QUEENS, NY – On the third anniversary of Hurricane Maria’s landfall on Puerto Rico, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (NY-14) released a statement.
“On the third anniversary of Maria, we remember the nearly 3,000 Puerto Ricans that died in the aftermath, my grandfather among them – whose death the U.S. denied. To this day, it remains a deeply traumatic event etched into the minds of all who survived it and a reminder of the perils of a changing climate. Puerto Rico deserves an investment in its infrastructure, in its future, and in the fight against climate change, so that these injustices are never repeated.
“We can begin by cancelling Puerto Rico’s debt, much of which is suspected to be illegal. We must abolish PROMESA, whose extreme austerity measures have closed public schools and defunded other critical public services. We must lift the Jones Act, which has exploited Puerto Rican consumers and strangled the economy. We must pass a Marshall Plan for Puerto Rico, as Senators Sanders and Warren have called for, and allow the island to enact its own Green New Deal with direct federal investments, in order to rebuild. Most of all, we must end the island’s colonial status and pass the Puerto Rico Self-Determination Act, so the island can finally determine its own destiny.
“We cannot simply repair the damage caused by Hurricane Maria. Rebuilding things as they were only sets us up for a repeat. Maria exposed how years of imperialism have completely ravaged Puerto Rico’s economy and crippled its ability to respond to the threat of climate change. We must rebuild stronger.”