After Hurricane, Trump Reminds Puerto Rico of ‘Massive Debt’

TeleSur | – –

“Maria has left behind her a trail of devastation and a humanitarian crisis,” said the mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico’s largest city.

As Puerto Rico struggles to recover from Hurricane Maria, Trump has reminded the island of its “massive debt,” adding the U.S. territory “owed to Wall Street and the banks which, sadly, must be dealt with.”

In response to Trump’s comments, Carmen Yulin Cruz, the mayor of San Juan, said that Puerto Rico’s debt crisis and the ongoing hurricane relief measures are “two different issues.”

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security has also refused to extend the waiver for the Jones Act, a 97-year-old shipping law that prevents non-U.S. ships from bringing cargo to and from U.S. harbors.

Lifting the law would have enabled Puerto Rico to receive aid cheaply and quickly with cheaper, tax-free, and readily available foreign-flagged ships.

Puerto Rico is desperate to receive aid as it struggles with what Cruz describes as a “humanitarian crisis.”

“Maria has left behind her a trail of devastation and a humanitarian crisis,” the mayor said.”There’s horror on the streets, people are actually becoming prisoners in their own homes.”

“What I would ask is not only for Puerto Rico but for the entire Caribbean, that has been hit so hard with this (hurricane), do not forget us and don’t make us feel we are alone in this,” she said in an interview with the Washington Post.

The mayor said logistical issues had complicated recovery efforts in the aftermath of the hurricane.

“We are running out of gasoline, there is no reservoir of drinking water, none absolutely,” Cruz said.

“The government has said that it’s going to take three weeks for the hospitals to have power and about six months for all of us. So, diesel becomes essential for all these generators,” she added.

Cruz said the elderly and children are the worst affected.

“Just yesterday we have been canvassing one by one all of our elderly homes, finding our elderly, and I’m not kidding, we have to transfer 11 of them, in near-death conditions,” Cruz told CNN’s “New Day.”

But in the absence of U.S. support, Puerto Ricans are coming together to help one another, said Cruz.

“One of the most uplifting things is you see peoples’ creativity and you see people helping themselves. Our true colors are shining, they are bright, full of hope, and energy,” she told the Washington Post.

Trump has said he will visit Puerto Rico on Tuesday.

Via TeleSur

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Related video added by Juan Cole:

Puerto Rico Residents Desperately Trying To Leave The Island | NBC Nightly News

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4 Responses

  1. Well gee, if the Karl Rove plan for New Orleans was to drive Democrats out and break it up as an enemy stronghold, how does the Trump gang make that a win with Puerto Rico? The more of them leave, the more they tilt states that actually have a significant number of electoral votes unlike Puerto Rico. Unless we suddenly see Red States start passing bills to make it impossible for arrivals from other states to obtain residency. Which violates their entire White-Flight growth model.

  2. Could be over a million U.S. citizen Puerto Rican voters heading for mainland U.S?

    Just in time for the 2018 elections.

    • Logic says the majority will go to New York and Florida. Only one of those is relevant in 2018. Maybe New Jersey will be significant, if only because Democrats have a mess on their hands there and need reinforcements.

      • Florida is a perpetual “swing state,” after the escape from Puerto Rico. No longer.

        There are already moves afoot to diminish and criminalize PRs.

        Trump’s hateful attack on a female city mayor is the lead.

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