Decision 2020 – Puerto Rico claps back at Trump

Go Lean Commentary

Puerto Ricans in Puerto Rico have no vote nor voice in the American capital city of Washington, DC. But let them leave and relocate to the US mainland, as is their right as American citizens, and then they can participate fully in the balloting for federal and state elections.

Then, they have a voice …

… they are anxious to make noise with their voice and vote this year, as many Puerto Ricans want to clap back at President Donald Trump … for his long train of abuses towards their homeland. The actuality of this abusive relationship had been detailed in a previous commentary; see this excerpt:

Way Forward – Puerto Rico: Learns its status with America – April 3, 2019

“You love America. But does “she” love you back?”

This is the reality of unrequited love. The people of the island of Puerto Rico love America – they give blood, sweat and tears. But America does not always love the island back. This has always been evident and obvious, but now even more so after Hurricane Maria devastated the island in 2017 and the US Federal Government lackluster response. Puerto Ricans, on the island and in the Diaspora, must accept that they are treated as the “ugly step-child”.

Today, we learn that the 45th President of the United States, Donald J. Trump, is now vocalizing that there is a fast approaching limit for gratitude towards Puerto Rico.

There is no love for Puerto Rico … within their American eco-system.

As related in this previous blog-commentary, Puerto Rico devotes more human capital – and sacrifice – to US military endeavors than any other state or territories per capita.

“Never kill yourself for people who are willing to watch you die.”

This is the analysis by the movement behind the 2013 book Go Lean…Caribbean. This book has consistently asserted that Puerto Rico, and the rest of the Caribbean, are parasites and need to “Grow Up“, “Manage our own Affairs“, “Take Care of Our Business”. We need to reform and transform … so we need partners in Washington to help us reach these goals.

Who, which candidates for federal offices, are beneficial to this Caribbean Quest?

The choice may be somewhat straight-forward, as Donald Trump had expressed a desire to sell Puerto Rico; see the Appendix VIDEO below.

But Which Candidate Decision is the question for the 2020 General Election, as it was for the 2016 General election; (then it was Donald Trump vs Hillary Clinton). In a 2016 blog-commentary leading up to that General Election, the voting trends of Puerto Ricans were identified and analyzed with this excerpt:

Courting Caribbean Votes – Puerto Ricans – October 8, 2016

… it is election season in the United States. There are many members of the Caribbean Diaspora living in the US – some figures project up to 22 million; many of them are eligible to vote on November 8, 2016.

  • Who will they vote for? Who should they vote for?
  • What if the criterion for the vote is benevolence to Caribbean causes?

… The Go Lean movement (book and blog-commentaries) asserts that Caribbean stakeholders need to take their own lead for their Caribbean destiny, but it does acknowledge that we have a dependency to the economic, security and governing eco-systems of the American SuperPower. This dependency is derisively called a parasite status, with the US as the host.

This accurately describes Puerto Rico.

Not only is the island of Puerto Rico a parasite of the US, but a near-Failed-State as well. While this has been a consistent theme of the Go Lean movement, it is no secret. Washington and Puerto Rico readily admit to this disposition. In fact this failing condition has driven many Puerto Ricans out of Puerto Rico. This has been within that consistent Go Lean theme, that “push-and-pull” factors drive Caribbean citizens away from their beloved homeland. Greater Orlando has become a new destination.

They are gone from Puerto Rico, but have not forgotten home. This year they are looking to impact their homeland with their vote. They seek to support candidates for federal offices that can help to reform and transform the island.

We must do better than our past. We must be an American protégé, rather than just an American parasite.

We want to make Puerto Rico and other places in our Caribbean homeland, better places to live, work and play. So we must engage the political process in Washington, DC as they are a major stakeholder for Puerto Rico. The island is bankrupt, it depends on federal bailouts just to execute even the basic functions in the Social Contract. Personally, many residents on the island depend on federal subsidies to survive: benefits like veterans, social security (disability & pension) and welfare. Many Puerto Ricans have understandably abandoned the island – this is both “push” and “pull”.

The choice for president should consider these needs.

We need Washington’s help. But the only way to impact Washington is through voting. This is why the Puerto Rican vote – for those in the Diaspora – is being courted. Which presidential candidate best extols the vision and values for a new Caribbean?

Trump won in 2016.

Trump proved toxic for Caribbean eco-systems, including Puerto Rico, during the 4 years of his administration.

Trump disrespected Puerto Rico … repeatedly.

Only now will Puerto Rico get a chance to clap back at Mr. Trump.

This is the main thrust of this news article here:

Title: Puerto Rico, unable to vote, becomes crucial to US election
By: Danica Coto and Adriana Gomez Licon
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — The campaigns of President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden are rallying people in a place where U.S. citizens cannot cast ballots but have the ear of hundreds of thousands of potential voters in the battleground state of Florida.

The candidates are targeting Puerto Rico in a way never before seen, with the U.S. territory suddenly finding itself in the crosshairs of a high-stakes race even though Puerto Ricans on the island cannot vote in presidential elections despite being U.S. citizens since 1917.

Campaigners know this, but they hope those on the island will push relatives and friends on the U.S. mainland to vote for them in a strategy that capitalizes on the close ties they share.

It’s a novel role that plays off the sentiment that Puerto Ricans in Florida feel they are voting by proxy for those back home left out of U.S. democracy. And a growing number find this role appealing, especially since many on the island are struggling to recover from hurricanes Irma and Maria, a string of strong earthquakes, a deep economic crisis and the pandemic.

“I’m voting for 3 million Puerto Ricans on the island, including my entire family,” said Jerick Mediavilla, who is from the mountain town of Corozal and is voting in a U.S. presidential election for the first time after moving to Orlando four years ago. “Puerto Rico doesn’t have a voice. Our voice is via the United States.”

It’s people like Mediavilla that Democrats and Republicans are trying to target as they court Latinos in Florida, which has the largest population of Puerto Ricans in the U.S., with nearly 1.2 million. Trump won Florida in 2016 and has virtually no path to the White House if he doesn’t do so again. Polls are tight, and as the Trump campaign worries of support slipping among suburban and older voters, Latinos in Florida have become crucial.

Puerto Ricans represent 27% of Hispanics of voting age in Florida, trailing only Cuban-Americans. While it’s unclear how many are Democrats or Republicans, Democrats have widened the gap of Hispanic voters registered for this election over the GOP compared with 2016. The gains were in counties with a high number of Puerto Ricans including Orange County, home to Orlando, and Hillsborough, home to Tampa. Polk County, where the Puerto Rican population has more than doubled since 2013, saw the fastest growth of Latino registered voters, with Democrats registering 21,000 more voters than Republicans. The gap in 2016 was 15,000. But those same counties also have a very high number of voters registered without party affiliation.

“Puerto Ricans will play a very crucial role in this election,” said Yadira Sánchez, co-executive director of Poder Latinx, a U.S.-based non-profit group that aims to mobilize Latino voters.

Election observers, however, note Puerto Ricans have weaker voter turnout rates than other Hispanic groups that favor Republican candidates.

Trump recently secured an endorsement from Puerto Rico’s governor and promised nearly $13 billion in additional aid last month to help the island rebuild from Hurricane Maria. During a recent rally in Florida, Trump declared: “I’m not gonna say the best, but I’m just about the best thing that ever happened to Puerto Rico. You better vote for me, Puerto Rico.” Many were quick to note that those living on the island don’t have that right.

Meanwhile, Biden granted an exclusive interview to Puerto Rico’s main newspaper that for the first time in its 50 years endorsed a U.S. presidential candidate and asked those in the U.S. mainland to support Biden: “We ask that you, with the great power of your vote, especially in key electoral states, help open the way to the transformation effort that will honor the dignity and promote the progress of every person.”

Biden recently launched digital and print ads on the island with the hashtag “HazloXMi,” or DoItForMe, urging Puerto Ricans to tell their friends and family on the U.S. mainland to participate: “With your vote over there, you help us here.”

“Both campaigns are doing it thinking this will bounce back to Florida,” said Carlos Suárez, a political science professor at the University of Florida.

It’s unclear whether the indirect campaign strategy will work, but Luis Gutiérrez, a former U.S. representative who served 26 years in Congress and now lives in Puerto Rico, called it a smart move.

Puerto Ricans “are always in contact. Why? Because whether you’re one of 3 million on the island or 5 million somewhere else, you’re part of one community,” the Democrat said. “If you are born in Puerto Rico, it will be part of your life until the last day.”

As the election draws near, pressure keeps growing on Puerto Ricans on the island and on the mainland.

A Florida political group recently created a song set to the tune of “Rakatá” by Wisin y Yandel, a renowned Puerto Rican reggaeton duo who first became popular in the early 2000s. The song encourages Puerto Ricans who moved to Florida to use their new voting power and hurl a “chancleta” or flip-flop at Trump to help those living on the island: “He doesn’t care one bit for Boricuas.”

Trump’s campaign has countered with ads highlighting the billions of dollars his administration has pledged to help Puerto Rico recover from Maria, a Category 4 storm that caused an estimated $100 billion in damage and killed an estimated 2,975 people in its aftermath. However, the administration withheld billions of dollars in emergency aid for months, saying it worried about mismanagement and corruption on the island.

Wyneska Méndez, who moved to Miami from Puerto Rico eight years ago, said she would not let fellow Puerto Ricans influence her decision, adding that Trump is the only choice to protect the economy. She especially likes that Trump feels strongly against abortion because of her Christian faith, and she believes Puerto Rico needed to get its affairs in order to receive the same kind of relief offered to U.S. states.

“I don’t let others get in my head,” Méndez said as she waited for a speech by Vice President Mike Pence on Thursday in Miami.

Dozens of Trump supporters who gathered Sunday in Puerto Rico for a rally shared her sentiment, saying the president has sent billions of dollars to help with hurricane reconstruction as they praised his pro-life stance.

Dr. Miriam Ramírez de Ferrer, a former senator and member of Puerto Rico’s pro-statehood party, said that Trump’s personality can be misinterpreted and that she believes he was joking when making comments about the island that critics have found offensive.

“There have been many erroneous messages from certain Puerto Ricans toward Trump, and we don’t want people to think that all Puerto Ricans are the same,” Ramírez said as she pulled down the face mask of a fellow Trump supporter decorated with bald eagles and U.S. flags.

Despite the aid Puerto Rico has received under the Trump administration, Mediavilla and his brother, Omar, who lives in Puerto Rico, remain unswayed.

“It’s a great help, but really, in the end, I see it as a political strategy,” said Omar Mediavilla, adding that he is grateful his brother was motivated by the aftermath of Maria to support Biden. “They’re our voice carrying our complaints … It’s important that Puerto Ricans over there give us this opportunity.”

Some who live on the island remain wary of the campaigning to influence Puerto Ricans on the mainland.

Omar Soto, a production supervisor whose brother lives in Lakeland, Florida, said the strategies are pointless.

“It seems like there’s a tone of despair,” he said, adding that he believes it could backfire. “I think it’s disrespectful. We should have the option to vote for president.” ___

Associated Press writer Danica Coto reported this story in San Juan, Puerto Rico, and AP writer Adriana Gomez Licon reported from Miami.
Source: posted October 18, 2020; retrieved October 20, 2020.

Now is the time for Puerto Rico and Puerto Ricans to tell Mr. Trump how they really feel about him and his policies toward their island homeland.

Listen to Puerto Rico’s message.

Listen to their messengers. (But, don’t get it twisted; Puerto Rico still has societal defects of its own making to remediate).

Yet still, the Go Lean movement is engaged in this territorial remediation as well, in that, we continue to present the vision that all people who love Puerto Rico should be pursuing:

A better homeland to live, work and play. 🙂

Every month, the movement behind the Go Lean book presents a Teaching Series to address issues germane to Caribbean life and culture. For this month of October 2020, we are looking at the US General Election for November 3. It is amazing that we in the Caribbean are relevant in Decision 2020. Previously, it was discussed that the Caribbean Diaspora in the US may amount to as much as 22 million people. This would constitute 7 percent of the US population; this is enough to sway a political race, left or right.

We do indeed have relevance.

This is entry 1-of-5; the first one; it introduces the thesis that the Caribbean member-states finally get to voice their disgust for actions (or inactions) of the last 4 years. Caribbean people have a lot to say; people are listening now. Consider here, the full catalog of the series this month:

  1. Decision 2020: Puerto Rico claps back at Trump
  2. Decision 2020Haiti’s Agenda 2016 ==> 2020 – Trump never cared
  3. Decision 2020Latino Gender Gap – More ‘Toxic Masculinity’
  4. Decision 2020More Immigration or Less
  5. Decision 2020What’s Next for Cuba & Venezuela

A Caribbean voice is important. The Bible reveals that “from the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks” (Luke 6:45). Decision 2020 allows us to learn what is truly in the heart of Caribbean people.

Brace yourself!

About the Book
The book Go Lean…Caribbean serves as a roadmap for the introduction and implementation of the technocratic Caribbean Union Trade Federation (CU), for the elevation of Caribbean society – for all member-states. This CU/Go Lean roadmap has these 3 prime directives:

  • Optimization of the economic engines in order to grow the regional economy to $800 Billion and create 2.2 million new jobs.
  • Establishment of a security apparatus to ensure public safety and protect the resultant economic engines.
  • Improve Caribbean governance to support these engines, including a separation-of-powers between the member-states and CU federal agencies.

The Go Lean book provides 370-pages of turn-by-turn instructions on “how” to adopt new community ethos, plus the strategies, tactics, implementations and advocacies to execute so as to reboot, reform and transform the societal engines of Caribbean society.

Download the free e-Book of Go Lean … Caribbean – now!

Who We Are
The movement behind the Go Lean book – a non-partisan, apolitical, religiously-neutral Community Development Foundation chartered for the purpose of empowering and re-booting economic engines – stresses that reforming and transforming the Caribbean societal engines must be a regional pursuit. This was an early motivation for the roadmap, as pronounced in the opening Declaration of Interdependence (Pages 12 – 13):

xi. Whereas all men are entitled to the benefits of good governance in a free society, “new guards” must be enacted to dissuade the emergence of incompetence, corruption, nepotism and cronyism at the peril of the people’s best interest. The Federation must guarantee the executions of a social contract between government and the governed.

xvi. Whereas security of our homeland is inextricably linked to prosperity of the homeland, the economic and security interest of the region needs to be aligned under the same governance. Since economic crimes … can imperil the functioning of the wheels of commerce for all the citizenry, the accedence of this Federation must equip the security apparatus with the tools and techniques for predictive and proactive interdictions.

xxiii. Whereas many countries in our region are dependent Overseas Territory of imperial powers, the systems of governance can be instituted on a regional and local basis, rather than requiring oversight or accountability from distant masters far removed from their subjects of administration. The Federation must facilitate success in autonomous rule by sharing tools, systems and teamwork within the geographical region.

xxiv. Whereas a free market economy can be induced and spurred for continuous progress, the Federation must install the controls to better manage aspects of the economy: jobs, inflation, savings rate, investments and other economic principles. Thereby attracting direct foreign investment because of the stability and vibrancy of our economy.

Sign the petition to lean-in for this roadmap for the Caribbean Union Trade Federation.


APPENDIX VIDEO – Trump Reportedly Looked To Sell Puerto Rico –

Posted July 13, 2020 – Elaine Duke, the former acting head of homeland security, claimed to the New York Times that President Donald Trump looked to “divest” Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria struck the island.

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