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New York Times rips Kamala Harris’ Puerto Rico trip as an ‘epic fail’: Columnist says visit where she awkwardly clapped at a protest song was ‘reminiscent of the HBO show Veep’

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  • Harris unwittingly clapped along to a song that protesters were performing during her visit
  •  Dr. Yarimar Bonilla wrote for the New York Times that Harris’ visit was ‘an embarrassing spectacle’
  • Puerto Rico residents are struggling to keep basic infrastructure running like power and running water.  

Vice President Kamala Harris‘ trip to Puerto Rico last week was branded as an ‘epic fail’ by an op-ed featured in New York Times on Thursday. 

Harris made a quick trip to Puerto Rico on Friday for an event featuring a home fitted with solar panels and a visit to a cultural community center before attending a big-dollar fundraiser from some of the wealthiest residents of the island. The visit was about five hours long. 

Dr. Yarimar Bonilla criticized Harris’ appearance on the island in an op-ed for the Times, pointing to the incident where Harris found herself unwittingly clapping to the music of protesters during her visit.

‘In a scene reminiscent of the HBO show Veep, the vice president clapped haplessly along to the Spanish protest songs that greeted her, apparently not realizing the lyrics were critical of her visit,’ she wrote.

HBO’s show Veep is the dark comedy of the first historic woman vice president president dealing with the absurdity of politics and awkward social encounters in office. 

US Vice President Kamala Harris (2nd L) watches a performance at the Goyco Community Center

US Vice President Kamala Harris (2nd L) watches a performance at the Goyco Community Center

US Vice President Kamala Harris (2nd R) applauds peformers during a tour of the Goyco Community Center in San Juan, Puerto Rico

The translated lyrics to the Spanish protest song were as follows:

‘We want to know, Kamala

What did you come here for?

We want to know, Kamala

We want to see

If you’re going to talk about law 60

Or about the Fiscal Control Board

The vice president is here

Making history

We want to know

What she thinks of the colony

We will keep playing

The plena of our country

Long live Free Palestine

and Haiti too!’

A demonstrator holds a sign during a protest against the visit of U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris in San Juan, Puerto Rico

A demonstrator holds a sign during a protest against the visit of U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris in San Juan, Puerto Rico

A demonstrator holds a sign during a protest against the visit of U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris in San Juan, Puerto Rico,

A demonstrator holds a sign during a protest against the visit of U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris in San Juan, Puerto Rico,

Local Puerto Rico residents are furious about Law 60, which allows land investors big tax breaks as long as they buy property in Puerto Rico and live there half the year. The revised laws has created a land rush in Puerto Rico, making the cost of housing and land more expensive.  

Bonilla also revealed the home Harris visited took seven years to get rebuilt after Hurricane Maria, a sign of how the federal government continued to fail the island. 

‘While the Trump administration may have left Puerto Ricans in the dark after the hurricane, it was the Democrats who set the stage for the storm’s disastrous aftermath,’ she wrote, noting that ‘the federal government repeatedly fails Puerto Ricans, no matter which party is in charge.’

Bonilla also recounted a list of Biden’s broken campaign promises to Puerto Rico, even as residents struggle for basic services like electricity, water, and education.

Although she recalled the moment that Trump threw rolls of paper towels into a crowd of hurricane victims, she indicated that Harris’ visit was just as bad.  

‘While she did not toss paper towels, her visit was what Puerto Ricans call a papelón — an embarrassing spectacle,’ she concluded.



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