One year since Hurricanes Maria and Irma killed thousands in Puerto Rico and caused the longest blackout in US history, we are joined by Naomi Klein, author of The Battle for Paradise: Puerto Rico Takes on the Disaster Capitalists, whose recent report for The Intercept is titled “There’s Nothing Natural About Puerto Rico’s Disaster.” Last week, President Trump generated widespread criticism when he falsely claimed on Twitter that thousands of people did not die in the two storms, even as a Harvard study estimated the death toll may top 4,600. Meanwhile on Monday, President Trump declared himself an “absolute no” on statehood for Puerto Rico as long as San Juan’s mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz, a major critic of his administration’s response to Maria, is in office. We also discuss the role of the unelected PROMESA fiscal control board in the island’s unfolding economic crisis, with co-host and reporter Juan González.
AMY GOODMAN: “Isla Bendita” — Blessed Island — sung by many Latin artists including Juan Luis Guerra and Luis Fonsi to raise funds for Hurricane Maria victims in Puerto Rico. This is Democracy Now! I’m Amy Goodman with Juan González.
JUAN GONZÁLEZ: We end the show with Puerto Rico, one year after Hurricane Maria killed thousands and caused the longest blackout in US history. Last week, President Trump generated widespread criticism when he falsely claimed on Twitter, “3000 people did not die in two hurricanes that hit Puerto Rico. When I left the Island, AFTER the storm had hit, they had anywhere from 6 to 18 deaths. As time went by it did not go up by much. Then, a long time later, they started to report really large numbers, like 3000…”
He went on to tweet, “…This was done by the Democrats in order to make me look as bad as possible when I was successfully raising Billions of Dollars to help rebuild Puerto Rico. If a person died for any reason,…