BUFFALO, NY — Puerto Rico is devastated, the people there are frustrated, and people in Western New York's Puerto Rican community are frustrated and angered by one of President Trump's tweets about the island.
President Trump tweeted Thursday morning that infrastructure on the island was "a disaster" before it was hit by Hurricanes Irma and Maria. Then he wrote that relief efforts can't be there forever.
...We cannot keep FEMA, the Military & the First Responders, who have been amazing (under the most difficult circumstances) in P.R. forever!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 12, 2017
Those comments didn't sit well with Buffalonians like Chito Olivencia and Jose Rivera who have family and property in Puerto Rico.
"The frustration is being felt everywhere. When you're treated this way, with such disdain, it's just sad. You're looking at people who have been very devoted, faithful to this nation. To get treated this way is real sad," said Rivera.
"We can't just walk off the island. You're stuck there. Maybe he [President Trump] doesn't understand Puerto Rico is surrounded by water," said Olivencia.
Clean water is scarce, and the majority of the island is still without power. Some people have been able to escape the damage and poor living conditions, including almost a dozen families who have left Puerto Rico and come to Western New York. More are likely on the way since it will be months — maybe years — before life is back to normal.
"We're going to find a lot more people dead. A lot people will suffer. I hate to think about what people back here will start doing if they do that [stopping federal relief],"said Olivencia.
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