SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico – "Hamilton" star and writer Lin-Manuel Miranda praised a delegation of congressional Democrats for their trip to Puerto Rico on Monday, despite criticizing the timing of their journey during a partial closure by the government.
"I am very proud to work with the Latino Victory Fund because you are here to work, despite what someone would claim," Miranda said during a speech at the top of the progressive organization.
"I know you've all seen the blue sails when your plane landed in Puerto Rico," Miranda told the members of Congress in the audience, referring to temporary roofing of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to homes that lost their roof had Hurricane Maria hit in September 2017.
A group of 36 democratic lawmakers traveled to the Caribbean to participate in dual conferences in San Juan through Bold PAC, the campaign arm of the Congress Hispanic Caucus (CHC) and the Latino Victory Fund (LVF), which is committed to the expansion of Latino political participation.
President TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse Freedom Caucus calls for Congress to work on shutdown by pause Democrat previews Mueller questions for Trump's AG nominated Trump inaugural committee spent, 000 on make-up for assistants: report MORE tweet a "Fox & Friends" headline on Monday with the text: "Dems in Puerto Rico when Shutdown 24 becomes."
"Dems in Puerto Rico when Shutdown comes on day 24." @foxandfriends
– Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 14, 2019
But Miranda said that the area needs the attention of members of Congress.
"We have brought here" Hamilton "to bring a spotlight to Puerto Rico," Miranda said.
Miranda said that Friday's opening night in San Juan, a run with the original Broadway cast of the show, revived his hopes for the future of the island.
"I get more energy from Puerto Rico than I will ever need in my life," Miranda said.
Miranda also told his experience to bring his hit musical to the island, where as a child he spent the summer with family members.
"We announced that we would bring Hamilton to Puerto Rico, but in reality we had no idea if we could bring Hamilton to Puerto Rico," Miranda told the days after Hurricane Maria destroyed the island in 2017. Puerto Rico was essentially shut out of all communication from outside for several days, isolating on the island from their friends and family states.
"And then hurricane Mary happened and it questioned everything, I do not mean our plans, I mean life itself," he said.
Miranda added that he was impressed by the efforts of people on the island to do it under difficult conditions.
"You will not meet more resilient people on this earth than the people who live on this island, but they should not be so resilient," Miranda said.