Wednesday, September 27, 2017

A voice from Puerto Rico - When a Natural Catastrophe becomes a National Disgrace


Puerto Rico after Two Hurricanes 


The other day, Russia built a military bridge, under sniper fire, across the Euphrates...strong enough to hold convoys of huge military vehicles.  The Russian military built it in two days.  It is amazing what humans can do under difficult conditions...when we want to.  That is why the USrael response to the devastation in colonial protectorate Puerto Rico is such a disgrace.  I have been following what's going on there and it's difficult to read, let alone comprehend, how such a rich country that, as blogger Stephen Lendman posits below "put a man on the moon"(TM) is making such a pi$$ poor, disgraceful disaster relief effort in Puerto Rico in the aftermath of hurricanes Irma and Maria.  Please read the following from this mornings CBC...and I will have more thoughts in comments to follow:

'This doesn't feel like a first-class response': Puerto Ricans slam Trump's claim of 'amazing' aid after Maria

President blames federal response after hurricane on 'a thing called the Atlantic Ocean'

By Matt Kwong, CBC Posted: Sep 27, 2017 5:00 AM ET

...Most of the 3.4 million American citizens on the island remain entirely without power, as the federal government fends off criticisms that its response to the humanitarian crisis has been slow and inadequate, particularly when compared to recent relief efforts on the U.S. mainland in Texas and Florida.

Reached by cellphone in the capital of San Juan on Tuesday, Andres Lopez, 46, said the devastation was "apocalyptic." Together with his wife and two children, they were depleting their stockpile of bottled water. Thirsty rural residents were reportedly drinking from streams, risking illness.

"We're husbanding resources. We still have some bottled water, but we're now going on day six or seven," Lopez said. "If this level of scarcity extends for one week or two weeks, it's going to be unbearable for everyone."
...
In Washington, lawmakers of Puerto Rican descent and legislators representing large Puerto Rican constituencies slammed the Trump administration's response so far as "totally inefficient."

Overnight tweets from the president bringing up Puerto Rico's bankruptcy only darkened the island's collective misery, Lopez said.

While Trump tweeted that Texas and Florida were "doing great" after federal help, he wrote that Puerto Rico was in "deep trouble" following Maria. Trump added that "billions of dollars owed to Wall Street and the banks" would, "sadly," still have to "be dealt with."


Rodriguez said she felt "insulted" by Trump's remarks. "That was the most insensitive, horrible thing. It's like if you have had a cousin who gets cancer and your reaction is 'Well, he just declared bankruptcy, so he might as well die.'" When Lopez learned about the tweets, he thought, "We don't need him on the ground here if the version of the president that's going to show up is the one that tweeted those awful unmentionables."

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It's hard to say what's the worst disaster...the hurricanes...or Trump himself.  Still resorting to the toxic "Twitter" format, he blurts out insensitivity like a bazooka.  But, like always, there lies a kernel of truth of the "lay of the land" underneath his bellicosity.  It would appear that Puerto Rico has "served it's purpose" to the elite bankster perps who run the Deep State who run The Donald.  Puerto Rico is in debt to the banksters--and they have written it off.  The "Natural" disaster seems to have come along at a fortuitous time (for the banksters).  Now the inhabitants of the "bankrupt" island will just have to toddle off somewhere else.  Perhaps in a hundred years or so, after the vegetation grows back...the banksters will take an interest in it again.

But, in the meantime, we have the pleas for help from the beleaguered survivors of the storm.  Seemorerocks has one such voice, crying in the wilderness.  Please read the Facebook post from a Puerto Rican, Roger Caldwell:


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It's been a week and 59 hospitals in PR don't have fuel for generators. Two died today. Shameful! Way past time to stop bitching about NFL.”


--Roger Caldwell, via Facebook

A voice from Puerto Rico


Via Facebook

"I’m in Puerto Rico. I work as a power operator for the electric company. I have a 32week pregnant wife, this is the first time since our collapse that Facebook newsfeed logged and updated. This is my top story. i am enraged and desperate.

First off, Fema has federalized our gas and diesel channels. The lines at a gas station to fill your tank is around 12 hrs. Ive done it twice. They have hoarded all resources and manpower meaning transportation truckers capable of supplying gas stations. Fema right now has made the gas crisis horrible. I travelled far to find family members since communications are down. All condos have no diesel so no water can go up the pumps to flush.

The smell of shit and piss is beyond this hemisphere. Because of no diesel we are having our sick dying in their homes. Some died bc of oxygen failures bc their generators eventually died but bc of no way to get a drop a single drop of diesel or gas for a week. I found most of them. I still after a week cannot see my mom, a mountainside of dead trees are in the way making it impassable. I called her she has food and water for a day more. Thats gonna be my mission tomorrow. Get my mother some food.

Most and i mean almost all trees in the island are dead. Meaning no vapor. No clouds. No rain. We have to reforest inmedietly or we become a desert island.

A dead island.

I cannot recall a day where i looked up and saw no clouds. Its been a week now and the sight is terrifying. There have been absolutely no drops of any supplies to anyone. At all. There has been no message on radios nor speakers regarding supply drops or water. Jones Act prevents ships from around the world to come directly here without it stopping first in the US then having those supplies moved to a US shipping container and then sent here.

So now the world can see the horror of that. They cannot send help directly and time is running out.

As i write this im on a ceiling of the third home i called home during this disaster. As water and supplies and dangers arise we have to keep moving. My wifes best friend lost her pregnancy during this ordeal. Now im so terrified of my wifes pregancy. Ive no damn idea how in 7 weeks im gonna help my baby girl survive this heatwave that never stops now we lost our vegetation and she cannot travel bc of advance stage pregnancy. I felt useless trying to console my wife bc her bf baby died. Btw thank you airlines for charging 2k for a plane ticket when they normally sell for 300 so people can get away. I can see the small isla grande airstrip from here and see the little planes leave at all times , they are ferrying people to the dominican republic and then fly to the states. Granted our main intl airport suffer the lost of the traffic control for 30 miles and commercial flights are hesitant to come. Thanks for the price hike.

Get the damn army to put a radar like in a war zone and get us moving.

Anyway.

This is my rant. Im just desperate. I hope its not like what i heard at the bank line today that all trump said was that we need to pay wall street our debt while we are dying here and then he talks about peaceful protesters taking a knee on the anthem.

Yeah, i just can believe this. Please share."

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When reading Caldwell's plea it becomes clear just how pathetic the response to the humanitarian disaster has been. Not even the most elementary gestures have been made...it even makes the pathetic assistance following the Haiti disaster look good in comparison. Lendman in his post of this morning puts the situation into historical perspective. Puerto Rico has been exploited and abused throughout its history since colonization. This is nothing new. What is new is that there are NOW an array of preventative and ameliorative actions and equipment that could have been and could even now be put into place to mitigate the human suffering. I am going to give my two cents on what these should be after readers have a chance to see what Stephen Lendman says:


Severe Humanitarian Crisis in Puerto Rico

by Stephen Lendman
It was nearly a week after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico for Trump to notice, tweeting: “Texas & Florida are doing great but Puerto Rico, which was already suffering from broken infrastructure & massive debt, is in deep trouble.”

In countless cases, affected Texas and Florida residents lost everything, lucky to be alive, struggling to cope largely on their own with little or no federal aid, funds appropriated for business and infrastructure rebuilding, not them. Trump ignored their suffering, mocking them by failing to act responsibly.

Puerto Rico resembles the aftermath of nuclear war, the island devastated without power, the ability to communicate, and other essential services, residents facing humanitarian crisis conditions, worsening daily. Governor Ricardo Rossello and other officials described conditions as “apocalyptic,” calling for vital federal aid immediately.

San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz described a totally devastated landscape. Without power, “(p)eople are literally gasping for air” in sweltering heat, she said, seriously ill individuals unable to get vital treatment, their lives endangered. The breached Guajataca dam could collapse altogether, tens of thousands of Puerto Ricans endangered by an estimated 11 billion gallon tsunami if unleashed.

Around half the population has no running water, including hospitals. Few have working generators. Medical supplies are running out – Trump more concerned about Puerto Rico’s unrepayable debt owed Wall Street and other large investors than providing vital aid to desperate people. For days, islanders had no contact from federal agencies. On Tuesday, Trump disgracefully said Puerto is “an island in the middle of the ocean. (Y)ou can’t just drive your trucks there from other states” – ignoring America’s enormous military airlifting capability, along with essentials to life it can deliver by sea.

Washington can put a man on the moon [GC:  Lendman still believes this crock lol] others in space regularly, but won’t go all-out to deliver food, temporary shelters, medical supplies and other essentials to its Puerto Rican citizens. The island has been colonized for over 500 years, first by Spain, then America since 1898, its people exploited, not equitably served.

Desperate islanders interviewed complained about lack of federal or local help, Puerto Rico battered twice, first by Hurricane Irma, then Maria. Local journalist Julio Ricardo Varel explained “(t)he island always struggles to get federal aid for natural disasters…Maria is the worst example, but it’s hardly the first.”

Professor of Anthropology and Caribbean Studies Yarimar Bonilla said disaster caused by Irma and Maria showed Washington’s disdain for Puerto Rico. “It is long-term structural problems that turn a disaster into a catastrophe,” he explained, adding “(v)ulnerability is not simply a product of natural conditions. It is a political state and a colonial condition.”

“With a poverty rate nearly double that of Mississippi, failing infrastructure that has been neglected for more than a decade, and a public sector that has been increasingly dismantled in response to the debt crisis, the island was already in a state of emergency long before (Irma and Maria) hit.”

In his book titled “War Against All Puerto Ricans: Revolution and Terror in America’s Colony,” Puerto Rican/Cuban American author Nelson Denis (former New York assemblyman) said the way islanders are mistreated “is not a pretty story.” “Separately, he wrote “Puerto Rico has been little more than a profit center for the United States: first as a naval coaling station, then as a sugar empire, a cheap labor supply, a tax haven, a captive market, and now as a municipal bond debtor and target for privatization.” “It is an island of beggars and billionaires: fought over by lawyers, bossed by absentee landlords, and clerked by politicians.”

Trump, like his predecessors, sees Puerto Rico as ripe fruit for profit-making, unconcerned about its people – even given current humanitarian crisis conditions. Disaster capitalism aims to profit from devastation caused by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. It’s a familiar story.

Promised financial aid goes for infrastructure rebuilding, upscale development, privatizations of public facilities, and gentrification in choice areas. Privileged interests benefit, ordinary people forsaken, what Puerto Ricans can expect from federal and local officials."

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First of all, Americans probably realize by now that the "Bankster Approach" to human disasters is not working for them. This mindset has to be eradicated or not only the US but the entire planet will succumb. There should be a "pride of purpose" to responding to "Natural" disasters (I put natural in quotes because in today's world, with bioweaponry and weather modification a reality...humans can no longer trust their governments or the Deep State...NOT to be using these proven technologies to inflict unspeakable, Satanic cruelty). The response to the disaster in Puerto Rico should have been comparable to the response of the Russian military to the challenge of bridging the Euphrates. It should have been a matter of pride. Instead, what we have seen is the passive aggression of the "painfully slow" response. When people are crying out for air conditioning in the sweltering heat...Trump is tweeting about the National Anthem.





There should have been an endless convoy of barges and freighters set up between the States and Puerto Rico, with all the necessities of life. The people who cannot stay to rebuild the island, due to age, infirmity, etc. should have been taken off. Those with skills necessary for the rebuild should be put into emergency housing. The clean-up and restoration of infrastructure should begin immediately. Shiploads of seedlings and tree planters to plant them should be brought to the island and reforestation begun. Instead of writing off Puerto Rico, like a homeless bum writes off a lean-to in the forest that has become soaked with rain...Trump should have viewed the catastrophe as an opportunity to show the world how compassionate, how generous and how efficient the government, through its relief agencies, can be. The island would be a show-case for American ingenuity...instead of yet another symptom of Imperial decline.

And what about this "Jones Act" that hurricane survivor Caldwell references?  Can it actually be true that USrael is PREVENTING other countries from coming to Puerto Rico's assistance???!!!

"....Jones Act prevents ships from around the world to come directly here without it stopping first in the US then having those supplies moved to a US shipping container and then sent here..."

Most importantly, now is the time to put in place pre-emptive measures so that when (not if) another hurricane(s) strike, the impact will not be as bad. All homes should be reinforced and equipped with solar power and water collection. All homes should be built with "bunkers" to retreat to during a storm. Where possible, electrical cables should be buried and/or reinforced to withstand storms. Public facilities should be built on the high ground to shelter huge numbers of people during a storm. The public should be informed and drilled on emergency practices.

Why bother?...ask the banksters. Puerto Rico is like a plastic water bottle...It's empty, so just toss it  into the water and let it wash up on the beach. National Pride? What's that?

2 comments:

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