Senator Bernie Sanders: Puerto Rico Is Not Alone

During a visit to Puerto Rico, which was devastated by Hurricane Maria, Sanders said during a press conference that “Puerto Rico is not alone,” after seeing the island.

This piece originally appeared in teleSUR

United States Senator Bernie Sanders visited Puerto Rico for the second time, where he met with local authorities following devastation from Hurricane Maria in late September.

After visiting Playita, an impoverished sector of San Juan that was affected by Hurricane Maria, Sanders said in a press conference held with the Mayor of San Juan, Carmen Yulin Cruz: “I want the Puerto Rican people, like the people of the U.S. Virgin Islands, to know that they are not alone and that we have not forgotten them.”

“The reason I am here today is to listen, and to hear from the people of Puerto Rico about how we can address the immediate set of crises that the island faces in the short-term,” Sanders said.

In this second visit to Puerto Rico –  an unincorporated U.S. territory – the senator met with Governor Ricardo Rossello, Mayor Cruz, along with other authorities and social leaders.

Sanders held a brief exchange with Rossello at the international airport of Isla Verde (near the capital) to discuss Puerto Rico’s destroyed infrastructure, particularly basic necessities such as electricity, water, and telecommunications.

Sanders left the airport in a caravan with Mayor Cruz. Cruz showed the senator the destruction caused by Hurricane Maria, which prompted a tweet by Sanders saying that “the level of destruction in Puerto Rico is unprecedented.”

“The reconstruction will require enormous resources for a long period,” Sanders said during a press conference at the Roberto Clemente Coliseum, where he met with Cruz, representatives of trade unions, the Mayor of Comerio, Jose A. Santiago, and the Deputy Mayor of the island of Vieques, Daisy Cruz.

More than a month after Maria ravaged the Caribbean, Puerto Ricans, who are U.S. citizens, remain largely without basic necessities and are desperately seeking help.

Read the rest on teleSUR