Members of the 700,000 strong Puerto Rican diaspora in New York expressed their solidarity with the march held in Puerto Rico on Jan. 23, in which thousands of Puerto Ricans demanded the resignation of Gov. Wanda Vázquez for her poor management of supplies donated for the victims of Hurricane María.
Even though the 20-odd crowd was smaller than the ones seen during earlier protests this summer, the group gathered in Union Square to condemn what they describe as corruption within the Puerto Rican government, citing the recent discovery of warehouses full of donations.
One demonstrator, identified as Amalia Olivera, said she joined the protest “because my people are dying on the island due to the atrocities [the government] is doing to them. My family and my culture are there. The suffering of my people who are in the streets keeps me up at night.”
Gianina Santiago, a resident of Ponce, came to the city for a few days to escape the stress caused by the earthquakes.
“I am here because of the government’s corruption and their mismanagement of emergency supplies,” Santiago said.
Ana Portnoy, spokesperson for New York Boricua Resistance, the group that organized the protest “in solidarity with the massive protests in Puerto Rico, and also to demonstrate against the criminal negligence of the central government in Puerto Rico and the federal [government.] We want people to know that several of the agencies responsible for the abandonment that Puerto Ricans are enduring are here in the United States.”