As the issue of Puerto Rico funding was in the national news again, the liberal media turned to their favorite anti-Trump personality on the island, Bernie Sanders presidential campaign co-chair and San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz, as opposed to Governor Ricardo Rosselló (D) or the territory’s sole non-voting representative in Congress, Jenniffer González (R).
In addition to multiple appearances on CNN and MSNBC, Mayor Cruz was also back on Univision’s weekly political talk show, Al Punto with Jorge Ramos. But despite her anti-Trump street cred with Ramos, the Mayor ran into some unexpected turbulence when the issue of the dictatorial Maduro regime in Venezuela came up.
Watch below as the reigning liberal media darling in San Juan struggles mightily to answer a simple yes-or-no question: whether or not she believes Venezuelan strongman Nicolás Maduro is a dictator:
JORGE RAMOS, SENIOR NEWS ANCHOR, UNIVISION: Very well. My question, Mayor, is whether you believe Nicolas Maduro is a dictator and should leave power.
CARMEN YULÍN CRUZ, NATIONAL CO-CHAIR, BERNIE SANDERS PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN: Humanitarian aid cannot be used as a political instrument which is what, in fact, Donald Trump is doing with Puerto Rico, and that the solution to Venezuela’s problems has to be a conversation solution, not a confrontation solution, born from the Venezuelan people.
RAMOS: I understand but, what do you think, Mayor? I don’t know whether you believe that Maduro should leave power.
CRUZ: What happens, Jorge, is that this is used in Puerto Rico as a political tool in order to talk about the people of Puerto Rico, and I’m not falling into that.Other countries, like Uruguay,have spoken.
RAMOS: But it seems to me that asking you whether Maduro should leave power or not is a legitimate question.
CRUZ: The question is legitimate, and my answer is: Venezuela should solve Venezuela’s problems.
I’ve been around long enough to know that anything that isn’t a “yes” in the face of such a simple and direct question is a “no”, even when couched by a variant of “I don’t want to give my opponents a soundbite”, as Cruz did both on this question and on Ramos’ follow-up question of whether she self-identifies as a socialist, as do Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the man whose presidential campaign she co-chairs, Bernie Sanders.
Like other leftists in the region (as well as the aforementioned domestic socialists), Cruz refused to condemn Maduro or his murderous regime. In fact, Cruz followed their lead and went all “Hands Off Venezuela”.
But the fix was in. Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello followed his “punch the bully in the mouth” sit-down with CNN’s Jim Acosta by flying off to Miami and doing an early-morning interview with Univision’s Satcha Pretto on Despierta America. I wondered whether he’d try to score an Al Punto interview, since the studio is in the same building. I watched and waited, and alas no Al Punto free press.
But sure enough, Cruz was brought on the following week to react to the Governor’s remarks- which follows Univision’s long and inglorious pattern of platforming separatists in order to discuss Puerto Rican issues. If there is such a thing as bias by booking, this is clearly it.
The Mayor is an improbable lobbyist for more federal funding for the island, since if she had her druthers Puerto Rico would be an independent country that by definition would not qualify at all to participate in any U.S. domestic social assistance programs, such as nutritional assistance, education, Medicaid, etc. But that’s neither here nor there. Because (a) she’s a separatist and (b) she loudly opposes Trump, she has top billing.
Final question: isn’t it odd that Ramos would introduce Cruz as someone who opposed Trump, the Mayor of San Juan, and gubernatorial candidate; but neglect to mention her most prominent national role as co-chair of the Bernie Sanders presidential campaign? Between this and Ramos’ soft-selling of democratic socialism (which we’ll cover next)...what gives?