The mayor of San Juan, Carmen Yulin Cruz. (semisquare-x3)
The mayor of San Juan, Carmen Yulin Cruz. (GFR Media)

Washington - Yesterday, the mayor of San Juan, Carmen Yulin Cruz, welcomed the possible lawsuit that the governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, is helping to prepare against US President Donald Trump, for the slow and inefficient federal response to the emergency caused by Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico.

Cruz - who initially showed concern about the lack of celerity of Trump´s government during the most critical moments of the emergency - considered that "any effort that serves to point out the injustice, the indignity, the outrage and the abandonment that President Trump and his administration committed against the people of Puerto Rico and cost lives, is good".

"Without getting into the merits and the possibilities of a judicial action of the governor (Cuomo) against the President and his administration, maintaining the Puerto Rican issue in the United States and at an international level is what we need," added Cruz.

Governor Cuomo announced on Sunday that he will lead an effort for Puerto Ricans displaced by Hurricane Maria to sue President Trump and the federal government, on the understanding that the island received discriminatory treatment during the emergency, which the Puerto Rican government recognized caused about 2,975 deaths.

"President Trump never tried to help Puerto Rico. Florida got attention, Texas got attention, and Puerto Rico got the short end of the stick. That is not just wrong and unethical and despicable, it is also illegal," Cuomo said in a message from a church in the Bronx County.

Cuomo, who seeks to be re-elected, made the announcement nearing the New York State Democratic primary elections - scheduled for September 13- and going against Cynthia Nixon, liberal and well known for the television series "Sex and the City ".

Cuomo's expressions mark a breach with Governor Ricardo Rossello. Contrary to Cuomo, Rossello - although having criticized the US Corps of Engineers and the restrictions imposed to federal disbursements - has noted that President Trump provided everything he requested.

For Rossello - who yesterday did not comment on Cuomo's announcement - the deficiencies in the federal response are due to the colonial status of the island, not the President.

Jennifer Gonzalez, Resident Commissioner in Washington, has also avoided blaming President Trump, who she believes has been generous to the island.

Gonzalez stressed that FEMA has acknowledged - in its report on 2017 natural disasters - that it did not have enough stored supplies to deal with the catastrophe that hit the island.

 The governor of New York has presented among the arguments for a possible claim that Puerto Rico had to wait at least three weeks to receive more than 70 federal helicopters "to save lives and deliver supplies", while nine days after Hurricane Harvey in Houston (Texas) there were 73.

In March, an analysis on Politico revealed that 9 days after Harvey, FEMA had approved $ 141.8 million in assistance for families and individuals affected by Hurricane Harvey, compared to $ 6.2 million for Maria's victims.

 During that that same period, in Houston, FEMA provided 5.1 million meals, 4.5 million liters of water and more than 20,000 blue tarps.

 As an additional example, nine days after Hurricane Harvey, the federal government had 30,000 officials in the Houston area, compared to only 10,000 on the island to assist in the emergency caused by Hurricane Maria.

For the Borough President of Bronx County, Puerto Rican Ruben Diaz Jr, Cuomo's intention to promote a lawsuit against President Trump "marks an important step to ensure that our brothers and sisters receive the assistance and respect they deserve. "

New York state representative Marco Crespo, of Puerto Rican descent, noted that the " disparity between Washington's response to Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Maria is shameful". 


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