|This documentary by Pedro Angel Rivera and Susan Zeig is about "Operation Bootstrap," a structural adjustment program in Puerto Rico which has impoverished the country.
The film examines this plan undertaken in the 1950s which was to attract U.S. capital and serve as a model for the Americas. Using newsreels, archival photographs, and excerpts from government propaganda films, examines the background and many problematic issues posed by the plan.
Puerto Rico has been a US colony since 1898, and its people have resisted and fought back for self-determination and cultural rights through the organized struggle of the working class. Today as a direct result of US economic policy, Puerto Rico is reaching a state of bankruptcy, and the US government and bankers are pushing further privatization of all public resources so as to pay off vulture capitalists who have speculated on Puerto Rican bonds. The US has also forced the privatization of their health system and utilities, and is now pushing for the privatization of their education system.
Operation Bootstrap was also the first “free trade zone” (a precursor to NAFTA) by the US in Puerto Rico and was designed to increase the profits of multi-nationals and create a union-free environment and was replicated around the world. The film exposes this FTZ model which was advertised as helping the people of Puerto Rico, but in fact, it has ended up putting them in further poverty and deprivation.
John Oliver explains Puerto Rico's bankruptcy on "Last Week Tonight" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tt-mpuR_QHQ
Sponsored by LaborFest and the San Jose Peace & Justice Center