Puerto Rico

Although Calvin Coolidge initially sent ships with food and supplies to the island, “by the end of the week, officials were saying the best way to rebuild Porto Rico was to put people to work, not hand them charity” (Kleinberg 53). This response, which bears an uncanny resemblance to that of Donald Trump after Hurricane Maria, had significant consequences for the island. Federal money provided limited aid to Puerto Rico, even though the storm “dejando a medio millón de puertorriqueños sin hogar y pérdidas ascendentes a $85 millones”—or, “left a half million Puerto Ricans without homes and with losses in excess of $85 million dollars (Negrón Hernández). As such, many local industries—coffee, sugarcane, and tobacco—collapsed and government services—schools, water treatment, road maintenance—halted. (Puerto Rico, Governor 6).