Puerto Rican people are dying as emergency help is withheld
If you want to hear what is happening, from the mouth of Puerto Ricans who are trapped in the ruins left by Huracaine Maria, listen to this radio show. This is a live radio show aired on September 27, where a Puerto Rican police woman calls in. She is crying and you can hear the desperation in her whole being as she reveals that the politicians are playing games for publicity –withholding the emergency help.
But even before the help could get in, the USA refused to lift up the Jones Act until yesterday, and only for 10 days. Meanwhile Venezuelan ships and ships from other countries were loaded with emergency help and could not enter the island.
After the Act Jones was temporarily lifted, FEMA started with their turf war. According to EcoKit Puerto rico, an initiative started by the Puerto Rican Diaspora in New York and Connecticut to generate ecological and disaster appropriate kits to send to Puerto Rico, any ship not processed through FEMA is being manually inspected and charged a 10.5% tax fee. No one is talking about this as they point to the traffic jam of ships in port whose aid has not yet been downloaded.
Meanwhile, the island infrastructure has countless cracks, from fallen bridges to flooded and incommunicated areas. Why on earth are not planes mobilized to drop the aid to designated points? I think that common sense plus really caring would go a long way to save many lives.
According to this police woman who says to feel shame that she cannot do her job while people are starving around her, the local politicians are playing promotional games and courting the cameras. This may or may not be the cause of the inland distribution, but it surely does not help. In fact, it is a disgrace.
This lack of humanism and values in the heart of massive devastation is heart-breaking. Both the USA government and island politicians are playing with the lives of the Puerto Rican people. See below what you can do. Please help!
Hear it for yourself. But prepare emotionally because when you hear the desperation in this woman… Well, it’s not for the faint of heart.
Summary of Interview
The interview is in Spanish. But you don’t need to understand the language to hear the agony and extreme distress in the woman. She is ashamed to be a police woman, she says, and seeing people starving, entire towns without the basic needs for survival and the politicians procrastinating in delivering the emergency help until they can get the press to cover their appearance. As a police woman, she is mobilized to different regions, so this is not the limited view of one desperate, isolated person. For an officer trained to deal with emergency, the level of anguish in this woman reveals the overwhelming extent of the damage. This woman is struggling to even breathe as she narrates the situation. She says that the island is basically isolated, that they don’t know what is going on. Sometimes news reach them that artists are holding fundraisers and some countries are gathering supplies; but very little is reaching the people. She says that hospitals are overwhelmed and cannot treat the amount of people struggling to get in. It is a nightmare.
Puerto Ricans are fighting heroically!
My people are generous, brave and resilient. Nuyorican poet Prisionera Jamas just came from the island and gave a beautiful testimony of the true spirit of the Puerto Ricans. In the fundraiser organized by Mariposa (another Nuyorican poet) Prisionera Jamas that our people are sharing the little they have. They are helping the elders, children and disabled. The town mayors and local government workers are working non-stop to address extreme situations and bring their towns back to order. Cell phones have begun to work, but for very limited time and in limited places. The common folks are doing heroic actions.
What you can do
But we need every bit of help. We specially need public pressure to expedite the traffic jam in the ports and get the emergency help into the island. We need help distributing it in the island; even if planes must drop it in designated areas. See below what you can do.
Turning Emergency into Emergence
And as we move from emergency into reconstruction, I invite experts, companies, organizations and funders who focus on preventing and addressing Global Warming, who have developed structures for extreme situations, to contact me. If you have expertise, links to or contacts with experts, alternative financial advisors, ecological funding, and reconstruction for the new climate, please contact me personally and I will reply. I’m creating a Reconstruction Resources and Ideas Folder to share with local leaders once the emergency is addressed.
Puerto Rico has been robbed for centuries and needs to recover financially. Trapped into a restrictive colonial financial structure on one hand and plagued by political corruption on the other, Puerto Rican families have had to migrate by the thousands just to survive. If we do not focus on reconstruction that will prevent disasters like this one in the near and far future while bringing jobs and financial stability for the island, then thousands of Puerto Ricans from the island will have no recourse but to leave. Help me access the resources that may help our people reconstruct a better Puerto Rico. Leave me a message and I will reply.
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- Get on the phone and urge your local representatives to put pressure to accelerate and unblock all help to Puerto Rico. We need to find quicker and more effective ways to deliver the emergency help inland. Ship inspections of emergency aid must be expedited. Some bridges and road blockages must be addressed to reach incommunicated regions. We need the organized forces to do this immediately.
Click here to find out how to contact your elected officials:
- Share this in your social media to build public pressure. People are dying while both USA and local politicians play games with the emergency help. Help my people!
Use the links at the top of the comment below to share with Facebook or Twitter. Or cut/paste this blog URL and send to your friends.
- Check these sources to donate:
Donate Puerto Rico
Eco Kit Puerto Rico
Eco Kit has put together an Ecokit to let you know what you can pack into a bag for donation that will help the people in emergency and be eco-friendly to create less crisis, etc. They specialize in this emergencies and know what works and what creates more dependency, waste and problems. So check their suggestions.
Read more about Ecokits here:
You can select items that they’ve created in an Amazon list to buy and send.
The Dream Alchemist