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Opinion: Puerto Rico Is American. We Can’t Ignore It Now.

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By THE EDITORIAL BOARDSEPT. 24, 2017

A century after the United States extended qualified citizenship to the residents of Puerto Rico, that link has never been more vital to the island commonwealth, as it reels from the devastation of Hurricane Maria.

Puerto Rico cannot vote for president and has no voting representatives in Congress. But its citizens are entitled to the same federal emergency funds and resources that Washington has been funneling to the far more politically powerful and economically resilient states of Texas and Florida in their hurricane miseries.

 

...

Maria leaves a whole new level of recovery to be scaled. No one has yet estimated the full cost. Federal money will be the most critical factor, in the view of recovery specialists. They dare to hope the sweep of the hurricane’s destruction may provide a theoretical, if bleak, spark for long overdue modernization on the island.

All Americans should rally forcefully behind their fellow citizens left suffering on the island as it labors to recover. It is up to mainland leaders not to stint on aid for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, however lacking they may be in political clout in Washington.


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Is Puerto Rico being ignored?


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9 minutes ago, Bill & Katya said:

Is Puerto Rico being ignored?

Well. Lets just say NASCAR , Steph Curry and NFL is eating up the presidents attention.  More Americans are in Puerto Rico than Iowa and we are not hearing much from the Whitehouse at least.  


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https://www.washingtonpost.com/national/hot-isolated-and-running-out-of-supplies-parts-of-puerto-rico-near-desperation/2017/09/24/7f3bcc78-a139-11e7-b14f-f41773cd5a14_story.html?tid=sm_tw&utm_term=.c3837c48d2e1

 

Four days after a major hurricane battered Puerto Rico, leaving the entire island in a communications and power blackout, regions outside San Juan remained disconnected from the rest of the island — and the world. Juncos, in a mountainous region southeast of the capital that was slammed with Maria’s most powerful winds, remains isolated, alone, afraid.

For many residents, the challenge of accessing the essentials of modern life — gasoline, cash, food, water — began to sink in. And government officials had no answers for them. Estimates for the return of electricity and basic services will be measured not in days but in weeks and months. For those most vulnerable, far too long.

Many have been openly wondering when help will arrive, whether from local officials or from the federal government. The first thing some villagers ask when they see outsiders: “Are you FEMA?”

Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló is warning that his government needs broader assistance from the federal government, calling on the Pentagon especially to provide more aid for law enforcement and transportation. Rosselló said he’s also worried that Congress will shortchange his island once the initial wave of emergency relief is gone.

“We still need some more help. This is clearly a critical disaster in Puerto Rico,” he said Sunday night. “It can’t be minimized and we can’t start overlooking us now that the storm passed, because the danger lurks.”


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Interesting, this story paints a different picture.

 

Aid begins to flow to hurricane-hit Puerto Rico

 

By ASSOCIATED PRESS

 

09/23/2017 11:01 PM EDT

 

Large amounts of federal aid began moving into Puerto Rico on Saturday, welcomed by local officials who praised the Trump administration's response but called for the emergency loosening of rules long blamed for condemning the U.S. territory to second-class status.

In northwest Puerto Rico, people began returning to their homes after a spillway eased pressure on a dam that cracked after more than a foot of rain fell in the wake of the hurricane.

 

The opening of the island's main port in the capital allowed 11 ships to bring in 1.6 million gallons of water, 23,000 cots, dozens of generators and food. Dozens more shipments are expected in upcoming days.

 

.

.

.

Rossello said Maria would clearly cost more than the last major storm to wallop the island, Hurricane George in September 1998. "This is without a doubt the biggest catastrophe in modern history for Puerto Rico," he said.

 

Rossello and other officials praised the federal government for planning its response in detail before the storm hit, a contrast with what Puerto Rico has long seen as the neglect of 3.4 million Americans living in a territory without a vote in Congress or the electoral college.

"This is the first time we get this type of federal coordination," said Resident Commission Jenniffer Gonzalez, Puerto Rico's non-voting representative in Washington.

 

http://www.politico.com/story/2017/09/23/puerto-rico-aid-hurricane-flooding-243061

 

 


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35 minutes ago, Il Mango Dulce said:

Well. Lets just say NASCAR , Steph Curry and NFL is eating up the presidents attention.  More Americans are in Puerto Rico than Iowa and we are not hearing much from the Whitehouse at least.  

Honestly, I could care less about political words.  For years and years we have politicians giving us great statements about one thing or another, and quite frankly they are meaningless.  Actions are what matters.


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21 minutes ago, Bill & Katya said:

Honestly, I could care less about political words.  For years and years we have politicians giving us great statements about one thing or another, and quite frankly they are meaningless.  Actions are what matters.

*Couldn't care less

 

I have a couple of friends/coworkers who are from Puerto Rico. One friend hasn't heard from half of her family on the island since before the hurricane. There are next to no communication channels.

 

I'm not saying we aren't doing enough, because I don't know how much we are doing. I know last I read they are predicting the island to be without power for months. I haven't heard of that degree of dysfunction after a storm over such a large area for a long time. I know areas have gone without power for weeks in the south after a hurricane, but not entire states.

 

To my wife and I the biggest thing that struck us was the lack of coverage about the Caribbean in general during these past few storms. The focus has always been on what they would do to America. Even Puerto Rico tended to be brushed over. Now you could argue of course people should focus on their own first, but still the different was quite apparent. I remember watching weather forecasts that glossed over the massive destruction and instead saying things like "Well in the end we'll all be fine because the storm has changed direction", ignoring its huge impact on countries with far less resources.

 

As far as I know, the shelters in Houston are all but closed and most people are getting their lives back together. Of course it will take a long time to go back to normal, and many people are displaced. However, food, shelter, power are not an issue (as far as I'm aware). There are islands that are uninhabitable, and will be that way for a long time and I feel like most American media has glossed over it. I'm not saying they haven't covered it, but it has always been with the slant of how much more important we are. I have always been far less worried about Houston and Florida. We are immensely wealthy as a country and can take care of ourselves just fine. It's the little guys in the Carribean whose lives are built on tourism which has all but ended after the destruction that I truly feel for.

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11 minutes ago, bcking said:

Couldn't care less

you are the newly appointed resident Grammar Natsi....there is actually used the phrase Natsi in a label

40 minutes ago, Bill & Katya said:

Honestly, I could care less about political words.  For years and years we have politicians giving us great statements about one thing or another, and quite frankly they are meaningless.  Actions are what matters.

Then why weigh in on sports?


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9 minutes ago, Il Mango Dulce said:

you are the newly appointed resident Grammar Natsi....there is actually used the phrase Natsi in a label

I don't mind a lot of mistakes, and make a few myself. That is just one in particular that grinds my gears. Just repeating it to yourself slowly should be enough to realize that it is couldn't, not could. People say it out loud all the time, but writing it makes it even more obvious.

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3 hours ago, bcking said:

I don't mind a lot of mistakes, and make a few myself. That is just one in particular that grinds my gears. Just repeating it to yourself slowly should be enough to realize that it is couldn't, not could. People say it out loud all the time, but writing it makes it even more obvious.

http://www.dictionary.com/e/could-care-less/

 

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8 hours ago, bcking said:

I have a couple of friends/coworkers who are from Puerto Rico. One friend hasn't heard from half of her family on the island since before the hurricane. There are next to no communication channels.

 

I'm not saying we aren't doing enough, because I don't know how much we are doing. I know last I read they are predicting the island to be without power for months. I haven't heard of that degree of dysfunction after a storm over such a large area for a long time. I know areas have gone without power for weeks in the south after a hurricane, but not entire states.

 

To my wife and I the biggest thing that struck us was the lack of coverage about the Caribbean in general during these past few storms. The focus has always been on what they would do to America. Even Puerto Rico tended to be brushed over. Now you could argue of course people should focus on their own first, but still the different was quite apparent. I remember watching weather forecasts that glossed over the massive destruction and instead saying things like "Well in the end we'll all be fine because the storm has changed direction", ignoring its huge impact on countries with far less resources.

 

As far as I know, the shelters in Houston are all but closed and most people are getting their lives back together. Of course it will take a long time to go back to normal, and many people are displaced. However, food, shelter, power are not an issue (as far as I'm aware). There are islands that are uninhabitable, and will be that way for a long time and I feel like most American media has glossed over it. I'm not saying they haven't covered it, but it has always been with the slant of how much more important we are. I have always been far less worried about Houston and Florida. We are immensely wealthy as a country and can take care of ourselves just fine. It's the little guys in the Carribean whose lives are built on tourism which has all but ended after the destruction that I truly feel for.

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9 hours ago, Il Mango Dulce said:

you are the newly appointed resident Grammar Natsi....there is actually used the phrase Natsi in a label

Then why weigh in on sports?

Not really sure what that has to do with this topic.  It seems pretty clear that Puerto Rico was devastated by a major storm, and it seems pretty clear that the Federal government is not ignoring them.  So why is there a need for an editorial that tries to paint that picture?  With the level of devastation, it will take time to get things moving, but the fact is that aid is flowing.


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9 hours ago, bcking said:

I don't mind a lot of mistakes, and make a few myself. That is just one in particular that grinds my gears. Just repeating it to yourself slowly should be enough to realize that it is couldn't, not could. People say it out loud all the time, but writing it makes it even more obvious.

You are correct and I sincerely apologize for my transgression and appreciate the correction.  


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