It is one more example of Trump’s lack of sensitivity, his narcissism, and his political idiocy, that he is opposed to aid to Puerto Rico. More than 3000 Americans died as a result of Hurricane Maria, and Trump could only manage to visit once after a long time had passed, and he proceeded to insult the people of the island with a clumsy and ungenerous gesture as he threw paper towels into a crowd. We don’t agree with many of the looney proposals AOC has made, but when she justly complained about the indifference of the Trump government towards the people of Puerto Rico, we could easily understand her frustration. She compared the response of the United States to the attacks of 9/11, where 2,996 people died. She stated that we may not now agree with going to war as a response, but at least it showed concern, and there was action.
The destruction caused by Maria was unprecedented, and at any other time, under a different leader, Bush, Clinton or Obama, this government would have organized a prompt and effective response. But Trump was embarrassed by the fact that his lack of action seemed to indicate ignorance of his obligations towards Puerto Rico. Did he know that Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens? He certainly didn’t know that the U.S. Virgin Islands fall under his jurisdiction because everyone knows he claimed to have met “the president of the Virgin Islands.” What caused his anger towards Puerto Rico, beside the videos shown the devastation that he ignored, were the accusations from San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz. the mayor complained about the lack of action on the part of Trump. He claimed that his people did “a great job that went unappreciated.” Not content with lying about what his government had done he proceeded to insult the mayor adding: “even though an inaccessible island with very poor electricity and a totally incompetent Mayor of San Juan.” Hurricane Maria destroyed the island’s infrastructure and an incompetent company was hired to repair the electric grid.
Maria hit in September of 2017, but even now, after all this time, the island has not fully recovered and many schools, businesses and government offices remain closed. One headline on April 1, 2019 reads: “Massive disaster relief bill stalls in Senate over Puerto Rico dispute.” Democrats in Congress opposed the disaster relief bill of $13.45 billion, contending that the $600 million for Puerto Rico’s food stamp program is insufficient to meet the needs of the territory as it is struggling to recover from Hurricane Maria. Trump is opposed to sending additional help to Puerto Rico apart from the food stamp money, after his party convinced him to accept that as part of reaching an agreement. Trump lied again claiming that his administration has taken care of the island, “more than any man ever.” We know that is not true, but this vulgar enemy of the people of Puerto Rico doesn’t understand pain and suffering.