Repeating Islands

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An editorial from the New York Times.

A century after the United States extended qualified citizenship to the residents of Puerto Rico, that link has never been more vital to the island commonwealth, as it reels from the devastation of Hurricane Maria.

Puerto Rico cannot vote for president and has no voting representatives in Congress. But its citizens are entitled to the same federal emergency funds and resources that Washington has been funneling to the far more politically powerful and economically resilient states of Texas and Florida in their hurricane miseries.

Days after Maria struck, the island remained crippled by widespread destruction and catastrophic flooding. Villages were razed and communications ruined, leaving officials unable to tally an accurate toll of the death and devastation. Power is out, and restoration of the electrical grid may take months, not weeks. A dam was compromised, threatening major flooding and a…

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