By Randy Alonso Falcon, Cuba Debate


April 23, 2019


US President Donald  Trump and his circle  (Bolton, Pompeo,  Rubio, and  Abrams)  are obsessed with Venezuela. They have breakfast, tweet, and talk in their unique language of aggressiveness  against Caracas.

Public and secret funds are now being allocated for an imperial attack against the South American country. The US State Department  is requesting $500 million for its interventionist activity in Venezuela  next fiscal year. The Pentagon  is making calculations  for  an eventual military assault.

Meanwhile in Puerto  Rico, authorities, inhabitants, and the media  wonder where is the promised aid on behalf of  the US Administration to face the unresolved effects of two powerful hurricanes, Irma and Maria, that hit in September  2017, as well as the increasing accumulated poverty rates in the so-called Isle of Enchantment.

President Donald Trump complained a few days ago that his Administration, which controls Puerto Rico as a colony , allocated about $91 billion for its recovery. According to him, that amount exceeds the aid grated by the Federal Government to other  states also affected by tornadoes.

Nevertheless , Puerto Rico’s governor Ricardo Rossello refuted these statements and stated that in fact Washington had only granted $5.3 billion , specifically to restore their power supply and to replace steel and wood roofs torn off by strong winds with tarps.

Rossello said that 18 months after Hurricane Katrina struck Louisiana in 2005 under the George W. Bush Administration had 2,400 permanent  building projects, while Puerto Rico has only 46.

Puerto Rico suffered more than 4,000 deaths during and after Hurricane Maria, and amount not recognized by the administration in Washington , and more than a year passed before its power grid was restored. People around the globe will never forget the image of Mr Trump,throwing paper towels to an audience that received him during his brief four-hour visit to Puerto Rico.

High Child Poverty Rates

Childhood poverty has been a heavy burden for Puerto Rican society for decades. According to statistics  released by the non-profit Institute for Youth Development (IDJ), it has never dropped below 50 % since 1999.

The latest Well-being Index of Children and Youth, released yearly by this non-government organization during the last five years , shows an increase to  58 percent in 2017, the last year with available  statistics, which is 2 percent higher than in 2016

What is worse, according to the newspaper El Nuevo Dia , Puerto Rico  has had more poor children than non-poor for decades but there   are no government policies  against it.

“We have never had a public policy aimed at this  issue of childhood poverty . it is not incorporated into economic development plans. Sometimes we talk about the participation of the labor force, which is helpful but it’s not the  same as taking into account the needs of families with children, who have very specific challenges. We do not see that either in political  agendas,” says IDJ executive director Amanda Rivera.

Statistics from the US Census Bureau show that Puerto Rico’s standard of living has continued to decline.  At the end of July 2018, 44.4 % of the Puerto Rican population was in poverty.

The same data show that  poverty rates in the US is at 12.3 percent.

The famous showcase colony that the US tried to display in  the sixties and seventies  — as opposed to the  Cuban Revolution —  has completely broken down.

A news article recently  released by Puerto Rican Jose Calderon, President of the Hispanic Federation of  in the US , warned about the situation of living on the island: ” A real national emergency continues  in our nation almost a year and a half after

Hurricane Maria ripped apart the homes and livelihoods  and livelihood of millions of Puerto Ricans, leaving tens of thousands struggling without jobs and housing , and suffering through a federal  disaster-relief effort that is so poorly managed that it almost appears intentional .  A year later, we continue to see heartbreaking evidence of how President  Trump and his Administration continue to dismiss and disregard the plight of American citizens  living in Puerto Rico”.

The Puerto Rican people are second-class citizens for Trump and his Administraion. They are loathed  and forgotten. They are colonized and discarded.

There is not a single thought from the White House ‘s boss for the Boricuas in need.  He is too busy drafting his next tweet or a new sanction against Venezuela.