen to Jubilee USA's Puerto Rico radio spot
Jubilee USA Network is an alliance of more than 80 religious denominations and faith communities, human rights, environmental, labor, and community groups working for the definitive cancellation of crushing debts to fight poverty and injustice in Asia, Africa, and Latin America.