Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico holds elections for new governor

By Julio Patron, 10 November 2020

Elections in Puerto Rico saw a sharp decline in votes for the two main ruling parties, reflecting growing popular distrust and contempt toward the entire political establishment.

Puerto Rico declares emergency as drought leaves nearly 150,000 residents without water

By Julio Patron, 13 July 2020

A lack of consistent running water will make it more difficult for frequent handwashing to limit the spread of the coronavirus which has already infected thousands on the island.

Child poverty and hunger set to spike in Puerto Rico

By Alberto Escalera, 29 May 2020

Even before the pandemic, the island was reeling from a decade-long economic recession, chronically low labor force participation rates and a public debt crisis that served as a pretext for years of severe austerity policies.

Amid charges of unsafe conditions, Puerto Rico’s governor issues back-to-work orders

By Alberto Escalera, 15 May 2020

Businesses have been left to supervise themselves in all matters related to worker safety as the government’s regulatory agencies essentially wash their hands of the matter.

Puerto Rico braces for COVID-19 peak with lowest per capita testing

By Julio Patron and Genevieve Leigh, 13 April 2020

It took 15 days for the territory to register 100 confirmed cases, but it only took three days to register 100 more, indicating that the virus has already begun to spread rapidly through the population.

999 Coronavirus in Puerto Rico

11 April 2020

“We’re facing the worst crisis we’ve ever seen”

Trump threatens to block aid as Puerto Rico is hit by new earthquake

By Kayla Costa and Julio Patron, 6 February 2020

More than a month after an ongoing earthquake swarm began, the Trump administration is threatening to veto a bill that would allocate $4.7 billion in emergency aid to the island.

Notes from Puerto Rico: Earthquakes and government indifference leave trail of social destruction

By Julio Patron and Kayla Costa, 30 January 2020

WSWS reporters spoke to workers and youth in Puerto Rico about the social conditions following the recent earthquakes that rocked the island.

27 January 2020

Anger mounts in Puerto Rico as workers discover warehouse full of unused aid

By Genevieve Leigh, 21 January 2020

On Saturday, in Ponce, Puerto Rico residents discovered a warehouse piled high with desperately needed unused emergency supplies

As refugees from earthquakes increase, Puerto Rican authorities prioritize repressive measures

By Andrea Lobo, 15 January 2020

With thousands losing or fleeing their homes, afraid that they will collapse, the response by local authorities and US government has been marked by callous austerity and fears of social unrest.

”We don’t trust any government institution”

Puerto Ricans speak out against government corruption as earthquake disaster unfolds

By Kayla Costa, 15 January 2020

Workers and youth spoke to the WSWS about the relation of government negligence to widespread corruption, the similar response after Hurricane Maria, and the defense of profit interests before human need.

Thousands displaced as Puerto Rico enters third straight week of relentless earthquakes

By Zac Corrigan, 13 January 2020

The earthquakes have compounded the social and economic crisis, with many residents still suffering from the destruction wrought by Hurricane Maria in 2017 and the criminal government indifference that followed.

Tens of thousands of Puerto Ricans still without electricity, water, days after earthquake

By Matthew Taylor, 10 January 2020

The 6.4 magnitude earthquake devastated the US territory which has yet to recover from the damage inflicted by Hurricane Maria in 2017, leaving two thirds of the population without electricity and a quarter million without water.

Earthquake strikes Puerto Rico, killing one and knocking out power to the island

By Rafael Azul, 8 January 2020

Tuesday’s 6.4 magnitude quake was the most severe among numerous seismic events along an underwater fault line in recent days, marking the most damaging wave of tremors in more than a century.

Trump slashes Medicaid funding for Puerto Rico

By Julio Patron, 24 December 2019

President Trump personally intervened in last week’s spending talks to reduce funding for Puerto Rico, which has been plagued by recession and ruthless social inequality.

Puerto Rico weathers threat from Hurricane Dorian

By Julio Patron, 29 August 2019

Two years after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, the island was once again on the brink of another social disaster due to Hurricane Dorian.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez to Wall Street financial vultures: Please be nice to Puerto Rico

By Genevieve Leigh, 10 August 2019

Democratic Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a member of the Democratic Socialists of America, has intervened to attempt to contain growing social unrest and anger.

Another governor ousted in Puerto Rico as protests continue

By Andrea Lobo, 8 August 2019

Thousands took to the streets around the governor’s mansion to celebrate Pierluisi’s ouster.

Puerto Rican authorities scramble to provide democratic cover for installation of Wall Street’s governor

By Andrea Lobo, 6 August 2019

The attempt to install Pedro Pierluisi, lawyer for the US financial Junta, as Puerto Rico’s new governor has further deepened the political crisis and mass social opposition.

Puerto Rican governor steps down as political crisis escalates

By Andrea Lobo, 3 August 2019

Demonstrators gathered in San Juan into late Friday, chanting for the newly installed governor to resign as well.

Puerto Rican crisis deepens over Rosselló’s replacement

By Rafael Azul, 30 July 2019

Wanda Vázquez withdrew her candidacy after it became plain that her appointment would reignite the massive demonstrations that brought roughly a million people into the streets.

Wall Street demands “discipline” as protests continue in Puerto Rico

By Eric London, 26 July 2019

The resignation of Puerto Rican Governor Ricardo Rosselló has done little to stem growing opposition.

Puerto Rico governor resigns after popular protests

By Jerry White, 25 July 2019

After 12 days of protests, Governor Ricardo Rosselló announced his resignation late Wednesday night.

The mass protests in Puerto Rico

By Eric London, 24 July 2019

Over one-sixth of the total population of the island protested Monday.

Mass protests shake Puerto Rican and US political establishment

By Jerry White, 23 July 2019

In what has been described as the largest demonstration in Puerto Rican history, an estimated half a million people marched Monday to demand the resignation of Governor Ricardo Rosselló.

Protests demanding resignation of governor continue in Puerto Rico

By Rafael Azul, 20 July 2019

Friday marked the seventh consecutive day of protests in Puerto Rico demanding the resignation of Governor Ricardo Roselló.

Over 100,000 in Puerto Rico demand resignation of governor as protests continue

By Julio Patron, 19 July 2019

The protests demanding the ouster of the Governor of Puerto Rico are the culmination of years of austerity measures enacted by the Obama administration and enforced by the Puerto Rican government.

Protests erupt in Puerto Rico after leaked texts from governor reveal conspiracy to loot island

By Julio Patron, 18 July 2019

The texts range from the childish and profane to gangster-like jokes about the death toll from Hurricane Maria like, “don't we have some cadavers to feed our crows?"

US Senate fails to restore sweeping cuts to food assistance for Puerto Rico

By Julio Patron, 5 April 2019

One year and seven months after Hurricanes Maria and Irma struck the US territory, more than a million Puerto Ricans have and no forward funding for disaster recovery.

One of America's deadliest disasters

Puerto Rico raises Hurricane Maria death toll from 64 to 2,975

By Bill Van Auken, 30 August 2018

The estimate of nearly 3,000 deaths attributable to the storm is a searing indictment of the criminal negligence of both the US ruling establishment and the island’s own authorities.

Puerto Rico’s teachers hold one-day strike

By Shelley Connor, 24 August 2018

Puerto Rico teachers began the school year with a one-day protest against privatization and crumbling schools.

Puerto Rican teachers’ anger builds against privatization, firings and lack of pay raises

By Shelley Connor, 14 August 2018

Teachers have had no pay raises in the past 10 years, classes are overcrowded and hundreds of teachers are starting the school year with no knowledge of where they will be placed.

US financial board spars with Puerto Rican authorities over how best to pillage island

By Genevieve Leigh, 2 July 2018

Wall Street demands a fresh round of budget cuts as the social crisis on the US territory deepens.

US media turns blind eye to the death of 5,000 Puerto Ricans

By Genevieve Leigh, 4 June 2018

The Harvard study on the impact of Hurricane Maria on Puerto Rico is a damning exposure of one of the most monstrous cover-ups in US history.

Puerto Rican resident speaks on death toll cover up, crisis on the island

By Genevieve Leigh, 1 June 2018

Jose, a 29-year-old resident of the island, spoke to the WSWS about the conditions which led to 5,000 deaths after Hurricane María and about the way forward for the working class

A social crime and cover-up exposed

Five thousand deaths in Puerto Rico from Hurricane Maria

By Genevieve Leigh, 31 May 2018

A Harvard study estimating nearly 5,000 deaths of Puerto Ricans in the aftermath of Hurricane María is a damning exposure of the official cover up of death and devastation on the island.

New estimates put real death toll from Hurricane María in Puerto Rico near 5,000

By Genevieve Leigh, 30 May 2018

The study is the latest third party report that discredits the official government toll of 64 deaths from the 2017 hurricane.

Puerto Rican police attack thousands of protesters marching against austerity on May Day

By Genevieve Leigh, 3 May 2018

Despite reports of largely peaceful demonstrations, the protesters were attacked by police with tear gas, pepper spray, rubber bullets and nightsticks.

Banks impose massive attack on Puerto Rican workers amid island-wide blackout

By Genevieve Leigh, 20 April 2018

Puerto Rico’s unelected Financial Oversight Management Board passed a fiscal plan Thursday which includes cuts to education, pensions, sick leave and vacation pay.

Seven months after Hurricane Maria, Puerto Rico suffers total blackout

By Daniel de Vries, 19 April 2018

A break in a single transmission line triggered an island-wide blackout Wednesday, expected to last 24 to 36 hours.

“It’s all about building the stock market and not about people”

Numerous Kentucky schools to close Wednesday, as teachers’ protests mount

By J. Cooper and Nancy Hanover, 20 March 2018

Kentucky, which borders West Virginia, is the scene of escalating protests by educators, with growing demands for strike action over deep-going threats to their pensions.

Mental health crisis descends on Puerto Rico’s working class

By Ali Abu Elhassan, 9 March 2018

Suicides have increased by 30 percent on the island of Puerto Rico since Hurricane María made landfall almost six months ago.

US government cuts aid to Puerto Rico by half

By Antonio Castro, 3 March 2018

Amidst a mounting mental health crisis and constant power outages, the US government announced a drastic cut in aid to the island still reeling from hurricane damage.

Notes from Puerto Rico

Wave of home foreclosures expected to hit Puerto Rico

By Antonio Castro, 24 February 2018

This is the third in a series of on-the-ground updates from a Puerto Rican worker on the unfolding crisis on the island in the wake of Hurricane María.

Puerto Rican Investment Summit discusses how to profit from human tragedy

By Rafael Azul, 19 February 2018

Oblivious to the humanitarian crisis, participants discussed how to profit from the hurricane destruction and protect their speculative assets from US taxes.

Puerto Rico blackout exposes the precarious state of the island’s electrical grid

By Matthew Taylor, 13 February 2018

An explosion ripped through the Monacillo power plant outside of San Juan Sunday night, leaving 175,000 residents without power for several hours.

Plundering of Puerto Rico continues as governor attacks public education

By Genevieve Leigh, 10 February 2018

Governor Rosselló announced his intention to privatize the public school system a week and a half after announcing the sell-off of the electricity grid.

Notes from Puerto Rico

Thousands of workers in Puerto Rico continue to live without running water

By Antonio Castro, 8 February 2018

This is the second in a series of updates from a local Puerto Rican worker on the unfolding crisis on the island in the wake of Hurricane María.

Why are a million Puerto Ricans still in the dark?

By Daniel de Vries, 2 February 2018

Even as a humanitarian crisis continues to ravage the United States’ largest territory, officials are plotting the privatization of the public electric utility.

Puerto Rican Governor calls for the closing of a quarter of the island’s public schools

By Rafael Azul, 31 January 2018

As part of his new fiscal spending plan, Governor Rosselló has proposed to cut $303.4 million from education by closing 300 K-12 schools.

Notes from Puerto Rico

Four months of life in the dark after Hurricane Maria

By Antonio Castro, 30 January 2018

This is the first of a series of on-the-ground updates from a local Puerto Rican worker on the unfolding crisis on the island in the wake of Hurricane María.

Four months after Hurricane Maria

Continuing crisis used to justify sell-off of Puerto Rico’s electrical grid

By Genevieve Leigh, 24 January 2018

The governor of Puerto Rico announced plans to privatize the island’s largest public utility amidst the longest and largest power outage in modern US history.

The deadly impact of Hurricane María extends to US hospitals

Power outages set off IV bag shortages

By Genevieve Leigh, 13 January 2018

Ongoing power outages in Puerto Rico have set off a severe crisis of IV bag shortages on the US mainland, exacerbated by a sharp increase in flu cases nationwide.

Puerto Rico, more than 100 days after Hurricane Maria: The class issues

By Genevieve Leigh, 8 January 2018

The absence of planning for the hurricane and the lack of any significant response to the devastation by the local and federal governments has had deadly consequences.

“The government has done nothing”

Months after hurricane, Puerto Rican workers face worsening jobs crisis

By Genevieve Leigh and Zac Corrigan, 28 December 2017

The economic devastation of Puerto Rico from Hurricane Maria continues to escalate three months after the storm made landfall in late September.

Puerto Rico governor orders review of official hurricane death toll

By Niles Niemuth, 19 December 2017

The review comes amid growing anger on the island and media reports that the true death toll from Hurricane Maria could exceed 1,000.

“The poverty is no longer hidden by the trees”

Hurricane Maria exposes the conditions of life for the working class in Caguas, Puerto Rico

By Genevieve Leigh and Zac Corrigan, 18 December 2017

Workers and youth from Caguas, Puerto Rico, spoke to WSWS reporters about life without power, electricity and running water, nearly 100 days after Hurricane Maria.

“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.

On-the-spot report

Over a million in Puerto Rico living without the necessities of modern life

“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.

Puerto Rican unions propose to partner with the Wall Street’s financial control board

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.

017 Puerto Rico

7 December 2017

Ten weeks since Hurricane María: Scientists say real death toll in Puerto Rico over 1,000

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.

Puerto Rico proclaims “new government” to intensify austerity

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.

San Juan blackout exposes chaos in restoration of Puerto Rico’s electrical service

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.

DeVos visits Puerto Rico to boost privatization of public schools

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.

Puerto Rican teachers arrested at protest demanding reopening of schools

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.

Bernie Sanders tries to quell anger in Puerto Rico

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.

CVS and Aetna reportedly in talks for $60 billion merger

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.

Whitefish Energy profits in Puerto Rico from Trump administration connection

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.

060 Sanders in Puerto Rico

28 October 2017

Montana company with ties to Trump cashes in from Puerto Rico disaster

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.

Puerto Rico power blackout the biggest in US history

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.

Estimated death toll in Puerto Rico from Hurricane Maria rises to 450

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.”

Deaths caused by Leptospirosis reported in Puerto Rico

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.

President Trump threatens to pull the plug on Puerto Rico

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.

Trump, local officials lie about real extent of Puerto Rico disaster

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.

WSWS reader describes ongoing human catastrophe in Puerto Rico

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.

Puerto Rico continues to languish as tropical storm Nate threatens US Gulf Coast

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.

Wall Street demands Puerto Rico pay up

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.”

Trump’s photo-op in Puerto Rico

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.

Trump visits Puerto Rico as anger grows over government response

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.

Puerto Rico faces health catastrophe as Trump tweets “We have done a great job”

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.

New York City workers collecting aid express anger at Trump’s response to Puerto Rico disaster

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”

Puerto Rican survivors describe dire conditions after hurricane

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.

Trump to Puerto Rico: Your lives don’t matter

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.

As popular anger builds, US sends military to Puerto Rico

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.

Puerto Rican people still without aid a week after Hurricane Maria

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.

Trump to devastated Puerto Rico: Wall Street must be paid!

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.

Puerto Rico confronts the devastation wrought by hurricanes and Wall Street

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.

Dam collapse threatens to kill thousands in Puerto Rico

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.

Puerto Rico devastated by Hurricane Maria

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.

Hurricane Maria devastates Puerto Rico

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

After Irma, Wall Street pushes for austerity and privatization in Puerto Rico

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.

Massive abstention in Puerto Rican statehood referendum

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.

Puerto Rican governor proposes austerity budget

By Rafael Azul, 5 June 2017

The budget slashes education, pensions and social services in line with the dictates of Wall Street.

Vulture capitalists fight over pickings from bankrupt Puerto Rico

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.

University of Puerto Rico students protest austerity measures

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.

040 University strike in Puerto Rico

15 May 2017