All the Government Men are Smiling: the Political Climate in Puerto Rico

A labor reform was signed into law last week in Puerto Rico.

The signing, for media purposes, was held at a locally owned laundromat in the gentrified Santurce sector of the capital.

Thanks to the labor reform, the owner of the laundromat hopes to be able to create “2 or 3 jobs.”

Thanks to the labor reform, new workers will be subjected to longer probationary periods and will have to work more hours per month in order to classify for sick leave and (less) vacation time.

In the picture, all the government men are smiling.

The present governmental administration boasts of having 40% of its cabinet seats filled by women.

In order to be confirmed by the Senate as Education Secretary, Julia Keleher had to swear to be against dual gender bathrooms and a gender responsive curriculum in public schools.

In one of her first actions as Police Superintendent, former Army Colonel Michelle M. Hernández de Fraley decreed a gag order for the entire police force, thus impinging on people’s access to information. This was later overturned.

In response to questions regarding what Trump’s administration might mean for the socio-political conditions of life on the island, Puerto Rico’s non-voting representative in US Congress, Jennifer González, stated that she’s hopeful about what the island might get.

Under Trump, the administration hopes to get the opportunity to negotiate the terms for Puerto Rico’s statehood.

The administration, it appears, is oblivious to the terms of what now constitutes an ‘American’ under Trump.

What now constitutes a ‘good job’ in Puerto Rico depends on whether you ask the owner of the laundromat or the 2-3 people he might be able to hire with less rights and benefits.

In the picture, all the government men are smiling. There are no workers present.

Do the people who work at the highest levels of government classify as workers?

Do the people who are willing to negotiate statehood for Puerto Rico under Trump accept the socio-political implications of Americanness under Trump?

At this time, the people in government are unable to state how many new jobs will be created under the terms of the labor reform. They only emphasize that the labor reform makes for a better climate of negotiation.

At this time, the climate in Puerto Rico is somewhat hot and humid.

In the picture, if you look closely, all the government men are trying really hard not to sweat.