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San Juan mayor: Puerto Ricans won't forget images of Trump throwing paper towels to hurricane survivors
Carmen Yulín Cruz, the mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico, said in a recent interview that Puerto Ricans will never forget images of President Trump throwing paper towels to hurricane survivors last year.
"I believe Puerto Rico is a stain for FEMA and Trump's reputation, because the world was able to see the lack of humanity, solidarity, compassion and service of an administration that could have helped us but decided not to," Cruz, a vocal Trump critic, told Newsweek in an interview published Tuesday.
"Racism and discrimination have nestled in the White House, and abuse against Latinos has found a powerful instrument in the president," she argued. "Puerto Ricans will never erase from their memory images of Trump throwing paper towels to [hurricane survivors last October]."
"At the time, he said this was not a crisis, and the governor said nothing. The government in Puerto Rico set a plan to say that Trump 'has given us everything we asked for.' Well, I have news for Rosselló: His government did not ask for enough," Cruz added, referencing Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló (D), a member of the island's pro-statehood New Progressive Party.
Cruz has frequently attacked the Trump administration and Rosselló, who was not as critical of the federal government's recovery efforts as Cruz initially.
Meanwhile, officials in Puerto Rico and the Trump administration have continued to face criticism over their preparedness for the storm a year after the hurricane ravaged the island, causing widespread power outages for months.
Cruz's remarks also come weeks after Rosselló announced he was updating the official death count from the hurricane from 64 to 2,975 following the findings of an independent study that he had commissioned.
Rosselló has since told Puerto Ricans moving to the U.S. that they could change the political landscape by voting against Republican candidates in the midterm elections this coming November, a call Cruz says she agrees with.
"I concur. This will be an act of justice, especially when the Trump administration implicitly and explicitly demonstrated that it doesn't care about Puerto Ricans," she told Newsweek. "Those nationals who moved to the U.S. have a responsibility to do justice to those who died because power generators did not work, because victims could not refrigerate their insulin, or because they had asthma attacks and there was no oxygen in their hospitals."