Elizabeth Warren gave the most intensely local speech of her nascent presidential campaign Tuesday, ripping the Trump Administration’s handling of Puerto Rico’s ongoing recovery from Hurricanes Maria and Irma during an event at the 200-year-old Alejandro Tapia Rivera Theater in San Juan.

Warren's decision to appear in Puerto Rico early in the 2020 cycle might seem odd, since the territory participates in the presidential primaries but not the general election, and isn't generally regarded as having the outsized importance of New Hampshire and Iowa, both of which she also visited recently.

However, journeying to the island nearly two years before Election Day is a way for Warren to show that she attaches importance to the Latino electorate, broadly speaking and to mount a critique of the Trump Administration's handling of sensitive racial issues.

“It has been sixteen months since Hurricane Maria and Hurricane Irma tore through this island,” Warren said. “The devastation that you weathered was extraordinary: Three thousand, maybe more, of your brothers and sisters, mothers and fathers, neighbors, were killed by the storm and its aftermath.”

Now, Warren cautioned, after failing to properly aid Puerto Rico’s recovery, the Trump Administration may deliver another slight, by shifting disaster-relief funds originally intended for Puerto Rico to help pay for the president’s proposed wall on the U.S.-Mexico border.

“Even now, even after the Trump Administration has denied how many died, and has dragged its feet on sending adequate disaster relief funds, the president of the United States has doubled down on the insult by toying with the idea of diverting your recovery funds to build a wall,” she said.

“It is insulting," she added. "It is disrespectful. This ugliness has gone on for long enough.”

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While Warren had harsh words for the president, she cast his relationship with Puerto Rico as squarely in keeping with a broader history of Washington, D.C.’s treatment of the island, which is a territory, not a state, and participates in the presidential primaries but not the general election.

If Puerto Rico were a corporation or a city, Warren noted, it could cope with its $70 billion in government debt (much of which is privately held) and $50 billion in pension obligations by declaring bankruptcy, paying some debts and discharging others, and moving toward financial health.

Instead, she added, Congress has imposed a fiscal-control board on Puerto Rico, allowing a group of unelected officials to slash local services in the name of fiscal discipline.

That decision, Warren said, makes Puerto Rico a telling example of a dynamic she’s also brought up in Iowa and New Hampshire: Washington, she contends, works well for the wealthy and connected and poorly for everyone else.

In the case of Puerto Rico, Warren said, that problem could be solved by letting the territory determine the nature of its relationship with the United States — a suggestion that seems to accommodate the possibilities of both statehood and outright independence.

The crowd of about 350 responded enthusiastically throughout Warren’s sustained condemnation of U.S.-Puerto Rico relations. Afterward, the mayor of San Juan, Carmen Yulin Cruz, gave Warren high marks.

“It reveals that she’s done her homework, that this isn’t the first time...that she’s introduced to topics about Puerto Rico, that she knows how the Puerto Rican reality is different,” Cruz said.

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Also impressed was Gretchen Sierra-Zorita, a strategist specializing in Puerto Rican politics, who noted that Warren has a longstanding record of interest in the island’s affairs.

“We are very used to, because Puerto Ricans participate in primaries, for politicians to come here looking for primary votes and...donations,” Sierra-Zorita said. “And we’re very jaded and cynical about it, because after they get that, they leave and they forget, often times.

“I think Elizabeth Warren has particular credibility because she was into Puerto Rico when there was nothing in it for her,” she added.

Not everyone who watched Warren in San Juan was dazzled, however.

In the question-and-answer session that followed her speech, Maria Proccacino asked Warren how Democrats could generate sufficient intra-party unity to take back the White House in 2020. Afterward, Proccacino said she didn’t think Warren had answered her question and that Warren had spent too much time dwelling on well-established Puerto Rican grievances.

“I think she skidded off the runway,” Proccacino said.. “She told a lot of the local people here what they already know. What are we going to do to change it? How are we going to achieve that goal?”

Warren isn’t the first Democratic presidential hopeful to visit Puerto Rico early in the 2020 election cycle. Julian Castro, who served as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development in the Obama Administration, made the island his first campaign stop last week.