Mayor Of San Juan Puerto Rico Blasts Trump Administration’s “Inefficiency” [VIDEO]

Mayor Of San Juan Puerto Rico Blasts Trump Administration’s “Inefficiency” [VIDEO]

Mayor Of San Juan Puerto Rico Blasts Trump Administration’s “Inefficiency” [VIDEO]

The Mayor of San Juan Puerto Rico is mad as hell about what she calls the inefficiency of the Trump administration’s response to the disaster wreaked on the island after Hurricane’s Irma and Maria decimated the tiny island in recent weeks. Many across the country have accused Trump of ignoring the scale of the crisis and the promptness (or lack thereof) of their response. Victory Girl Martha Hernandez wrote about it here.

When I watch the video of Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz above all I can think of is Ronald Reagan’s famous line “The nine most frightening words in the English language are “I’m here from the Government and I am here to help.” Clearly, that is the experience that Ms. Yulin Cruz and her people are living presently. According to Ms. Cruz private companies are stepping up to the plate offering food and water well before the Federal government. Goya, a company which specializes in Latin American foods, donated over 200,000 pounds of food to be distributed to people on the small island. The command of the troops responding to the disaster was originally handled by a one-star Army general. Yesterday, however, Lt. General Jeffrey Buchanan, a three-star Army general was named by the Pentagon as the gentleman who will be heading up relief efforts for Puerto Rico going forward. His mission is to improve the distribution of supplies on the island.

It has been a week of tough criticism from all corners as retired Lt. General Russell Honore, who headed up the response to Hurricane Katrina, criticized the administration’s response as well. The retired military officer did not hold back when asked if the situation in Puerto Rico is worse than what he had dealt with in Katrina, in an article from CBS.

“”Oh, hell yeah,” Honore said. “The number one priority is saving lives and when you’re saving lives, you’ve gotta figure out what rules you’re gonna break. All the rules we live by are designed for peacetime.

“And this is what?” Miller asked.

“This is like a war,” he said.

“What was their first mistake?” Miller asked.

“Not giving the mission to the military,” Honore said. “Look, we got Army units that go do port openings. Not called. We got special forces that could’ve been in every town. Not employed.”

“Has the U.S. government done anything right? Did they learn lessons from Katrina?” Miller asked.” “They did the pre-deployment. That was good. They got an all-of-government approach. That’s good. But they don’t understand scale,” he said.”

As someone who works with major projects I can tell you that scalability is everything.  So far the military response has been to put  4,900 Army soldiers and Army Corps of Engineers civilian personnel in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. They have sent thirty aircraft and more than 500 trucks that are committed as well. The National Guard projects 1,400 guard forces will be deployed to the island in the coming week. Though that sounds like a sizable response to me, if they cannot distribute goods well once they get there, and according to Ms. Yulin Cruz they have not been able to, what good does it do the citizens of Puerto Rico?

People gather water from a mountain on Puerto Rico

As I see these heart-rending images and listen to the raw frustration in the mayor’s voice I have to ask myself, how could we have better positioned a response to this unparalleled disaster? And in the end, how are we ever going to pay to get this island back on its feet?

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  • Scott says:

    Good post… a couple things that should seem obvious to the General, and others criticizing the response.. it always seems that the areas that face the biggest challenges when hit by these disasters are those that have been run by democrats for an extended period of time, have a citizenry that are already very or completely dependent on the govt, and have infrastructure that has been neglected in preference to social programs…
    The second, and even more glaring difference, which even Stevie Wonder could see… New Orleans, Houston, and others differ from this in one major way… relief could DRIVE to those areas! since this i an island, pre-staging is a bigger challenge, ports have to be cleared prior to those assets arriving, and again, the units to do that need to come by ship, and once all that is done, due to the state of the infrastructure prior to the hurricane, as well as the damage from it, those roads need to be cleared, and in many cases rebuilt before they’re passable…
    And as for the cell phone issue, and not being able to contact their families… until a few decades ago, that wasn’t even an option anyway, so get over it, you’re not gonna die because you can’t get on facebook….more than 90% of the complaints about the response are due to ignorance, or pushing an agenda, it’s no ore complicated than that..

  • GWB says:

    if they cannot distribute goods well once they get there, and according to Ms. Yulin Cruz they have not been able to

    Well, the reason for that, according to people in the know is because the Teamster truck drivers are refusing to show up to drive the trucks full of relief supplies. Only 20% of the drivers are showing up.

    Oh, and the SJ mayor hasn’t even been to any of the planning meetings (according to other mayors). So, Madame Democrat Mayor, STFU! Your people are the problem!

    And pardon me if I’m skeptical of the retired General’s view of things. Port clearing operations WERE underway (or the ports wouldn’t be full of ship offloading relief right now). And WTH would specops forces be doing in towns? You want them “winning hearts and minds” by inoculating the kids, or something? Or, are they there to control the populace? Oy. I’m going to guess (especially since he was called by CBS) his right leg is longer than his left when he stands in the voting booth.

    That skepticism is at least partly because an Army Colonel involved with the effort (NOT a retired guy, sitting in his armchair) who is actually from PR, is saying exactly otherwise. (He is one source for the claim that only 20% of the truck drivers are showing up to deliver relief supplies.)

    more than 90% of the complaints about the response are due to ignorance, or pushing an agenda

    Exactly, Scott. And 90% of those are driven by the agenda, with the ignorant repeating and multiplying them. (That’s not a shot at you, Jennifer.)

  • Jennifer says:

    Scott and GWB,
    No sweat gentlemen! Hats why I posed the question to the readers. I can understand there were complicating factors BEFORE the storm hit so I can see how the storm just made those worse. Not shocked on the Teamsters-a different stripe of the same moron that closed one of our ports here in the PNW. I am honestly not sure who to believe in this one, again why I phrased the post as I did.
    Thanks for the always stimulating and generally awesome discussion!

  • Scott says:

    Thanks Jennifer! please don’t take anything i said as an attack on you, far from it. Just filling in some points i had info on

  • Lee says:

    Heard a recorded phone call made to a radio station from a policewoman in Puerto Rico. According to this cop, the comments from the Mayor of San Juan and the Governor of PR, were primarily to get votes. She said the Mayor was not allowing supplies to be disseminated (at least at that time), that the Governor and Mayor were not attending FEMA meetings to coordinate, and that the Feds and troops were doing a great job. So I guess it’s a matter of who you believe.

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