On last night’s “Last Week Tonight,” John Oliver’s main segment focused on Puerto Rico and their significant debt crisis. The U.S. territory faces a $70 billion debt that needs to be restructured by the May 1st deadline. Oliver first discusses the severity of the Puerto Rico debt crisis and how dicey, loophole-filled United States legislation has both led to and exacerbated the problem, including a mysterious piece of Congressional legislation that doesn’t offer bankruptcy protection to Puerto Rico and the fact that Puerto Rico bonds are labeled triple tax exempt. Oliver encourages the American people to start treating Puerto Rico “like an island of American citizens whose fate is interwoven with ours,” and to help with this, he enlists Puerto Rico-born “Hamilton” creator Lin-Manuel Miranda to freestyle about the need for debt relief. Watch the video above.
The 2015 recipient of the MacArthur Genius Award, Miranda has received great acclaim for creating and starring the Broadway smash hit “Hamilton,” about the life of Alexander Hamilton. Just last month, Miranda called for congressional action to back a bill that would Puerto Rico to declare bankruptcy and restructure its debt. (He even promised “Hamilton” tickets as an incentive.)
“Last Week Tonight” airs every Sunday at 11pm Eastern on HBO.