San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz has been instrumental in the Democrat narrative that President Trump has failed to help hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico because he is racist against Latinos and probably doesn’t know that Puerto Ricans are Americans.
First of all, he’s done business on the island, so he certainly knows it’s America.
But secondly, Ms. Cruz, who unlike other Puerto Rican officials has attacked the federal response, has her own agenda. She may be running for governor of the island, and her populist anger will surely resonate with voters. What’s more, she is a hard left radical who no doubt viscerally despise President Trump.
From the New York Times:
In Puerto Rico, her outspokenness has come as little surprise. Before the hurricane, Ms. Cruz was known for a left-leaning populist streak and a tendency to speak in blunt and emotional terms.
She is also an unapologetic supporter of Oscar López Rivera, the Puerto Rican militant associated with a group that carried out a deadly campaign of bombings in New York and other cities in the 1970s and 1980s.
Actually, Rivera isn’t just a “militant.” He is a convicted terrorist.
The Times continues:
This year, the mayor offered Mr. López, the militant nationalist, a job with the city of San Juan after he was freed from prison in May, after 35 years behind bars. Mr. López said he would not take the job, but the news spurred heated criticism of the mayor on talk radio and elsewhere.
She was hardly a well-known figure when she ran for mayor in 2012 against a 12-year incumbent, Jorge Santini, who misjudged the threat and seemed to belittle her by calling her “esa señora,” or that woman. He also characterized her as a Venezuelan-style socialist. Ms. Cruz, meanwhile, stitched together a coalition of students; lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender groups; and people simply fed up with the status quo, and won. She was re-elected handily in 2016 against a lackluster opponent.
Critics say that the quality of life has not improved much under Ms. Cruz. “The first four years she didn’t do anything,” said Irene Junco, 65, a San Juan pizzeria owner. The mayor’s emotional criticism of Mr. Trump, Ms. Junco said, seemed to her like a way to ramp up a run for governor.
“I think she’s taking advantage of the moment, like all politicians, for her own benefit,” Ms. Junco said.
While the U.S. media laps up her attacks and portrays her as the singular authority on the U.S. response to the hurricane, others on the island are not fans. According to Paul Bedard’s Washington Secrets:
The mayor of a Puerto Rican city that sits next to San Juan praised the administration’s help Saturday night, and chided the “politics” of San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz, who has been criticizing President Trump.
In an interview with Secrets, Guaynabo Mayor Angel Perez Otero said that in several meetings with FEMA and U.S. military officials about the recovery effort, Yulin Cruz has been absent. “I’ve seen other mayors participating. She’s not,” said Perez Otero.
The island’s infrastructure, which was tottering before the hurricane, has been wiped out. It’s simply not possible to point to a lack of help and blame it on Trump when getting aid to the people in some cases is a logistical impossibility.
The Puerto Rican hurricane is an incalculable tragedy. That Democrats want to use a tragedy for their own political purposes is hardly surprising or unusual. And that the media collude in the effort is hardly news either.