Puerto Rico

Caribbean Institute for Meteorology and Hydrology

Remember Hurricane Danny roaring out in the Atlantic last week with 115-mile-an-hour gusts? When it reached Puerto Rico this morning it was wheezing.

That’s a big relief for the Caribbean islands – but it also reflects a big problem out there.

The same abnormal climate conditions that helped deflate Danny are also responsible for the some of the worst drought the Caribbean has seen in two decades.

RELATED: The Danger Of Hurricane Complacency

Ricardo Arduengo / AP

COMMENTARY

Yes, yes, Cuba is big news. President Obama’s Wednesday announcement that the U.S. will open an embassy in Havana was historic stuff.

And yet – I can’t shake the feeling that the more important story out of the Caribbean this week is Puerto Rico’s financial collapse.

Wynwood Might Get Puerto Rican Community Center

Jun 11, 2015
Miami Herald

Miami-Dade’s Puerto Rican residents may get a community center in the historically Boricua Wynwood neighborhood. The County’s Economic Prosperity Committee is considering a proposal on Thursday to exchange county property for private land owned by real estate developer Moishe Mana. If approved by the committee, the proposal will go to a full vote by the county commission later this year.

Alexia Fodere / El Nuevo Herald

The Caribbean is known for blue water, white beaches – and red ink. The region is home to seven of the world’s 10 most indebted nations.

But the Caribbean’s worst crisis involves a U.S. territory: Puerto Rico, whose debt is a staggering $73 billion.

That burden now threatens to financially sink the island of 3.5 million people – and that in turn promises to drive more migration into Florida. Puerto Ricans are the state’s fastest-growing Latino group, especially in the central I-4 Corridor.

Six years ago Puerto Ricans like myself were told to get a new birth certificate. Officials said the old certificates were at risk of being stolen and sold on the black market. 

It turns out the new security-enhanced certificates may not be that safe, either. I recently spoke with Alfonso Chardy of el Nuevo Herald about some recent cases in Miami that may point to a new rash of certificate thefts and fraud.

Have the issues of identity theft not been resolved by the new certificates?

What do salsa dancing and the Supreme Court have to do with each other? A lot, according to author Joan Biskupic, whose new book about Justice Sonia Sotomayor is now out in bookstores.

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