Puerto Rico: In the middle of a crisis.

From far to near: Michael Gonzalez, Javier Smith, Luis G. Santiago: Panelists of the Press Conference

From far to near: Michael Gonzalez, Javier Smith, Luis G. Santiago: Panelists of the Press Conference

A group of students of the University of Puerto Rico of Mayagüez had a press conference about our country’s economic crisis and social inequality.   The panel was consisted of: Michael Gonzalez, Professor in sociology, Public activist Javier Smith and José Guillermo Santiago.  The event took place in the UPRM this morning.

Today a group of students of the UPRM talked to a panel about the economic crisis in which Puerto Rico is living.  It started at 11:00am in a classroom of the University.  Press began the questions to the panelists present.  Michael Gonzalez wasn’t showing any emotions or positive attitude in answering the first question: “I have no idea” he said.  In other hand, the other to experts on the panel where very enthusiastic in being there and in the best disposition of answering any question asked.  Public Activist, Javier Smith focused on the importance and impact that has the community in the economic decisions and that it is imperative that everyone acts being a person with economic power or not: “There has to be a symbiotic relationship between activists in lower bases and the ones with power.” Meanwhile Jose Guillermo was asked about the recent economic public politics and how is helping the crisis.  José said, “The government should focus those public politics in the needs of the community and not based in the capital”.  The question asked in the conference where designed for the specialty of each panelist and they answered accordingly.  Michael Gonzalez was asked of the social inequality in which we live in including racial, sex orientation, gender, religion and every type of discrimination for what Mr. Gonzalez said that if the victim doesn’t take action and that person is in the power to make a change, there is always going to be discrimination and social inequality.

“The upper class becomes richer or stays the same and the lower-middle class suffers the consequences” said Javier smith

They questioned Mr. Smith if the instability of the political status of Puerto Rico has affected negatively in the economic crisis and social inequality, for which he said that the political status has been the same all these years and so it has the crisis.  The political status has affected our country since we became a colonial territory of the U.S.A. The economic crisis is based in the political status as said in the Washington Post: “En un editorial, el diario The Washington Post reconoce que la crisis económica de Puerto Rico está fundamentada en la estructura de su actual status politico”. A reporter in El Nuevo Dia newspaper posted this argument.

The economic and social crisis is affecting everyone and as the Javier Smith said: “We as the people have to take action.”  The crisis is making the people feel desperate and hopeless instead of gaining strength to improve the status of our country, as it says in the news article on El Nuevo Dia: “La compleja situación social y económica que vive el país en estos momentos está teniendo un efecto devastador en el ánimo de los residentes de la Isla, según los resultados de La Encuesta de El Nuevo Día.”

When all the questions where answered the moderator closed the conference thanking the panelist, press and the public in general for being there today.


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