The Trump campaign is rapidly becoming a reality show, circus act, runaway train and rumor mill, all rolled into one. In the past month alone, Trump announced his plan to hunt down and deport 11 million Latinos, build a 1,900-mile wall on the Mexican border, and revoke the 14th Amendment.
According to several controversial and hotly-contested reports, Trump also promised to revoke the U.S. citizenship of all Puerto Ricans, because they are not “part of the American race.”
In an Iowa press conference, Trump commanded Jorge Ramos, the Emmy Award-winning journalist, to “sit down.” Then he told Ramos to “go back to Univision,” and threw him out of the press conference.
Now other reports have surfaced: that Trump intends to buy Puerto Rico and turn it into a golfer’s paradise, with at least 100 golf courses stretching from one end of the island to another. The island, of course, would be named “Puerto Trump.”
According to one source, Trump stated that “One of the best things about being rich is that you can buy whatever you want. And in this case, I want Puerto Rico.”
Donald Trump makes America great again…with Puerto Trump
The Trump International Golf Club
These “reports” on Puerto Trump are fictional, satirical and untrue. But the underlying reality is not. Trump was, in fact, one of the principals in the Trump International Golf Club in Puerto Rico.
It was an opulent place…with a resort complex, a 46,000-square foot clubhouse, and two 18-hole courses. Unfortunately, the club borrowed $26.4 million in municipal bonds for new construction, defaulted on a payment of $119,814 to the bondholders in August 2014, and finally declared bankruptcy due to “financial difficulties.”
In declaring this bankruptcy, Trump defaulted on municipal bonds that contained teacher pension funds from Puerto Rico.
In a very real sense then, “Puerto Trump” is alive and well. It is the island of double standards: where US billionaires can build golf courses for other rich Americans, using Puerto Rican land and Puerto Rican money. Then when the deal falls apart, the people of Puerto Rico are left holding the (empty) bag, and paying for the debt.
But when Puerto Rico “owes” $73 billion to the US, the tune changes from “bankruptcy protection” to “pay me NOW!”
With brutal clarity, the bankruptcy and default of the Trump International Golf Club shows the hypocrisy of the relationship between the US and Puerto Rico.
For 117 years, Puerto Rico has been America’s economic doormat.
For 117 years, the US eats the dinner and Puerto Rico pays the bill.
For 117 years, Puerto Rico has been…Puerto Trump.