January 19, 2018

Trump sees 'miracle' Puerto Rico survival, heaps praise on relief

08 October 2017, 12:23 | Rodolfo Wallace

Mr Trump talks with Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello Credit Reuters

Mr Trump talks with Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello

San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz continues to be the voice of hope for Puerto Rico. "You don't go to another place when people are in peril and are suffering and you just kind of hover around in a helicopter without having some kind words to say".

Ms Cruz wore the shirt during an interview in which she attacked the President for his visit to Puerto Rico after the United States territory was devastated by a hurricane.

Some Democrats roasted the Trump presentation, noting that much of the island still lacks food, potable water, and electrical power.

Unless Cruz adjusts this tactic for the future, Puerto Ricans would be wise to learn from the misfortune of San Juan and elect a governor who doesn't sacrifice her people for political gain.

In the awful, post-hurricane wasteland where no people can get anything that's been donated to them and communication is better done with an Ouija board or smoke signals than anything else, Mayor Cruz was fortunate enough to be distributed a fashionable "SOS" hat and "HELP US WE ARE DYING" shirt. Trump's choice of words, which harked back to an earlier generation's euphemistic locutions about "those people", couldn't have been more heartless.

On Tuesday, as U.S. President Donald Trump surveyed damage elsewhere on Puerto Rico, some of the nursery's 19 employees were busy repotting damaged plants and cleaning up.

"Now, I hate to tell you, Puerto Rico, but you've thrown our budget a little out of whack because we've spent a lot of money on Puerto Rico, and that's fine", he said.

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He was also lobbed rolls of paper towels into a crowd at a church in what was seen as a unusual and insensitive approach to hurricane relief.

Puerto Rico has over $70 billion in public debt.

But visiting Puerto Rico several weeks after disaster struck, the president insisted he received a warm welcome, telling reporters: "That was a great, great visit".

This isn't the first time that President Trump accused a woman of being "nasty". "We are talking about life and death". Trump misstated Maria as a Category 5 hurricane; it was Category 4 when it hit Puerto Rico. "If people of Puerto Rico had power and could watch TV, they might differ".

The trip is Trump's fourth to areas battered by storms during an unusually violent hurricane season that has also seen parts of Texas, Florida, Louisiana and the U.S. Virgin Islands inundated by floodwaters and hit by high winds.

"As far as the comment made about wiping the debt clean, that is the opinion of the president", said Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello at a news conference. He told islanders they could be "very proud" that more people had not perished in the storm, compared to the toll from "a real catastrophe" like Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

One of the first people Mr Trump met when he and his wife, Melania, touched down in San Juan on Tuesday was the city's mayor, Carmen Yulin Cruz, who has repeatedly blasted the president as showing insufficient concern about Puerto Rico's plight.

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