Things That Matter

Puerto Rico Is Completely In The Dark After Hurricane Maria, According To Emergency Officials

The Caribbean islands are reeling after being battered by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Jose and now Maria. The destruction in St. Martin, Dominica and Barbuda among many, has been catastrophic. Hurricane Maria, the most recent hurricane to hit the Caribbean, grew stronger as it prepared to collide with Puerto Rico and did some of the worst damage in the U.S. commonwealth’s history. According to the BBC, all of Puerto Rico’s inhabitants, some 3.5 million people, will be sitting in the dark for the foreseeable future after Maria ripped through the island, wreaking havoc along its path.

The storm reached Category 5 status just before making landfall on the eastern side of the island in Yabucoa, where it descended to a Category 4 and pummeled the island with 155mph winds. Maria reverted back down to a Category 3 as it pulled across land, with winds of up to 115mph leaving behind downed power lines and a power grid that is in severe need of repair.

“We have not experienced an event of this magnitude in our modern history,” said Governor Ricardo Rosselló in an address to the people of Puerto Rico.

Here’s the eye of Hurricane Maria (around noon EST today) as it departed the island between the coasts of Barceloneta and Arecibo. The island isn’t out of the clear yet, however.

Credit: NOAA / El Nuevo Día

According to El Nuevo Día, while the worst may be over, the tail of the hurricane is still very dangerous and people should take heed.

This video shows the path the hurricane took as it went up to a Category 5 and back down to a Category 4 as it struck the island’s Eastern coast.

Maria brought 155 mph winds and 25 inches of rain.

Several people took to social media to show the damage Hurricane Maria has wrought on Puerto Rico.

The flooding was extremely powerful.

The whole island is currently without power.

Previous reports stated that hurricane-related power outages could last up to six months.

The Red Cross has set up dozens of shelters across the island.

Some seeking refuge had never done so in their lives, even though Hurricane Irma had passed through several days before.

Once Maria landed, the hurricane was relentless.

Even with calls coming in for rescue, it was too dangerous for the police to go out and brave the storm.

Barricades weren’t enough to keep doors and windows from being blown away.

Governor Rossello is asking for the island to be declared a disaster zone for immediate relief and support.

San Juan Mayor, Carmen Yulín Cruz Soto, fought back tears as she discussed the destruction she witnessed.

As of now, there is a curfew in place to keep non-essential responders off the streets and roads to make rescue operations more effective.

The non-profit group Center for Popular Democracy has set up the #MariaFund to help raise funds to support low-income communities impacted most by the hurricane.

Our thoughts are with the people of Puerto Rico and all those affected by this devastating hurricane season.


READ: Puerto Rico Is On The Brink Of Financial Ruin, So It’s Shutting Down A Record Number Of Public Schools

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‘Siempre, Luis’ Is A Touching Love Letter From Lin-Manuel Miranda To His Father


‘Siempre, Luis’ Is A Touching Love Letter From Lin-Manuel Miranda To His Father

Mat Hayward / Getty Images for The Latinx House

We all have that one person who has changed the world for us. For Lin-Manuel Miranda, that person is his dad. The Puerto Rican entertainer created a documentary to tell his father’s story and it is a love letter to his father.

“Siempre, Luis” is Lin-Manuel Miranda’s love letter to his father.

The trailer for the HBO Documentary is a moving testament to the indomitable spirit of Luis Miranda. The Puerto Rican powerhouse helped lead a movement to get Latinos involved in and interested in politics focusing on Puerto Ricans who had left the island.

Lin-Manuel’s documentary is a deep dive into the life of the man who raised the creator of “In The Heights” and “Hamilton.” Luis was Lin-Manuel’s inspiration when playing Alexander Hamilton in his wildly popular and famous musical.

“He’s just a relentless motherf*cker,” Lin-Manuel says in the documentary.

The documentary takes people on a ride covering decades of Luis’ life. The main focus is his political activism and how one man helped create a movement to get Latinos involved in politics. Luis leveraged the hate and pushback against the Latino community as a way to energize and mobilize Latinos to get them involved like never before.

Then, Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, Luis’ home and magical escape. The island endured a direct hit from Hurricane Maria, which knocked out power to millions of Americans for months. Many Puerto Ricans fled the island for the mainland giving them a chance to vote for president in 2020.

“For me, Puerto Rico is this perfect place that all of a sudden doesn’t exist anymore,” Luis says through tears in the documentary. “I immediately saw it as my responsibility to rebuild the island.”

He added: “Doing everything we can becomes the job.

“I told him, ‘I don’t want to be a widow. There isn’t another you to replace you,’” Luz Towns-Miranda recalls to the camera about her husband’s mission to fix Puerto Rico.

Luis’ time talking about his work in Puerto Rico is accompanied by videos images of the “Hamilton” stage being constructed for the show on the island. There are shots of Luis offering aid to people and preparing meals for those impacted by the hurricane.

Luis’ activism has grown over the years and he is ready to keep making change.

“Siempre, Luis” is now available on HBO and HBOmax for your viewing pleasure. People have praised the film’s insightfulness into one of the Latinos who got his community activated and politically engaged.

READ: Lin-Manuel Wants To Keep Lots Of Ticket Prices Down To $10 When He Brings ‘Hamilton’ To Puerto Rico

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Puerto Rico’s Governor Endorses President Trump’s Reelection

Things That Matter

Puerto Rico’s Governor Endorses President Trump’s Reelection

Ricardo Arduengo / AFP via Getty Images

The 2020 election is heating up as Nov. 3 draws closer. Both Joe Biden and President Donald Trump are seeking every endorsement possible and Puerto Rico’s governor just gave hers. Her endorsement has stunned Puerto Ricans and political pundits alike.

Puerto Rico Governor Wanda Vázquez Garced endorsed President Donald Trump in his reelection.

Vázquez Garced was appointed as governor in 2019 following a tumultuous time on the island. Politically, Puerto Rico has recently undergone a series of protests because of political corruption and a chat scandal involving then-Governor Ricardo Rosselló.

Gov. Rosselló attempted to appoint his own successor before resigning following growing protest but the Puerto Rico Supreme Court ruled it was unconstitutional. Vázquez Garced was then appointed as governor. The Puerto Rican people then turned their protests against Rosselló to be against Vázquez Garced. #WandaRenuncia began trending when Rosselló announced his resignation.

The endorsement stunned people who just don’t understand why that endorsement happened.

“I ask all Puerto Ricans who are listening to go vote,” the governor said in an interview on Telemundo. “They have to go to vote, exercise their right to vote and evaluate who has represented being a person who thinks about Puerto Ricans and their needs at the most difficult moment. It is Donald Trump.”

The endorsement came as a surprise for people following President Trump’s disastrous response after Hurricane Maria. The president spent months denying the death count of the natural disaster and fought against aid to the island. It was during this time that the viral video of him throwing paper towels into a crowd of people hit Twitter sparking outrage among the Puerto Rican people.

Puerto Ricans really want people to remember that Vázquez Garced was not elected by the Puerto Rican people.

Vázquez Garced was supposed to accompany President Trump to a campaign event in Central Florida on Friday. Covid put a pause on that so the governor took time during an interview with Telemundo to offer her endorsement of President Trump.

Recently, President Trump approved a $13 billion relief package for Puerto Rico. The sudden move has been seen as political in an effort to get support from Puerto Ricans who fled the island for Florida because of the failed response in 2017. The president denies it saying he had been working on the package for “a long time.”

The endorsement has a very pointed purpose.

Puerto Ricans on the island, while American citizens, are not allowed to vote in the presidential election. However, the Puerto Ricans who left the island following a series of natural disaster are allowed if they are on the mainland.

Florida is one state that a lot of Puerto Ricans have landed and is a key state for either party to win the election. Political pundits have pointed to the Trump administration suddenly advancing things like the relief package as a way to secure the Puerto Rican vote.

Puerto Ricans are telling voters to listen to Puerto Ricans, not the governor of Puerto Rico.

Puerto Ricans are not fans of President Trump. The Hurricane Maria response alone sank the president’s approval ratings with Puerto Ricans. In a recent poll, 52 percent of people in Puerto Rico rated President Trump’s response to Hurricane Maria as poor. Meanwhile, 15 percent of Puerto Ricans said his response was “excellent,” “very good,” or “good.”

READ: Political Chaos Returns To Puerto Rico As The Unelected Governor Faces Investigations And Calls For Her Resignation

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