Friday, August 10, 2012


  • Puerto Rico the 51st state? Not likely. - World - - Thursday, August 09, 2012 - Mika Rekai

  • On Nov. 6, Puerto Rico is holding a referendum on the territory’s tricky political status with the United States. Puerto Rican support for formal statehood has been growing steadily in recent years, with polls showing 41 per cent want the island to become the 51st state.
    Yet on the mainland, the issue makes for toxic politics. The status of Spanish—which is spoken by 95 per cent of Puerto Ricans—as an official language is unpopular with conservative Republicans. And recession-weary Americans are unlikely to be enthused about any extension of national entitlement programs such as medicare and social security to an island plagued by poverty and joblessness.
    President Barack Obama has admitted that a majority vote would not be enough to start the process of bringing Puerto Rico into the union. Congress, he says, will wait for a “stronger inclination” before taking action.
    Few Americans are tuning in to Puerto Rico’s debate, and the Caribbean protectorate is largely deciding its future without mainland influence. But should they vote to join the union, Puerto Ricans, who have U.S. citizenship but no U.S. political representation, may find they are not as welcome as some U.S. political leaders would have them believe.

    The Inconvenient Truth about Privatization of Correctional Health Care Revealed
    Physician uncovers what happens behind the walls of private health care facilities

    St. Augustine, FL (PRWEB) August 10, 2012
    Xlibris, the print-on-demand self-publishing services provider, announced today the release of Greed Versus Love: An Inconvenient Truth About the Privatization of Correctional Health Care, a book by Raquel Sanchez-Castro, made available through Xlibris.
    This book narrates the experience of a physician working in the correctional system. It describes the difference in the modus operandum and the attitude of the two types of administrative personnel (public and private correctional health care). With true clinical cases, the author uncovers the sad reality of the corruption existing in the private correctional facilities, where the main priority is the profit and not the patient.
    A gripping journey of a young Puerto Rican girl with a proclivity for healing to a practicing physician in an American penal system, Greed Versus Love: An Inconvenient Truth About the Privatization of Correctional Health Care will find readers thinking about those who suffer from illnesses and diseases that are too often left with a pill, when they need surgery, or an aspirin, when they need a more powerful medication. For more information on this book, interested parties may log on to
    About the Author
    Raquel Sanchez-Castro, MD was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, on January 28, 1971. In 1995, she completed her BS in Natural Sciences with a Major in Biology. At the age of twenty-nine, she graduated from medical school in Dominican Republic. She worked one year in a HIV clinic and five years in the emergency room. From 2005 to 2006, she completed a training program in Chinese medicine and acupuncture and migrated to Florida. Since 2007, she has been working in the correctional system as a physician.
    Greed Versus Love * by Raquel Sanchez-Castro
    An Inconvenient Truth About the Privatization of Correctional Health Care
    Publication Date: July 14, 2010
    Trade Paperback; $15.99; 72 pages; 978-1-4535-1236-4
    Trade Hardback; $24.99; 72 pages; 978-1-4535-1237-1
    eBook; $9.99; 978-1-4535-1238-8
    Members of the media who wish to review this book may request a complimentary paperback copy by contacting the publisher at (888) 795-4274 x. 7879. To purchase copies of the book for resale, please fax Xlibris at (610) 915-0294 or call (888) 795-4274 x. 7879.
    For more information on self-publishing or marketing with Xlibris, visit To receive a free publishing guide, please call (888) 795-4274.

    Puerto Rico, Drug Corridor to the Mainland United States

    Published August 09, 2012
    | Fox News Latino
    On the western coast of Puerto Rico, it’s wheels up for yet another night of high-tech hunting. Hunting, for cocaine smugglers.
    “This boat looks interesting,” says officer Creighton Skeen, as he sits onboard a specially designed US Customs and Border Protection airplane. He and his partner typically sit alone, dimly lit in green, staring at and analyzing their wide-screens, which show the boats below.

    On these routine missions, officer Skeen uses infra-red cameras, radar and one-the-ground intelligence to alert CBP 4 engine fast boats on the water when and where to interdict. This night, they’re focused on the 60 mile stretch between Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.
    "Before, we didn't' see as many mother ships coming to Puerto Rico,” says Skeen. “Now, they're becoming ordinary."
    And almost as ordinary, enormous busts like the one this week along the coast of Ponce. So much cocaine, it took a production line of people to haul heavy bag after heavy bag from the police cargo van to the table. Some of the cocaine bricks were labeled with a sticker showing a drawing of a threatening tiger, to discern which drug dealing organization supplied the coke, and who is to be paid the $20,000 for the kilo. By the time it arrives in the states, that kilo sells for $25,000.
    This bust in total, “approximately 1000 kilos,” says Pedro Jasner, Agent in Charge for the Drug Enforcement Administration, “with a street value of 80-million dollars."
    The US Commonwealth is booming as a trans-shipment point for the South American drug cartels. Because once the drugs get here, they’re much more easily smuggled into the US mainland as “domestic cargo,” with far fewer inspections.
    But the eyes of US law enforcement are watching. CBP officers also operate in the bowels of the San Juan Post Office Processing Center, where the x-ray and cut open suspect parcels headed from the US Virgin Islands to the US, and vice versa. These mail inspections reveal the multi-billion dollar drug trade there, as well. In one box destined for South Carolina, three tightly-wrapped “burritos,” a package, within a package, within a package. Masked with laundry detergent, the chemical test confirms the inner package’s white powder is indeed cocaine. Another package, once cut open, immediately engulfs the room in a distinctive aroma.
    “Most of the time it’s marijuana, cocaine and weapons,” says CBP Supervisor Carlos Morell.
    But the bulk of the explosion in smuggling is coming in via boat, like the 1000 kilos captured off Ponce. Most of the drugs, agents say, are destined for the US East Coast, mainly entering the states through the Miami and New York City regions.
    “We need more resources and this is the proof,” says Hector Pesquera, Puerto Rico Police Superintendent.
    "We're not just saying it, we're showing it. 80% of this, 800 kilos, would have been going to the northeast corridor."
    What Puerto Rico’s police and Governor have been calling for is initiating the Caribbean Border Initiative, more money and resources dedicated to reducing the flow of drugs from South America to the US Mainland. The Southwest Border Initiative along the Mexican border resulted in a doubling—if not tripling—of officers there. But due to apparent funding issues, the White House—which didn’t comment for this story--hasn’t committed.
    The consequence of the drug trade locally is surging crime, 70% of which is directly connected to drug gangs, according to police. Last year there were more than 1100 murders in Puerto Rico; this year, more than 500. The Puerto Rican murder rate is now 6 times higher than in the states.
    And for officer Skeen, flying above the boat traffic at midnight, for the time being, he sees no imminent change.
    "As long as there's a need--a demand--for Cocaine, we'll be seeing this. It's not going away."
    Phil Keating is national correspondent for Fox News Channel out of the Miami bureau.

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