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In today’s New York Daily News, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr. writes that this year’s National Puerto Rican Day Parade must reflect the realities on the ground in Puerto Rico and serve as a protest march, rather than a celebration.

“Puerto Ricans are American citizens, and deserve the same assistance and respect that our fellow citizens would receive after a disaster. That has not been the case, and we will not stand for it. At this year’s parade, we must send a wake-up call to those who would ignore us, be it President Trump, Congress or anyone else,” writes Borough President Diaz.

The op-ed comes following the release of a study last week by the by the Harvard University T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center which found that the death toll in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria was 4,645, 70 times higher than the Trump Administration’s count of just 64.

The op-ed, titled “This year demands a defiant Puerto Rican Day Parade,” can be read at The parade takes place on Sunday, June 10.