'Close to genocide': San Juan mayor's dire appeal to US for relief
Of course, Mr. Trump is golfing this weekend.
The mayor of San Juan lashed out at Trump administration on Friday, decrying its relief effort in the wake of hurricanes Jose and Maria and saying if it doesn’t solve the logistics “what we we are going to see is something close to a genocide”.
“We are dying here,” Carmen Yulín Cruz said at a press conference, speaking with tears in her eyes. “I cannot fathom the thought that the greatest nation in the world cannot figure out the logistics for a small island of 100 miles by 35 miles. So, mayday we are in trouble.”
Cruz appealed directly to the president, saying: “So, Mr Trump, I am begging you to take charge and save lives. After all, that is one of the founding principles of the United States of … America. If not, the world will see how we are treated not as second-class citizens but as animals that can be disposed of. Enough is enough.”
The situation in Puerto Rico remains dire as residents face shortages of food, water and fuel. The electric grid was badly damaged by the two storms, leaving many without power and reliant on gas-powered generators. The hurricanes crippled the island’s already weakened waste and water treatment plants while fallen trees and strewn debris block roads and cellphone service remains limited.
In her conversation with reporters in San Juan on Friday afternoon, Cruz gestured to two large binders filled with paper and said: “Fema asks for documentation, I think we’ve given them enough documentation. They had the gall this morning … of asking me: ‘What are your priorities, mayor?’
“Well, where have you been? And I have been very respectful of the Fema employees. I have been patient but we have no time for patience anymore.
“They were up the task in Africa when Ebola came over. They were up to the task in Haiti [after the earthquake of 2010]. As they should be. Because when it comes to saving lives we are all part of one community of shared values.
“I will do what I never thought I was going to do: I am begging. I am begging anyone that can hear us to save us from dying. If anybody out there is listening to us, we are dying. And you are killing us with the inefficiency and bureaucracy.”
Continuing to cry, Cruz said: “I am done being polite, and I am done being politically correct. I am mad as hell because my people’s lives are at stake.