Hi there,

If you think Democracy Now!’s reporting is a critical line of defense against war, climate catastrophe and authoritarianism, please make your donation of $10 or more right now. Today, a generous donor will TRIPLE your donation, which means it’ll go 3x as far to support our independent journalism. Democracy Now! is funded by you, and that’s why we’re counting on your donation to keep us going strong. Please give today. Every dollar makes a difference—in fact, gets tripled! Thank you so much.
-Amy Goodman

Non-commercial news needs your support.

We rely on contributions from you, our viewers and listeners to do our work. If you visit us daily or weekly or even just once a month, now is a great time to make your monthly contribution.

Please do your part today.


Juan González: Hurricane Fiona Damage Shows Puerto Rico Still Hampered by U.S. Colonial Control

Media Options

Democracy Now! co-host Juan González says people are showing resilience in the face of Hurricane Fiona in his native Puerto Rico, where the power grid crashed across the entire island due to the storm. Many who learned from 2017’s Hurricane Maria are dipping into their personal water reserves and using power generators, he says. “Puerto Rican people … have actually been able to recognize the fact that the government, when it comes to these crises, is inept, and many people have been able to develop their own ability to survive,” says González.

Related Story

StoryOct 05, 2022Biden Promises Puerto Rico $60M for Hurricane Fiona. Will U.S. Repeat Mistakes After Hurricane Maria?
This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: Juan, I just wanted to ask you first about the crisis in Puerto Rico, where most of the island remains without power for another day, after being hit by Hurricane Fiona. In fact, the electricity went out before Fiona hit. You were born in Puerto Rico. You know, to say the least, you are closely tied. You still have family in Puerto Rico. What are you hearing?

JUAN GONZÁLEZ: Well, Amy, I’m hearing pretty much what the news accounts have said. I’ve also been in contact with my sister, who’s in Cayey in Puerto Rico. Clearly, the electricity is out once again, and water, potable water, to most of the island residents is out once again.

And unfortunately, the reality is that the Puerto Rican people, since Hurricane Maria, have actually been — been able to recognize the fact that the government, when it comes to these crises, is inept, and many people have been able to develop their own ability to survive. Increasingly, more and more Puerto Rican households, when they can afford it, have generators of their own, to have emergency supplies, and, as I was speaking with my sister yesterday and today, they’ve also been able to sometimes have their own water reserves. And my sister has a 600-gallon water tank, basically for emergencies like this.

So, unfortunately, the billions of dollars the United States spent to reconstruct the infrastructure of Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria is not as resilient and is not as — the money is not as well spent. And so we’re once again faced with the fact that — who knows how long it will take for electricity and potable water to be accessible again to the people of Puerto Rico? And here we are six years into the financial control board, that was only supposed to be in power for five years — it’s already one year over its original time allotment by Congress — and we’re still in a situation where Puerto Rico, as a result of its colonial condition, is not ready to deal with crises of this type.

AMY GOODMAN: Well, I want to thank you, Juan. And, of course, we’ll continue to cover what’s happening in Puerto Rico. Now the storm is hitting Turks and Caicos, went through the Dominican Republic. We will cover that, Alaska, Japan, the typhoons there and this whole issue of the climate catastrophe. This week is Climate Week here in New York City, and we’ll be bringing guests throughout the week talking about this critical issue of our day.

Coming up, we’re going to look at President Biden’s announcement that the COVID pandemic is over. We’ll speak with Steven Thrasher, the author of The Viral Underclass: The Human Toll When Inequality and Disease Collide. More than 400 Americans a day are still dying of COVID. Stay with us.

The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to democracynow.org. Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.

Next story from this daily show

Is the Pandemic Over? Public Health Advocates Decry Biden’s Claim as Thousands Still Dying from COVID

Non-commercial news needs your support

We rely on contributions from our viewers and listeners to do our work.
Please do your part today.
Make a donation