Trump Allegedly Planning to Cut Relief Funding for Puerto Rico

CNN reports that Puerto Rico is being excluded from a spending bill intended for states damaged by this year's hurricanes.

U.S. President Donald Trump doesn’t want to deliver additional relief funding to Puerto Rico, White House officials told congressional appropriators Monday, CNN reports.

RELATED: FEMA Leaves Some 10 Million Bottles of Water to Spoil on Puerto Rican Tarmac

A White House aide told CNN that, although funding cuts have not been finalized, the U.S. territory has been excluded from a spending bill intended for states damaged by this year's hurricanes.

The aide reported that as Puerto Rican officials have not expired the relief funds, the White House has decided to forego any additional financial support “because they don’t need it and will most likely not be able to spend it.”

Last month, a tweet from the president clearly illustrated his position on the territories petitions for further assistance, saying: “The people of Puerto Rico are wonderful but the inept politicians are trying to use the massive and ridiculously high amounts of hurricane/disaster funding to pay off other obligations. The U.S. will NOT bail out long outstanding & unpaid obligations with hurricane relief money!"

When the revised death toll announced in October revealed that nearly 3,000 residents had died in the wake of Hurricane Maria, Trump dismissed the report and accused Democrats of exploiting the figures as part of a smear campaign against his administration.

Eleven months after the deadly hurricane hit the island in September 2017, residents were still without power, thousands were displaced, and hundreds of homes destroyed.

  • Published in World


 It was a matter of pride but Cuba managed to avoid the last place finish in Pool D of the 2018 Men’s FIVB World Championship. The boys in blue beat Puerto Rico 3-1 (25-15, 22-25, 25-21, 25-17) but the score was academic as both teams were eliminated on Sunday from the tournament.
After the grueling Sunday clash against Finland head coach Oswald Antonetti opted for a slightly different Puerto Rican starting line-up. 39-year old Edgardo Roas replaced setter Perez. Ezequiel Cruz made his first start with the championship as did Pedrito Sierra in the middle. However Puerto Ricans found it hard to get started. Maurice Torres could not convert any of his first four spike attempts and soon was taken off with a leg pain. There was no contest in Set 1 – 25-15 for Cuba in just over 20 minutes.
Puerto Rico rallied in the second after Jonathan Rodriguez rolled an ankle to take the set 25-22. Cuban block set the in the third. Miguel Lopez and Livan Osoria each got four for the 25-21 success. In the fourth – a barrage of aces. Lopez and Goide each hit three, Herrera and Gutierrez contributed with one apiece. 25-17 for Cuba
Miguel Gutierrez joined the exclusive club of players with 30 or more points in a World Championship match, scoring 31. Miguel Lopez added 19 while despite the slow start Maurice Torres once again was head and shoulders above all of Puerto Rico players with 15.
  • Published in Sports

Cuba expresses full support of Puerto Rico's inalienable right to self-determination and independence

United Nations, June 19 (RHC)-- Cuba's Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Anayansi Rodríguez, reaffirmed her country's full and unconditional support for Puerto Rico's independence and sovereignty. 

On Monday, the Cuban diplomat spoke before the UN Special Committee on Decolonization, reiterating Puerto Rico's inalienable right to self-determination in accordance with General Assembly Resolution 1514, on the granting of independence to colonial countries and peoples. 

In a draft resolution adopted by consensus, the Special Committee once again urged the United States to assume the responsibility of promoting a process that allows Puerto Rico to take sovereign decisions to address its urgent economic and social needs. 

Promoted by Cuba, Nicaragua, Venezuela, Ecuador, Russia and Syria, the text was added to the 36 resolutions and decisions on Puerto Rico adopted by the Committee since 1972. 

A press release on the UN news site highlights that this year’s document refers to the devastation caused by Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017, which exacerbated unemployment, marginalization and poverty, in addition to aggravating problems related to education and health. 

The resolution calls on the General Assembly to comprehensively examine the question of Puerto Rico and decide on the issue as soon as possible. 

According to the resolution, the United States must guarantee the protection of the human rights of the Puerto Rican people, and to return the territory occupied by its military bases, in particular the Vieques and Ceiba islands, and to assume the costs of cleaning and decontamination of these areas. 

The text also expresses concern about actions carried out against pro-independence activists and calls for rigorous investigations. 

The first speaker was former political prisoner Oscar López Rivera, who highlighted the accelerated depopulation of Puerto Rico, to the point that there are just over three million people on the island and over five million have migrated to the United States. 

He highlighted the high number of professionals and young people who have left the island in search of employment and a better future. He reiterated his criticism of the Fiscal Control Board, which manages the finances of the government of Puerto Rico and orders the austerity measures to be implemented. 

Oscar López Rivera expressed his hope that the General Assembly take up the case of Puerto Rico, as the only body with the power to end colonialism. 

Edited by Pavel Jacomino
  • Published in Cuba

Cuba and Puerto Rico claim Olympic beach berths

HAVANA, Cuba, May 28, 2018 - The Cuban home boys Miguel Angel Ayón and Jorge Luis Alayo grabbed the gold medals of the NORCECA Central Zone Qualifier by beating Puerto Ricans William Rivera and Randall Santiago 2-0 (21-14, 21-19) while both teams had secured spots in the beach volleyball tournament of the Youth Olympic Games in Argentina next October.

The bronze medal went to Tim Brewster/John Schwengel (USA) after a hard-fought clash against Leonel Garza/Franky Hernandez (Mexico) that finished 2-1 (21-16, 17-21, 15-13) in the second court ready for the final at the Club Habana.

The slender Alayon, 16, thanked all the coaches in his life for the chance to enjoy the title and the Olympic pass in his international debut, as well as the support of his family and the Cuban sports movement.

"Especially the coaches who did an arduous job for the preparation ahead of this commitment, in which the Puerto Ricans were the ones who showed us the most resistance, we congratulate them because we will go together to the games, where we will fight to have a great performance".

His teammate Ayón assured that "we always focus to win even though we knew it would be a very even tournament, we are very happy for this victorious start and we will continue to emphasize and reach the best shape for what is coming in Argentina. It has been a very nice event and it gave us a good experience".

Both Cubans and Puerto Ricans won their respective A and B pools to advance to the semifinals, a stage in which the Cubans defeated Brewster and Schwengel (USA) 2-0 (21-18, 21-17), and Rivera and Santiago beat the combative Mexican duo that integrate formed by Leonel Garza and Franky Hernández (Mexico) 2-1 (21-17, 19-21, 15-8).

Sunday’s Boys Final Summary:

Quarterfinals: Leonel Garza/Franky Hernandez (Mexico) d Cole Irwin/Robert Kemp (Canada) 2-0 (21-17, 21-16) and Tim Brewster/John Schwengel (USA) d Deivy Ramírez/Raymer Sarmiento (Republic Dominicana) 2-0 (21-12, 21-17).

Semifinals: William Rivera/Randall Santiago (Puerto Rico) vs. Leonel Garza/Franky Hernandez (Mexico) 2-1 (21-17, 19-21, 15-8) and Miguel Ángel Ayón/Jorge Luis Alayo (Cuba) vs. Tim Brewster/John Schwengel (USA) 2-0 (21-18, 21-17).


Gold: Miguel Ángel Ayón/Jorge Luis Alayo (Cuba) d William Rivera/Randall Santiago (Puerto Rico) 2-0 (21-14, 21-19).

Bronze: Tim Brewster/John Schwengel (USA) d Leonel Garza/Franky Hernandez (Mexico) 2-1 (21-16, 17-21, 15-13).

  • Published in Sports

Puerto Rico: Controversy among Wolves

Half year after the mighty hurricane Maria wrecked havoc in Puerto Rico President Donald Trump did not prioritize the help to that territory.

This Wednesday the far-right journalist of Argentinean origin, Andrés Oppenheimer, columnist for the New Herald, wrote that Trump sent far greater aid to the victims of hurricane Harvey in Texas than to those of Puerto Rico, although the island suffered much bigger losses.

He highlighted that soon after the hurricane that swept over Puerto Rico, he received many critics for pointing out the "late and not very enthusiastic" answer of Trump to the humanitarian crisis of that island.

The journalist affirmed that Trump "seems foreign to the fact that the 3,4 million people that there are North American."

In his column, he affirmed that the president visited Texas twice after Harvey, Florida five days after Irma, while he visited Puerto Rico two weeks later.

And when he finally did visit he offended the victims by throwing sanitary paper rolls.

He refers to what was published in the website polí about a detailed report ratifying the double-standard of the current White House Administration with the hurricanes in Texas and Puerto Rico.

A few examples on this regard:

The Federal Emergency Management Agency approved 141,800 million dollars for the victims in Texas, while single 6 thousand for those of Puerto Rico.

During the first nine days he gave 5,100 million of meal boxes and only 1,600 to Puerto Rico.

The federal government sent 30 000 workers to Texas and 10 thousand to Puerto Rico.

After two and a half months 39% of the federal applications on behalf of the Texas victims were approved while the 28% of those from Puerto Rico.

After six months funds were approved for nearly a dozen projects to repair of schools and highways in Texas and none in Puerto Rico.

Oppenheimer considers that there may be some extenuating circumstances, like the prohibition that Puerto Ricans can vote in U.S. elections and the reiterated scorn that the president shows toward the Latin immigrants living in the United States.

Finally, the columnist in his article points out that "Donald Trump has called Latin immigrants delinquent and rapists and he described El Salvador and Haiti as shitholes countries".

And he added: "it’s difficult to exclude the contempt - or racism – as one of the main reasons of Trump’s late answer to the tragedy of Puerto Rico. If something resembles a duck, swims like a duck and sounds like a duck, it most likely is a duck."

This controversy between Oppenheimer and Trump is interesting because we are witnessing progressive personalities, just the opposite.

This time with a singularity that the first one tells harsh truths to the second and leaves him without a believable answer.

But if there’s something that fuses them as a whole: they are both wolves of the same pack.

Cubasi Translation Staff - Amilkal Labañino Valdés

Setting the Course to Puerto Rico’s Skeleton

While Donald Trump increased in 54 billion USD his military budget, Puerto Rico is still experiencing the disasters of hurricane Maria, which hit the island several months ago.

Last February 1st some Puerto Rican organizations, based at New York, protested about the privatization of the electric system in Puerto Rico.

Several groups in the country such as the one named A Call to Action on Puerto Rico showed that the management of the colonial administration after the passing of the hurricane was a complete failure.

Indeed, this organization weighed that there was even a criminal intent, which certainly led to the collapse of the physical infrastructure: roads, bridges, docks, electric power systems, aqueducts, schools, agriculture, and housing.

“Scavenging vultures from Wall Street seized the opportunity to go into the plundering and occupation of our nation.”

Likewise, “we denounce the deterioration of the political, economic, and social situation of our country.”

According to this organization, there is a chaotic situation in Puerto Rico.

Lorraine Liriano, spokeswoman of Call to Action on Puerto Rico, noted that 45 thousand jobs were lost. More than 1.2 million citizens are still without electric service. Near 30% of small business have closed. Half a million of Puerto Rican have been forced to flee abroad.

Norma Perez, professor at New York city, said that the announcement of the shutting down of 305 schools would render unemployed thousands of professors and thus, an important number of children will not take classes.

Not to mention the 400 million USD cut to the budget of the University of Puerto Rico.

Here we have the agony experienced by several Puerto Ricans. Therefore, it is harder for them to believe they are a Free Associated State.

Translated by Sergio A. Paneque Diaz / CubaSi Translation Staff

  • Published in Specials

Puerto Rico vs Dominican Republic for Caribbean Series crown

Anthony Garcia hit a grand slam and Puerto Rico rallied past Venezuela 6-5 on Wednesday to reach the championship game of the Caribbean Series for the second consecutive year.

Looking for back-to-back titles, Puerto Rico will play the Dominican Republic, which came back to beat Cuba 7-4 in the late semifinal.

The final on Thursday night features the two winningest countries in the history of the event. Puerto Rico has 16 championships and the Dominicans own 19, including their last one in 2012.

The last time Puerto Rico won two in a row was 1992-93.

Garcia's grand slam in the sixth inning tied the game, and Jesmuel Valentin scored on an error by catcher Tomas Telis in the seventh as the Caguas Criollos went on to defeat the Anzoategui Caribes.

Venezuela was trying to qualify for its first championship game since 2009.

In the late game, the Granma Alazanes from Cuba opened a 3-0 lead in the second inning but the Aguilas Cibaeýas came from behind to win.

Cuba went ahead with RBI from Frederich Cepeda, Carlos Benitez and Raul Gonzýlez. But then Ronny Rodrýguez hit a two-run homer in the sixth, and Edwin Espinal knocked in two runs in a three-run seventh as the Dominicans took the lead.

The Dominicans qualified for their first final since 2014, when they lost to the Hermosillo Naranjeros.

Cuba was eliminated in the semifinals for the second year in a row.

  • Published in Sports

Victor Lopez: “Cuba is paramount in the development of NACAC and track and field”

Puerto Rican Victor Lopez heads the North America, Central America and Caribbean Athletic Association since 2013. His management will end in 2019. He agreed to talk to CubaSi:

Why Cuba and specially Marabana for this competition?

First of all, I would like to thank Marabana’s Organizing Committee and the Cuban Athletic Federation for allowing us to add this competition to this race.

According to an IAAF order — since Sebastian Coe assumed responsibility—, it is all about inserting street races to those already established all over the world to draw the public’s attention and encourage young people, as they see elite athletes running alongside them. I believe this first edition of NACAC marathon has been a resounding success.

How do you see the area within the current world athletic panorama regarding future events?

The NACAC senior is a very important event and will be held in Toronto in August 10-12. The European and African championships will take place the same week. We hope the main stars can participate as Canada, U.S., and Cuba confirmed their attendance. Can you imagine the quality of this event with all the stars dispersed all over the world?

What’s your view on the track and field in the area and your assessment of 2017?

The area is doing fine. We are having prominent results within IAAF and we hope to continue that way. The Pan American U20 was sensational: thirteen Pan American records and one world record. U17 athletes got awesome results in Nairobi; some of them were even elite marks.

I have two priorities before ending my term as head of NACAC in 2019. The first, it is my goal that all of our events can be televised worldwide as well as the Diamond League. In this regard, we gave shape to a collaborative agreement with one prestigious TV network.

The second is related to marketing. We are sponsored by Puma and Mondo. Inserting our best athletes in quality competitive scenarios leads necessarily to preserving traditions and keep growing.

Years of friendship with Cuba. How is your relation with Cuba both as president of NACAC and Puerto Rican?

Cuba’s helps has been outstanding and your stance in favor of the development of track and field and the rest of sports is unique. The delegate of Trinidad and Tobago told me about his idea of Cuba, a third-world country mired in poverty…

There are limitations as in every other nation of the world. But Cuba has been always willing to help and cooperate with its human resources in first place with any country.

All the islands know Cuba offers its helps unselfishly. That is why we found elite throwers in Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica, and Grenada…

That is a perfect example of solidarity in sports, very similar to the one showed with those countries affected by hurricanes this season in Dominica and Puerto Rico.

We have not recovered yet and two months have already passed. I am personally grateful with this country and its people. And as the Lola Rodriguez Tio’s poem reads: we are always the two wings of the same bird.

To highlight NACAC growing power in track and field, the region won 13 gold medals, 14 silver medals, and 15 bronze medals in IAAF World Championship London 2017.

Translated by Sergio A. Paneque Diaz / CubaSi Translation Staff

  • Published in Specials
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