“The rich people are not going to do anything for us”
University of Puerto Rico students speak on inequality and the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria
By Genevieve Leigh and Zac Corrigan, 16 December 2017
Nearly three months after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, a WSWS reporting team spoke to students at the island’s only public university about the ongoing crisis and the way forward for workers and youth.
“The island has been turned upside down since the storm”
By Genevieve Leigh and Zac Corrigan, 14 December 2017
Nearly three months after Hurricane Maria made landfall a WSWS reporting team spoke to residents in San Sebastian, Puerto about the discrepancy between official news reports of the island’s recovery and the actual conditions they face.
By Rafael Azul, 8 December 2017
With social anger growing against the criminal indifference of the Trump administration and new demands for austerity measures, the trade unions are desperately trying to block the eruption of working-class struggle.
By Rafael Azul, 30 November 2017
While conditions continue to deteriorate for most Puerto Ricans, big business looks for profit-making opportunities.
Hurricane Harvey three months on: Tens of thousands still homeless from worst natural disaster in US history
By Joseph Kishore, 29 November 2017
The ongoing catastrophe caused by Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria is an indictment of American capitalism and the financial oligarchy that runs the United States.
By Andrea Lobo, 17 November 2017
With Puerto Rico still devastated by Hurricane Maria, local authorities are claiming dictatorial powers to carry out a brutal offensive against workers and youth.
By Rafael Azul, 14 November 2017
Behind last week’s blackout in Puerto Rico are the effects of delayed maintenance and moves to privatize the government-owned electricity enterprise.
By Rafael Azul, 10 November 2017
The US education secretary met with her Puerto Rican counterpart, who is looking at post-Katrina New Orleans as the model for the schools in US territory.
By Jerry White, 8 November 2017
Puerto Rico’s education secretary is following the example of New Orleans, where Hurricane Katrina was used as the opportunity to lay off thousands of teachers and privatize schools.
By Rafael Azul, 1 November 2017
With anger against the Trump administration reaching a breaking point, Sanders urged Puerto Ricans to keep their faith in the US government.
By Tom Hall, 31 October 2017
The merger between the CVS pharmacy chain and the insurance giant is reportedly in response to Amazon’s imminent entry into the prescription drug business.
By Rafael Azul, 30 October 2017
As these connections have come to light, top Puerto Rican government officials have tried to wash their hands of the deal.
By Rafael Azul, 25 October 2017
Whitefish Energy, a tiny Montana company with virtually no experience in infrastructure repair, has secured a $300 million contract to help rebuild Puerto Rico’s electrical grid.
By Rafael Azul, 24 October 2017
Some 3 million people are without electricity and there are predictions that some remote parts of the mountainous island will not see power restored until next June.
By Rafael Azul, 20 October 2017
Amidst a systematic cover-up of the true scale of the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria, Trump declared yesterday that the response of the US government was a “10.”
By Benjamin Mateus, 16 October 2017
There is a scarcity of clean water in rural communities, whose residents are resorting to washing and bathing in local rivers and springs.
By Rafael Azul, 13 October 2017
In Twitter messages, the president blamed the US territory for its crisis and said that federal disaster relief had to be limited.
By Rafael Azul, 10 October 2017
Three weeks since the devastating storm hit, there is a concerted campaign by the Trump administration and local government authorities to conceal the full scope of the disaster.
By Tom Hall, 9 October 2017
Nearly three weeks after Hurricane Maria hit the island millions remain without power and the real death toll is still not known.
By Rafael Azul, 7 October 2017
The current hurricane season in the Caribbean Sea and Gulf of Mexico is proving to be one of the most destructive on record.
By Rafael Azul, 5 October 2017
Budget Director Mulvaney: “Puerto Rico’s going to have to figure out how to fix the errors that it has made for the last generation on its own finances.”
By Rafael Azul, 4 October 2017
Trump, who is proposing the largest tax cut for corporations and the rich in history, complained that the recovery effort was costing too much.
By Rafael Azul, 3 October 2017
In contrast to the indifference of the Trump administration, people across the United States are volunteering to help residents of the hurricane-ravaged island.
By Andrea Lobo, 2 October 2017
Almost two weeks after Hurricane Maria laid waste to much of Puerto Rico, many towns are still cut off from all relief efforts.
By a WSWS reporting team, 2 October 2017
Working people at a South Bronx event to collect aid for people in the US territory spoke to the WSWS about their anger over the Trump administration’s lack of response to the devastation of Hurricane Maria, which struck nearly two weeks ago.
“We need help and the politicians are ignoring us”
By Jerry White, 2 October 2017
Residents of Arroyo on the southeastern shore of the island described the lack of water, electricity and other basic necessities.
By Eric London, 30 September 2017
The Trump administration’s callous and incompetent response to the social disaster in Puerto Rico expresses the worldview of a financial oligarchy that sees the lives of working people as expendable.
By Rafael Azul, 29 September 2017
The purpose of the military occupation is to contain the masses and to protect the profit interests of banks and corporations.
By Rafael Azul, 28 September 2017
Puerto Rico is already under a 7 p.m. to 5 a.m. curfew. Increasingly, the question raised is whether the island will be placed under martial law.
By Bill Van Auken, 27 September 2017
The brutal and ignorant tweet from the US president expresses the real attitude of America’s ruling oligarchy toward a population of 3.5 million confronting a humanitarian catastrophe.
By Rafael Azul, 25 September 2017
Puerto Rico is reeling not only from the catastrophic effects of hurricanes Irma and Maria, but from the predatory ravages of Wall Street.
By Rafael Azul, 23 September 2017
Three days after Hurricane Maria devastated the Island, residents are left without power and basic necessities, while an ongoing dam collapse threatens to inundate tens of thousands.
By Rafael Azul, 22 September 2017
As in Texas and Florida, the human suffering caused by the hurricane was exacerbated by the absence of any serious evacuation plan and the lack of public resources.
By Rafael Azul, 21 September 2017
The suffering caused by the hurricane was made worse by the absence of any serious official evacuation plan and the lack of resources due to the financial plundering of the US territory
By Rafael Azul, 14 September 2017
Hurricane Irma came in as a godsend to the hedge fund managers who want to privatize the island’s public electric company.
By Rafael Azul, 13 June 2017
The vast majority of Puerto Rican voters failed to participate in Sunday’s plebiscite on the island’s political status.
By Rafael Azul, 5 June 2017
The budget slashes education, pensions and social services in line with the dictates of Wall Street.
By Rafael Azul, 22 May 2017
The country is already one of the most socially unequal US territories, with half the population under the poverty line and the official rate of unemployment at 11.5 percent.
By Rafael Azul, 16 May 2017
Striking students occupying the main campus of the University of Puerto Rico in Río Piedras are defying a court order to end their protest.
By Rafael Azul, 10 May 2017
Following a declaration of bankruptcy, the Puerto Rican government announced mass school closures and the layoff of 2,000 teachers.
By Rafael Azul and Jerry White, 5 May 2017
The bankruptcy of the US territory island will set a new precedent for the destruction of workers’ pensions and the privatization of public services and assets.
By Rafael Azul, 6 January 2017
During his inaugural speech, Governor Ricardo Roselló promised to work with the US fiscal control board aimed at increasing the flow of payments to the island’s Wall Street creditors.
By Kevin Martinez, 24 September 2016
After a breakdown of a plant that had not been maintained for decades, authorities are trading blame for the failure to maintain the island’s outdated infrastructure.
By Rafael Azul, 1 July 2016
The US Senate approved on June 29 a debt measure for Puerto Rico, less than 48 hours before the island was to default on a $2.1 billion debt.
By Rafael Azul, 13 June 2016
The US ruling elite intends to use the crisis as an opportunity to drastically reduce working conditions and living standards in Puerto Rico.
By Rafael Azul, 23 May 2016
The bipartisan measure attacks virtually every right of Puerto Rican workers and youth, while protecting the profits of Wall Street and the interests of bond holders.
By Rafael Azul, 4 May 2016
As its economy sinks, Puerto Rico confronts a social crisis of historic proportions.
By Rafael Azul, 5 January 2016
The government of Puerto Rico announced that it would default on $37 million out of a $900 million payment this week.
By Rafael Azul, 28 December 2015
Despite his protests over congressional inaction, the Padilla administration has contributed to the increasing human misery facing Puerto Ricans with draconian austerity measures.
By Rafael Azul, 31 October 2015
While the US congress considers bankruptcy for Puerto Rico, legislators in the Caribbean island are stepping up austerity measures.
By Rafael Azul, 11 September 2015
Puerto Rico’s debt payment plan is a frontal attack on education, health care, jobs and living standards to benefit bond holders and corporations.
By Rafael Azul, 10 August 2015
Puerto Rico’s creditors continue to insist that the country, currently suffering from extreme draught, must implement "painful" measures in response to $73 billion in debt.
By Rafael Azul, 30 July 2015
The creditors laid down a set of dictates including tax hikes, the sale of $4 billion worth of public assets, and the slashing of public education and other social programs.
By Rafael Azul, 14 July 2015
A combination of “pro-growth” and “supply-side” measures would impoverish the Puerto Rican working class.
By Rafael Azul, 7 July 2015
A Detroit-style bankruptcy process for Puerto Rico will destroy living conditions and impose a bankers’ dictatorship.
By David Brown, 30 June 2015
The government of Puerto Rico is looking to impose brutal austerity measures on the working class in order to secure payment to wealthy creditors.
By John Marion, 29 May 2015
While the lack of health care funding causes scenes reminiscent of Greece, the Puerto Rican government is preparing a budget that will impose drastic cuts.
By John Marion, 28 June 2014
Faced with a continuing debt crisis, Governor Alejandro García Padilla is imposing austerity measures to protect the position of lenders.
By Marc Wells, 22 March 2014
As Puerto Rico may be heading toward a default, investors prepare to dodge their losses by attacking pensions and social programs.
By Bill Van Auken, 6 February 2014
Puerto Rico’s government ordered across-the-board budget cuts of 2 percent and promised more austerity measures after the island’s credit rating was downgraded to junk status.
By John Marion, 23 January 2014
Bond traders are responding to Puerto Rico’s government debt problems by demanding the imposition of austerity measures.
By Rafael Azul, 21 May 2010
Thousands rallied across Puerto Rico on May 18th in support of striking Puerto Rican students and in opposition to the austerity policies of the governor.
By Rafael Azul, 17 May 2010
On May 14, Puerto Rican security forces moved to break a student strike by laying siege to the Rio Piedras campus of the University of Puerto Rico, in violation of the long-standing tradition of autonomy at UPR campuses.
By Alphonso Santana and Rafael Azul, 28 April 2010
Students have occupied Puerto Rico’s largest university, the University of Puerto Rico at Rio Piedras, in a suburb of San Juan, to oppose tuition increases and the privatization plans of Governor Luis Fortuño.
By Bill Van Auken, 17 October 2009
Hundreds of thousands of workers joined a day-long general strike Thursday in opposition to the layoffs of tens of thousands of public employees ordered by the island territory’s Governor Luis Fortuño.
By Bill Van Auken, 5 October 2009
The Puerto Rican government’s announced layoff of 17,000 public employees has provoked protests and strikes.
By Harvey Thompson, 21 February 2001
The inhabitants of the Puerto Rican island of Vieques are to take the United States Navy to court for compensation over a claim that its use of depleted uranium (DU) shells has caused a cancer epidemic.
By Bill Vann, 7 July 2000
Demonstrators gathered July 4 outside the Guaynabo Detention Center in Puerto Rico in protest over the mass roundup of opponents of the US Navy's continuing bombardment of the island of Vieques.