Following several days of critical attacks on Puerto Rico from President Trump and his administration, Puerto Rican radio host Julio Ricardo Varela says Trump is "racist" but the tension between the U.S. and the island territory runs much deeper.

On Monday, Trump tweeted that Puerto Rican “politicians are incompetent or corrupt” and falsely claimed that the island received $91 billion in relief aid following the devestating hurricane in 2017.

“When you have a president who see no political power in Puerto Ricans, of course he is going to be this racist,” Varela told Cheddar on Thursday. “Are we surprised?”

Trump added that Puerto Rican politician are “grossly incompetent, spend the money foolishly or corruptly, & only take from USA.”

Those comments drew widespread criticism on social media and across cable news.

Trump's complaints about the island territory are another “example of decades of colonialism,” Varela said. “Trump is just practicing the same type of racism regarding Puretro Ricans not being good enough, as not American enough, as not being white enough.”

Varela, who co-hosts the radio show “In The Thick” on the Latino Rebels network, has long been critical of the United State’s territorial control over Puerto Rico, which he stresses is a bipartisan issue.

On Tuesday, the administration’s sustained critiques on Puerto Rico’s handling of aid and money sent after Hurricane Maria — which killed nearly 3,000 people by the administration's owen estimates and destroyed much of the territory’s infrastructure — drew further criticism.

White House spokesman Hogan Gidley referred to the U.S. territory as “that country” multiple times during an interview with MSNBC.

“He might as well be a 19th century or early 20th century sugar barron,” Varela said. Gidley apologized after the interview, saying the multiple remarks were “a slip of the tongue.”

Nonetheless, Varela said Gidley was “kind of speaking the truth” and that the remarks illustrate Washington's long-held attitude towards Puerto Rico.

Americans have to understand that “colonialism is a bipartisan issue and that Trump is just the latest example of racism,” Varela said. “I want fellow Americans to start looking at this as a deeper seeded issue about an island colony.”

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