Liberal congresswoman Nydia Velazquez found herself in hot-water on Thursday, facing tough questions over her actions that resulted in the United States Navy leaving Puerto Rico in 2003; seriously harming America’s ability to respond to hurricanes that impact the US controlled-territory.
Speaking during a press conference from the US Capitol, Velazquez and other caucus members were grilled by the Daily Caller‘s Kerry Picket; demanding answers over whether the Congresswoman’s calls for the US military to leave Puerto Rico were coming back to haunt her.
“Congresswoman, just real quick. It’s been hit upon over and over again that Puerto Ricans are Americans. We get that. However, Florida, Texas, they have military installations all over those states,” said Picket. “However, you […] along with other individuals within the caucus here went out of their way back in 2003 to kick the Navy out of Vieques.”
“Now, as far as military access, Puerto Ricans don’t have access to a military base anymore there. How do you respond to that? You’re essentially treating Puerto Rico as a foreign country,” she asked the New York congresswoman.
“Let me tell you this: Puerto Rico and Vieques are a very small, very tiny island. Very small island with ten thousand people population. The military and the navy bombed the hell out of them,” Velazquez deflected. “Today, the cancer rate in the island of Vieques is very high. It was a pollution with uranium. So yes, I went to Vieques I got arrested, and President Bush left it.”
“What’s the unemployment rate there since the Navy left?” pressed the Daily Caller reporter.
“I don’t care what it is. But I care that we, the United States, is not going to bomb two thirds of the island of Vieques,” said the representative.
Listen to the fiery exchange above.