Joe Biden Generating Plan Focused on Puerto Rico’s Economic Development

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By Mivette Vega

August 26, 2020

The president of the local delegation to the DNC said the candidate has a solid plan for the island.

SAN JUAN — Democratic presidential contender Joe Biden has a plan in the works focused on Puerto Rico’s economic development.

Senator Carmelo Ríos, president of the island’s delegation to the DNC that nominated Biden last week, is part of a local group of experts working on the plan. Former Governor Alejandro García Padilla, former Chief of Staff Zoe Laboy, and Representative Rafael “Tatito” Hernández are also in the team.

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Ríos said he has confidence in the support the Democratic presidential hopeful will give to the island.  

“Biden is an experienced politician who is personable and brings a wide smile,” Ríos told The Americano. “He has experienced and overcome setbacks in his life, which makes him relate to the situation of Puerto Ricans and Latinos.”

The senator said Biden is the best option for president in the interest of Puerto Ricans because of his sense of perseverance, and emphasis on concrete action plans for both the Latino communities and the island.

“The plans include a competitive economic development strategy,” he added. “Puerto Rico can once again be a leader in the pharmaceutical industry and serve as an industrial hub for Latin America. Things would move forward to give better access to proper health services on the island.”

Ríos thinks the overwhelming support for Biden in Puerto Rico reflects the discontent with President Donald Trump’s handling of affairs regarding the island—especially after the recent devastation caused by Hurricanes Irma and María, as well as earthquakes.

“Trump has been a very aggressive figure who divides; his mode of speech is incendiary,” the legislator said. “He attracts groups that are not necessarily Latino—and Latinos are looking for a way to move things forward.”

Last Wednesday, Biden took to Twitter to address Trump’s treatment of Puerto Rico, saying things would be different if he were president.

Biden’s reaction came on the heels of Miles Taylor, former Homeland Security chief of staff Miles Taylor, saying earlier that day on MSNBC that Trump had asked before traveling to Puerto Rico in August 2018 if the island could be sold or swapped for Greenland.

Taylor said on the air that the President thought “Puerto Rico was dirty and the people were poor.”

Ríos expressed Biden’s campaign should, however, include more Latino representation. He is satisfied that the campaign already includes national Latino adviser Tatiana Matta and senior adviser Cristóbal Alex.    

“We need to have more Latinos in those high places, and for them to be not just people who communicate, but also people who make decisions,” said Ríos. “The new generation of Latinos needs to have more of a presence.”

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The senator believes Biden will work directly with a representative for Puerto Rico, possibly Matta, to present a plan that gives Puerto Rico the tools to create an economic hub during his first 100 days.

Ríos said Biden has a big chance of winning, with surprising results in states that are traditionally Republican.

“The campaign is going to be tough on the East Coast,” the Senator, who lived in Florida for more than 12 years said, forecasting a win in the Sunshine State, fueled by the Puerto Ricans residing there. 

“Trump does more on Twitter against Puerto Rico than what he actually does for the island,” Ríos emphasized.



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