Singer Ricky Martin is taking a stand about what he calls “an act of callousness, mistreatment and sinister irresponsibility” toward his native Puerto Rico.
The pop star took to Instagram on Tuesday to call out government leaders for failing his homeland in the wake of the devastating earthquakes that shook the island earlier this month. His response is specifically focused on the January 18 discovery by locals in the southeastern city of Ponce of a warehouse full of emergency supplies – FEMA pallets of water, generators, Ready Meals, baby diapers and wipes, with some of the perishable items reportedly showing a 2019 expiration date – that have been seemingly withheld since Puerto Rico was hit by Hurricane Maria in 2017.
With thousands of Puerto Ricans are struggling after being displaced in the aftermath of over 300 earthquakes that have struck the island since December 28, the find has led to calls for the resignation of Puerto Rico Governor Wanda Vázquez.
In his Instagram post, the 48-year-old Martin shared a video of volunteers working to bring aid to displaced Puerto Ricans, captioned with a lengthy comment that began, “What happened in a warehouse in Ponce, Puerto Rico is an act of callousness, mistreatment and sinister irresponsibility. In our people’s greatest moments of need, those who assume they are the leaders have failed again. The most basic human rights have once again been absent: water, roof, education, security.”
The out pop icon lamented, “They did it with evil. There is no other explanation,” before going on to say, “But amidst so much outrage and to everyone’s consolation, I see people again, our people, awake, attentive and above all, standing up. Fighting, defending, caring, protecting and gifting love throughout the treasure that is our Puerto Rico.”
He added that he was pledging to join relief efforts alongside local San Juan non-profit organization Sociedad de Educación y Rehabilitación (SER) de Puerto Rico, writing, “In this video, you can see a united people and I from here, am celebrating such a strong and beautiful alliance with our friends from @SERPuertoRico. We join forces to bring well-being to those who need it most in the aftermath of the earthquakes in the south of my land.”
He also indicated his intention to join protestors on the island, saying, “I’m with you. Feeling the pain and firm in defending what is right, that which is worthy for everyone. I am on my way to Puerto Rico. Very soon I will accompany you again in this call for respect, justice and peace. I’ll see you there, my island.”
He concluded by saying, “And to all the volunteers who, without waiting for anything in return, give everything for the well-being of their compatriots, THANK YOU VERY MUCH.”
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Lo ocurrido en un almacén en Ponce, Puerto Rico es un acto de insensibilidad, de maltrato e irresponsabilidad sinigual. En los momentos de mayor necesidad de nuestra gente, los que suponen sean los líderes han vuelto a fallar. Han vuelto a faltar a los derechos más básicos de los seres humanos: agua, techo, educación, seguridad… Lo hicieron con maldad. No hay otra explicación. Pero, entre tanta indignación y para consuelo de todos, vuelvo a ver a la gente, a los nuestros, despiertos, atentos y sobre todo, de pie. Luchando, defendiendo, cuidando, protegiendo y regalando amor a lo largo y ancho de ese tesoro que es nuestro Puerto Rico. En este vídeo podrán ver a un pueblo unido y yo desde aquí, celebrando una alianza tan sólida y bonita con nuestros amigos de @SERPuertoRico. Unimos fuerzas para llevar bienestar a quienes más lo necesitan luego de los terremotos en el sur de mi tierra. Estoy con ustedes. Sintiendo el dolor y firme en defender lo que corresponde, lo que es digno para todos. Voy en ruta a Puerto Rico. Muy pronto les vuelvo a acompañar en este reclamo de respeto, justicia y paz. Ahí los veo, mi isla. P.d. Y a todxs lxs voluntarios que sin esperar nada a cambio lo entregan todo por el bienestar de sus compatriotas, MUCHAS GRACIAS.
It’s not the first time the Latin pop superstar has gotten involved in political activism concerning his homeland. Last summer, he joined Puerto Rican celebrities like Lin-Manuel Miranda, Bad Bunny, and PJ Sin Suela at a protest in New York, calling for the resignation of Puerto Rican then-governor Ricardo Rosselló, an issue around which he was also vocal in the media. Rosselló announced his resignation five days later.