San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz fired back at Donald Trump after the U.S. president tweeted that the government cannot afford to keep FEMA, the military and first responders in Puerto Rico “forever.”
Aside from suggesting that the administration cannot afford to continue the recovery efforts, Trump also tweeted that Puerto Rico is now facing a financial crisis that is “largely of their own making.” Trump also said that there was a “total lack of accountability” and that Puerto Rico’s infrastructure was a “disaster before [the] hurricanes.”
Cruz took offense to the latest Twitter barrage from Trump by releasing a statement calling the president out for his comments and his administration for mishandling the humanitarian crisis.
The San Juan mayor started her statement by saying that Puerto Rico has “suffered greatly” after dealing with two hurricanes. According to Cruz, Puerto Ricans are left with devastated homes, damaged electrical infrastructure, no drinking water, food, medicine and other essentials to survive.
Despite the severity of their situation, Cruz said that what makes things even worse and “perhaps more frustrating” are the “devastating actions” of Trump. Cruz slammed Trump for “adding insult to injury” through his “tweets, comments and actions,” which Trump has been supposedly doing instead of taking cues from “a book on how to help during a humanitarian crisis.”
San Juan mayor to Trump: "While you are amusing yourself throwing paper towels at us, your compatriots... are sending love and help our way" pic.twitter.com/m5Vy0Fi4fF— NBC News (@NBCNews) October 12, 2017
Cruz also accused Trump and his government of being inadequate and desperate. She said that the tweets “show desperation” and that Trump is trying to “underscore the inadequacy” of his administration’s response.
Cruz said that Trump seems to “want to disregard the moral imperative” that his administration has failed to fulfill. Cruz pointed out that Trump admitted to his failure when he replaced the FEMA administrator in Puerto Rico.
Cruz further said that Trump is “incapable of understanding the contributions, the sacrifices, and the commitment to democratic values that Puerto Ricans have shown over decades.” Furthermore, Trump is being accused of being “incapable of empathy” after visiting Puerto Rico for photo opportunities and “to throw paper towels,” which Cruz described as insulting.
Cruz compared Trump’s actions with those of over 300 volunteers who have travelled to Puerto Rico to help care for the hurricane victims’ “bodies and souls.” She said that these volunteers “embody the true spirit of the American values” while Trump continues to dismiss such values through his “inappropriate and derogatory” actions and comments.
Cruz also sent out a call for help to “every American that has love and not hate in their hearts.” Cruz said that people need to “stand with Puerto Rico” and let Trump understand that Puerto Ricans “will not be left to die.”
...We cannot keep FEMA, the Military & the First Responders, who have been amazing (under the most difficult circumstances) in P.R. forever!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 12, 2017
Cruz also took to Twitter to voice her frustrations with Trump. In a couple of tweets sent out Monday, Cruz told Trump, “Shame on you!” while describing him as a “Hater in Chief.”
Trump has attacked Cruz before on Twitter and in interviews. The president even tweeted back in September that Cruz is “nasty” and a poor leader after failing to get workers to help.
[Featured Image by Evan Vucci/AP Images]