The mayor of a city neighboring Puerto Rico’s capital praised President Donald Trump’s handling of the Hurricane Maria relief effort, while chiding San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz for being absent at meetings and instead playing “politics” by severely criticizing the president.
Guaynabo Mayor Angel Perez Otero stressed that Yulin Cruz has been absent from numerous meetings with FEMA and United States military officials – refusing to discuss plans with them about the natural disaster recovery effort on the Caribbean island.
“I’ve seen other mayors participating,” Perez Otero told the Washington Examiner’s “Washington Secrets” in an interview Saturday night. “She’s not.”
Fueling the anti-Trump machine?
Even though there have been days of praise from Puerto Rico’s governor directed at Trump for the U.S. government’s hurricane relief effort, as reported by CNN, virtually all of the mainstream news coverage has focused on the harsh criticism of Trump by Yulin Cruz’s, who has been the portrayed as the voice for the entire island.he has repeatedly criticized the Trump administration’s efforts to provide relief to hurricane victims.
Her reports, however, are in stark contrast to what Perez Otero has to say about Trump’s attention to Puerto Rico.
“Perez Otero says he has been in constant contact with U.S. officials and is confident that they will provide the very best recovery efforts they can,” Townhall pointed out.
In fact, when Perez Otero was questioned whether he has witnessed similar failings and non-communication from the Trump administration – as claimed by Yulin Cruz – he indicated that such an account is simply not the reality that he has seen on the island.
“[T]hat’s not been my experience.” responded, Otero Perez – whose municipality lies just west of the capital, which together make up the majority of the metropolitan area of San Juan. “There is a lot of politics in Puerto Rico.”
Making it clear that it is not his intention to bash his colleague, Perez Otero stressed that Yulin Cruz “is my friend.”
An abundance of help …
Perez Otero also emphasized that he is confident in the assurance or help made by the commander-in-chief – especially after hearing from federal disaster relief organizers and White House officials.
“[They promised that] they won’t leave until Puerto Rico is good,” Perez Otero notified his countrymen via Twitter last week (translated). “[A top Trump aide quoted the president insisting that the aid so far] is not enough. There is going to be more.”
The mayor of Guaynabo also reminded the media that Puerto Rico was in a severe financial crisis well before Hurricane Maria devastated the island, and indicated that financial help is greatly needed from Washington to help it get back on its feet.
But Perez Otero insisted that ever since the devastating storm struck Puerto Rico, aid has been pouring in from the mainland U.S.
“We are receiving a lot of help from FEMA and the Red Cross,” he assured. “[T]here is lots of help coming to us.”
And he is looking forward to much more assistance, which he says is on the way.
“[Perez Otero] is keen on receiving water and blue tarps for homeowners to use for shelter,” the Examiner’s Paul Bedard noted. “Two hours before Secrets talked to him he said a top FEMA official promised that the tarps would arrive in ‘a few days.’”
Not cowering to criticism
The back-and-forth over the Puerto Rican disaster aid relief was triggered by Yulin Cruz accusing Trump for a lackluster hurricane response effort, but Trump shot back via Twitter, blasting her for political grandstanding and taking advantage of the situation.
FEMA administrator Brock Long defended Trump’s tweets and told CNN that Yulin Cruz failed to connect with a command center FEMA installment that was set up in Puerto Rico to help administer the relief effort.
“The problem that we have with the mayor, unfortunately, is that unity of command is ultimately what’s needed to be successful in this response,” Long told CNN’s Fredricka Whitfield. “What we need is for the mayor, the good mayor, to make her way to the joint field office and get plugged into what’s going on and be successful. I think that’s the bottom line on that tweet.”
White House Social Media Director Dan Scavion, Jr., addressed the San Juan mayor’s political maneuverings as being self-seeking.
“[Yulen Cruz is] the perfect example of an opportunistic politician,” Scavion insisted, according to the Daily Caller.
It was indicated by an anonymous White House official that it is still up in the air as to whether Trump will meet with Yulen Cruz during his visit next week to Puerto Rico.
“Maybe too busy doing TV?” the White House official posed when speaking with ABC’s Katherine Faulders, noting that Yulen Cruz has “refused” to visit the FEMA command center on the island.
Copyright American Family News. Reprinted with permission.