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tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  June 15, 2016 3:00pm-4:01pm PDT

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06/15/16 06/15/16 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from pacifica, this is democracy now! >> where does t this stop? , one of thekiller san bernardino killers, the ft. hood killer -- they were all u.s. citizens. are we going to start treating all muslim americans differently? amy: as president obama lashes out at donald trump's been --
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call foror muslims and. we speak to the mayor of san juan, 23 of the victims in orlandndo massacre were puerto rico. we w will also look at a new bil in congress to grade federally appointed control board sweeping powers to run puerto rico's economy. the house has already backed the legislation, now it is on to the senate. >> we are engaged in a holy and democratic -- undemocratic, debating how we w will take our from the p people that are virtrtually powerless already. amy: first, georgigia c congresn hank johnson has introduced a bill to stop all military aid to honduras following the assassination of berta caceres. we will speak to congress member , the e new head o of the indigs groucopinhnh. >> b because we know thihis
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assassssination wawas political. it hasas to do withth neoliberal policies, but t also with h a vy u.s. policies that a are being imimplemented in our country o r economomic aid to the armed fors or through security aid. amy: all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now1, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. hundreds of people gathered at a church in orlando, florida tuesday night to mourn the 49 victims of susunday's attack onn lgbtq nightclub, the deadliest mass shooting in modern u.s. history. more information has begun to emerge about the shooting at the pulse nightclub as survivors tell their stories. afterce carter survived being trapped in a bathroom with the shooter after being shot in the lead. she said she heard omar mateen called 911 saying he was carrying out the massacre because he wanted the u.s. to stop bombing his country.
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mateen was born in the united states. his parents are frfrom afghanistan. carter gave her account on tuesday. >> and after that, even spoke to us directly in the bathroom. he said, are there any black people in here? i was too afraid to answer, but there was an african-american male in the stall where the majority of my body was who answered and said, yes, there are about six or seven of us. the gunman responded back to him saying, you know, i don't have a problem with lack people. this is about my country. you guys have suffered enough. and he just made a statement saying it wasn't about black people. this is of the reason why he was doing this. after the conversation with 911, he said that the reason why he was doing this is because he wanted americans to stop bombing his country. amy: patience carter was at the club at a friend.
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mumurray and carter initially skeptical about went back into look for parker. all three were shot. murray, fatally. carter delivered a poem about the guilt she felt for surviving. >> the guilt is feeling lucky to be alive is heaven it is like the weight of the ocean's walls crushing and controlled by levees like being drug through the grass with a shattered leg and thrown on the back of a chevy it is like a rushed to the hospital and told you are going to make it meanwhile, individuals whose lives are brutally taken. the guilt is being alive is heavy. amy: meanwhile, the shooter's wife could face criminal charges if authorities establish she know about the attack in advance. has reportedly told agence she tried to talk mateen
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out of the shooting. multiple sources say the team was a regular the nightclub and gaycontacted people on dating apps, but the club has denied he was ever a patron. president obama has taken aim at presumptive republican presidential nominee donald trump over trump's vow to ban muslims from entering the united states. following the orlando attacks, trump expanded his call for a ban, saying he would apply it to any country with a history of terrorism against the u.s. and its allies. the orlando shooter was born in new york city. speaking tuesday, president obama blasted trump's remarks. >> we hear lynwood that singles out immigrants -- language decimals up immigrants and suggests entire religious communities are complicit in violence. where does this s stop? killer, one of the
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san bernardino killers, the ft. hood killer -- they were all u.s. citizens. are we going to start treating all muslim americans differently? amy: in an email to the associated press, meanwhile, trump, accused obama of "prioritizing our enemy over our allies, and for that matter, the american people." speaking in greensboro, north carolina, trump accused obama of being angrier at him than the orlando shooter. -- i watched president obama today, and he was more angry at me than he was at the shooter. and many people said that. one of the folks on television said, boy, has trump gotten under his skin. a lot of people have said this, the level of anger -- that is the kind of anger he should have with the s shooter and these
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killers that should not be here. amy: top republicans have sought to disistance thememselves from trump's remarks on muslims. senate majority leader mitch mcconnell refused to answer questions about trump at his weekly news conference, but told the huffington post trump's ban is a bad idea and there are "an awful lot of patriotic, loyal american muslims." house speaker paul ryan also criticized trump's remarks. >> i do not think a muslim ban is in our country's interest. i do not think it is reflective of our principles, not just as a party, but as a country. i think ththis modern way to gos -- smarter way to go. amy: following the massacre president obama has also called for the reinstatement of the assault weapons ban and measures to prevent suspected terrorists from obtaining guns. one of the two guns used by orlalando shooter omar mateen ws an ar-15 semi-automatic assault rifle, the same style used in the massacres in san bernardino,
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california, at the aurora, colorado, movie theater, and the sandy hook elementary school in newtown, connecticut. on tuesday, hundreds of people gathered outside the headquarters of the national rifle association in fairfax, virginia to call for gun control , measures. troy petenbrink k was among the. we need the assault weapon ban to be back in place. we need to keep these guns off the street and unavailable. we're not talking about your basic guns you need for protection. we all support that, but we don't support literally weapons of mass dedestruction. 49 people killed in a matter of minutes. amy: california democratic senator dianne feinstein has released new statistics showing more than 90% of known or suspected terrorists who have attempted to buy a gun since 2004 have passed a background check and been cleared to do so. the data from the government accountability office shows between 2004 and 2015, nearly 2500 people on the watch list applied to purchase weaeapons.
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nearly 2300 of them were approved. last year, the approval rate was even higher, at 95%, with only 21 of 244 people on the terrorist watch list failing the background checkck. hillary clinton has won the final democratic primary in washington, d.c. clinton met with rival bernie sanders for nearly two hours tuesday night. in statements afterwards, the campaigns said they had agreed to work together on a progressive agenda for the democratic party platform in july. senator sanders had issued a series of demands ahead of the meeting, including an end to the superdelegate system, the removal of dnc chair debbie wasserman schultz, and the most progressive democratic p platfom in the party's history. sanders is expected to address his supporters by video message on thursday night. meanwhile, green party presidential candidate dr. jill stein's campaign has announced she has secured enough delegates to secure the green party's nomination.
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after winning the majority of green party delegates in california, new york, and maryland, stein has the support of 203 delegates come enough to secure the nomination at the green party's convention in august. dr. stein says a recent poll shows her with 5% support nationally. she has called for opening up the upcoming presidential debates to include third party candidates.. "the washington post" reports russian government hackers broke into the computer networks of the democratic national committee, accessing the dnc's entire database of opposition research on donald trump. the hackers were reportedly able to read all email and chat traffic and some had access to the network for about a year. in a victory for advocates of the open internet, a federal court has ruled high-speed internet can be defined as a utility. the decision affirms the obama administration's moves to protect net neutrality by preventing corporate service providers from blocking access to websites, slowing down
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content or providing paid fast , lanes for internet service. the fcc approved the rules last year after receiving a record 4 million public comments. in a statement, the group free press called tuesday's ruling "a huge victory for the millions and millions of internet users who have fought for years for net neutrality." the telecom companies may appeal to the supreme court. in california, a judge who gave a former stanford university swimmer a six-month sentence after he was convicted of three felony counts for sexually assaulting an unconscious woman has been removed from a similar case. judge aaron persky sparked a national outcry and an effort to recall him after expressing concerning a longer prison term could have a severe impact on brock allen turner. at the request of prosecutors, persky has been removed from another case involving a male nurse accused of sexually assaulting an anesthetized patienent. to see our report on how moments
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before sentencing brock turner, judge persky dealt another light sentence to a domestic violence victim, go to democracynow.org. a cache of declassified documents has revealed new details about the cia's torture program. among other findings, the records show a prisoner who was waterboarded 83 times was likely willing to cooperate with interrogatorors before ththe torture. the account from medical personnel who helped with the first waterboarding of abu zubaydah deals a major blow to the cia's insistence it gained crucial informatation through torture. meanwhile, an afghan prisoner at guantanamo received a hearing before a review board tuesday after advocates say he went nine years without an attorneney. the group reprieve said haroon al-afghani, who has never been charged, has gone without an attorney since arriving at guantanamo in 2007. reprieve attorney shelby sullivan bennis represented
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al-afghani at tuesday's hearing after meeting him for the first time last week. in a statement, sullivan bennis said -- "very little is known to the world about haroon, and guantanamo's secrecy laws currently ban me from filling in the blanks. i can say that my new client is every bit as heartbroken by the senseless violence in orlando as i am, and presented for his monday meeting with tears in his eyes." and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. juan: and i'm juan gonzalez. welcome to all of our listeners and viewers from around the country and around the world. on tuesday night, hundreds of people gathered at the church in orlando, florida, to mourn the 49 victims of sunday's attack on an lgbt nightclub. the deadliest mass shooting in modern u.s. history. following the m massacrcre, president obamama called for the reinststatement of t the assault
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weapons ban and measures to prevenent suspecected terrorists from obtaining guns. one of the two guns used by orlando shooter omar mateen was an ar 15 semiautomatic assault rifle, the same still used in the massacres in san bernardino, california, aurora, colorado, and newtown, connecticut. amy: we begin and washington, d.c., where we're joined by georgia congress member hank johnson. ontuesday, he and others house judiciary committee signed a letter to committee chair bob goodlatte to consider legislatioion to reinstate a lapsed ban on automatic assault weapons. in the letter, the lawmakers write -- georgia congressman for hank johnson, welcome to democracy now! talk about what you are calling for right now. >> it is a pitiful shame that here in america at this time, it
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is easier to buy an assault weapon than it is to board an airplane. you have to go through all kinds of security and have all kinds of id in order to fly, but in order to live, all you need is aninternet connection or entry into what is called a gun show where you can buy from an unlicensed firearm dealer. you don't have to go through a background check. so that is called the gun show loophole, and it allows these assault weapons to proliferate on the streets of america. and we are seeing a proliferation of homicides and mass murders that are committed with these high-capacity assault weapons that were made and manufactured to kill people in mass numbers quickly. so we need to replace the ban on assault weapons that expired in
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2004, and we need to reinstate that ban so that we can start getting a handle on the proliferation of these assault weapons on the streets of america. juan: congressman johnson, why specifically was the law allowed to lapse, and what has been the line of in the battle to get it reinstated? >> well, it was the pressure on lawmakers by the national rifle association, which represents gunman you fractures and gun retailers -- manufacturers and gun retailers. that contribute it large amounts of money, particularly to the republican party. about 83% of their funding goes to republicans for congress. with that kind of influence, with that kind of money in politics, it has resulted in the nra being able to prevail when it comes to common sense gun regulation.
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they support no effort to control firearms in the hands of anyone in this country. until we can break the back of the nra lobby and get that dark money out of politics and do something about campaign finance reform, we are going to have tose anomalies that continue exist in america. and people are dying as a result of these policies or the lack of policy by congress. it is something we need to change. amy: there is a joke going around online, and i hate to joke on a day like this, but it says "can i get two boxes of sudafed? sorry, by law, you can only buy one at a time. ok, then just one box of sudafed and these seven guns." >> it is a fact of life that one can go into a gun show and purchase unlimited amounts of weaponry and ammunition and
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high-capacity clips, no questions asked. this is the 21st century. this is the year 2016 in america. and after repeated mass murders at the hands of persons wielding assault weapons, when will we wake up and take action? just simply doing a moment of silence every time something like this occurs in congress has appeased some lawmakers. some of them think that is all we need to do. but i think the american public are starting to wake up. they want us to take action. if we are to do our jobs, we must take these kinds of situations like that which occurred in orlando and use them to galvanize public opinion and public pressure on these recalcitrant lawmakers who are in the pockets of the nra, quite
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frankly, afraid to move without permission. it is time to act. it is time to act now. it is not just these mass murders. there are just instances of homicides throughout the country , single people, two people being killed at a time. we can't forget about those. it is easy to look away from those that are occurring every weekend in cities and in towns throughout america, people losing their lives to gun violence. guns are ending up in the hands of people who have no right or should have no right to possess them. and so without any kind of regulations, we will continue to see this influx of weaponry on to the streets. we have seen misuse of that weaponry and innocent people will lose their lives as a
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result. and so congress has a responsibility to stand up and do something about it. juan: i want to play for you part of donald trump's remarks on monday following the orlando massacre. >> when i am elected, i will suspend immigration from areas of the world where there is a proven history of terrorism against the united states, europe, or our allies. until we fully understand how to end these threats. we cannot continue to allow thousands upon thousands of people to pour into our country, many of whom have the same thought process as this savage killer. ,uan: congressman hank johnson your response to the presumptive republican candidate for president remarks? >> conveniently for donald trump, he wants to forget this
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individual who perpetrated the mass murder in orlando is an american-born, american citizen. murders of the mass that have taken place in america since the removal of the assault weapons ban in 2004 -- and fact, before then, most of the have beenrs american-born. it is wrong to try to demonize refugees, people trying to escape mass murder, mass incarceration in their home countries. it is wrong to blame those people for the scourge of violence that is happening in america. juan: i want to turn out to honduras. in an unprecedented move, a group of congress members are calling on the united states to suspend all military y united -- aid to honduras until the country addresses its gross
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human rights violations. on tuesday afternoon, democratic caucus member hank johnson of georgia introduced the bill in congress demanding the u.s. halt all funds to honduras for their police and military operations, including funds for equipment and training. the united states currently provides hundreds of millions of dollars in aid to honduras through the northern triangle's alliance for prosperity plan. amy: the legislation is called the the berta caceres human rights in honduras act, named in honor of slain indigenous and environmnmental leader b berta caceres. in march, she was murdered in her home in la esperanza, honduras. for a decade, she led the struggle against the agua zarca dam planned along a river sacred to the lenca people. honduran authorities have charged five people in connection with her death, including a honduran army major and employees of desa, the company behind the dam. but caceres' family has called for an independent investigation. congress member hank johnson of
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georgia, talk about this legislation, what you're calling for, and why you are involved with this 06/15/16 06/15/16 well, this legislation would suspend financial aid to the republic of honduras for military operations and training and also weaponry equipment. it would suspend u.s. financial assistance to honduras for those purposes until such time as the republic of honduras can demonstrate that it has adequately and transparently investigated andnd taken actionn the many killings, unlawful and extrajudicial killings of human rights activist, incremental , humant, lgbt activists rights defenders in honduras. there has been a scourge of
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killings. the killings have been linked to the corrupt police and security forces and also the military units within honduras and it is time for action. it is time for the united states to stop supporting these kinds of regimes. white frankly, they are illegal. this is an illegal regime that overthrew a duly elected president and since that time, this kind of violence has rained down on human rights defenders in honduras, and it is time for the united states to stop it support for those kinds of activities by that government. juan: you named the bill after berta caceres. did you have a prior connection to her before she was killed? >> yes, i happened to have met berta when she came to washington, d.c., about 11 months before her assassination. and we knew her to be a staunch
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advocate for the lenca people, a staunch advocate for the environment against the exploitation of land by transnational corporations who came into honduras to try to set up hydroelectric dams on rivers that, quite frankly, the lenca people have historically depended on for their welfare for basic food, water, and for their living conditions. and so for transnational corporations to come in, appropriate lenca land for their uses and without any consultation with the lenca people, and berta caceres was one of those who stood up to oppose that. quite frankly, have been quite successful in doing so prior to
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her assassination. that is what led to her assassination. indications that the assassination plot goes higher up than just simply people working for these transnational companies. it appears that the military as well as security units within honduras were complicit in this assassination. and it needs to be investigated, and there have been calls for an international independent investigation of the killing. and i am hopeful the progress can be made in that regard. amy: congress member hank johnson, you have mentioned this aid has continued through the firstcoup m againste -- against mel zelaya.
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juan, you had a chance to question hillary clinton at the new york daily news editorial board meeting. she was secretary of state at the time. very quickly r recognized the cp at the time and try to get other latin american countries to support the new government. juan: yes. i specifically asked secretary clinton of about her particular the seeking --f of not seeking to cut off the aid. she tried to make a distinction between a military coup and in essence a political removal of president zelaya. i am wondering your view of what kind of coup it was in honduras? >> it is clear the democratically elected president , and it was against the will of the people.
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and that individual was not allowed to participate in the new election that resulted in the installation of the current president. so in my opinion, when the will addressed,le is not then we have problems. and i believe we have got problems in honduras that stemmed from -- stem from the transfer of power. and i look forward to the time actuallyurans are happy and satisfied. i'm not talking about just the top 1%, but i am talking about all of the people in honduras are satisfied and supportive of their government. i don't see how that can happen when the government is involved in the assassination of human
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rights activists and people who speak out against government policies. that is something that the united states should not be supporting. amy: democratic congressman hank johnson of georgia, thank you for talking to us co-sponsor of , a bill that was just introduced in the house to suspend all u.s. military support to honduras. it is calllled the berta caceres human rights in honduras a act, named after the recently assassinated honduran indigenous and environmental organizer . when we come back from break, we will speak with her successor, tomas gomez membreño, whoo is an washington, d.c., right now. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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amy: this is d democracy now!, democracynow.orgrg, the e war ad peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. a global day of action is being organized today calling for justice for berta, to remedy slain honduran activist berta
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caceres. protesters are gathering to call on the u.s. to stop funding the honduran military over accusations that state security forces have been involved in human rights violations, extrajudicial killings, and the murder of environmentalists like berta caceres. before her death, berta and her organization, copinh, was long the target of repression by elite honduran security forces and paramilitary groups. only hours before she was killed, berta caceres accused the military, including the u.s.-funded special forces tigres unit, of working on behalf of international corporations. >> we haveve to understand whyy these projects are so important. the governrnment has a all of is inststitutions a at the seservif theseompanies bececause they're , because these businesses are capable of moving anti-terrorism command is like the tigres, military police,
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national police, security guards, hitmen, etc. amy: to talk more about honduras, we're joined by tomas gomez membreño, ththe new generl coordinator of copinh a member .f the lencan people like berta membreño became the leader of copinh after the recent assassination of berta caceres, his dear friend. welcome for the first time to democracy now!, tomas gomez membreño. first, condolences on the death of berta. can you respond to what comes member hank johnson has just announced, the introduction of a bill to stop all u.s. military aid to honduras? thank you very much for the opportunity to be on this program for the first time. i think it is very important for
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us at copinh and the lenca bille to learn about a that is aimed at clarifying the assassination of our colleague berta caceres. this is one of the points we have been demand in, that here that thereed states might be a bill here in the united states to pressure the with thet of honduras inter-american commission on human rights, which we think is suretant in order to make in the wassidence -- congress. it is very important to know a bill that has to do with several analyzing,ave been
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but our goal is to clear up what happened in the assassination of our colleague berta caceres. i think it has to do primarily with the capitalist neoliberal implemented byre multinational corporations as well as national corporations. tose are capitalist policies the detriment of our territory. there is a dispossession of people from the lands that violates our sovereignty, violates the vision and spirituality of our people with respect to our rivers and our livelihoods. it is very important that we as see that people can the members of congress who are the representatives of the state and represent the interest of
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the population, it is important to see such an initiative because this economic support that the u.s. provides to the honduran military and security forces comes from the tax dollars paid by u.s. citizens. sent to aannot be state where we are assassinated, which is what happens in honduras. police carry out some at repression agagainst our people. juan: tomas gomez membreño, what is the state right now of human rights in honduras? are the death squads back in honduras? >> i think that now they have become institutionalized. squads -- say, these well, battalion 316 is what was called in the 1980's.
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today there operating in the military and police. hasy the modus operandi become institutionalized with the state. for example, with the assassination of our colleague berta caceres, we can identify that a member of the army and advisor to the military police is one of the persons implicated in the assassination of berta caceres. and the head of the army has also been part of this institutional structure. is -- so there's another nuance. this has become institutionalized in the face of a strong struggle to uphold the interest of the population. so this police force and this army answered to the economic interests of the transnational corporation and the economic and political power centers of this
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country. amy: are you concerneded for yor own life? it is incredibly brave of you to assume the leadership of copinh. you have berta caceres who was killed and then you have as well another copinh m mber nelsonon garcia who was killed. are you concerned for your own life, tomas gomez membreño? >> well, i think those of us who are in gauged with the struggle in defense of the territory and in defense of life, each and every one of us is worried and honduras because a war is being waged against those who defend the, goods, particularly those engaged in direct defense of the interest of the population, which is the case of us in copinh, but also specifically with the lenca.
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we saw before the assassination of berta caceres, we were receiving many death threats from the private company and from thesure politicians of honduras. and in the wake of her assassination, there have been more death threats, but also the extermination of indidigenous people struggling to defend the common good. so we stand up for life and the state of honduras isis bringing about genocide against our indigenous communities. amy: tomas gomez membreño, thank you for being with us, look forward to speaking to again. all the best luck. now the new general coordinator of copinh. copinh is the indigenouss organization that berta caceres led until her assassination in her home in honduras.
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when we come back, we had directly to san juan, puerto rico. 23 of the 49 people killed in the orlando massacre were order he can. we will get the mayor of san juan's response and then we will talk about legislation in the u.s. congress that will determine the fate of puerto rico. stay with us. ♪ [music break]
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amy: "love me like there is done tomorrrrow" by freddie mercucur. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman with juan gonzalez. in a moment, we will get the comments of the mayor of san juan in puerto rico on the deaths of the orlando massacre where 23 of the 49 people killed nightclub were puerto rican. first, we turn to another issue involving puerto rico. juan: the senate is set to consider a bill to create a federally appointed control board with sweeping powers to run puerto rico's economy to help the island cope with it crippling debt crisis. the bill, known as promesa, passed the house last week by a bipartisan vote of 297 to 127. democratic congressman luis gutierrez spoke out against the bill.. >> we are engaged today in a
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wholly undemocratic activity in the world's greatest democracy. we're debating how wewe will tae power from the people who are virtually powerless already. think about it. you are imposing a junta. there will be no difference between this junta and the junta nchile as far as international committee is concerned. amy: but many of gutierrez's longtime allies in the congressional progressive caucus back the bill, including jose serrano, nydia velazquez and raul grijalva who said the bill was needed to address puerto rico''s humanitaririan crisisis. > it t is not the b bill i wd have drafted for the -- where the college some us out of the i would have drafted. the oversight board is to power. the board is another encroachment on the sovevereigny ricof the people of puerto
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and rightly so, they find it offensive. pupuerto rico is drowning in det and hr 5278 is a lifeline. this is the only bill that will attract enough support for my republican colleagues on that side of the aisle to pass in congress, a congress they control. many of the provisions i oppose are the very provisions that will probablbly attract republin support. we have worked for months across the aisle and with the administration, and this is the compromise with the best opportunity to pass. when measured against the worsening humanitarian crisis in puerto rico, this legislation is necessary. juan: in the s senate, robert menendez, dick durbin and bernie sanders have come out against the bill and any one of them could filibuster the legislation. the debate in the senate comes as the supreme court has issued two major decisions about puerto rico. on monday, in a five-to-two
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decision, the high court rejected puerto rico's bid to revive its own bankruptcy law that would have let the island's public utilities restructure about $20 billion those entities , owe to bondholders. that decision came just days after the supreme court ruled against puerto rico in a separate case ruling regarding , a the island's sovereignty. amy: to talk more about these political and judicial developments, we are joined by two guests. from san juan puerto rico is the city's mayor carmen yulin cruz. and here in new york natasha , lycia ora bannan, president of the national lawyers guild and associate counsel at latinojustice. her latest article for the huffington post is, "the united states makes the case for why puerto rico is still its colony." let's go first to san juan to the mayor. your response to the legislation right now in congress? >> first of all, good morning to
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from sanand greetings juan, puerto rico. you don't add up a democratic situation. you don't put fuel to a fire. and what the congress has done with the president of the united states has done or the judicial system has done, they have unveiled to everyone, the international community and everyone in puerto rico, that we are a colony of the united states. promesa is a broken promise to the people of puerto rico. they have put their back toward the light supporter can people. and they cannot move forward an agenda that will help the development of the puerto rican economy. since 1952, the u.s. has admitted based on the actions that it has perpetrated a fraud on the international community when it asks for puerto rico to be taken out of the list of colonies. we are a colony. that being said, what are we going to do in puerto rico and
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what are the representatives -- and i have to think luis gutierrez for standing his ground and standing with the people of puerto rico on this, but what cannot happen and what people need to know is while in the u.s., people are fighting to increase in a moment to $15 an hour, this colonial control board will lower minimum wage in puerto rico for people 25 and under to $4.25 an hour. this colonial control board could sell our natural resources . and this colonial control board will have sovereign powers to revoke anything that our next governor, our next legislature, or any public official of the puerto rico government elected by the democratic vote of the puerto rican people will do. we have no voice because we have been left to be voiceless by those that claim to be the beacon of democracy in all of the world.
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you, mayor, i want to ask this control board has been compared to the d.c. control board established when the district of columbia was in financial problems, but the control board required all of the members -- i mean that legislation record all of the members of the board to be residents of the district of columbia and also the federal government came in with financial aid by assuming all the pension liabilities of the district of columbia. whereas this legislation does not provide any kind of federal assistance, only a control board, six of seven members can be from the united states, not from puerto rico. why do you call it a colonial control board? power resides and a group of people that have not been elected in another country that is the definition of a colony. and you cannot even declare bankruptcy in the u.s. negates
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the right of the puerto rican people to reduce a piece of legislation -- produce a piece of legislation that will allow us to orderly declare bankruptcy, that is by definition what a colony is. people may think this colonial control board allows for a structure of the debt in puerto rico. that is not true. the majority of the members now all have to decide based on whatever they want and whatever issues and variables they want , not when,h -- if our debt will be restructured. so this is basically a control board done for the hedge funds of the world, for the had funds that in a manner known the puerto rico was in a crises gave money to the puerto rican people. we have our own responsibility in this. we have to reform our government. we have to reststructure what or priorities are, and we have to
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restructure the colonial relationship b between puerto ro and the united s states. soso there is s a sharered coopn thatat went on t to p produce te perfect crises. itit is also i important to note that the puerto rican people will have to pay $370 million to this control board for it to be functional. not only are they taking democracy away from puerto rico, but they are also doing the following -- it is cocosting us money to inflict pain on our own pepeople. and that is totally unreasonable. i cannot think of anything more an american than that. -- un-american than that. the i want to bring president of the national lawyers guild and associate prldef at latinojustice in, natasha bannan. you have two u.s. supreme court
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decisions. explain. >> in the last week, we have had to decisions of the supreme court that have dealt with the issue of puerto rico. fundamentally, deal with the issue that the mayor was talalkg about, the political relationship between the united states and puerto rico. this is the first time in a very long time, perhaps ever come that every branch of the federal government has spoken clearly about the political status of puerto rico and exposed the colonial relationship. you had the case decided last week that was an issue of double jeopardy that when upset essentially said you cannot be charged for the same crime by two sovereigns. the supreme court of puerto rico has no separate sovereignty. other than that, ceded to it by the united states congress that ultimately the u.s. congress is the ultimate source of all authority regarding puerto rico. of course, it does not say it is a colony, but says it has no separate sovereigngnty or a tom amis, which is the political and legal fiction that has been
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created in 1952. juan: both of these decisions, i read them both, but t the majory decicision and the dissenting opinions, and i was struck especially by the breyer r disst in the sanchez decision.n. where he really goes into exposing not only the historical relationship, but also the fact the u.s. went before the international community and said, hey, in 1952, congress granted puerto rico self-government and this in effect is now contradicting what the united states told the international community when the commonwealth of puerto rico was first created. >> exactly right. breyer looks at a less textual interpretation. let's look in practice. in practice, puerto rico supposedly has implemented some aspects of self-determination, self-governance, autonomy. but it is really the united states position in the world argument prior raises the question as well as to the council and said, what is the
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united states position before the international community after this case? after you filed your brief in this case explicitly saying you don't believe puerto rico has any sovereignty? this monday is the annual hearing before the u.n. decolonization committee on puerto rico were the united states has consistently said puerto rico does not need to be reviewed by this body because it doesn't belong there. it has aspects of autonomy and self-government and a tonic -- and for the first time ever go will be going before this group. every branch of government has said order ago as a colony, you have no governance. the international committee has been very clear that colonialism is not welcome in the international community. it is unmoral, unjust, unlawful. 30's to be a process toward decolonization. in: mayor carmen yulin cruz san juan, can you respond to the
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spring court decisions but also described the effects of the puerto rican debt crisis on the ground, the austerity measures that have been imposed? >> two t things. first -- amy: it looks like we have -- we were having a little trouble. >> to start the decolonization process which should be a self-determination process from the people of puerto rico -- amy: we are having some satellite problems connecting from new york to san juan. it looks like the mayor is back again. go ahead. >> so that is an act of good faith that could happen right now, today, and there is no reason and no need -- amy: we lost you on the satellite. what is the act of goodwill? >> the disability, to be a little work the finances were we have gone from a deficit of $104
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million when i became mayor to a million last year and expected to be surplus of more than $30 million this year. we of done it without laying off people and we have done it increasing services. but that has not been the fate of the central government. when one puerto rican suppers, we all suffer. we have had increased number problemsms with health reform ad health issues. people in the u.s. should know we pay the same medicare tax that you pay, but we get less of the benefits. which again, is highly unfair and un-american. are we supposed to all be getting the same for what we pay for? so we get less. that means a lot of the doctors are leaving the island. we have a neck does of more than 300,000 -- exodus of more than 300,000 people.
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that decreases our income base, which in turn -- it is a wheel that goes round and round. people are losing their homes because jobs are leaving. that started with the ending of section 936 of the irs code work on his good repatriate the earnings they made in puerto rico back into the united states without having to pay federal income tax. puerto rico has one corporate tax rates that is the lowest in the world, 4%, and it was just recently added. there is about $32 million that sorry, $32-- i'm billion that are taken away from puerto rico every year without these companies paying one single cent of taxes and contributing that would to the puerto rican economy. just recently, a couple of weeks air ambulance service was shut down because the government has no money to pay. sometimes there is not enough
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equipment to conduct surgeries that are necessary. it is a crises that we have seen increasing, and that is putting a lot more strain on the 78 municipalities of puerto rico. some of them, like the larger municipality of san juan, we have been able to weather the storm. but other smaller municipalities are really hurting and are at the door of having to perhaps not lay off employees, but having to reduce their income. there is one municipality on the lower south end side of the island that has had its employees working half time because it is unable to pay for all its payroll. there is a humanitarian crises. ask before weo get to the end of this, we have
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to go to the shooting massacre in orlando, the horror that took place post-of 23 of the 49 victims were puerto rican. on tuesday, more than 300 people gathered in the capital of san juan to honor those killed. hundreds more gathered elsewhere. puerto rico's governor has to quit friday an official day of mourning list of natasha lycia n ourannan and mayor yuli deepest condolences, and juan, for all of the victims. first, mayor yulin, your response to the pulse nightclub attack? let's ask natasha. >> it is an absolute tragedy and i think the puerto rican community has been largely affected by this because as you mentioned, half of the victims were puerto rican. many of them had migrated from the island precisely because of the economic and humanitarian crisis the mayor spoke about in search of jobs, seeking more
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safety, more stability. an encounter this horrific act of islands and homophobia and hatred. the community continues to mourn, not only puerto rico, but diaspora. amy: mayor, your response to the killings in orlando? we stand with the people of orlando. we stand with those families of those 24 puerto ricans that were killed because of the horror of those that believe that love is only love when it is done how they wanted to be. i have this watch with the colors of the lgbt community. those are colors that we should all have ingrained in our mind and conscience, and to all of those people out there, puerto rico or not, hate is not the way. we need to move forward and accept people for who they are, and everyone has the right to love whom they want to love because love is love.
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amy: we must leave it there. thank you so much, san juan mayor carmen yulin cruz and natasha lycia ora bannan, associate counsel at latinojustice prldef. [captioning made possible by democracy now!]
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