We Must Give Puerto Rico A Hand

The Puerto Rican community in New York celebrates this weekend its traditional parade through Fifth Avenue. It is a massive event that congregates Boricuas from here and there, and where this community’s contributions to the Big Apple are highlighted.
However, the parade also opens a space for reflection, to draw attention to the difficult situation the Isle of Enchantment is going through.
Puerto Rico’s economic problems worry and also impact the life of Nuyoricans. There has always been a close relation and commitment with everything that happens on the island.
Census numbers indicate that between 2010 and 2013, at least 144,000 Puerto Ricans left the island. The majority left their country for financial reasons, due to lack of employment. Not only professionals leave, but also families no longer able to stand the pressure of poverty.
Due to its commonwealth status, Puerto Rico stands between a rock and a hard place as it faces a fiscal crisis. The $72 billion debt is overwhelming. To make matters worse, part of that debt was bought by predatory lenders.
Now, public services have deteriorated to the point that they cannot even ride out a drought. Water restrictions are brutal.
For all these reasons, we ally ourselves with the popular clamor asking for action at the federal level to drive Puerto Rico off the cliff where it’s headed. Washington needs to pay attention. We do not want the island to lose its enchantment. Let’s give Puerto Rico a hand.