Trump Gives Himself a Perfect "10 out of 10" for Hurricane Relief in Puerto Rico

A Perfect Example of a Genocidal Liar in Top Form

October 21, 2017 | Revolution Newspaper |


In Puerto Rico (and in the other nearby colony, the U.S. Virgin Islands), one full month after Hurricane Maria, the situation for millions of people remains dire. Just 22 percent of Puerto Ricans have electricity, more than one in four has no access to drinkable water, and the majority of cellphone towers are down. People are forced to drink from dangerously polluted wells and streams. The economy is at a standstill, and doctors use terms like “post-apocalyptic” to describe the state of healthcare, warning that thousands are in danger and many dying “preventable deaths.”

At the recent funeral of a man who slowly suffocated for five days because there was no power for his oxygen pump, his body lay decomposing in the casket at a funeral home with no refrigeration. A mourner declared, “You can’t even die. In this country you can’t even die.”

But at an October 19 meeting with the Puerto Rico’s Governor Rossello, when asked to rate the job his administration had done in providing relief on a scale of one to ten, Trump gave himself a perfect score—“a ten” for what he claimed was the "great job" they were doing.

At this meeting, Trump spoke not of aid but of debt, indicating that Puerto Rico, already over $70 billion in debt, and facing an imminent government shutdown, would have to borrow more money to repair the devastated infrastructure on which the lives of millions depend. And this exactly one week after Trump again threatened, “At some point, FEMA has to leave, first responders have to leave and the people have to take over.”

After over a century of colonial domination, plunder and exploitation, Puerto Rico is now suffering from purposeful, murderous, and racist neglect at the hands of the Trump/Pence fascists.

Is this an overstatement?

Look at the facts—Puerto Rico, mainly Spanish-speaking and dark-skinned, gets a pitiful fraction of the support received by areas in the continental U.S. that suffered less devastation:

  • After Hurricane Harvey hit Texas, 5,300 repair workers from around the U.S. were rushed to the area—in fact, the highways coming into Houston were choked with utility repair trucks. When Irma hit Florida, 18,000 workers were dispatched to restore power.
  • In Puerto Rico, after four weeks, most repair work is being done by 900 local workers, lacking sufficient trucks, poles, and lines, and going home after long days of grueling work to sleep in suffocating heat, without clean water.

  • Trump bragged about getting a total of 10,000 FEMA and other federal employees to Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. But there were over 37,000 FEMA and other federal aid workers in Texas within six days of Hurricane Harvey.
  • When the storms hit Texas and Florida, the Trump regime immediately waived the Jones Act (requiring U.S.-owned ships handle all cargo, greatly increasing relief costs) for a month. In Puerto Rico the regime first refused to waive it at all, and then issued a 10-day waiver, which has now ended.
  • Trump blames Puerto Ricans for the island’s $74 billion debt (which is actually a result of U.S. domination to begin with), and points to that as the main obstacle to reconstruction. But rather than offer debt relief to assist in this emergency, Trump proposed a further (and meager) $4.9 billion loan for hurricane relief.
    But in Texas, hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses were built in known flood zones, construction that was encouraged and subsidized by the Federal Flood Insurance Program, which issued policies no private company would. Now that this program is (predictably) billions of dollars in debt, Trump requested $16 billion in cash (not a loan) to bail it out.

In a nutshell, the Trump regime’s program for Puerto Rico is to blame Puerto Ricans for the disaster, go through the motions of providing emergency relief while letting hundreds of thousands suffer and many die, and then “offer” to entrench the island even more deeply in debt if they ever want to get electricity and running water. The effect of this has been and will be to drive tens of thousands from the island and make life an unsafe and unhealthy hell for those who remain.

And in declaring the relief effort “a 10,” and constantly demanding that Puerto Rican political leaders publicly praise it, Trump is making clear that in his eyes, “inferior peoples” should be grateful for any crumbs they get from their masters, and stop complaining about the needless misery and death.

So yes, Trump deserves “a perfect score”—in his genocidal assault on the Puerto Rican people.


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