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Puerto Rico & USA: America's Responsibility In Hurricane Relief

Butler Professor Fait Muedini breaks down the relationship between the two countries

Photo Credit-Hector Retemal/Getty Images


After the devastation in Puerto Rico, the United States is currently working to help rebuild the country. We’re joined by Butler University International Studies Professor Dr. Fait Muedini to help us break down the rights of citizens of Puerto Rico compared to those of the continental United States.

“They are considered part of the United States, but not a part of the United States in the same way that we understand states to be… Over the years, the U.S. has written in legislation pertaining to Puerto Rico. They are U.S. citizens; they have a passport and are citizens like anyone born in the United States. Where it differs is representation. Puerto Rico does not have representation in the house or the senate.”

Dr. Muedini goes on to further explain that when a natural disaster, like a hurricane, hits Puerto Rico it is the United States’ responsibility to assist in all damage.

“There is an assumption that they would be treated differently but that’s not the case. FEMA actually has the exact same responsibility to Puerto Rico as it would to Indiana or Houston. It doesn’t make a difference. One of the expectations of the U.S. overseeing Puerto Rico is that they are responsible for all sorts of natural disaster damages.” 

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