Carmen Yulín Cruz is the elected mayor of San Juan, the capital of Puerto Rico, since 2012.
Puerto Rico is an unincorporated territory of the United States located approximately 1,600 km southeast of Miami, Florida. Puerto Ricans are by law citizens of the United States (without voting rights) and may move freely between the island and the mainland.
After a severe Hurricane (Maria) hit the territory in 2017, recovery efforts were somewhat slow in the first few months. As Mayor of San Juan, Cruz made frequent appearances on national and international television, criticising Federal aid efforts for not getting the aid shipments into the hands of the people who need them. She accused Donald Trump and his administration of “killing us with inefficiency”, and giving pleas for help in numerous media interviews.
Cruz gained national and international prominence due to her impassioned appeals for help, and the fact that President Trump engaged directly with her in a Twitter duel. Many legislators responded to Cruz’s comments and the Trump tweets, accusing him of undertones of racism in his comments.