In an extraordinary public letter, San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz begged the American public to stand by Puerto Rico as President Donald Trump openly threatens to remove federal aid workers from the still-battered island.
“I ask every American that has love, and not hate in their hearts, to stand with Puerto Rico and let this President know we WILL NOT BE LEFT TO DIE,” Cruz wrote. “I ask the United Nations, UNICEF and the world to stand with the people of Puerto Rico and stop the genocide that will result from the lack of appropriate action of a President that just does not get it because he has been incapable of looking in our eyes and seeing the pride that burns fiercely in our hearts and souls.”
As Vox’s Alexia Fernández Campbell and I wrote earlier this week, Congress and the White House are still yet to authorize all the FEMA disaster relief funds typically appropriated in the wake of natural disasters. Trump then threatened on Thursday to pull FEMA staffers out of the country, even as more than 80 percent of the island remains without power and there is a daily shortfall of 1.8 million meals.
Cruz accused the president of trying to “tweet away your hate to mask your administration’s mishandling of this humanitarian crisis.”
Her letter can be read in full below: