politics

San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz Says It’s Time To End Puerto Rico’s Colonial Relationship With The U.S.

It’s been five months since Hurricane Maria pummeled through Puerto Rico. Help has been slow and stocked with scandal. Currently, hundreds of thousands of people remain without electricity, while others continue to be desperate for food, water and medicine. Little on the island has dramatically changed since the storm struck, except the perspective of one of its most prominent leaders: San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz.

In an interview with Democracy Now!, Yulín Cruz, a member of the Popular Democratic Party, which advocates for maintaining Puerto Rico’s current colonial political status, called for the island’s decolonization.

“This is the time now to look at the relationship between Puerto Rico and the United States and ensure that Puerto Rico stop being a colony of the United States once and for all,” Yulín Cruz, the mayor who has been most vocal in her criticism of President Donald Trump and Washington’s recovery efforts, said.

Her change in outlook was sparked by the United States’ substandard response to the crises in Puerto Rico — FEMA, in particular.

“Most of the American people probably think that out of that $4.9 billion that was approved between November and December, that we’ve gotten some of that money. We’ve gotten zero. Just because you throw millions of dollars at something, it doesn’t mean that you’re fixing the problem. It doesn’t mean that you’re fixing what is wrong,” Yulín Cruz said.

While the mayor believes Puerto Rico’s colonial status has stalled real and necessary assistance from Washington, she also doesn’t believe being a U.S. state would have answered the island’s needs.

“Some people, you know, say, ‘Well, if Puerto Rico was a state, this wouldn’t happen.’ Well, I have one word for you: Katrina;” she said. “You know, when people don’t put their heart and soul into what they are doing, things go wrong. When they don’t see the magnitude of the suffering of the people and just look at it from 10,000 feet above or a thousand feet above in a helicopter, things go wrong.”

For the mayor, the crisis in Puerto Rico is a human issue, and politics, fortified by the island nation’s colonial status, is only creating more damage.

“It is a humanitarian crisis. It wasn’t handled properly. And that mishandling of it has led to many other things,” she says.

Catch the entire interview over at Democracy Now!.

Read: Puerto Rican Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz Quotes Martin Luther King Jr. & Throws Shots At Trump In Award Acceptance Speech

Recommend this story by clicking the share button below!

Notice any corrections needed? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz Running For Governor Of Puerto Rico In 2020

fierce

San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz Running For Governor Of Puerto Rico In 2020

Last week, Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz of San Juan, Puerto Rico’s capital city, announced that she is running for governor in the 2020 elections.

Cruz, who gained national attention after criticizing President Donald Trump’s slow and shoddy response to Hurricane Maria, announced her run at the Caguas Botanical Garden on Friday.

“I’ve been thinking for a long time, what’s the best way I can serve Puerto Rico … I’m going to do so by becoming the next governor,” she said.

Cruz, who was sporting a t-shirt that read “¡Sin Miedo!” — which is Spanish for “without fear” — began her address by discussing her great-grandfather, who worked as an agricultural laborer, and how the legacy of slavery still impacts Puerto Rico today.

“We have to break away from the chains that tie us down in order to have a promising future and break our cycle of poverty,” Cruz, speaking on Emancipation Day, a Puerto Rican holiday commemorating the abolition of slavery on the island on March 22, 1873, said.

In Puerto Rico, the political party system is linked to the island’s political status. Those who support statehood, like sitting Gov. Ricardo Rosselló, are part of the New Progressive Party, more commonly known by the Spanish acronym PNP. People who want Puerto Rico to remain a US territory side with the Popular Democratic Party, or PPD, the party that Cruz is running in. Finally, those who want the island’s independence from the US often support the Puerto Rican Independence Party, or PIP.

After the Category 4 hurricane ravaged the island on September 20, 2017, Cruz, not Gov. Rosselló, became the face of the island, wading through flood water to help those devastated by the storm and publicly feuding with the president. When announcing her candidacy, she reminded the crowd that Gov. Rosselló’s administration “was unable to count deaths after Hurricane Maria” and “stood by Trump when he threw paper towels at people [in Puerto Rico].”

Cruz also took the opportunity to voice her position on other pressing matters on the island, like repealing the Jones Act, which prevents foreign ships from embarking on the island and thus raises the cost of imported goods, eliminating the federal Financial Oversight and Management Board and calling for an audit of Puerto Rico’s $72 billion public debt.

“The reality is that we still live in an island that fights for food, liberty and land,” she said, referring to the PPD’s Spanish slogan “Pan, libertad y tierra.” “We’re building a new movement within the Popular Democratic Party.”

Last month, Cruz also announced that she would co-chair Sen. Bernie Sanders’ campaign for the 2020 presidential race, saying the candidate could create “a new path toward the resolution of many of the issues facing Puerto Rico,” including establishing a “new relationship” with the United States.

Read: San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz Believes Bernie Sanders Could Create A “New Relationship” Between Puerto Rico And The US

Notice any corrections needed? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz Believes Bernie Sanders Could Create A “New Relationship” Between Puerto Rico And The US

politics

San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz Believes Bernie Sanders Could Create A “New Relationship” Between Puerto Rico And The US

Bernie Sanders is running for president in 2020, and he just tapped San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz to co-chair his campaign.

The Puerto Rican leader, a vocal opponent of President Trump, told NBC News that she’s supporting the Vermont senator, who announced his second bid for head of state on Tuesday, because of their history of working together “for a path for Puerto Rico.”

“A lot of the things he’s been fighting for all his life I’ve been fighting for all my life, things like let’s not put wealth before health,” she said, noting additional shared efforts like education, the rights of people in the LGBTQ community, collective bargaining and more.

In 2018, Sanders co-sponsored, alongside fellow presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), a bill to slash Puerto Rico’s $73 billion debt. He also introduced a $146 billion recovery plan for the island, though the bill never made it out of committee.

Still, Cruz believes he is the candidate that would create “a new path toward the resolution of many of the issues facing Puerto Rico,” including establishing a “new relationship” with the United States.

“In our darkest hour, he was there for us, not because it was politically convenient but because it was the right thing to do,” she said.

The mayor, who reached national fame for criticizing Trump’s slow, shoddy and insulting response to Puerto Rico’s recovery, said this election is “personal.”

“The president came and threw paper towels at us,” Cruz said. “He continues to disregard the pain of people from Puerto Rico.”

She continued: “Right now the United States has a president in the White House who is not up to the job. He does not represent values of integrity and unity, values of inclusion.”

While US citizens, Puerto Ricans living on the island are unable to vote in the general election, though they can vote in primaries.

Cruz is one of four co-chairs to Sanders’ campaign. The others include Sen. Nina Turner (D-Ohio), US Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) and Ben & Jerry’s co-founder Ben Cohen.

Read: Puerto Rico’s Real-Life Wonder Woman Just Announced She’s Interested In Running For Governor And We Can’t Wait To See What’s Next

Recommend this story by clicking the share button below!

Notice any corrections needed? Please email us at corrections@wearemitu.com

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *