Residente, the frontman of Puerto Rico's rap duo Calle 13, is not one to sit back quietly. The rapper, born René Juan Pérez Joglar, has often been outspoken about political issues in relation to Puerto Rico. Now, more than four months after Hurricane Maria made landfall in the Carribean island, the Grammy Award-winning artist is talking about the response the Isla del Encanto failed received following the natural disaster.
"I think that what’s going on in Puerto Rico—the failure—would have been the same whether we had Trump or Hillary or Obama as president. All of them would have failed equally, because no US president in history has really cared about our situation. The fact that Trump is president now has helped, because Puerto Rico has become a charity case after the rude and insensitive way he treated us: throwing paper towels at people, making stupid comments about Puerto Rico, picking a fight with our mayor," the “Atrévete-Te-Te” singer told The Nation, referring to the incident when the former businessman threw paper towels into a crowd at a relief center, back in October.
Though Trump beat Hilary Clinton during the 2016 presidential elections, the Puerto Rican rapper explained that even if the results were different, the response towards the hurricane-ravaged island would have been the same. "I think that if Hillary were president, since she’s politically correct, she would’ve come to Puerto Rico, she would’ve snapped a photo with people, would have met with a few people, but in the end would have done the same," he said.
Thankfully, many A-listers have made huge efforts for providing aid for Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. Jennifer Lopez, along with ex-hubby Marc Anthony and bae Alex Rodriguez raised over $30 million dollars to help the rebuild the island. Despite the recovery efforts, Residente admitted that the people from Puerto Rico are dealing with the repercussions of the U.S's abandonment. "I think Puerto Rico is recovering, but it’s more of a psychological than economic recovery as people begin to realize that our colonial status isn’t in our best interest. Yesterday, I was talking with some young guys outside of a hotel and they all felt the same, they never thought Puerto Rico would end up where it is now. They always thought that the United States was there to help, because whenever there was a war, Puerto Ricans would come out without hesitation and join the army, et cetera."
He added: "Our self-esteem has to grow and we have to feel like we can do things for ourselves—that’s something that they’ve tried to take out of our system. That’s the recovery that’s going on right now. The people who lived on a cloud, thinking that being a colony was better, are realizing that it’s not, and that we need a new alternative."