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Bad Bunny shines a light on what colonialism continues to be destroying Puerto Rico

The other day, as Puerto Ricans on the island were prepping for the arrival of Hurricane Fiona, Benito Antonio Martnez Ocasio, also referred to as Bad Bunny, the global reggaetn star who proudly represents Puerto Rico in his art, released the music video for his hit song El Apagn (this means The blackout in Spanish). With an increase of than 5 million YouTube views and counting, the music video morphs into an in-depth documentary report from freelance journalist Bianca Graulau, who has gained a following on social media marketing on her behalf explainers about Puerto Ricos colonial dilemma.

Puerto Rico continues to be a crumbling colony with crumbling institutions which have done nothing to go it forward.

The near 23-minute video is really a raw microcosm of what actual colonialism appears like in 2022 under U.S. rule.

Five years have passed since Hurricane Maria slammed Puerto Rico in the first early morning of Sept. 20, 2017, and despite growing awareness concerning the islands plight and its own relationship with america, Puerto Rico continues to be a crumbling colony with crumbling institutions which have done nothing to go it forward.

This realization hit a stark note on Sunday, whenever a deluge of rain and winds from Category 1 Hurricane Fiona technically a weaker storm than 2017s Category 5 Maria created historic mudslides, flash flooding and an islandwide power outage that left 1.3 million customers without electricity by Monday morning.

With Fionas arrival, social media marketing feeds and news reports out of Puerto Rico were filled up with images of destruction not seen since Maria, harkening feelings of hopelessness long section of a colonial reality that continues to widen the inequality gap between your powerful and the powerless. One resident who almost lost his home told local journalist Carlos Edill Berros Polanco via Twitter on Monday, Were tired. Were exhausted. Weve spent 40 years living here with exactly the same situation.

Sadly, this is exactly what Puerto Rico is becoming: a location with little to no real resilient infrastructure, and an area government that cannot guarantee basic needs like electricity, water or food. The existing pro-statehood administration of Democratic Gov. Pedro Pierluisis intend to privatize the energy grid by contracting an organization called Luma has been disastrous, with outages becoming a lot more common, even where you can find no storms. Ironically, throughout a Saturday press conference about Fiona, the energy went during Pierluisis remarks.

It really is no real surprise that Fiona exposed what so many Puerto Ricans already knew: that the colony is dying before our eyes and nothing has really changed.

Our grid could be functional, but its fragile, Sergio Marxuach, an insurance plan director at the guts for a fresh Economy told NBC News days before Fiona swept through Puerto Rico. Five years later, we have been still subjected to exactly the same risk.

It didnt need to be in this manner.

Puerto Ricans surviving in Puerto Rico are Americans, as so many fellow Americans prefer to remind you, however they haven’t been treated equally, and section of that’s directly linked with racist laws that remain section of the USA legal code. Exactly like when Maria hit the island in 2017, the outpouring of concern about helping Puerto Ricans post-Fiona is real, even though it will come from a location of seeing Puerto Ricans as poor foreign victims without agency or voice.

Sadly, this is exactly what Puerto Rico is becoming: a location with little to no real resilient infrastructure, and an area government that cannot guarantee basic needs like electricity, water or food.

In the video for El Apagn, Lumas ineptitude in adition to that of Puerto Rican politicians are front and center. The message is an extension of what Bad Bunny has said and done before, delivering the required context for anybody who truly really wants to be an ally for Puerto Rico. Graulaus reporting on tax incentives and gentrification get amplified to millions. Hopefully, by shining a light on these issues along with the unelected fiscal control board that financially rules the colony, the documentary will result in real fascination with looking for real solutions.

Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, but it addittionally caused communities to avoid being so reliant on failing political institutions also to depend on themselves instead. Examples like Casa Pueblos solar technology revolution or the city kitchens of Comedores Sociales have spawned a fresh hope on the island, one which is definitely there but is currently given more focus on flourish.

Those will be the stories that require to get more traction beyond Puerto Rico for it to be transformed. The existing political status debate if the colony should turn into a state of the Union or not has once more gone nowhere, proving just as before that Puerto Rico may be getting ultimately more attention from Americans, nonetheless it isn’t experiencing any real action or resolution.

If Americans really value Puerto Rico a lot more than they do about Queen Elizabeth II (yes, U.S. press, you have spent a significant amount of amount of time in London in comparison to San Juan this week), they need to commence to look beyond natural disasters and understand the problems offering concrete answers as to the reasons Puerto Rico is where it really is at at this time.

While President Joe Biden did indeed declare circumstances of emergency for Fiona before it hit Puerto Rico (a stark contrast to then-President Donald Trumps shameful inaction following Maria), vast amounts of dollars earmarked from the government in reaction to the 2017 hurricane season still go unspent. The urgency isn’t there, and its own because, ultimately, Puerto Rico isn’t and never is a real priority for america.

As Puerto Ricans this week struggle once more, the spotlight can’t be moved away. If nothing else, Bad Bunnys tribute highlights that it will require Puerto Ricans to ensure this doesnt happen, exactly like it took Puerto Ricans through the years to make sure that they’re not ignored. Another hurricane will probably strike the island sometime in the foreseeable future, and unless colonialism is dismantled, exactly the same things could keep happening to Puerto Rico. This is the real tragedy.

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