Things That Matter

This Dead Puerto Rican Man Played a Final Hand of Poker with Family & Friends

What would you do for your best bud after the died? A nice funeral? A touching memorial? How about a farewell poker game with all the family and friends you can fit at the table? That’s exactly what the family of Henry Rosario Martínez did after he died earlier this month. But the poker game featured a very special guest…

Notice anything odd about this picture of friends playing poker?

The guy in the middle is dead. He was embalmed, dressed in Yankees gear, and set up at the poker table for a final hand.

https://twitter.com/Tech9Ga/status/692167496946839552

The idea of giving Martínez a final poker game came from his father who asked undertakers to embalm his son and set him up at the table.

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Credit: OnlinePoker Arena / YouTube

Those close to Martínez remember him as an avid poker player and wished to send him off as he lived.

Moving Chips
Credit: OnlinePoker Arena / YouTube

Family and friends of Martínez showed up throughout the day to sit down and say goodbye over cards.

“I want him to be remembered as a happy person because he was always like that,” his mother, Sonia Martínez told Primera Hora.

“It’s the first time we did this here, but we take it as something normal, because they have done these things in other parts of the island,” José Meléndez, the owner of Funeraria Eterna Luz de Barceloneta, told La Opinión.

What do you think about Martínez’s farewell poker game? Share this story with your friends by tapping that share button below!

A New Report Finds That Puerto Rico Is The Most Vulnerable Country When It Comes To Climate Change

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A New Report Finds That Puerto Rico Is The Most Vulnerable Country When It Comes To Climate Change

Credit: Unsplash

According to a new report released on Tuesday, Puerto Rico was the most vulnerable country to extreme weather events over the last 20 years. The grim news comes from the Global Climate Risk Index 2020 by environmental and development organization Germanwatch. The report analyzed various countries and the impacts of weather-related events have had on these areas which include how often the extreme weather events occur and their impact, including death tolls. The study looked specifically at the 20-year period from 1999 to 2018 and the climate change effects that have struck all over the globe. 

In the case of Puerto Rico, the Caribbean island was ranked the highest in terms of being most affected by climate change in those 20 years, followed it was Myanmar and Haiti. Puerto Rico and Haiti were the sole Latin American representatives on the list.  

“The Climate Risk Index may serve as a red flag for already existing vulnerabilities that may further increase as extreme events will become more frequent or more severe due to climate change,” the report reads.

The report makes it clear that countries should look at its findings to serve as a warning sign in order to foresee more frequent or more severe natural disasters in the future.

There is no denying that the earth is getting warmer as record temperatures have struck across the globe over the past five years. This has led many researchers to believe it may be connected to extreme weather events becoming more frequent as a result of this changing climate. Another startling finding in the study shows the number of lives that been lost due to extreme weather events, 526,000, while economic losses have amounted close to $3.47 trillion. 

“In many cases (e.g. Puerto Rico), single exceptional disasters have such a strong impact that the countries and territories concerned also have a high ranking in the long-term index,” the report reads. This relates to the natural disasters that have hit Puerto Rico, most notably Hurricane Maria which struck in the fall of 2017. The Category 4 storm hit the small island and destroyed a majority of it’s electrical grid, homes and killed 2,975, a number that is still being disputed.

The report makes the argument that poorer developing countries have been a frequent target of these natural disasters and the death toll numbers highlight their vulnerability to future weather events. These countries at times rely on loans to deal with the consequences of these climate changes, meaning they will be threatened by excessive indebtedness, which undermines already vulnerable economies. During the 20-year period, Myanmar, 70th in GDP rank, leads all countries when it comes to fatalities per year on average with 7,000 deaths. In relation to financial losses related to the climate crisis, they are significantly greater in wealthier countries. 

Japan was the most weather-affected country in 2018, most notably by rising heat, which has been a relatively frequent effect of this climate change. The country last year was affected by extreme summer heat, killing 138 people, and the most powerful typhoon in 25 years. 

“Recent science has confirmed the long-established link between climate change and the frequency and severity of extreme heat,” the report reads. 

The report has got a lot of people talking about what it means about climate change, particularly how to use this information to prepare for future events. 

Climate change is an issue that should be discussed more frequently and has seen its share of critics. Many have taken to social media to express their frustrations with the report findings and what actions should be taken. 

“For older adults, the changing climate brings heightened vulnerability to environmental risks, temperature changes, and increased susceptibility of disease. However, in #PuertoRico, these vulnerabilities are exacerbated with the health care crisis. We need to talk about this,” one Twitter user wrote. 

The issue has even reached the attention of Democratic candidate Elizabeth Warren who took to Twitter to discuss the importance of listening to the report. She has made climate change one of her key platform issues for her campaign and has vowed to invest money to help curtail this crisis. 

“The devastating impacts of climate change in Puerto Rico have been made worse by decades of neglect and racism. Justice must be at the center of our response to the climate crisis and that’s why I will invest $1 trillion in vulnerable communities,” 

READ: Activists Interrupt Harvard-Yale Football Game To Protest Climate Change And Cancel Puerto Rico Debt Holdings

Joe Biden Released A New Platform Regarding Puerto Rico And Hopes To See The Island Get The Respect It Deserves

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Joe Biden Released A New Platform Regarding Puerto Rico And Hopes To See The Island Get The Respect It Deserves

No Malarkey Tour

Vice President Joe Biden didn’t hold back when lambasting the Trump administration’s mishandling of Puerto Rico in an op-ed for the Orlando Sentinel. Biden called for an overhaul of the federal government’s treatment of the territory, insisting that Puerto Ricans are American citizens and should be treated as such. 

The former vice president suggested Trump unleashed “the evils of bigotry and callous inhumanity,” with his response to Hurricane Maria. He also called for increasing the minimum wage to $15, creating a federally sourced technical infrastructure for the island in much need of rebuilding, and tripling funding for Title I schools

Placing the opinion piece in a local Florida paper may demonstrate Biden’s campaign efforts to reach Latinx voters, considering the high population of Latinxs with Carribean ancestry in the state.  Following the release of his plan, 25 Puerto Rican leaders endorsed his candidacy. 

Governor Alejandro García Padilla and 24 other Puerto Rican elected officials in Florida including state Rep. Amy Mercado, D-Orlando, and state Sen. Vic Torres, D-Kissimmee endorsed Biden today, according to the Sun-Sentinel.

Biden wants to provide structure to a Hurricane Maria-wrecked Puerto Rico.

Among calling out his callousness, Biden said Trump “abandoned his responsibility” to provide aid and recovery support to the island after Hurricane Maria. 

“His behavior after Maria — lying about relief efforts, blocking aid, mocking survivors, robbing the island of the assistance it’s legally entitled to — is a stain on our nation. His actions insult the memory of the estimated nearly 3,000 souls who died during and after the storm, as well as the over one million who have struggled without power in the wreckage,” Biden wrote in the Orlando paper. 

The VP called for a federal effort to rebuild the island along with the trust of the U.S. citizens who live there. Biden praises the fortitude and mobilizations of Puerto Ricans who have continued to speak truth to power and sought to repair an island wounded by governmental neglect and natural disasters. 

If elected, Biden will create a federal working group to provide resources and technical support to the island. 

“To ensure that supporting Puerto Rico is an Administration-wide priority, the working group will consist of advisers designated by each federal agency and led by a point person who will report directly to me,” he wrote. 

Biden wants mainland companies to invest in Puerto Rico. 

A special section of the VP’s $1.3 trillion infrastructure plan along with efforts to get mainland companies to invest in Puerto Rico will fund roads, bridges, powerlines, and broadband access to the island, while providing tens of thousands of new jobs, according to Biden. A part of this plan is also investing in entrepreneurs who already live on the island. 

“I will expand programs that support island entrepreneurs and small businesses, like the State Small Business Credit Initiative, which has drawn tens of millions of dollars in new investment on the island, and programs that will further ignite economic growth like the New Markets Tax Credit program,” Biden wrote. 

Biden’s plan, like many candidates, is moderate and uses the language of fostering change without really using the necessary language of reckoning with the past. 

Does Biden support statehood in Puerto Rico? It’s unclear.

As Latino Rebels noted in his plan, there is “no specific mention of Puerto Rico’s debt crisis, the island-colony’s Fiscal Control Board or current reframing or revisiting of PROMESA, including a cancellation of debt. It also makes no mention of the Jones Act or its possible repeal. The words ‘colony’ or ‘colonialism’ aren’t in the opinion piece either. Neither are words like ‘statehood’ or ’51st state.’”

PR51st does, however, note that in 2012 Biden seemed to support statehood and encouraged Puerto Ricans to fight for statehood. 

“I have always found Puerto Rico’s current political status as something very bizarre. My word of advice to you, and all Puerto Ricans, is that you continue to fight hard until you reach your goal of equality, and we shall act,” Biden said in 2012.

PR51st says Biden “probably does” support statehood. In the Washington Post’s assessment of candidates’ stances, Biden is the only candidate labeled “unclear/no response.” The three other major frontrunners Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and Pete Buttigieg are in the “let them decide” column. 

Biden ends his op-ed with a call to defeat Trump as the only path forward for any chance to save Puerto Rico in the near future at all. 

“So we must defeat Donald Trump. It’s the foundation on which every other policy, and every hope of progress across our nation, depends. It’s the single most important political act that we, together as Americans, can take — to rebuild Puerto Rico, and to rescue the character of our nation,” he wrote.