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NYC mayor calls on feds to fix Puerto Rican canal

November 9, 2014

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio visited a polluted canal in Puerto Rico’s capital city on Saturday and said the federal government must do more to clean it up.

De Blasio visited the Cano Martin Pena with other elected officials and said later that nearly 27,000 residents of San Juan are affected by the contaminated waterway.

“We went to a neighborhood in distinct need that deserves help from our federal government,” he said, adding that the government must “remember its obligation to Puerto Rico.”

The mayor was in San Juan for the Somos El Futuro conference, an annual junket for Democratic elected officials from New York City and New York state.

Before touring the canal, de Blasio met with Puerto Rican Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla.

He told conference attendees at a reception later that New York “would not be all it is today if it weren’t for the contributions of the Puerto Rican people over the last century that have made New York so strong, so vibrant.”

De Blasio switched to Spanish to say that the island “has a special place in our hearts” and to praise “the climate, the food and above all the people of Puerto Rico.”

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