NPR’s Laura Sullivan reports on hurricane recovery in Puerto Rico.

Puerto Rico Has 3.3 Million Americans and No Voice

Puerto Rico Has 3.3 Million Americans and No Voice

A daily news and culture podcast with Mike Pesca.
May 1 2018 8:50 PM

How We Screwed Over Puerto Rico

FEMA chaos plus reckless tax policy plus shady debt deals plus no vote in Congress.

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Jesus Perez and his wife, Maria Santiago, whose home remains without electricity, pose by the Christmas tree they constructed from Coca-Cola cans on Dec. 20 in Morovis, Puerto Rico.

Mario Tama/Getty Images

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On today’s Gist, thick-as-bricks Lego thieves come a-tumbling down.

Hurricane recovery has been a disaster in Puerto Rico. NPR’s Laura Sullivan wanted to know why. So she found documents revealing a FEMA in shambles. She traced Puerto Rico’s economic troubles back to a 1996 tax vote. And she explains how the island’s remaining wealth was wiped out by years of shady municipal debt deals. Sullivan’s report for NPR and Frontline is called “Blackout in Puerto Rico.” You should really watch it.

In the Spiel, is it spring yet?

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Mike Pesca is the host of the Slate daily podcast The Gist. He also contributes reports and commentary to NPR.