As President Trump travels to Puerto Rico two weeks after it was devastated by Hurricane Maria, we go to the island for an on-the-ground report. Democracy Now!’s correspondent Juan Carlos Dávila traveled to the town of Utuado to speak with residents who have yet to get help other than a few bottles of water. He also joins us live in the capital San Juan from a protest against Trump’s visit.
Democracy Now! October 3, 2017
TRANSCRIPT EXCERPT (FULL TRANSCRIPT AT DEMOCRACY NOW.ORG)
JUAN CARLOS DÁVILA: Yeah, for sure. And that’s one of the—that’s one of the issues for the protest being called out today. One of the complications—I was just talking to one of the organizers—is that they are unable to communicate with people. Sonia Santiago from Mothers Against the War, she knew about the protest when she was able to call her daughter from New York, and she told her that there was a Trump protest. So, there’s really very limited—the access to the internet is very, very bad here. And the cellphone reception is a bit better here in San Juan. It’s a bit better here, obviously, in the convention center. But outside of certain key areas in the metropolitan area, people are very incommunicated. Like the town I assisted—like the town of Utuado I visited yesterday, people have no communication there. People at this point have not heard from their relatives.
And this also creates a big problem because FEMA is asking a lot of people to fill applications for help online, and people cannot even call in certain places. And in places like the town of Utuado, they are—there are still roads that cannot be transited. It’s very hard to get gasoline up there, so people have a difficulty to get gasoline, people have difficulty driving through the roads, and people have difficulty getting online or giving a call. And FEMA is asking them to fill an application online so they can get help.