The heated rum-industry dialogue between leaders in the USVI and Puerto Rico continues. Governor John P. deJongh responds to the latest attacks from PR.
U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS ADDRESSES PUERTO RICO GROUP’S ATTACKS
National Puerto Rican Coalition Launches
Last-Minute Desperation Attack Based on Lies and Fabrications
Economic Leadership Is Needed to Help Puerto Rico,
Not Disingenuous Political Posturing
St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands – U.S. Virgin Islands’ Governor John P. deJongh, Jr., today addressed the latest round of misinformation and fabrications by Puerto Rican special interest groups, this time coming from the National Puerto Rican Coalition (NPRC), regarding the Virgin Islands’ landmark, long-term economic development efforts. The Virgin Islands is implementing two local public-private partnerships with rum makers Diageo (owner of Captain Morgan) and Fortune Brands (owner of Cruzan Rum) that will strengthen the territory’s economy and generate sorely needed new revenues for the territory’s government and essential services operations.
The following is a statement from Governor deJongh:
This latest salvo from NPRC is simply more of the same from Puerto Rico. Every day, we are focused on growing the U.S. Virgin Islands’ economy and helping our citizens. Puerto Rico has instead chosen to resort to desperate attacks and ”pulled from the air” allegations with no basis in facts, at a time when what their economy really needs is leadership and real plans for growth.
Puerto Rican citizens should ask about their government’s transparency and why its rum programs are intentionally kept so secret. They should ask where Puerto Rico’s rum revenue really goes. And they should also ask why their leaders are so determined to attack their neighboring sister islands, and friends, of the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Our agreements are complete. Construction activity has already generated private sector business opportunities. Rum production will begin in a few short months and will yield newfound cover-over revenues. We are protecting American jobs and, based on projected future revenues, we are avoiding government layoffs and have not had to cut back on essential government services. We are cleaning up the environment and creating state-of-the-art facilities. Global Insight has ranked the Virgin Islands’ public-private partnerships as the second most effective in an analysis of state-level investment initiatives. These agreements are good for Virgin Islanders and good for all Americans.