Governor Cuomo made the announcement Sunday during the NYS Stands with Puerto Rico breakfast, ahead of the Puerto Rican Day Parade in New York City. Hundreds of thousands of people flocked to the celebration, which started at 44th Street and continues to 79th Street.
Many also waved Puerto Rican flags and danced as they made their way down Fifth Avenue.
Whether Hurricane Maria killed a few dozen Americans or 4,600 after it slammed into Puerto Rico previous year, the US government's inefficient response should go down in history as a shameful episode that must not be repeated. This 2018 National Puerto Rican Day Parade was led by the award-winning actor, Esaí Morales, who will serve as Grand Marshal. "We are Americans, and I think that I came to represent the fact that no one wants to admit that nearly 5,000 lives were lost in Hurricane Maria", Ortiz said.
A man rolls on a hover-board along Fifth Avenue during lasy year s National Puerto Rican Day Parade in NY.
"This is a year where Puerto Rico has been devastated", said Louis Maldonado, chairman of the board that oversees the parade and its affiliated events. "I'm just exhausted of the way my island has been treated".
"We're three generations strong here", said Garcia, 35, of Brooklyn. "This year, we have the challenge of celebrating our culture and communities, while at the same time raising greater awareness around the need for immediate improvements in the post-hurricane recovery efforts on the island and for better treatment of the thousands of displaced families across the mainland living in perpetual limbo".
The event, which will feature an appearance from New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D), will take place on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan.
The organizers say the marching contingents will include one made up of Puerto Ricans who are in the USA mainland only because they were displaced from their homes on the island.
This year's parade comes a year after a controversial one, when the parade organization chose to recognize Oscar Lopez Rivera, a former member of a militant group responsible for a series of bombings.
At least one parade participant, Bronx Borough President Ruben Diaz Jr., said the parade needs to take a political tone. He and the group he was marching wore black T-shirts that reflect the Harvard study's estimate of the dead.