The Republican Party's Persecution of Intelligent Men: Gov. Anibal Acevedo Vila (Puerto Rico)*
It should perhaps be of no surprise that criminal offenses are being charged against Anibal Acevedo Vila (PPD), current governor of Puerto Rico. With the electoral loss of Pedro Rossello in the statehood party (PNP) primary here in Puerto Rico, Gov. Acevedo Vila was the clear winner in the upcoming election. His rival, Luis Fortuño, with clear and definite association to George Bush's Republican Party, is basically another "Dan Quale" or "George Bush": a 'cute and friendly' pliable candidate with little genuine conviction and no sign of true leadership. The only way Fortuño was going to be able to gain the governorship in this year's election was if a 'deus ex-machina' was suddenly brought in, which is exactly what occurred with the FBI accusation: a totally unexpected and unusual event that upset the near certain electoral outcome.
As a US Congressman recently noted in an interview, even if the charges are true, the FBI does not typically deal with political party donations, but rather these are traditionally handled by the Federal Electoral Commission or even locally at the Comisión Estatal de Elecciones. Because Anibal Acevedo Vila will now have to spend time defending himself before a federal court, this will divert his time and money away from local elections; his absence in the upcoming elections only eight months away is nearly a foregone conclusion. This is a low blow, particularly so by US federal standards.
The question perhaps is, "Why?" Why get involved in the local politics of an island that is not even a state within the federal union? If Puerto Rico is no longer has any strategic value in a geopolitical and military sense, why then invest time an energy in the accusation? Puerto Rico's relative unimportance means that United States government should have little incentive to become involved in local party politics, which is really a 'show business' that generates a great deal of local employment. Politics is the savoir faire of the local cuisine; (almost) everyone lives and loves by it.
The accusation only makes sense when seen from the following perspective. Anibal Acevedo Vila represents government by the emerging middle class, and Luis Fortuño represents a rule that is corporate-driven. Bush's administration, almost certainly to fall from power in the upcoming elections, needs to keep his buddies and political allies happy, and hence the intrusion.
If you look at most of Acevedo Vila's recent political decisions, they certainly represented an affront to the existing status quo--particularly because it was guided by a 'leveling' of different social sectors. This was the opposite of the policy being followed by the Bush administration, which has basically conceded too much to the economic and financial elite of the United States.
To begin with, Acevdo Vila removed the typical security services offered to former governors, given that the constituted an unnecessary financial burden--certainly leading to grave concerns by Romero Barcelo still haunted by his Cerro Maravilla past. Acevedo Vila instructed his Secretary of Justice to initiate a legal process those involved in Paseo Caribe, whom had infringed against the title-ship of publicly owned properties under the Rossello administration. Acevedo Vila issued an executive order against rich hotel complexes (Dos Mares and Marriott), which voided their hotel development plans and (inversely) created an expanded the Corredor Ecologico del Noreste: a protected reserve of no immediate economic corporate value. Finally, although he now is backing away from it, Acevedo Vila instituted the IVU which reduced the pressure of the middle classes, who had been bearing most of the government's financial burden.
None of these measures benefitted the upper classes in Puerto RIco, and were specifically designed to protect the well-being of Puerto Rico's most important (but ignored) class: the stoic and eternally divided middle class. (Contrary to other classes, these show no sign of 'class conciousness', and had not been foreseen by Karl Marx who divided society only into 'haves' (bourgeoise) and have-nots' (proletariat).)
But we may note that the Bush administration, from its very beginning, has opposed the rational culture engendered by the condition of the middle class. All of his actions have been guided by sheer arrogance, and without due deliberation and thorough analysis of its long-term consequences. Recently, the economist Joseph Stiglitz calculated that the total cost of the Iraq war would be an unfathomable 3 TRILLION dollar debt! Bush has, of all things, even attacked the scientific community by reducing large quantities of funds, closing down institutions - research centers, and censoring government hired employees. Finally, we may note that Alberto Gonzalez, former US Attorney General, had to resign given the disclosure of an concerted attack by those under him of local state politicians that were in the Democratic Party. While Gonzalez clearly is no longer there, it is equally clear that he policies have not gone away.
Needless, to say, Anibal Acevdeo Vila is a member of the US Democratic Party.
It is clear that this accusation should be fervently criticized by the US Democratic Party as one more instance of political persecution. And it is equally clear that the Bush Administration should be brought to trial before the United Nations for war crimes: it is estimated that some 500,000 Iraqis have been killed since the beginning of the conflict. Even if you were to note that Sadam Hussein was a tyrant and killed many of his own countrymen during the two decades of his rule (1979-2003), the rate at which local civilians have been killed during the five years (2003-2008) of Bush's "war for democracy" has been far higher. It is likely that, since there is still no end to the war there, the total Iraqi civilians deaths by George Bush will eventually exceed those of his 'Axis of evil' nemesis. With such 'defenders of democracy', who needs tyrants?
Rather than submitting accustions against Anibal Acevedo Vila, we should perhaps begin to ask ourselves why no convictions have been issued against the upper hierarchy of the US Government.