U.S. Fails Puerto Rico — Again

Last Tuesday, after ten days of experiencing earth tremors, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico was hit with an earthquake measuring 6.4 on the Richter scale.  Yesterday morning, after days of aftershocks, the island was once again hit with a 5.9-magnitude quake, and today they are experiencing more aftershocks.

PR-flagPuerto Rico is an unincorporated territory of the United States; its 3.4 million residents are citizens of the United States who pay federal taxes and pay into Social Security and Medicare just as any other U.S. citizen.

If almost any city in the continental U.S. had been hit with two earthquakes of this magnitude in under a week, it would be headline news every day, and the federal government would be sending troops to help residents, keep the streets safe, prevent looting, and assist in cleanup operations.  For Puerto Rico?  The government is doing nothing as far as I can tell.

You may remember that in 2017, Puerto Rico was devastated by Hurricane Maria, with nearly 3,000 human lives lost as a result of the Category 4 storm.  The island still has not fully recovered and they are still waiting for some $18 billion in federal funding that was designated by Congress after Maria.  The holdup has continued past a congressionally mandated deadline last fall for more than $8 billion of the aid to be officially announced, and on Thursday, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi accused the Trump administration of acting unlawfully in withholding the money. (Perhaps he is waiting for them to dig up dirt on Joe Biden?)

You may also recall that after Hurricane Maria, Donald Trump briefly visited the island and … threw rolls of paper towels into the crowd of people who had come to hear him speak, hoping for promise of some real help. trump-paper-towels.jpgTrump has repeatedly claimed that he has done more for Puerto Rico than any other U.S. president, but I think if you ask the citizens of Puerto Rico, they’ll tell you that is naught but another of his lies.  In the aftermath of Tuesday’s earthquake, not a word has been heard from Trump, though he did sign a disaster relief bill authorizing the Federal Emergency Management Agency to assist.  If it had happened in San Francisco or Miami, he would have at least been tweeting “thoughts and prayers”.  But for Puerto Rico, nothing.

But, the federal government is not the only one who is kicking the Puerto Ricans while they are down!  Given that the aftershocks have not ceased since the initial quake, it is understandable that many residents are trying to leave the island.  Now, on an average day, a ticket from Puerto Rico to Florida would run between $85 – $120.  Today, both United and Delta Airlines are charging between $249 – $349 – a nearly 200% increase!  This, my friends, is how capitalism works. They call it the law of supply and demand, but I call it unconscionable opportunism.  This is taking advantage of people who are desperate.  This makes me sick.

The Florida Attorney General’s office says that airlines prices do not fall under the state’s price gouging statute, and even then, the statute only applies when Florida is under a state of emergency.  The Better Business Bureau said there is no regulation in place for prices of airline tickets during natural disasters.

All in all, Puerto Ricans have gotten a raw deal from the U.S. and the president of the country is too busy assassinating foreign leaders, lying about the reasons for doing so, tweeting criticisms of anybody & everybody, falsely bragging about being the greatest president ever, and ranting about having been impeached, to do his job, to help suffering people.  Meanwhile, Puerto Ricans are without power, many are sleeping outside for fear of the next quake, and most cannot afford to leave and have nowhere else to go.  Once again, I am deeply ashamed of this nation … we have sunk to a new low.

38 thoughts on “U.S. Fails Puerto Rico — Again

  1. To dear friends above .. as a Puerto Rican, once I firmly believed in statehood. Until I realized and learned all the things the mighty, imperialistic U.S. of A. has done to my country. They never taught me those facts in school!! For reference, read “War Against All Puerto Ricans” by Nelson A. Denis …. that opened my mind. Independence wouldn’t be a good thing if it suddenly was granted! To me, it would have to be a gradual process. It’s a complicated reality. The USA has slowly ‘castrated’ Puerto Ricans, making us believe that we couldn’t make it w/o them! The reality of the commonwealth is a status beneath the dignity of any country … hence, slowly but surely, PR should be independent. Maybe the younger generations will achieve it. Sadly, I think I won’t see it in my lifetime. Peace and hugs … ❤

    Liked by 2 people

    • I’m behind today on responding to comments, so am just now seeing this. My heart goes out to you and all the good people of Puerto Rico, dear Horty. Thanks for your enlightening words. The U.S. tends toward arrogance, and we seem to think that anyone would be honoured to be a part of this nation, when in truth, today this is not a nation I have any pride in. Between Donald Trump trampling the rule of law and the Constitution, the religious zealots trying to shove their own brand of religion down our throats, the immense resurgence of bigotry, and the gun culture, if I had my choice I would live almost anywhere else. Let us hope for, and work toward, a brighter tomorrow, if only for the sake of future generations. Love ‘n hugs. ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Healing thoughts for all Peurto Rican people… Families must be worried how relatives are doing? There is quite a lot of seismic and volcanic activity across the world right now. These are disasters that the US Government seems to be adept at ignoring any needed response. It is both heartless and rude on the international playing field. I guess that we can say that America looks like a selfish, lying, bully these days.

    Liked by 2 people

    • The U.S. is a selfish, lying bully these days, there can be no doubt of that. We have ignored the needs of Puerto Ricans since Hurricane Maria in 2017, simply because Trump was offended that the officials of Puerto Rico didn’t bow down and kiss his feet. He is a small, petty excuse for a ‘man’ and many lives have been lost that could have been saved. Sigh.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Reblogged this on It Is What It Is and commented:
    ‘If almost any city in the continental U.S. had been hit with two earthquakes of this magnitude in under a week, it would be headline news every day and the federal government would be sending troops to help residents, keep the streets safe, prevent looting, and assist in cleanup operations.’
    For Puerto Ricans? … We are brown people! And there’s past history with Drumpf!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Jill, I think it started early on when Trump did not realize Puerto Rico was part of America, making reference to their president should help them. Sir, you are their president.

    Then, a PR mayor dared to criticize the lackluster effort to help, so it left a sour taste. The help was never was delivered like it was to the mainland disasters. Then came the “show visit.” It would have been acceptable, but then he tossed paper towels as a king might with food – but it was a terrible metaphor – here clean up the mess with this.

    It is hard to mask the lack of respect or help when it is not in evidence. Keith

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, his ignorance didn’t sit well with Puerto Ricans, and who can blame them? They are citizens of a country that barely remembers them until there is a disaster and they have to ask for help. And, as Trump is wont to do, he cannot let anything drop, but has to keep pouring salt in the wound, escalate the “feud” between himself and Puerto Ricans. Sigh.

      Like

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