President Donald Trump, near the end of his visit to Puerto Rico Oct. 3, stated the obvious truth about the situation: Devastation has wiped out the estimated $72 billion in Puerto Rican debt, along with the entire infrastructure base of the island; its economy must be rebuilt for the people. Wall Street has gone ballistic. The President’s assertion of reality has called the question on the Wall Street system. The full LaRouche Plan of Action, released Aug. 31 after the first landfall of Hurricane Harvey, on Glass-Steagall, credit creation and economic rebuilding, must be adopted.
Trump spoke in an interview with Geraldo Rivera, shown on Fox News, on Hannity last night. Asked about rebuilding, Trump said, “We have to look at their whole debt structure. You know, they owe a lot of money to your friends on Wall Street. And we’re going to have to wipe that out…. You’re going to say goodbye to that. I don’t know if it’s Goldman Sachs, but whoever it is, you can wave goodbye to that. We’re going to have to do something about that. The debt was massive on the island…We are going to help the people out.”
The President then added:
“We are going to get the electric going again. You know, that was a complete wipeout. That wasn’t like a couple of poles that came down. That was generating plants. That was a lot of very valuable equipment, but it was equipment in bad shape. But we’re going to put it in good shape.”
Right away came the squawks from Wall Street. To begin with, Mick Mulvaney, Office of Management and Budget, started speaking out, to try to walk back what Trump said. Mulvaney told CNN, “I wouldn’t take it word for word with that…” The New York Times first put out the questioning headline early this morning, “Trump Vows to Wipe Out Puerto Rico’s Debt, Can He Do That?” Then The Times issued a second version, “White House Dials Back Trump’s Vow to Clear Puerto Rico’s Debt.”
But the truth is the truth. Not only the economy of the entire island of Puerto Rico has been destroyed, but — to a greater or lesser degree — there are some 90 million people suffering from disasters all across the mid-latitudes of the American Hemisphere, stretching from earthquakes in Pacific Mexico, to the hurricane belt reaching to the Caribbean’s Leeward Islands, with the Gulf States in between. In Puerto Rico, the initial stage of rescue and emergency relief is still underway. Military and civilian teams are working to the max, and received Trump’s congratulations yesterday. Things never done before are being done, to overcome the crisis, such as the Army Corps of Engineers commander’s report last night that they are trying an air-drop to stabilize the broken spillway at the Guajataca Dam—a 100-year-old earthern structure at risk.
The ultimate rebuilding phase for Puerto Rico cannot be merely an extrapolation of these rescue operations, nor even the eventual stabilization phase of response to the disaster. You can’t run an economy on diesel generators and bottled water. The island needs its first-ever rail network (It had only 10.7 miles of urban transit). Its first-ever nuclear power plants. And, for example, the fulfillment of the intention of Ponce, on Puerto Rico’s south coast, to become the “Port of the Americas,” on the world maritime Silk Road.
The necessity to link up with the Belt and Road Initiative is clear. Look, for example, at what is now happening in Haiti—right in the center of America’s hurricane and earthquake zone. China and the Mayor of Port au Prince have announced a multi-billion-dollar program to rebuild the city and hinterlands, including storm defenses, power, and water supplies, safe residences and all, to a new, productive level. Look at the contrast with how the Obama Administration, acting for Wall Street, flatly refused the proposal to take an ‘Army Corps of Engineers’ approach to save and rebuild in Haiti after the 2010 earthquake, with subsequent disease and suffering over the last seven years.
We can now expect—after Trump’s remarks—an escalation of the already-outrageous attacks on him. Remember what hit President Bill Clinton, after he said in September, 1998, that the world needed a “new financial architecture.” Within three months, impeachment proceedings were started against him. The pedigree of these attacks is the same—the expiring British monetarist system, as laid out in the new EIR dossier, “Bob Mueller Is an Amoral Legal Assassin: He Will Do His Job If you Let Him,” a report which can finally bring down the whole enemy operation.
We are proud to announce, that in this breaking situation, today, Oct. 5, will begin the new weekly international webcast, by Schiller Institute Founder and Chairwoman, Helga Zepp-LaRouche, on the “New Silk Road Spirit.” It will be broadcast here at LaRouchePAC.com at 12 noon, Eastern Time.