This is the anniversary of the hurricane that struck Puerto Rico. I asked Myra Diaz to describe what her parents went through in Aguadilla, Puerto Rico. The reference to my being in Aguadilla was actually in 1984.
My parents live in the Playuelas. This area is very close to the beach. Crash Boat Beach (before and after) is approximately 10-15 minute walk. They prepared prior to the storm by stocking up on water, candles, canned food. However, the water they had ran out and they had to search for water trucks. They were able to find some in the town, but the lines were long and the supply was limited. My dad went to many pueblos looking for water in the supermarket but the shelves were empty. There were no food supplies either.
The Army came once to a baskeball court near their house to give out food packs which contained, nuts, puddings, crackers and what my mom described as meat (not sure about this). They were handing out approximately 3-4 packs per person including 5 bottles of water for each person. Dad continued to search for water because they were panicking that their supply was running out. Their faucet had running water, but it was contaminated and at some point it was gone. They went down a hill to my uncle’s house (you visited him) in the yard, he had an outside faucet which had a water stream that they would all use to fill up gallons of water for bathing and flushing the bathroom. My dad relentlessly drove around looking for water and found that at the Base Ramey the army was giving cases of bottled water. One case for each person so they were able to obtain two cases and were very happy to have found the army. They ate canned food and approximately two weeks after the storm they found a supermarket that had yam, potatoes, sweet potatoes and water. The food supply was limited and there were long lines.
My mother had a cooking gas tank at home so she was able to eat her yam and potatoes. My mother’s neighbors had a gas generator and would freeze empty soda bottles for them so that they could place them in cooler to keep some of their items cold. During this tough time mom and dad said many people came together to help each other.
One day, they spent approximately 3-4 hours on a line at a gas station in an attempt to get gas, but when they got to the front of the line, the gas ran out. People were upset and frustrated. My cousin took a job at a gas station to work for free so that his father and my parents would have a chance at getting gas. They were able to fill up their tanks before the tanks ran out again. With this gas my father filled up the car which he needed to search for supplies.
The streets after the storm had many fallen trees and lamp posts. The people in their neighborhood came out with machetes to cut up the trees and then move them. This way the roads would open up. There was no flooding in my mom’s
neighborhood. They were fortunate.
The electricity came on the last week of October, but quickly went out again. Flights out of Aguadilla were all cancelled. I booked a flight for them on 10/6/18 and it was cancelled. Apparently, there was damage to the tarmac and no flights could come in or out, then they heard that the airport was being used to transport supplies. On 10/24/18 they had another flight and it was cancelled. Then on 10/18/2017 I was able to book a flight for them out of San Juan – Delta airlines to depart on 11/5/2018.
My mother was panicking because she wanted to come back home. Being without electricity or running water was very difficult. The heat was unbearable. Mom was praying that her flight out of San Juan would not get cancelled.
They drove to Crash Boat Beach and what was once one of the most beautiful beaches was destroyed. There was a concrete made restaurant partially in the water. The parking lot was covered in sand and many businesses destroyed.
Today the beach hasn’t recovered. The restaurant is still partially submerged in the water. I will send you a picture soon.
Thank god my parents made it home and that their flight from San Juan was not cancelled. They said it was the worst and scariest storm they had ever seen. They never imagined it was going to cause so much damage and many deaths.
I have been informed by one of the educational leaders of Puerto Rico that Trump has built a wall between the American people and Puerto Rico. The wall cannot be seen by most people. And he did not spend any money to build that wall, but it’s all about money and his responses which have been amazingly disastrous could easily remind us some of the worst characters in history who were powerful leaders and whose replacements were often much better. The Naismith International Basketball Foundation has just agreed to add a Baseball- Selfie Video page where youth in Puerto Rico can take a selfie video and show the world on FACEBOOK. Youth all over the world can participate as well. Just Do It!
There is one good thing about the Trump presidency. I can’t believe that I’ve written that (please check up any article on Jewish Business News that has the word Trump). The good thing is that his presidency came in the Election of 2016 and not the Election of 2008.
Getting to the point as I always do, what caused the Holocaust was Hitler. If Barack Obama had been the president of Germany in the 1930s, the Holocaust would not have taken place. Just ask him. He is around to tell you. Another thing is that if Trump had been president in 2009, we would more at each other’s throats since there was a semi-depression going on. Hitler took over during a depression, a world depression. So the booming economy is making Trump look much better than he is. Even today you can read about the tariffs of his tariffs on his tariffs. That means your income tax refund is going to go up in smoke.
I just remembered to write about Visa Para Un Sueño by Juan Luis Guerra and 4-40. The song is so uplifting and it is about Dominicans that have wanted to leave their beloved country for other places. I have visited the Consulate of the Dominican Republic in Paris, France (The Salvadoran Consulate there too) and I have spoken to a Dominican vice-consul in St. Martin. I have done for years.
The president of the Dominican Republic even called upon Juan Luis Guerra to appear before the malecón or boardwalk of Santo Domingo to appeal to Dominicans not to take boats out in the sea to leave the Dominican Republic or DR. Juan Luis Guerra appeared with Ricky Martin, Shakira, and others in a well announced project called Yo Amo America! I could have done much more for Latin America with my ideas (sounds Trumpian?). Boy did I feel great listening to Visa Para Un Sueño! Have you seen Bachata in Israel yet?
Up in Smoke you may recall is the name of a movie with Cheech and Chong. I have just written about Africans being killed in great numbers crossing the Atlantic Ocean which has been taught in schools as part of the Triangular Trade. Then Jews and others were killed in the Holocaust. See The Holocaust and Black Lives Matter. Americans have not really learned how complicit they have been in deaths of human beings fighting to get out of Death Valley (the desert). Latino Lives Matter. Yes, they do.
Among the horrific acts that have taken place that are much more known the attack in Farmingville where Mexicans were beaten and the killing of Marcelo Lucero, an Ecuadorian immigrant in Patchogue. I tried to get into the huge event that took place to help Mexicans in Glen Cove, New York after the beatings took place.
I later met the brother of Marcelo Lucero, Jóselo Lucero, and I went to meetings in the Patchogue School District. The prejudice at that moment spilled out into the school halls as children who did not speak Spanish were upset at Latinos who spoke Spanish in the halls. Whatever happened to freedom of speech? You have probably figured out by now that parents influenced their children at home and others were influenced at school by their Let’s Make America Great Again Friends. And this was before Trump. Thank goodness! I take that back. What took place should never have happened.
We recall that Mitt Romney wanted the immigrants to self-deport which did not happen. Yes, there were many who chose to return to their countries when the bubble burst and there was a large loss of jobs. Was that fake news? The parking lot of the railroad going into New York City was empty by comparison with better days. President George W. Bush was behind the move to help the American economy that Obama took over. The warning was given. Obama was not a Marxist trying to destroy the American economy at that time. Look at the healthy economy that Trump took over in 2017.
Conservatives, on the other hand, wanted no such spending to take place and expected things to recover well that way. That is the slow way like that great American ketchup that only the most powerful or most resourceful can shake out of the mouth. Obama stuck a knife down it to move and it still was pretty slow, but it bounced back. The Stock Market bounced back at least 10,000 points. He did not have the lowest African-American unemployment in history, but he brought a very high fever down and saved lives. And he did all that without a word of advice from Trump. Obama is not back singing like Frank Sinatra, No They Can’t Take That Away From Me.
We know from studying history that bad times bring out the worst in people. It happened to the Irish at the hands of the English. It happened to the Jews at the hands of Hitler, but the news media did something that was similar. The conservative media made Obama into the Jew, a president to stop and hate and to hate and stop. Obama gave the immigrants DACA, which Latinos benefit from the most. Trump did not even care if some “Norwegians” had come here “illegally” as he threw the problem at a Congress that is not a problem solver.
The Republican Congress is into tax refunds so all Americans can be kings of their castles. Look around at your life as your crown gets worn out by other Trump economic items that will take away the wealth he gave you with the other hand. It started with higher prices at the pump. This made the news today and tells the real story about our nation’s economy. Home health care aides make an average salary of $23,130 and half of those people need some public assistance to survive. And someone wants to take your citizenship away if you have ever taken public assistance. That means that people’s rights would diminish greatly.
There should be a moratorium on everything that Trump is doing to the immigrants. It should rule the land and bring much more pride in America than Trump could ever deliver.
Then there is what Trump and his administration have done to Puerto Ricans (American citizens since 1917). The reporting coming out of Puerto Rico reveals the great harm that has been caused to its children who are attending school. This year cannot be a good year based on the fact that 58 percent of Puerto Rican children live below the federal poverty line. Adults have had a huge jump in PTSD or Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and suicide with calls made for help doubling in places around the island. When it starts to rain in Puerto Rico where it rains often, people have palpitations and other symptoms of anxiety. Trump will tell you what an A+ job was done and make you side with him on the number of deaths, but we cannot allow our people to be treated that way. And things are much worse than I am telling you here. Puerto Ricans who fled after Hurricane Maria were not as plagued by all those symptoms and illnesses.
The English got blamed for great harm that came to the Irish. The Germans got blamed for the great harm committed by Hitler and his National Socialists. Who deserves the blame for allowing Trump to harm people, even as he tossed paper towels to them? And those people receiving those towels were his partisans.
Breaking news that we should all think deeply about today is we know Trump’s biggest opponent right now is China. China just made a deal with the United States’ best ally to take over the port of Haifa, Israel. Amazing that this would come about? See Man of the Year in Israeli Politics? Learn about the implications for our defenses. This is from my article about the Spanish Civil War and the collaboration that Texaco Oil was involved in with the Nazis “Normal business reporting from Texaco’s Nazi agents were filled with coded information about ships transporting critical things to Britain and other intelligence. And the tipping off to Germany helped that country in its war effort as ships and vessels were attacked” in Jewish Business News. This could easily happen again when the wrong influence permeates the system in Israel and especially since bribes make things work.