Thursday, 16 August, 2018

Puerto Rican Day Parade to highlight hurricane heroes, recovery

Cuomo blames racism for weak federal response to Hurricane Maria victims Modal Trigger Andrew Cuomo Getty Images
Deanna Wagner | 13 June, 2018, 07:43

The students will be assisting ongoing efforts to clean, restore, and rebuild homes damaged by Hurricane Maria.

Whether Hurricane Maria killed a few dozen Americans or 4,600 after it slammed into Puerto Rico a year ago, the USA government's inefficient response should go down in history as a shameful episode that must not be repeated.

The National Puerto Rican Day Parade filled Fifth Avenue yesterday with hundreds of thousands of marchers and spectators and, absent any controversy over the Grand Marshal selection this year (it was actor-activist Esai Morales), the atmosphere along the almost three-mile route was loud and festive once again, thanks in no small part to the return of the big sponsored floats cranking music and throwing out freebies.

"We're here calling for a public and citizen's audit of the debt and an accounting for the thousands of Puerto Ricans who died from government neglect", Natasha Lycia Bannan, associate counsel with the civil rights group LatinoJustice PRLDEF, wrote on Twitter.

Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz, center, leading a group of state and city officials during the Puerto Rican Day Parade. "We must show the people of Puerto Rico we are their ally, and divest NY state pension funds from any Puerto Rican debt holdings, now".

Along the parade route in the heart of Manhattan, people carried signs with tributes like "New York Stands with Puerto Rico, " "You will not be forgotten, " and "Decolonize Puerto Rico".

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Some demonstrators chanted "Respect Puerto Rico" as the parade passed Trump Tower. Many also waved Puerto Rican flags and danced as they made their way down Fifth Avenue.

Also on hand was a marching contingent made up of people who are on the US mainland only because they were displaced from their homes on the island after the hurricane. "I'm just exhausted of the way my island has been treated".

Moments before taking his place in the annual Puerto Rico parade, Gov. Andrew Cuomo charged that the weak federal response to victims of Hurricane Maria is because of an inherit racism coming from the White House.

"This is a very important parade and a very meaningful parade given the tragedy and the devastation of the homeland", Louis Maldonado said on Friday prior to Sunday's big parade. He and the group he was marching with planned to be in black T-shirts that reflect the Harvard study's estimate of the dead.

'They said, 'Great. We can work on our tans.' And I said, 'Not exactly.

Hurricane season is descending once again on the Caribbean, while Puerto Rico is still struggling to recover. He said the recovery was a "tough job".