The mayor of a city that directly borders San Juan, Puerto Rico, is casting doubt on the claims of San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz, who directly criticized Trump's administration on Friday for not efficiently helping the island after a powerful hurricane devastated it.
What did Yulín Cruz allege?
Yulín Cruz, a Democrat, has alleged in numerous interviews that the federal government has not done enough to support Puerto Rico in the wake of the hurricane. She even claimed that "we are going to see is something close to a genocide" if Trump and government agencies didn't do more to help.
What others say?
However, many other top Puerto Rican politicians, including Gov. Ricardo Rossello, have been very complimentary of the government's efforts to provide aid. One mayor in particular, Guaynabo's Angel Perez, is speaking out directly against Yulín Cruz and her claims that the government isn't doing enough to help.
In an interview with the Daily Caller, Perez said that his experience with the government has been much different than his counterpart's:
My experience is different. I have been participating in different meetings at the headquarters of FEMA and our government and the help is coming in and right now my experience is different from hers. I’m receiving help from the government, we are receiving assistance from FEMA, I got people over here helping us with applications for the people that have damage in their houses. And we have here in Guaynabo, we have thousands of people that lost partially or totally their houses.
When asked about Yulín Cruz's "genocide" comment, Perez took his criticism a step further and revealed that Yulín Cruz has been absent in many meetings with FEMA and other agencies. He said:
I don’t know why she is saying that. What I can tell you is my experience. She is not participating in any meetings and we had a couple already with the governors and with representation of FEMA and of HUD, of these whole federal agencies that have given us help and she’s not participating in those meetings and some mayors from her political party have been participating, so I don’t know why she is saying that. My experience is very different.
"Some [mayors] would like the help to be faster but we also know that FEMA is dealing with what happened in Houston and in Florida and now in Puerto Rico," Perez said.
What are their current needs?
While Perez said the government is working as hard as they can, he explained there are some needs that need to be met as quickly as possible. One need is blue tarps to help salvage structures and homes only partially damaged by the hurricane, as well as diesel and gas drivers to transport fuel to parts of the island.
However, he emphasized: "It’s been hard to get that over here and I know that the government is helping, so we are expecting maybe by next week that that will be in the past and that we won’t have any problems with that."
What does he think of Trump's visit?
Trump confirmed on Twitter over the weekend that he and first lady Melania Trump plan to visit the island on Tuesday to help with relief efforts and tour the ravaged areas. Perez said he is optimistic that Trump's visit will greatly improve relief efforts.
"I’m very optimistic. President Trump visiting Puerto Rico, I think it will level up and increase our optimism and our faith, not only in the federal government but our faith in the Congress and that the president is going to help us and that more help and more funds are going to come to our island," he said.
"The visiting of some senators and some representatives now coming to Puerto Rico also and now the president, I think that’s the best thing to give hope to our people," he said.