One of these days President Donald Trump can wake up, and in a simple tweet declare: "I have seen the level of corruption and incompetence of the government in Puerto Rico, and there is no other option but to say that the island must be independent."
In two sentences, he could change everything for Puerto Rico. Then, Ricardo Rosselló’s campaign prophecy that he would be the last governor of the Commonwealth would be fulfilled.
This far-fetched idea might seem like the plot of a movie, and many people will say that this is impossible, but they do not take into account the current political environment and the power of the president. Puerto Rico is the perfect excuse for Trump in difficult times. Trump knows that he will not be thrown out of his presidency, but he has to change the media’s narrative against him after the Mueller Report, which has made him look very bad.
There is an indisputable truth that has been discussed for months in power circles in Washington: the actions of the Rosselló administration has made independence for Puerto Rico closer than ever before in history. He is pro-statehood but acts as if he were the president of an independent republic. That is why many consider that Rosselló has been the most effective spokesman for independence for Puerto Rico, as discussed in political circles in the federal capital.
Excessive spending of federal funds, corruption and politicking have put the definition of the status in a silver plate for the United States. Recent decisions of the federal courts have confirmed the territorial status, but for the first time in many years in the White House there is a president who says what he thinks without being pressured from the local lobbyists. In addition, he is a president who is under fire in every way and urgently needs to divert the attention.
As Trump has tweeted, his rage is not with the people of Puerto Rico but with the "corrupt and inept politicians”. Just like when he threw a paper towel at us and showed his disdain by saying that Hurricane Maria did nothing here, there are many variables for Trump to be so negative towards Puerto Rico. Among these is the perception that we are an expense and a cost for the U.S. That cost affects the White American working class that is the core of his electoral base. In addition, he is and behaves like a racist, and wrongly believes that Puerto Ricans do not like Americans. This, despite the fact that in a recent survey revealed that 53% of Americans living in the 50 states of the union favor statehood for Puerto Rico.
If you add to all that Rossello’s recent attitude when he threatened to punch "bully of White House" in the mouth, then Trump has the tools needed to react.
That is why Trump sees and projects the Rosselló government as beggars. A government that all it does is beg, as if it were an addict, not of drugs but of federal funds. And just like an addict, the government is willing to steal even from its own mother to get the cure. But officials in the White House are aware of how the Island’s government waste public funds.
They know, for example, that Rosselló promised in the campaign trail that he would not even live in the historical 500-year-old Governor’s Mansion of La Fortaleza, but he did and he has increased its budget by $ 31 million so that, among other things, they can use to purchase luxurious multiple black cars and a bodyguard entourage for the First Lady, as if she were a queen. That's why Trump does not hesitate to criticize them. He knows who the money is being used by the Puerto Rican government. He is aware that is being used in lobbyists and friends and he worries that the reconstruction funds will go down the same way.
Add to all that the Mueller report, the criticism by Republicans like Mitt Romney, the pressure made by Democrats like Elizabeth Warren, and having opponents’ campaign against him like Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz does. Therefore, it should not be surprising that Trump seeks to divert the attention
That's what pro-independence people know here. It suits them and that's why they are quiet. The Popular Party members continue in denial, immobilized. They cannot believe that they are dealing with a politician like Trump, who could stop the economy with a single tweet.
And Trump, when under pressure, is unpredictable. So, we should not be surprised if in a tweet he decides to solve the political status problem. We should not be surprised if he tweets: "Puerto Rico, independent".