Rafael Prieto Zartha

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El último jalón

Publicado: 30/10/2012 15:05

barack obama sandy

Inesperada fue la aparición desgraciada de Sandy, ese monstruo, que en los últimos días de octubre, dejó una estela de muerte y destrucción en el Noreste del país.

El huracán, degradado a tormenta, provocó, además del saldo fatal en vidas humanas, zonas urbanas y rurales inundadas, viviendas destruidas e incendiadas, millones de hogares y negocios sin energía eléctrica, y daños a la infraestructura de metrópolis y pueblos costeros.

Sandy puso de rodillas a 15 estados y al Distrito de Columbia, generando emergencias en al menos una planta nuclear y en una zona de Maryland que quedó cubierta de aguas fecales, al impactarse una procesadora de desechos residuales.

Hace más de dos décadas viví en la capital del mundo, la vibrante Nueva York, de la que tengo recuerdos imborrables.

Tras ver por la televisión: los túneles anegados, las estaciones del metro cubiertas de agua, el aislamiento aéreo, las evacuaciones de los hospitales, y los barrios en llamas, en la noche en plena actividad de Sandy, leí en Facebook, mensajes de amigos y parientes radicados en la zona de la Gran Manzana que me conmocionaron.

"Sandy me ha mantenido en la oscuridad por cerca de una hora... No puedo decir que no es como estar desconectado del resto de la humanidad", escribió, mi amigo Miguel Pérez, excolumnista del New York Daily News y del Bergen Record.

"En esta área de Teaneck, NJ, se cortó hasta la electricidad que proveía el Hotel Marriot con su propia planta", contó Víctor Javier Solano, mi excompañero, expresentador de CBS Telenoticias
Y Memes La Rotta, una parienta querida, del pueblo colombiano de Paipa, de donde yo soy, describió la situación con evidente preocupación: "¡Da miedo mirar por la ventana! ¡Los vientos están enfurecidos! ¡OMG!.

Yo, que sobreviví terremotos en Los Ángeles, huracanes en Miami y una tenebrosa y larga tormenta de nieve en Washington DC, confié en que nada malo le podría pasar a los míos en Nueva York.
Igualmente he pensado que mis amigos de las montañas de Carolina del Norte, también saldrán avantes de la nevada provocada por el choque de Sandy con frentes fríos.

Antes de que Sandy empezara a causar estragos en el Norte, el presidente Barack Obama suspendió campaña y se afincó en la Casa Blanca, para apersonarse de la situación como mandatario de la nación.

Para aminorar los efectos de la ausencia del fragor electoral, Mitt Romney, transformó un evento de campaña en un acto de recaudación de vituallas y enseres para los damnificados por el fenómeno atmosférico.

No sería sincero si no confieso que al ver la destrucción de los puentes, de los diques, de los muelles, de las autopistas, no pensé en el tema electoral, que es inevitable, aún en medio de la tragedia.

Las proyecciones de los daños causados por Sandy varían en la cifras, pero todas apuntan a que el saldo será de miles de millones.

La firma EQUECAT, que se especializa en asesorías económicas debido a catástrofes, señaló que el impacto económico podría llegar a los 20 billones de dólares (en inglés).

Siempre he creído que es correcta la vía escogida por el presidente Obama de estimular la economía al dar trabajos en la reconstrucción de la infraestructura de la nación.

Eso fue lo que hizo Franklin Delano Roosevelt para sacar al país de la Gran Depresión, en la década de los treinta del siglo pasado.

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  • John Hardy Liam Hardy

    John Hardy, left, and his son, Liam, 13, visit the charred remains of his wife's parents home in the Breezy Point section of the Queens borough of New York, Friday, Nov. 23, 2012. A fire destroyed more than 100 homes in the oceanfront community during Superstorm Sandy.(AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

  • FILE - In this Nov. 13, 2012 file photo, a burned bicycle lies in the ashes of a burned out home in the Breezy Point section of the Queens borough of New York. More than 50 homes were lost in a fire that swept through the oceanside community during Superstorm Sandy. Some residents of New York City's storm-battered Breezy Point neighborhood say thieves looted their damaged houses over Thanksgiving. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan, File)

  • Snow Showers Add To Misery For Areas Hit Hard By Hurricane Sandy

    NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 27: A swimming pool is cleared of sand in the heavily damaged Rockaway neighborhood on November 27, 2012 in the Queens borough of New York City. The state of New York has said that Superstorm Sandy has cost upwards of $42 billion. This price, for which congressional leaders will make requests for federal disaster aid to help pay, includes $32 billion for repairs and restoration. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

  • A man walks past destroyed homes on the Rockaway Peninsula in Queens, New York, Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2012. Officials say New York City's free repair program for storm-damaged homes has fixed up about 50 homes so far, while still just gearing up. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

  • Men shovel out a pool filled with mud on the Rockaway Peninsula in Queens, New York, Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2012. Governor Andrew Cuomo wants huge electrical transformers hauled to upper floors of commercial buildings and the ability to shutter subways as part of a $9 billion plan to protect New York City from the next superstorm. Cuomo said Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2012, that government must take preventive measures now to avoid future loss of life and billions more in damage. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

  • People wait to use a pay phone on Bright Beach Avenue, Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012, in the Brooklyn borough of New York. People in the coastal corridor battered by superstorm Sandy took the first cautious steps Wednesday to reclaim routines upended by the disaster, even as rescuers combed neighborhoods strewn with debris and scarred by floods and fire. (AP Photo/ John Minchillo)

  • Commuters cross New York's Brooklyn Bridge, Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012. The floodwaters that poured into New York's deepest subway tunnels may pose the biggest obstacle to the city's recovery from the worst natural disaster in the transit system's 108-year history. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

  • A line of ticket-buyers wait at the TKTS booth, which sells discount tickets to Broadway shows, in New York's Times Square on Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012. Most Broadway theaters were reopening Wednesday for regular matinee and evening performances following several days of closures related to superstorm Sandy. (AP Photo/Beth J. Harpaz)

  • Workers try to clear boats and debris from the New Jersey Transit Morgan draw bridge Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012, in South Amboy, N.J., after Monday's storm surge from Sandy pushed boats and cargo containers onto the train tracks. New Jersey Transit's North Jersey Coast Line, which provides train service from the New Jersey shore towns to New York City, may experience prolonged disruption. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

  • This photo provided by Metropolitan Transportation Authority shows people boarding a bus, as partial bus service was restored on Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012. Mass transit, including buses, was suspended during Sandy, the storm that made landfall Monday. (AP Photo/Metropolitan Transportation Authority, Patrick Cashin)

  • US-WEATHER-STORM-SANDY

    People wait in line to fill containers with fuel at a Shell gas station October 30, 2012 in Edison, New Jersey. Hurricane Sandy which hit New York and New Jersey left much of Bergen County flooded and without power. AFP PHOTO/Brendan SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

  • Ryan Fitzgerald, Connie Boorer, Debbie Baker-Star

    Ryan Fitzgerald, center, of the Toms River Police Department, helps Connie Boorer, left, get into a bus to head to a shelter while bus driver Debbie Baker-Star, right, carries Boorer's walker as officials helped stranded citizens out of their flooded homes a day after superstorm Sandy rolled through, Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012, in Toms River, N.J. Sandy, the storm that made landfall Monday, caused multiple fatalities, halted mass transit and cut power to more than 6 million homes and businesses. (AP Photo/Julio Cortez)

  • US-WEATHER-STORM-SANDY

    People leave a home on a flooded street October 30, 2012 in Little Ferry, New Jersey. Hurricane Sandy which hit New York and New Jersey left much of Bergen County flooded and without power. AFP PHOTO/Brendan SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)

  • People look across the East River from Brooklyn into lower Manhattan, where some buildings were operating with emergency backup generators, Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012 in New York. Much of lower Manhattan is without electric power following the impact of superstorm Sandy. (AP Photo/Mark Lennihan)

  • Houses are surrounded by floodwaters in the wake of superstorm Sandy on Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012, in Little Ferry, N.J. Sandy, the storm that made landfall Monday, caused multiple fatalities, halted mass transit and cut power to more than 6 million homes and businesses. (AP Photo/Mike Groll)

  • Homes destroyed by a fire at Breezy Point are shown, in the New York City borough of Queens Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012, in New York. The fire destroyed between 80 and 100 houses Monday night in the flooded neighborhood. More than 190 firefighters have contained the six-alarm blaze fire, but they are still putting out some pockets of fire. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

  • Sand and debris cover a part of town near the ocean in Atlantic City, N.J., Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012. Sandy, the storm which was downgraded from a hurricane just before making landfall, caused multiple fatalities, halted mass transit and cut power to more than 6 million homes and businesses. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

  • Residents assess damage caused by a fire at Breezy Point, in the New York City borough of Queens Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012, in New York. The fire destroyed between 80 and 100 houses Monday night in the flooded neighborhood. More than 190 firefighters have contained the six-alarm blaze fire, but they are still putting out some pockets of fire. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

  • Cars are submerged at the entrance to a parking garage in New York's Financial District in the aftermath of superstorm Sandy, Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012. New York City awakened Tuesday to a flooded subway system, shuttered financial markets and hundreds of thousands of people without power a day after a wall of seawater and high winds slammed into the city, destroying buildings and flooding tunnels. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

  • A parking lot full of yellow cabs is flooded as a result of superstorm Sandy on Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012 in Hoboken, NJ. (AP Photo/Charles Sykes)

  • A man uses his mobile phone to photograph a closed and flooded subway station in lower Manhattan, in New York, Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012. Due to superstorm Sandy, New York City awakened Tuesday to a flooded subway system, shuttered financial markets and hundreds of thousands of people without power a day after a wall of seawater and high winds slammed into the city, destroying buildings and flooding tunnels. (AP Photo/Richard Drew)

  • Kim Johnson looks over the destruction near her seaside apartment in Atlantic City, N.J., Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012. Sandy, the storm that made landfall Monday, caused multiple fatalities, halted mass transit and cut power to more than 6 million homes and businesses. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

  • Waves driven by superstorm Sandy crash on the beach of Lake Ontario in Toronto on Tuesday morning, Oct. 30, 2012. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Frank Gunn)

  • A man photographs a home damaged during a storm at Breezy Point in the New York City borough of Queens Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012. The fire destroyed between 80 and 100 houses Monday night in an area flooded by the superstorm that began sweeping through earlier. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

  • A boat lies toppled between two flooded houses in the aftermath of superstorm Sandy, Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012, in Lindenhurst, N.Y. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow)

  • A street sign is partially buried in sand Tuesday morning, Oct. 30, 2012, in Cape May, N.J., after a storm surge from Sandy pushed the Atlantic Ocean over the beach and across Beach Avenue. (AP Photo/Mel Evans)

  • A tree worker directs a crane in Toronto on Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012 lifting parts of a tree felled by superstorm Sandy. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Frank Gunn)

  • Large stretches of boardwalk were destroyed by Storm Sandy in Atlantic City, N.J., Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012. Sandy, the storm that made landfall Monday, caused multiple fatalities, halted mass transit and cut power to more than 6 million homes and businesses. (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)

  • Damage caused by a fire at Breezy Point is shown Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012, in in the New York City borough of Queen. The fire destroyed between 80 and 100 houses Monday night in the flooded neighborhood. More than 190 firefighters have contained the six-alarm blaze fire in the Breezy Point section, but they are still putting out some pockets of fire. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

  • Water reaches the street level of the Battery Park Underpass, Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012, in New York. Sandy arrived along the East Coast and morphed into a huge and problematic system, putting more than 7.5 million homes and businesses in the dark and causing a number of deaths. (AP Photo/Louis Lanzano)

  • Water reaches the street level of the flooded Battery Park Underpass, Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012, in New York. Superstorm Sandy arrived along the East Coast and morphed into a huge and problematic system, putting more than 7.5 million homes and businesses in the dark and causing a number of deaths. (AP Photo/Louis Lanzano)

  • Water reaches the street level of the flooded Battery Park Underpass, Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2012, in New York. Sandy arrived along the East Coast and morphed into a huge and problematic system, putting more than 7.5 million homes and businesses in the dark and causing a number of deaths. (AP Photo/ Louis Lanzano)

  • Vehicles are submerged on 14th Street near the Consolidated Edison power plant, Monday, Oct. 29, 2012, in New York. Sandy continued on its path Monday, as the storm forced the shutdown of mass transit, schools and financial markets, sending coastal residents fleeing, and threatening a dangerous mix of high winds and soaking rain.  (AP Photo/ John Minchillo)

  • A vehicle is submerged on 14th Street near the Consolidated Edison power plant, Monday, Oct. 29, 2012, in New York. Sandy knocked out power to at least 3.1 million people, and New York's main utility said large sections of Manhattan had been plunged into darkness by the storm, with 250,000 customers without power as water pressed into the island from three sides, flooding rail yards, subway tracks, tunnels and roads. (AP Photo/ John Minchillo)

  • This photo provided by Dylan Patrick shows flooding along the Westside Highway near the USS Intrepid as Sandy moves through the area Monday, Oct. 29, 2012 in New York. Much of New York was plunged into darkness Monday by a superstorm that overflowed the city's historic waterfront, flooded the financial district and subway tunnels and cut power to nearly a million people. (AP Photo/Dylan Patrick) MANDATORY CREDIT: DYLAN PATRICK

  • The New York skyline remains dark Monday, Oct. 29, 2012, as seen from the Williamsburg neighborhood in the Brooklyn borough of New York. In an attempt to lessen damage from saltwater to the subway system and the electrical network beneath the city's financial district, New York City's main utility cut power to about 6,500 customers in lower Manhattan. But a far wider swath of the city was hit with blackouts caused by flooding and transformer explosions. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

  • This combination of photos shows above, lower Manhattan dark after the hybrid storm Sandy on Monday, Oct. 29, 2012, and below a fully lit skyline on Jan. 6, 2012, both seen from the Brooklyn borough of New York. In an attempt to lessen damage from saltwater to the subway system and the electrical network beneath the city's financial district, New York City's main utility cut power to about 6,500 customers in lower Manhattan. But a far wider swath of the city was hit with blackouts caused by flooding and transformer explosions. (AP Photo)

  • Vehicles are submerged during a storm surge near the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel, Monday, Oct. 29, 2012, in New York. Superstorm Sandy zeroed in on New York's waterfront with fierce rain and winds that shuttered most of the nation's largest city Monday, darkened the financial district and left a huge crane hanging off a luxury high-rise. (AP Photo/ John Minchillo)

  • Sea water floods the entrance to the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel, Monday, Oct. 29, 2012, in New York. Sandy continued on its path Monday, as the storm forced the shutdown of mass transit, schools and financial markets, sending coastal residents fleeing, and threatening a dangerous mix of high winds and soaking rain.  (AP Photo/ John Minchillo)

  • Streets are flooded under the Manhattan Bridge in the Dumbo section of Brooklyn, N.Y., Monday, Oct. 29, 2012. Sandy continued on its path Monday, as the storm forced the shutdown of mass transit, schools and financial markets, sending coastal residents fleeing, and threatening a dangerous mix of high winds and soaking rain. (AP Photo/Bebeto Matthews)

  • A vehicle is submerged on 14th Street near the Consolidated Edison power plant, Monday, Oct. 29, 2012, in New York. Sandy knocked out power to at least 3.1 million people, and New York's main utility said large sections of Manhattan had been plunged into darkness by the storm, with 250,000 customers without power as water pressed into the island from three sides, flooding rail yards, subway tracks, tunnels and roads. (AP Photo/ John Minchillo)

  • Lights from a NYPD police vehicle illuminate a downed tree on 6th Avenue, Monday, Oct. 29, 2012, in New York. Sandy continued on its path Monday, as the storm forced the shutdown of mass transit, schools and financial markets, sending coastal residents fleeing, and threatening a dangerous mix of high winds and soaking rain. (AP Photo/ John Minchillo)

  • In this photo provided by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey a surveillance camera captures the PATH station in Hoboken, N.J., as it is flooded shortly before 9:30 p.m. EDT on Monday, Oct. 29, 2012. Sandy continued on its path Monday, as the storm forced the shutdown of mass transit, schools and financial markets, sending coastal residents fleeing, and threatening a dangerous mix of high winds and soaking rain. (AP Photo/Port Authority of New York and New Jersey)

  • FDNY inflatable boats travel along 14th street towards the East River on a rescue mission in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, Monday, Oct. 29, 2012, in New York. Sandy continued on its path Monday, as the storm forced the shutdown of mass transit, schools and financial markets, sending coastal residents fleeing, and threatening a dangerous mix of high winds and soaking rain. (AP Photo/ Louis Lanzano)

  • Mid Atlantic Coast Prepares For Hurricane Sandy

    ATLANTIC CITY, NJ - OCTOBER 29: A flooded street is seen at nightfall during rains from Hurricane Sandy on October 29, 2012 in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Sandy made landfall over Southern New Jersey today. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)

  • Mid Atlantic Coast Prepares For Hurricane Sandy

    NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 29: Flooded cars, caused by Hurricane Sandy, are seen on October 29, 2012, in the Financial District of New York, United States. Hurricane Sandy, which threatens 50 million people in the eastern third of the U.S., is expected to bring days of rain, high winds and possibly heavy snow. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the closure of all New York City will bus, subway and commuter rail service as of Sunday evening (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

  • Mid Atlantic Coast Prepares For Hurricane Sandy

    NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 29: Police officers and fire fighters guard a scaffolding in the process of collapsing due to Hurricane Sandy on October 29, 2012 in New York City. The storm, which threatens 50 million people in the eastern third of the U.S., is expected to bring days of rain, high winds and possibly heavy snow. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the closure of all New York City bus, subway and commuter rail service as of Sunday evening. (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

  • Mid Atlantic Coast Prepares For Hurricane Sandy

    NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 29: Flooded cars, caused by Hurricane Sandy, are seen on October 29, 2012, in the Financial District of New York, United States. Hurricane Sandy, which threatens 50 million people in the eastern third of the U.S., is expected to bring days of rain, high winds and possibly heavy snow. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced the closure of all New York City will bus, subway and commuter rail service as of Sunday evening (Photo by Andrew Burton/Getty Images)

  • Hurricane Sandy Bears Down On U.S. Mid-Atlantic Coastline

    CAPE MAY, NJ - OCTOBER 29: Ocean Avenue is flooded caused by Hurricane Sandy, on October 29, 2012 in Cape May, The New Jersey coastline is feeling the full force of Sandy's heavy winds and record floodwaters. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

  • Hurricane Sandy Bears Down On U.S. Mid-Atlantic Coastline

    BENSALEM, PA - OCTOBER 29: A PennDOT truck slowly rides on the Pennsylvania Turnpike as Hurricane Sandy approaches October 29, 2012 in Bensalem, Pennsylvania. Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter ordered that all city offices be closed Monday and Tuesday due to potential damage from Hurricane Sandy. Public transit will remain shut down as well.(Photo by William Thomas Cain/Getty Images)

  • Hurricane Sandy Bears Down On U.S. Mid-Atlantic Coastline

    ASBURY PARK, NJ - OCTOBER 29: An Asbury Park police officer patrols the streets during Hurricane Sandy on October 29, 2012 in Asbury Park, New Jersey. The storm, which threatens 50 million people in the eastern third of the U.S., is expected to bring days of rain, high winds and possibly heavy snow. (Photo by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images)

No es dándole gabelas a los ricos como se solucionan los problemas del país. No es dándoles estímulos económicos para que terminen enviando sus empresas y los empleos a China, o destruyendo corporaciones para luego revenderlas u ocultando millones de dólares en paraísos financieros del Caribe.

Las elecciones son el próximo martes 6 de noviembre y hay que echar el último jalón. Los que puedan deberían votar anticipadamente.

Necesitamos en la Casa Blanca, a alguien que de verdad, tenga por principios la concepción de reparar lo destruido por Sandy.

Rafael Prieto Zartha es el director editorial del semanario Qué Pasa-Mi Gente, en Charlotte, Carolina del Norte.

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