San Juan mayor used hurricane for political gain, storm-ravaged residents say

Carmen Yulín Cruz2

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — The mayor of Puerto Rico’s largest city became an international star when she donned a T-shirt and baseball cap and begged for help after Hurricane Maria left San Juan in shambles.

And she became a darling of the left when she took aim at President Trump for not doing enough to help her people.

Six months later, constituents of Carmen Yulin Cruz are still struggling for food, shelter and power, and many have turned on the leader who they say turned her global close-up into a never-ending parade of self-promotion.

President Donald Trump walks with FEMA administrator Brock Long, second from right, and Lt. Gen. Jeff Buchanan, right as he tours an area affected by Hurricane Maria in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017.
President Donald Trump walks with FEMA administrator Brock Long, second from right, and Lt. Gen. Jeff Buchanan, right as he tours an area affected by Hurricane Maria in Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, Tuesday, Oct. 3, 2017.

“If we don’t get food and water into people’s hands, what we are going to see is something close to a genocide,” Cruz told an international audience after Hurricane Maria roared onto the island in September knocking out power and leveling entire neighborhoods in its path.

Her subsequent feud with Trump over recovery efforts turned her into a liberal star. She’s been on numerous national television shows — including The Late Show with Stephen Colbert — and scored a high-profile invite to the State of the Union as the guest of New York Democratic Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand.

After the speech, Cruz characterized the president’s pledges of support to Puerto Rico as “hypocrisy.”

But while Cruz’s pitch-perfect soundbites make for good TV, there’s a growing frustration among her constituents who feel forgotten and say Cruz’s personal political ambitions are coming at the expense of the very people she’s supposed to be representing.

She hired extra photographers to follow her around post-storm and is even scheduled to make multiple appearances in Holyoke, Mass., next month.

‘It stopped being about us a long time ago.’

– Simon Menendez, San Juan business owner

“She comes out, goes on television and pats herself on the back,” Simon Menendez, a small business owner in San Juan, told Fox News. “It stopped being about us a long time ago.”

A bartender at a popular hotel in Old San Juan says she feels like a political pawn.

“We get passed around from politician to politician. They use us and think we aren’t smart enough to know,” the woman, who asked not to be identified for fear of retaliation, told Fox News….

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