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On Trump's New York Doorstep, Demands for Puerto Rico Recovery That Puts Human Dignity Over Profit

On Trump's New York Doorstep, Demands for Puerto Rico Recovery That Puts Human Dignity Over Profit

Jake Johnson, staff writer

Marking the one-year anniversary of Hurricane Maria's devastating landfall in Puerto Rico, evacuees, activists, and families of the thousands who were killed by the storm marched on Trump Tower in New York City on Thursday to condemn President Donald Trump's grossly inadequate response to the island's crisis, mourn the victims, and demand a just recovery that puts people over profit.

I’m sorry but this is like asking the Court Jester to perform a Shakespeare play.

Naomi Klein is one of my heroes.

Here is a recent tweet

Naomi Klein ‏Verified account @ NaomiAKlein 1h1 hour ago

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Hurricane Maria was no “Act of God” - leave her out of it. Some thoughts one year into # PuertoRico 's catastrophe:

And a link to here article on The Intercept

There’s Nothing Natural About Puerto Rico’s Disaster

The article was posted today and might well be explicit linked here on commondreams later.

I’VE BEEN DIGGING into disaster capitalism for a couple of decades now. For those of you who are new to the term, disaster capitalism is about how the already rich and powerful systematically exploit the pain and the trauma of collective shocks — like superstorms or economic crisis — in order to build an even more unequal and undemocratic society.

Long before Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico was a textbook example. Before those fierce winds came, the debt — illegitimate and much of it illegal — was the excuse used to ram through a brutal program of economic suffering, what the great Argentine author Rodolfo Walsh, writing about four decades earlier, famously called miseria planificada , planned misery.

This program systematically attacked the very glue that holds a society together: all levels of education, health care, the electricity and water systems, transit systems, communication networks, and more.

It was a plan so widely rejected that no elected representatives could be trusted to carry it out. Which is why in 2016 the U.S. Congress passed the Puerto Rico Oversight, Management, and Economic Stability Act, known as PROMESA. That law amounted to a financial coup d’etat that put Puerto Rico’s economy directly in the hands of the unelected Financial Oversight and Management Board. In Puerto Rico, they call it La Junta.

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I visited Puerto Rico about thirty years ago. All along the west coast were wall-to-wall chemical companies, just like at the Houston Ship Channel, just like Delaware, Brunswick, Georgia, just like Mobile, Alabama. Why all at the coastline? They use the water both for cooling and for dumping, transport also. These locations are also suitable due to lax laws, particularly Puerto Rico, which is immune to some 50-states laws.

A lot of attention has been paid to nuclear and people on coastline at storm time, but coastal chemical companies are also deadly enterprises.

Why can’t our massive military and National Guard do reconstruction, not just destruction?

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That’s not what they’re good at. Their job is to kill people and break things, and they’re really good at that (also at burning money by the boatload, but that’s another topic).

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My understanding is they were all there because of a tax break to boost the economy of PR. That tax break was rescinded, so of coarse most of the corp. left.
You’re correct about the coastlines and storms, you don’t even have to have major corporations to have a toxic soup when the surge gets high enough, add chemical plants and it becomes deadly, short and long term.

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True, but the National Guard has Construction Battalions and the Navy Seabees’ job is construction. They could be used.