View from Puerto Rico

Thanks to the Sentinel for the objective op-ed on Puerto Rico's fundamental issue Oct. Full Story
Cindy

AOL

#21 Jan 26, 2007
UN GRINGO PUERTORRIQUENO wrote:
I enjoy driving through the caserios. I've never seen so many direct TV satelite dishes and expensive, exotic weaponry. I get the impression that half that live in a caserio are not so needy. Just content with a free (or almost free) place to stay or a place to hide. Anyway, I believe we have the most comfortable poor in the Caribe.(not counting the drug addicts with AIDS) I'll add that I've been inside many outwardly modest accomodations here in P.R. and most of the time you wouldnt believe the inside of what appears to be a hell hole. Certainly we have lots of poor. Most are comfortably, happily poor. But what is poor. Many here are blessed with simple goals. A good game of dominos, a bottle of rum, family, good friends and humor. Lots of time to spend at the beach, lots of holidays and a government that caters to the needy because THEY VOTE. By the way, my dedutable laden health care plan costs $590.00 a month for 2 and the poor get care for free. Hmmm. The "poor" lose too much getting a job to make it worth their while. Get a job, pay for your own housing, electricity, food, health care, telephone, etc. The true needy in P.R. are a fraction of the reported poor. Most of the poor stay poor by incentive.
Puerto Rico is one of the best places to vacation you will find. To live here you need to face the ocean with your back to the reality of P.R.
Let me tell you something, I was born & race in an Caserio, and I am very proud of what I become
Jennifer Watts

Waynesville, NC

#22 Jan 26, 2007
Cindy you go girl telling them off
un gringo puertorriqueno

San Juan, Puerto Rico

#23 Jan 26, 2007
I did say half and not most. Having grown up beside a caserio and having had a few friends living there, I know better. It was not my intention to P**s anyone one off. But I stand by my observations. I notice you didn't say I was wrong, however. Am I?
El Cangri de Rio Canas

Brooklyn, NY

#24 Jan 31, 2007
MataconHacha wrote:
Gringo,
Yep, a lot of bars on windows and it is getting like that in several towns around the island, however, there are still places that do not use them. The bars on windows is a Spanish tradition. If you go Mexico and several towns in the Southwest, you will find them in peoples' home. I see them here in Texas, been to New Mexico and Arizona. However, the bars are to keep criminals out and sadly, they are on a lot of Puerto Rican homes.
On the case of people having an excuse on partying, well I certainly saw it when I lived on the island. It is something that many seek due to the many local holidays that the Marin government implemented to give time off to underpaid workers. I believe it is an escape valve for the modern day pressure that any live in PR.
It is called "pacification", "opium for the masses". Tell me, if so many Puerto Ricans have degrees, WHY ARE THEY SO SCARED TO TAKE CONTROL OF THEIR OWN FUTURES? Maybe the Pell Grants will continue coming. Empty degrees that are useless in the island and will only become useful if they LEAVE.
El Cangri de Rio Canas

Brooklyn, NY

#25 Jan 31, 2007
Marilyn wrote:
I'd rather see it be "another cuba" than see it become another ghetto.
Estoy de acuerdo con lo que dices. He vivido en Cuba por unos cuantos anos y veo MAS en ese pueblo POSITIVO que en Puerto Rico.
Jennifer Watts

Waynesville, NC

#26 Feb 1, 2007
Ola Amigos snow here
MataconHacha

Nashua, NH

#27 Feb 1, 2007
El Cangri de Rio Canas wrote:
<quoted text>
It is called "pacification", "opium for the masses". Tell me, if so many Puerto Ricans have degrees, WHY ARE THEY SO SCARED TO TAKE CONTROL OF THEIR OWN FUTURES? Maybe the Pell Grants will continue coming. Empty degrees that are useless in the island and will only become useful if they LEAVE.
Cangri,

What does having degrees or opium for the masses have to do with what was discussed? However, since you mention the "being so scared to take control of their island. If you are educated enough and done your research you will find that 48% of those on the island belong to the status quo party. Many just want to stay in a political limbo. The other 43-45% wants to incorporate into the union as a federal state and 3-4% wants complete independence. If you look at the numbers you will see that the majority want to continue to be part of the U.S. Government. Since I am a person of dignity and believe that you either do your business or get off the pot. I have come to the conclusion that the U.S. Congress will never extend statehood to Puerto Rico so the most logical thing to do is to work away and be a complete sovereign nation. We are probably the most educated on a per-capital basis in Latin America; however I do not blame anyone that leaves because of the lack of jobs in an overpopulated small island. So, yes degrees are worthless if you cannot find a job, but at least you have an option to move on.

You stated in another post that you have visited Cuba, great you are lucky! Lucky to compare a system foreign to what you know and you probably can appreciate what you have. The Cuban dictatorship has stifled the voices of those that would think differently from the central government’s program, subjecting them to be ostracizes and persecuted. At least in Puerto Rico we can tell our elected officials to go to hell and vote them out. I do not see that in Cuba! So please do not compare us to our brothers and sisters in Cuba.

What does having degrees or opium for the masses have to do with what was discussed? However, since you mention the "being so scared to take control of their island. If you are educated enough and done your research you will find that 48 of those on the island belong to the status quo party.
LIer

West Islip, NY

#28 Feb 1, 2007
I was there 2 weeks ago and in the 1st 12 days of January something like 40 people were murdered. That is pathetic, not even NYC in the 80s crack epidemic had a murder rate that high. Puerto Ricans need to get their act together and work to make their island safer.

Call the DEA and push for a Mobile Enforcement Team to be assigned to the San Juan Field Office or a US Border Patrol Tactical Response Team to the Aguadilla Station, put more money towards education and crime prevention, stop the corruption in your own police forces, etc do something.
USAaOK

Nashua, NH

#29 Feb 2, 2007
LIer wrote:
I was there 2 weeks ago and in the 1st 12 days of January something like 40 people were murdered. That is pathetic, not even NYC in the 80s crack epidemic had a murder rate that high. Puerto Ricans need to get their act together and work to make their island safer.
Call the DEA and push for a Mobile Enforcement Team to be assigned to the San Juan Field Office or a US Border Patrol Tactical Response Team to the Aguadilla Station, put more money towards education and crime prevention, stop the corruption in your own police forces, etc do something.
Yes, they have done a lot to curb the problems of drugs, however, how do you deal with a monster that comes at you from all directions? The Feds are working hard with the local agencies like FURA,(united forces for rapid action; police sections to combat narco-traffic on land, air, and sea.) to fight against this scourge. There is only one Border Patrol unit which you mention in Aguadilla, former Ramey AFB, but their job is to stop illegals coming into the island and concentrated in the Western portion due to the proximity of the Dominican Republic. A lot of the killings are related to drugs, that is unfortunate and a lot has to do with gangs going after each under or killing innocent people. It is unfortunate, but what can be done with a bunch of colonized people that have been conditioned to over indulge in consumerism, vote with emotions and not logic, continue to give up the streets to mobsters (narcos) and continue to live in a limbo political status? Social problems breeds discontent and social misfits deeds like the drug problems.
MataconHacha

San Antonio, TX

#30 Feb 2, 2007
USAaOK wrote:
<quoted text>
Yes, they have done a lot to curb the problems of drugs, however, how do you deal with a monster that comes at you from all directions? The Feds are working hard with the local agencies like FURA,(united forces for rapid action; police sections to combat narco-traffic on land, air, and sea.) to fight against this scourge. There is only one Border Patrol unit which you mention in Aguadilla, former Ramey AFB, but their job is to stop illegals coming into the island and concentrated in the Western portion due to the proximity of the Dominican Republic. A lot of the killings are related to drugs, that is unfortunate and a lot has to do with gangs going after each under or killing innocent people. It is unfortunate, but what can be done with a bunch of colonized people that have been conditioned to over indulge in consumerism, vote with emotions and not logic, continue to give up the streets to mobsters (narcos) and continue to live in a limbo political status? Social problems breeds discontent and social misfits deeds like the drug problems.
USAaOK,

Yes, there is a unit of the Border Patrol at the former base, but I understand that the U.S. Customs were also stationed there, at least when I lived on the island. The feds are doing all they can to fight the narco traficantes, however, the killings are not all due to drugs. Many are due to domestic violence and fights among families. It is a shame that many are killed, but when you have close to 4 million by official census, not counting the illegal immigrants in a small island nerves get rattled and personalities explode.
Marilyn

AOL

#31 Feb 5, 2007
Maybe they should become a state...so when everything finally falls apart they'll learn from the mistake.
"Dude,where's my country?"
PRJester

Caguas, Puerto Rico

#32 Feb 9, 2007
Evelyn -
This is from today's news:

SAN JUAN (AP)- Pacientes de Sida Pro Política Sana spokesman José Fernando Colón asked health authorities Friday to have "mercy" and grant the funds needed by the organizations that serve the 19,000 people who suffer from AIDS.

"We have arrived at a waiting list for new patients who are diagnosed. They said they were going to get the money; a requisition was made for the medicines, but the medicines have not arrived," he said in a radio interview.

"This is a matter of life or death. Please have mercy," he implored.

The Health Department announced some time ago that it was not receiving enough federal funds for the treatment of all HIV and AIDS patients in Puerto Rico and that it would form a waiting list for those who were not covered.

Subsequently, officials indicated that the Health Insurance Administration would transfer $3 million that would cover until March the treatment of 127 HIV and AIDS patients who are on the list.

"I truly don’t believe HIV is a priority," he said.
----------
You have to make your own decision, but HIV patients seem to be having a tough go of it here at the present.
PRJester

Caguas, Puerto Rico

#33 Feb 9, 2007
Evelyn -

This is from today's news:

SAN JUAN (AP)- Pacientes de Sida Pro Política Sana spokesman José Fernando Colón asked health authorities Friday to have "mercy" and grant the funds needed by the organizations that serve the 19,000 people who suffer from AIDS.

"We have arrived at a waiting list for new patients who are diagnosed. They said they were going to get the money; a requisition was made for the medicines, but the medicines have not arrived," he said in a radio interview.

"This is a matter of life or death. Please have mercy," he implored.

The Health Department announced some time ago that it was not receiving enough federal funds for the treatment of all HIV and AIDS patients in Puerto Rico and that it would form a waiting list for those who were not covered.

Subsequently, officials indicated that the Health Insurance Administration would transfer $3 million that would cover until March the treatment of 127 HIV and AIDS patients who are on the list.

"I truly don’t believe HIV is a priority," he said.

----------
You need to make your own decision, but HIV patients seem to be having a tough time of it here at this moment.
sam hein

Heatherton, Australia

#34 Feb 9, 2007
MataconHacha wrote:
Gringo,
Gringo is a racist term.

Since: Feb 07

Caguas, Puerto Rico

#35 Feb 9, 2007
Sam, Sam, Sam...
"UN GRINGO PUERTORRIQUENO" is the guy to whom he or she she was responding. Get a grip, mate.
un gringo puertorriqueno

San Juan, Puerto Rico

#36 Feb 9, 2007
sam hein wrote:
<quoted text>
Gringo is a racist term.
Gringo is only racist if it was used to give offense, IMO. When I was young, nigger was an ok word to use. As a matter of fact the first time, and most of the times I heard it in my youth, it was an african american refering to another african american. After it became a bad word, then they were colored people. Then black people. Now thats considered racist. Personally I take afront to african american. You are american period, no matter the color. By the way, I think I'm more Puerto Rican than the majority of the Puertorricanos. Why? Because I care. Too many are out for themselves and don't give a ???? about P.R. I'm considering forming a new political party. Gringos para Puerto Rico. Wish me luck. I love Puerto Rico and most likely will live here the rest of my days, unless the socialist PDP forces me to leave because of their separatist policys.The USA is the best county in the world, once again IMO, but Puerto Rico is special, even with its problems. With a decent government in place.....the best place to be that I can imagine.
La Jibarita

Clearwater, FL

#37 Feb 10, 2007
They was a president that said Dont ask what your county can do for you,but ask what can i do for my country (John F Kennedy) We all could say how by Puerto Rico is but what are we doing to help? NOTHING! We as proud people could help by helping our kids because they are our future. Dont come to this web site saying how bad things are when you do nothing to make it better. How can we do it better? In our votes in this country making sure that the goverment help our country like they deserve because what every money they give we have already pay the dept with the blood of our soldier
Paz y amor para nuestra gente bella y mi isla del encanto
MataconHacha

San Antonio, TX

#39 Feb 10, 2007
Jibarita,

I hate to burst your bubble, but that does not cut it with the rest of the citizens of the states. They tell us that we do not pay federal taxes in PR and get funds that they pay taxes for. They state the same when it comes to spilling blood every soldier that fights for us. Things are bad in Puerto Rico, no se puede tapar el cielo con la mano. It is good that we point that out. I makes people think, however the problem is the uncaring attitude of those on the island. We have problems, we cannot cover that up. Like any people or nation that has problems. We can easily remedy the situation by asking for independence or a political status that would turn over more control to trade with other countries and establish our own economical policies and not depend on the U.S. Government. The U.S. Government controls everything, immigration, defense, shipping, etc, etc. We are a territory, without power and dependent on the U.S. for everything. The local governments don't care. They just want to stay in power and be the elitist. Yes, we have a lot of problems and maybe someday, we can overcome and control them. Who knows? Paz para la gente de la area de Tampa Bay, Brandon, New Tampa, Clearwater, St. Pete!

Since: Feb 07

Caguas, Puerto Rico

#40 Feb 11, 2007
MataconHacha -
"We can easily remedy the situation by asking for independence or a political status that would turn over more control to trade with other countries and establish our own economical policies and not depend on the U.S. Government. The U.S. Government controls everything, immigration, defense, shipping, etc, etc."

If the U.S. were to grant independence tomorrow, open shipping to and from PR to all coutries' vessels, and reduce the amount of financial aid given to the island to that which we provide to other allied countries, Puerto Rico would financially collapse, and, in my opinion, fall into anarchy. The island simply does not generate, on its own, products which make it capable of financial independence, while maintaining the lifestyle and services that its people are accustomed to.

You acknowledge the unemployment rate here, the ridiculous government services, immigration problems, healthcare issues, etc. Do you really think those would improve under independence? If Medicare were absent from the island, it would be a disaster. Anyone who has ever been a patient at Centro Médico knows how pathetic the government health "care" is here. And who would be the new leaders under this newfound freedom? The PDP cronies, with their wonderfull history of keeping islanders under their collective thumbs? Roselló's camp, who think that Pedro's glory is more important than serving the people, and supporting democracy?

I'm not a raging statehooder, but, of the options which MAY finally now be on the table, it's the only one that makes sense. To maintain the current "best of both worlds" status is an embarrassment to the pride of the island. Half, or more, of our people now live on the mainland. They moved there for a reason. Opportunity. It's time to bring that opportunity home, to Puerto Rico. It's time to become the 51st state, taking pride in that achievement, and contributing Puerto Rican culture to the U.S., not watching it disappear, as the PDPs would have you think.

But, hey, that's just my opinion.
un gringo puertorriqueno

San Juan, Puerto Rico

#41 Feb 11, 2007
PRJester. I mostly agree with you.
The current situation is a perfect example of why Independence would not work here. I was horrified to see the class warfare rhetoric, backed by the government agencies, during the government shutdown. First the government devided the citizenry into 2 clases. The government working class and the rest of us. The Government workers coming first of course. The security of a government worker, and the promise of lifetime employment being more important than the health and funtioning of the economy or government. The government now raises taxes to sustain its size irregardless of its lack of efectiveness and efficiency.
The tax burden is descrimnatory at best. Not only do many have to pay out of their own pockets for what the government provides free to others, but now we have to pay the IVU on top of that. What do you call taxing the cable bill, telephone bill, internet access, parking in private parking lots, garbage disposal just to name a few. The local government is beginning to look more socialist than anything else. I believe the PDP is doing more to advance the statehood cause than the PNP. To sum up. Without the federal agencies keeping the local agencies in line we would have an even bigger disaster. And as you point out, and I agree, in an Independent Puerto Rico we would have the exact same people in control as we have now. And we see everyday what their prioritys are.

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