Friday, September 29, 2017

Puerto Rico: Somewhere Between Cuba and Haiti

Never mind “Katrina”, Puerto Rico is far from benefitting from the kind of US government preparedness and commitment when hurricanes strike the mainland, or even from the extent of aide it gives to Haiti’ under similar circumstances.  Although the Daily Beast claims that “U.S. Responded to Haiti With More Force Than Puerto Rico”, comparing the number of soldiers sent after an earthquake hit Haiti to those sent to the American protectorate this week, neither island benefits from the kind of commitment that Cubans get from their government.  (Amazingly, the BBC admitted the difference in the way Maria was handled in Cuba and in Puerto Rico
Haiti, which is is  a French “overseas territory”, is 95% black, and is treated accordingly by both France and the US, with people still sleeping in tents several years after the 2010 earthquake and cholera outbreak, when Presidential pals Clinton and Bush One bragged about the hotels being opened.
Although Puerto Ricans are US citizens, they reside in a “US Associated Territory” without national voting rights. More importantly, with White Nationalist Steve Bannon back at his bully pulpit at Breitbart News backing the winning candidate in an Alabama primary against the President’s man, the President took his time removing a legislative roadblock to shipping to Puerto Rico, finally sending in a three-start general to oversea the relief effort, while the Mayor of San Juan went on MSNBC to state with barely controlled anger: ‘We are dying here, due to your inefficiency and red tape’. 
Puerto Ricans are Hispanics, like those the president wants to keep out by building a wall. In the US I never hear about the Independence Movement, but during my participation in the Havana International Book Fair in 2011, I noticed that its representatives were warmly welcomed by the Cuban government. 
Not only the Dow, but the Puerto Rican ‘bubble’ too will burst one of these days. 


  1. Thanks Deena. Not surprised that Cuba treats their citizens better than US treats Puerto Ricans...

    1. Thanks for your comment, Frank. I hope you'll share Otherjones around!