Published: Mon, October 02, 2017
Markets | By Terence Owen

San Juan mayor continues calls for relief after attacks from Trump


Cruz responded by saying she would do whatever she had to do to save lives on the island. She said she meant "it was good news that people of Puerto Rico and many public servants of the United States are working together".

When NBC News executive Janelle Rodriguez sends someone new to Puerto Rico, she makes sure they bring extra suitcases packed with water and non-perishable food.

Yulín Cruz said in an interview on ABC's "This Week" that White House homeland security adviser Tom Bossert called her several days ago, and the administration was coordinating with her team to provide aid. "I have no time for small politics or for comments that do not add to the situation here".

At a press conference Saturday, Ricardo Rosselló, governor of Puerto Rico, appeared to defend the Trump administration, although Reuters reports he said he had not seen Trump's Saturday tweets.

Several Puerto Ricans contacted by CNN stood up for San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz, who apparently provoked the Trump tweet with a call for more aid, and many said the Puerto Rican community at home and overseas is already working together.

"I saw it as a personal difference with the mayor of San Juan", he said.

Rossello publicly struck a conciliatory tone in remarks earlier in the day, saying the federal government fulfilled all his requests, though there's still plenty of humanitarian work to be done. "Let us not talk about the cost of reconstruction".

Yulín Cruz maintained the focus should be foremost on saving the people of Puerto Rico.

Puerto Rico, home to more than 3 million US citizens, has had limited food, bottled water and medical supplies since Hurricane Maria struck nine days ago.

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"I think it's unfair to say we haven't done everything we can because we have done everything that we can and will continue to do so", Mulvaney said.

"Most of our nursing homes have people that have an inability to move, so they're stuck in the 14th floor, they have no water, they have no food, they - majority are insulin-dependent", she said.

"Things don't seem to be getting better", Berkan, a lawyer, said in a text message. "Most banks are working with diesel generators and they can only go on as long as they burn through that, or until they run out of cash", William Huayamave of San Juan. Yet even in voicing solidarity and sympathy with Puerto Rico, he drew attention again to the island's debt burden and infrastructure woes, leaving doubt about how far Washington will go to make the USA territory whole.

According to a US army spokesperson, as of Friday, the Army had over 4,900 soldiers and Army Corps of Engineers civilian personnel in Puerto and the US Virgin Islands, also affected by the hurricane.

"I've heard it many times - we're Americans, too", Santiago said.

You can donate to the hurricane relief efforts in Puerto Rico and Mexico via the Hispanic Federation's UNIDOS campaign here.

White House: Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Thursday that the federal government was acting quickly to meet Puerto Rico's cash shortage.

The story has struggled to get the attention of predecessor hurricanes Harvey and Irma, which struck the USA mainland. The migrants are mostly younger workers, economists have said.

The Federal Aviation Administration supported the restoration of services to all eight commercial airports in Puerto Rico, FEMA said on Friday.

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