After a devastating direct hit from Hurricane Maria last week that left 100% of their island without electricity, along with serious shortages of food and clean water, Puerto Ricans are desperate for relief.
But when Gov. Ricardo Rossello sent word to President Trump that a humanitarian crisis was unfolding, and that Puerto Rico was in critical need of the same aid and supplies as storm damaged states like Texas and Florida, he was shocked at the response:
“The president told me that I should get in touch with the leader of my own country if I wanted help,” said Gov. Rossello. “I don’t think he understood that we are part of the United States, and that Puerto Ricans are American citizens.”
The Caribbean island is, in fact, a U.S. territory and its inhabitants are natural-born American citizens. And while they don’t vote for president, and have only one non-voting seat in Congress, Puerto Ricans are able to travel freely between their island and the United States mainland.
While the White House denied that Mr. Trump was ignorant of the island’s status, or the federal government’s obligation to provide assistance, one Oval Office insider, speaking off the record, said that the president was angry that the U.S. had to come to the aid of yet another hurricane ravaged area, especially one “that doesn’t speak white English.”
“He kept asking John Kelly how it was possible that ‘a whole island of spics could be Americans?’ Kelly told him that Puerto Rico has been a commonwealth of the U.S. since 1898 and the fact that the people there spoke primarily Spanish had nothing to do with it.”
John Kelly, a former Marine Corps general, is Mr. Trump’s current White House Chief of Staff. Puerto Rico was acquired by the United States from Spain in 1898 as one of the spoils of the Spanish-American War.
According to the source, Mr. Trump was also agitated to learn that many Puerto Ricans were likely to escape carnage on the island by fleeing to the U.S. mainland. “He insisted that there must be some way to stop them with a travel ban or something, and that it was going to be hard to keep the Mexicans out if they see Puerto Ricans coming in without having to leap over fences or anything.”
The White House announced Tuesday that President Trump would be visiting Puerto Rico in the days ahead to assess the damage and discuss FEMA’s role in the island’s recovery, but that “he wanted to wait until ‘real Americans’ got all the help they needed first.”
I want to thank all the many readers, fans, followers, and even my frenemies, for reading and commenting on my posts throughout the year as I continue my commitment to post every day, 7-days-a-week until the Orange Accident is no more.
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