By Randy Falco, President & Chief Executive Officer, Univision Communications
Just imagine if the entire state of Connecticut was cut off from communications, electricity, fresh water and supplies after a natural disaster. We would not tolerate any delay in getting our citizens there help. And we should not tolerate any further delays with Puerto Rico, which is roughly the same size as Connecticut. Puerto Rico may be separated from the mainland U.S. by an ocean but it is still America.
Here at Univision we have seen Hurricane Maria’s impact on the island up close and it is heartbreaking. When the storm struck, Univision employees broadcasting from the basement of our facilities were reporting real-time, first-hand information. Since the storm has passed, those same crews have been transmitting footage and images showing widespread destruction and the growing catastrophic humanitarian crisis.
This past weekend, some of our colleagues from New York and Miami traveled to the island to deliver shipments of emergency supplies from Univision and from some of our business and community partners, like Nestlé, Goya, Royal Caribbean, Colgate-Palmolive, Yoplait, Dannon, Hispanic Federation, and Emerson Group. Their reports back are heartbreaking, with residents in severe distress nearly two weeks after the hurricane made landfall.
I applaud the work of the organizations and companies, and the countless people that have been on the ground in Puerto Rico for nearly two weeks. Yet I know much more has to be done immediately to aid communities reeling from a life-threatening scarcity of food, water, shelter, and other basic human necessities.
I urge our leaders in Washington to put politics aside and act with greater urgency to end the suffering of millions of U.S. citizens who are powerless in the wake of unprecedented devastation. And to my colleagues in boardrooms across the U.S., please mobilize your resources to ease the life-and-death struggles that our fellow American citizens in Puerto Rico are experiencing right now.