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Violence in Spain as Catalonia Votes for Independence. Aired 3:30-4p ET

Aired October 2, 2017 - 15:30   ET


HALA GORANI, CNN HOST, THE WORLD RIGHT NOW: We continue CNN's coverage of the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history in just a moment.

First though, I want to bring you an update on some other news from around the world. The UN Human Rights chief is calling for an impartial

investigation into violence during the independence referendum in Spain's Catalonia region.

Almost 900 people were injured by police, attempting to stop the vote. You see some of the video there. That's according to Catalan authorities, that


Early results show 90 percent in favor of a split from Madrid, but Spain central government insists the vote is illegal.

Let's go live to Barcelona and speak to Erin McLaughlin. So, what is the latest on the situation? What are ordinary residents of Catalonia and

voters who voted to split from Spain, what are they doing today after that violence over the weekend?

ERIN MCLAUGHLIN, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: Hala, the violence that we saw yesterday really serving to inflame tensions in this area.

It's worth keeping in mind that, prior to this referendum, the most recent polls show that a majority of Catalonians actually weren't in favor of

independence, but they were in favor of the ability to have a vote. They wanted to be able to go to the polls to decide the future for themselves.

[15:40:14] So, the scenes of violence that we saw play out across parts of Catalonia yesterday really not sitting well with ordinary people here.

Worth noting that the police is blaming - the government of Madrid is blaming that violence on the regional government and their irresponsible


But people here feeling very differently. And the Catalonian government, the Catalan assembly, really sort of seizing on that discontent, organizing

a day of protests, a day of action for tomorrow. People are expected to close their shops and take to the streets in a series of protests.

Really illustrates sort of this widening divide between the regional government and Madrid. Both sides agreeing that there is a crisis, but

there is no clear solution in sight. The Catalan government today saying that they need dialogue, calling for dialogue, calling for Madrid to come

to the negotiating table, asking for a third-party to help mediate those negotiations.

But so far, no dialogue is taking place. The Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy instead today meeting with members of his opposition.

Worth keeping in mind his political situation. He has formed a minority government, so what the opposition has to say in this country really

matters. Members of the opposition calling for him to start negotiating.

But at the moment, what he is insisting on is that this referendum has been illegal and that the Spanish government is urging the region of Catalonia

to avoid any further hotheaded reactions.

Also, worth noting, though, today, we are yet to hear from Rajoy in person talk about the events of yesterday.

GORANI: Thank you, Erin McLaughlin in Barcelona. Donald Trump is going ahead with his visit to Puerto Rico tomorrow. He will get his first look

at the devastation there nearly two weeks after Hurricane Maria slammed ashore.

The US president today called the recovery efforts amazing, but the needs are still huge. Only a tiny fraction, though, of the island has power and

many people still have limited access to food, cash and fuel.

Puerto Rico's governor says things are slowly improving, with drinking water now about halfway restored.

The governor also says the long lines for fuel are now moving faster, with wait times dramatically reduced. CNN's Boris Sanchez is at a gas station

in San Juan and he joins me now live.

So, we've been talking over the last several days. What's the situation now compared to a few days ago? Is there an improvement that you've been

able to notice?

BORIS SANCHEZ, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Here in San Juan, absolutely, Hala. At least where we're standing right now. We're actually not outside of a gas

station. We are outside of a supermarket right now, a Walmart in downtown.

And when we first arrived, the line was several hundred people deep. It actually curved through the block and went further down. Now, as you can

tell behind me, there is no line. So, a lot of folks are finally getting access to goods.

The real question is, once they get inside, are they finding what they're looking for. You mentioned a huge chunk of this island is still lacking

access to potable water. Electricity is also a major problem.

There are gas stations are open, but there are only about three quarters of gas stations of island that are open, so a lot of people are putting a

drain on gasoline.

And electricity is a serious issue as well because people need generators to function. So, that drains gasoline as well.

Despite the progress that we're seeing here in San Juan, if you go out into the rural parts of Puerto Rico, places like Ponce where we were yesterday,

about two hours from the capital, things are bleak. And aid workers have yet to really have a footprint there.

We spoke to a couple who lived in Ponce. They've been together 31 years. He's a Vietnam War veteran. She was heartbroken by what happened during

Hurricane Maria. A tree went into their home, literally into their living room. The roof was blown right off of their bedroom.

Fortunately, they decided to leave before the storm got there. So, they are OK. But still, the process of getting back on their feet has been a

struggle. Listen to more of what she had to say.


LYDIA PABLON, PONCE RESIDENT (through translator): We have nothing else. We are senior citizens. He is 83. I am 78. To try to somewhere else,

well, I don't see myself doing that.


SANCHEZ: Yes. The really tough thing when you talk to Jose and Lydia is that they say that, shortly after the storm, they went to a local shelter

and registered with FEMA, but not a single aid worker, whether from FEMA, from federal agency or from a local one, has gone into their neighborhood

to check on them.

[15:45:07] They say they have received no aid whatsoever. So, they're still in a precarious position. Fortunately, they are living with a

neighbor right now who is looking after them.

They're hoping that when President Trump shows up here in Puerto Rico tomorrow, he comes with open arms and a helping hand. Hala?

GORANI: All right. Boris Sanchez in San Juan, thanks very much. We return you now to CNN's breaking news coverage of the Las Vegas shooting.

CNN USA picks it up from here.