Puerto Rican Day Parade shows post-hurricane concerns

Lester Mason
June 13, 2018

The National Puerto Rican Day Parade in NY turned into its usual boisterous celebration Sunday, but many participants also saw it as an occasion to express their more somber concerns over the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria.

The celebration planned for Sunday will have the usual floats, musicians and brightly colored costumes.

Some demonstrators chanted "Respect Puerto Rico" as the parade passed Trump Tower.

"We're part of the United States".

"On this day of unity, we use our collective voice to remind the elected officials enthusiastically marching with us this Sunday that they also have a responsibility to advocate for policies that treat the over 8 million Puerto Ricans, regardless of whether they live stateside or on the island, like the USA citizens they are, with the dignity and respect everyone deserves in a time of crisis". The parade also honored first responders and others who stepped up to help with both emergency efforts and ongoing recovery work.

For those watching via the live broadcast, Maldonado said, there will be guests talking about the issues, as well as specific segments focused on particular issues, like the plight of teachers on the island or environmental issues.

This year's parade comes a year after a controversial one, when the parade organization made a decision to recognize Oscar Lopez Rivera, a former member of a militant group responsible for a series of bombings.

Andrew Cuomo decline to take part.

That help has continued and has, through the efforts of Paterson Partners with Puerto Rico, led to the donation of money and other supplies to help rebuild one of the many schools destroyed by the storm.

"The parade will be the same with the number of people it gets every year, but in the back of minds, a lot of them are going to be remembering all the lives lost". She said she has been coming to the parade since she was a toddler.

The official death count from the hurricane is 64, even though a recent study by Harvard University and Puerto Rico's Carlos Albizu University estimates that there were as many as 4,645 hurricane-related deaths, many of them attributable to the collapse of the electric power grid.

Still, many people were stunned by survey results published last week in the New England Journal of Medicine that found the September 20 storm's death toll could be 70 times the official estimate.

"It would be a missed opportunity this Sunday.if we don't show an act of solidarity, an act of protest, an act of defiance", he said, "to let the world know we still have a president and Congress that still has not done right by 3.5 million Americans".

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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