New York – Democratic congresswoman of Puerto Rican origin Alexandria Ocasio Cortez defended on Tuesday the importance of deepening aid to the communities hardest hit by COVID-19, such as Latin America, in a press conference prior to the June 23 primary elections , in which he also accused President Donald Trump of using the people as a “hostage” for not wanting to approve the new battery of stimuli.
“We are dealing with massive unemployment and the crises that small businesses in our community are facing,” said Ocasio Cortez, who next Tuesday is running for re-election as a House candidate for a shared district of the Bronx and Queens. , two eminently working-class districts with a large presence of the Latin and African American communities.
Supporting protests against racismRELATED
AOC, as the legislator is also known, backed support for protesters of the “Black Lives Matter” movement and defended one of their main demands: that police funds be withdrawn to cover social programs.
“All of us, including Republicans, must listen to the demands of black Americans and black people in this country. If Republicans are trying to campaign against black people and their demands (…), then I think we should focus on structural racism that is quite inherent and embedded in the Republican Party, “Ocasio Cortez said.
Specifically, AOC rejected the proposal to withdraw funds from the police as “utopian” and noted that the restructuring of law enforcement is an issue that had been successfully carried out in some parts of the United States, such as Camden County, in the state of New Jersey, where, according to the congresswoman, the police force was dismantled to rebuild it on new standards.
“Essentially, what they did was fire the vast majority of Police Department agents and demanded higher standards for reincorporation. (…) And what happened? That violence descended, that brutality descended and that incidents of police brutality went down, “he said.
On Trump’s management of the situation after the protests broke out, Ocasio Cortez was blunt: “It is not that he has not addressed it, it has made it worse.”
For the congresswoman, there is “a very disturbing pattern of white supremacy in the White House and sympathy for white supremacists, if not absolute adoption,” and it is in this sense that she accused Trump’s main adviser on immigration issues, Stephen Millen. , of “white supremacist”.
The congresswoman, one of the main representatives of the most progressive wing of her party, is a strong advocate of universal health care (“Medicare for All”), a transition towards an economy free of polluting emissions and free education , among other policies.
Their positions are usually branded as radical by Republican Party politicians and even by fellow members of their own party.
The new stimulus package
Ocasio Cortez also accused the Republican Party of “deliberately” blocking the new economic stimulus package of more than $ 3 trillion in the Senate to mitigate the effects on the economy of COVID-19, which was proposed by Democrats last May.
The new initiative contemplates a trillion dollars for state, local and tribal authorities, as well as for the health system, and establishes a $ 200 billion “Hero Fund” to reinforce the wages of essential workers.
It also includes a second round of direct payments to individuals, which could reach $ 6,000 per family.
“Republicans are holding the American people hostage and what they are doing is intentionally and deliberately blocking the second payment of stimuli within the Heroes law,” Ocasio Cortez said, before saying that the Trump party wants to keep it blocked. this law through July with the intention of forcing Democrats to accept other aid packages for big business or for the “friends” of the president.
His main opponent in the Democratic primaries
Asked about the June 23 election date, Ocasio Cortez charged her main opponent in the primaries, journalist Michelle Caruso-Cabrera, whom she accused of being financed by the Republican Party.
“She lived in the Trump Tower (owned by the President), is financed by Republicans, and has been a Republican for most of her life, so in fact she cannot be trusted and is not even a member of our community,” he said. Ocasio vCortez, who in 2018 won candidate Joseph Crowley, until then one of the party’s main heavyweights in Washington, in his party’s primary elections.
Ocasio Cortez also insisted on the importance of the Latino vote, especially in the general and presidential elections next November, to defeat Trump.
“This year the power of the Latino vote is very, very important; in November, especially. It is very important in states like Colorado, Arizona or Florida where we have a growing Latino community,” said the politician, who at the age of 30 has It has become an icon of the youngest progressive generations in the country.