In 1948, the United Nations approved the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. It defines genocide as:

[G]enocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:
(a) Killing members of the group;
(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

Keep this in mind.

“I ask every American that has love, and not hate in their hearts, to stand with Puerto Rico and let this President know we WILL NOT BE LEFT TO DIE,” the mayor said in a statement she sent to Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez, Illinois Democrat, and asked him to publicize on Capitol Hill.

“I ask the United Nations, UNICEF and the world to stand with the people of Puerto Rico and stop the genocide that will result from the lack of appropriate action of a President that just does not get it because he has been incapable of looking in our eyes and seeing the pride that burns fiercely in our hearts and souls,” the mayor continued.

What set her off?

FACT CHECK: TRUE

FACT CHECK: TRUE

FACT CHECK: TRUE

It should be clear to any but the most hard core anti-Trump tribalist that a) first responders should be gone by now as this is recovery not response, b) the US military has real missions that aren’t being accomplished and which, for the most part, can be better carried out by civilian personnel, and c) FEMA should be phasing itself out and putting the recovery operation squarely in the hands of the governor. This is how White House Chief of Staff John Kelly answered the question today:

Q Thank you, General Kelly. I appreciate that, and thank you for coming out here today. We hope to see you more often.

Let’s go to one of the hard things that is facing you right now, the situation in Puerto Rico. And since you’re here to speak for the President, let’s talk about his tweet this morning. Does President Trump believe that the people of Puerto Rico are American citizens —

GENERAL KELLY: Yes.

Q — who deserve the same access to federal aid as people who live in Texas and Florida?

GENERAL KELLY: Yes.

Q What is his tweet about then?

GENERAL KELLY: Which tweet?

Q The tweet where he says that we can’t be in Puerto Rico forever.

GENERAL KELLY: I think he said the U.S. military and FEMA can’t be there forever. Right?

Q He did. Yes. First responders, FEMA, and the military.

GENERAL KELLY: First responders. The minute you go anywhere as a first responder — and this would apply, certainly, to the military — you are trying very hard, working very hard to work yourself out of a job.

There will be a period in which — we hope sooner rather than later — to where the U.S. military and FEMA, generally speaking, can withdraw because then the government and the people of Puerto Rico are recovering sufficiently to start the process of rebuilding.

I just got off the phone — I’ve talked to him many times — with the governor of Puerto Rico. Great relationship. The President deals with him periodically. We saw him when we were down there last week.

So this country, our country will stand with those American citizens in Puerto Rico until the job is done. But the tweet about FEMA and DOD — read: military — is exactly accurate. They’re not going to be there forever, and the whole point is to start to work yourself out of a job and then transition to the rebuilding process.

This is the status. Call me pollyannish, but I don’t think this is what a genocide looks like. The single biggest issue is the Puerto Rican power grid. The utility was in bankruptcy and Hurricane Maria killed it. Now 17% of the island has electricity via the power grid and an untold percentage have it via generators and the solar grids being installed by several non-profits. It could be months before the electric utility is back on line. The death toll has yet to reach 50. Relief supplies continue to pour into Puerto Rico and some some 19,000 federal civilians and US military are still on the scene.

A lot of the problems in recovery stem from Puerto Rico being an economic basketcase in a state of what amounts to bankruptcy before Hurricane Maria struck. That is coupled with an inability of the political factions on the island to cooperate even in the face of a humanitarian disaster:

The federal response to Hurricane Maria has been hampered by Puerto Rico’s political culture and a lack of unity among leaders on the island, Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator William “Brock” Long said Monday in a briefing with reporters at FEMA headquarters in Washington.

In the continental United States, “politics between Republicans and Democrats is bad enough, but in Puerto Rico, politics is even worse in many cases,” Long said, adding that divisions on the island had undermined unity of purpose there.

Long, speaking Sunday on ABC’s “This Week,” said he’d long ago “filtered out” the mayor. On Monday he echoed that comment. A reporter asked him if he viewed criticism of FEMA as justified or as simply a political attack on the administration; that’s when he said the political divide in Puerto Rico is worse than it is in the mainland United States.

“What I’ve experienced firsthand is, a successful response relies on unity, okay,” Long said. “To give you an example, when you can’t get elected officials at the local level to come to a joint field office because they disagree with the politics of the governor that’s there, it makes things difficult and the information fragmented.”

The mayor of San Juan is one of those officials who has refused to cooperate with FEMA.

Lest you think the FEMA administrator’s interview was political hyperbole consider this. The US Attorney in Puerto Rico and the FBI are now investigating local officials hoarding relief supplies and doling them out only to their supporters:

FBI agents in Puerto Rico have been receiving calls from “across the island” with residents complaining local officials are “withholding” or “mishandling” critical FEMA supplies — with one island official even accused of stuffing his own car full of goods meant for the suffering populace.

The accusations come in the aftermath of deadly Hurricane Maria, which devastated the U.S. territory last month.
“The complaints we’re hearing is that mayors of local municipalities, or people associated with their offices, are giving their political supporters special treatment, goods they’re not giving to other people who need them,” FBI Special Agent Carlos Osorio told Fox News.

Osorio told of one allegation where a party official is accused of pulling his own car around the back of a government building and driving off after loading it full of FEMA supplies.

At least six of Puerto Rico’s 78 municipalities are now the subject of investigations.

The bigger issue than this alleged genocide is that Puerto Rico probably just stopped being a viable political entity. History tells us that most areas hit by hurricanes take generations to recover, if they ever do. Most of the businesses shuttered by Maria will never reopen. Very few of the people who fled to the Mainland to avoid Maria are coming back. A significant number of those on the island today will vote with their feet and be in New York or Miami in six months. As a metric, the population in New Orleans is just over two-thirds what it was right before Katrina. If Puerto Rico only loses a third of its population you can put that in the miracles column.