OPINION: 105,000 people are still without power in Puerto Rico!

OPINION: 105,000 people are still without power in Puerto Rico!



Last week’s little storm — No. 4 in a series of March nor’easters — didn’t amount to a hill of beans, at least not around here. No. 3 was nothing to write home about, either, but No. 2 did require quite a bit of staggering around behind the snow blower. It even made my lights flicker a few times.

Not enough to make the smarty-pants appliances around the house start blinking “12:00! 12:00!” but enough to make you think of other storms, in other winters, that actually caused some trouble. Like the one a few years back (mind you, “a few years,” at my age, could easily be a decade or more) when I was forced to stumble around with candles and flashlights for three whole days.

“The nerve!” I said to myself, deeply touched by my own suffering and quite peeved at CL&P (which gives you some idea of how long ago this was). I whined about the inconvenience until a crew from South Carolina came and fixed the wires on my street.

It was even worse in West Hartford, I believe, where some people’s cappuccino machines were unable to capooch for six or seven days. Imagine their distress. The humanity!

But that was then. Now — that is, as of last Thursday, six months after Hurricane Maria stomped her way across Puerto Rico — 105,000 customers were still without power. Imagine if 105,000 customers in Connecticut had no electricity for six whole months! No, wait, that’s unimaginable. And it’s enough to make Puerto Ricans feel like second-class citizens. Which, of course, is exactly what they are. 

What else can you call it? They’re American citizens but they don’t have a single vote in Congress. Because Puerto Rico, which officially is called a “commonwealth” (oh, please) is really a colony. 

What else can you call it? European countries had been gobbling up colonies all over the world — in Asia, Africa, the Americas — and we wanted some too.

So in 1898 we went to war with Spain and in 1899 we took over Puerto Rico, the Philippines and Guam.

No doubt, great efforts have been made to rectify the damage done to the power grid in Puerto Rico, but it hasn’t been enough. Our fellow citizens deserve better.

***

After watching Gov. Dannel Malloy try to preside, for several years, over the mess in Hartford — and to ride herd on the various interests that are always duking it out at the state Capitol, and to bring some fiscal stability to the state that’s been the last to recover from the recession of a decade ago — you’d think governor of Connecticut must be one of the worst jobs in the world.

And yet, all these folks — Toni Boucher, Mark Boughton, Luke Bronin, Susan Bysiewicz, Sean Connolly, Joe Ganim, Mark Stewart Greenstein, Oz Griebel, Mike Handler, Jonathan Harris, Tim Herbst, Ned Lamont, Mark Lauretti, Peter Lumaj, Eric Mastroianni, Steve Obsitnik, Guy Smith, Prasad Srinivasan, Bob Stefanowski, David Stemerman, Erin Stewart, Peter Thalheim, Joe Visconti, David Walker, Micah Welintukonis, Lee Whitnum, and Jacey Wyatt — seem to want the position.

Maybe it’s the car they like, the one with the “Connecticut 1” plates.

Reach Glenn Richter at grichter@record-journal.com. 


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