(Reuters) – President Barack Obama gave a rare mention to the struggling U.S. territory of Puerto Rico in a speech on Thursday to a gala dinner held by Latino leaders in Washington.
“We’ve got to keep creating good jobs. We’ve got to make sure every family feels our economy’s recovery in their own lives, and that includes the families in Puerto Rico,” Obama said.
Puerto Rico, with $72 billion debt and in recession for nearly a decade, is trying to renegotiate its debt. It defaulted in August by paying only a fraction of what was due on some bonds.
The Obama administration has said it will not bail out the territory, and has urged the U.S. Congress to find ways to help.