There are so many issues that plague the island right now, it’s impossible to cover them all in one story.
People are being forced to leave the island and move to the mainland for financial reasons, which is also being exacerbated by gentrification and “Airbnb-itis”. There are frequent blackouts and lack of adequate response from LUMA Energy. Many public schools have been closed, with the loss of teachers. Hospital closings and relocation of medical personnel to the mainland due to inadequate Medicaid reimbursements are a major disaster, and Vieques still has no hospitals. Encroachments by developers on the island’s beaches, which are open to the public by law, have sparked protests. Along with the political corruption of the ruling elite and the heavy-handed rule of the US-imposed “junta”, there is increasing violence against women. Puerto Rico also faces serious environmental threats from climate change, and its people struggle with a high cost of living — exacerbated by the old Jones Act.
I haven’t even mentioned the impact of Covid-19, along with health problems such as Zika, dengue, and highly prevalent asthma and diabetes.
I am proud to say that we have These issues are covered here at Daily Kos. In September 2017, in the early days of the Maria crisis, we created a community group here called SOS Puerto Rico. Although I founded Latinokos here in 2011, I felt, as did other administrators, that we needed a group that would specifically address Hurricane Maria and its aftermath. Since then we’ve reblogged 574 stories on Puerto Rico, and hopefully raised awareness of all things Puerto Rico. Boricua For daily kos readers.
One of the things that makes the task of getting Puerto Ricans engaged in Puerto Rican struggles more difficult? Much of the news from island media sources, both television and print, is in Spanish, which automatically leaves English-only speakers and readers out of the loop. Few people are willing to take the time to print articles through clumsy and inaccurate online translators.
There are some great progressive websites, but they don’t just cater to English speakers. Centro Periodismo Investigativo, (Center for Investigative Journalism) is a source of in-depth reporting on island issues; However, very few stories have been translated into English. On Twitter, most of their tweets are also in Spanish, such as discussing a recent study that points to a lower death toll from Maria — by more than 500 souls.
I would like a foundation or donor to give money to Centro to support the translation.
People who don’t speak Spanish often ask me where I go to gather Puerto Rican news and views that they can also read, or who they should follow on social media for that. Here are some of my suggestions.
There are some mainstream television reporters who covered Maria and continue to report on Puerto Rico; Most notable and visible is CBS News’ David Begnaud, who announced Monday that he will travel to the island for Maria’s anniversary. He will also report on the power issues created by LUMA Energy and the collapse of the healthcare system. Of course, Begnaud will talk to Gov. Pedro Pierlussi and other elected officials, as well as “everyday people.”
While it’s good to see a major network reporter who pays attention, several problematic issues have been raised about Begnaud’s reporting. First, he doesn’t speak Spanish and needs a translator; It leaves a lot to be desired in understanding the nuances. Second, Begnaud, because of his CBS News status, reports uncritically on some elected officials who are part of the problem. Third, with no background in Puerto Rican-American history and politics, Begnaud is not really able to contextualize what he is reporting on.
Still, he’s really making an effort, and I was happy to see him share a discussion about the current health care crisis and the perception of medical professionals—in Puerto Ricans’ own words.
First, medical student Carlos Bosques broke the whole crisis.
Next, Dr. Hiram Rodriguez advocates and offers solutions to medical professionals.
Danica appears frequently in Cotto Caribbean Affairs. He is a Print journalist who reports for The Associated Press from San Juan. She is trilingual (she also covers Haiti), and I recommend it to anyone who wants to learn more about what’s going on in Puerto Rico and Haiti.
There are also independent media sources of note. At the top of my list are the Latino Rebels.
We started as a group of like-minded individuals who knew that social media was real and here to stay. We believe in authentic, unfiltered and independent voices. With over 500 contributors, our stories range from reported articles to opinion pieces. Just because we publish the views of our contributors does not mean that their views necessarily reflect the views of our editorial team.
As a result, we are publishing stories through our main site, our Facebook page Twitter account, as well as our Instagram and YouTube pages. We pride ourselves on developing a highly engaged community that is bilingual, bi-cultural, mobile, savvy, and doesn’t want to sell.
Latino Rebels was founded by Julio Ricardo Varela, who often promotes videos and experiences of everyday people on the island.
Coverage of Rebels is not limited to events on the island.
On occasion, Carlos Berrios Polanco is my go-to guy for detailed video coverage of events and protests on the island. He usually posts captions of his video coverage in English to provide context.
He was one of the journalists, clearly labeled “press”, who were attacked and pepper-sprayed by police during last month’s “Fuerra Luma” protest.
In addition to following these sources, be sure to peruse the English-language social media posts of people who regularly cover events on the island. A retweet costs nothing!
Indeed, the medical crisis is worth highlighting:
Puerto Ricans are being left to die.
East Harlem filmmaker and assistant professor Andrew Padilla posts primarily in English, and often offers critiques of media coverage of the island.
Organizations like Power4PuertoRico are important because they monitor the federal government and the law.
#Power4PuertoRico is a national coalition of Puerto Rican diaspora and allies working full-time and year-round for federal policies and laws that will support Puerto Rico’s proper recovery, economic growth and self-reliance.
This week, the organization is pushing back against the myth of “resilience” that is often used to glorify Puerto Ricans’ survival in the face of dire circumstances — and to justify not providing aid.
Not everything that happens on the island can be posted in English, but an editorial cartoonist I follow, Kik Estrada, captions his work in Spanish.
He was born Puerto Rican in New York City in the year 58 of the last century. He always knew he wanted to be a graphic artist and cartoonist.
He grew up in Puerto Rico (a lot, he now weighs 240 pounds). He studied at Luchetti High School of Arts in Santurce. Then at the School of Plastic Arts at the Institute of Puerto Rican Culture and later at the Massachusetts College of the Arts in Boston. It didn’t end in either of them.
His works have been exhibited in various places on planet earth.
He currently works in his studio on a mountain in rural Puerto Rico. He publishes in Puerto Rico’s Claridad Weekly and makes daily graphic comments on social networks. He does graphic design work when he doesn’t have money.
Estrada’s screen name is Plaitkike. 1. Stay; This weekend, he posted a cartoon on the island’s doctor shortage due to underpayment of Medicaid, titled “We’re sorry.“
(bubble on left – patient in bed speaking)
(Answer – bubble to the right}
“We are sorry. All (3) of our neurosurgeons are currently occupied.
Others were tired of the abuse and anger of medical plans
Please stop and try again”
I recently discovered cartoonist Jesús Ortiz Torres, whose work I admire, and whose recent statement about Hurricane Maria is a fitting way to close today’s post.
“Five years after Hurricane Maria, there are still more than 3,600 homes with blue siding. This is a hate crime against poor Puerto Ricans!!!”
See a recap of the activities surrounding the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Maria in the Thursday, September 22 edition. Caribbean Affairs.
Please join me in more comments for Puerto Rico and the weekly Caribbean News Roundup.