Kamala Harris claps to Puerto Rico protest song, stops once aide translates what they’re actually singing

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Vice President Kamala Harris was captured on camera clapping to a Puerto Rican protest song during her visit to San Juan on Friday, stopping short once an aide translated what singers added to the lyrics. 

After making remarks in Puerto Rico’s capital, Harris visited the Goyoco community center in the Santurce neighborhood of San Juan where she took a tour and heard from center staff and community leaders. 

The motorcade was greeted by a mix of several dozen, loud demonstrators and onlookers on the sidewalk. One held a sign that said “Kamala Harris war criminal,” another called the USA and Israel “genocidal.”

The vice president stopped in a courtyard within the community center where a six-person group of musicians played. Pool cameras captured Harris clapping her hands and nodding along as she watched and listened. A singer then performed accompanied by a piano. According to RNC Research, Harris was clapping until an aide next to her translated what the band was saying. 

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Vice President Kamala Harris, left, and Frankie Miranda, Hispanic Federation president, applaud, during a visit, in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Friday, March 22, 2024. Harris visited Puerto Rico to tout the federal aid the U.S. territory has received following deadly hurricanes and attended a Democratic fundraiser.  (AP Photo/Alejandro Granadillo)

The woman standing next to Harris is Mariana Reyes, executive director at La Goyco, while the man is Frankie Miranda, Hispanic Federation president, according to The Associated Press. 

“We want to know, Kamala, what did you come here for? … Long live Free Palestine and Haiti too!” the band said, according to the account managed by the Republican National Committee. 

Harris then stopped clapping and instead folded her hands and slightly nodded as the song continued. 

Executive Director Mariana Reyes, left, accompanies Vice President Kamala Harris during a visit to the La Goyco cultural center, in San Juan, Friday, March 22, 2024.  (AP Photo/Alejandro Granadillo)

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People protest outside the facility where Vice President Kamala Harris is holding a meeting, in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Friday, March 22, 2024.  (AP Photo/Alejandro Granadillo)

Before visiting the community center, Harris had visited a residential home outside San Juan that was damaged during Hurricane Maria but has since been outfitted with solar panels and water tanks, through a federal program. She was joined by Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm, Deputy Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Adrianne Todman, and Puerto Rico Governor Pedro Pierluisi.  

“What we all need to do then is just supply the community and the talent here with the capacity and the resources. And so President Joe Biden and I have been very intentional about what we are doing for the leaders and the people and the families of Puerto Rico. So far, our administration has invested over $140 billion in Puerto Rico,” Harris said, championing new innovations in making technology hurricane resistant.

A demonstrator holds a sign during a protest against the visit of U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Friday, March 22, 2024.  (AP Photo/Alejandro Granadillo)

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“What that means for a family, a multigenerational family, which you see behind me, is extraordinary in terms of the quality of life. The part of the challenge that Puerto Rico has faced has been what we know is, is intermittent electricity and energy sources because of these extreme weather and the installation of this smart technology, including the solar panels, will allow for more consistent energy sources for the families that are here, which again, is about an upgrade on quality of life and just the well-being and the dignity of each family to be able to satisfy their basic needs,” she said.   

Fox News’ Sarah Tobianski contributed to this report.