It’s been five months since Category 5 Hurricane Maria, the worst hurricane to ever hit Puerto Rico, ravaged the island. The destruction was so widespread that even today many areas are without power. Of course the MSM love to blame President Trump for the painfully slow recovery, but a closer look indicates there were problems well before Maria hit.
According to an editorial on Foxnews.com, Jorge Rodriguez found complete chaos in Puerto Rico’s handling of the crisis and NOT because of mishandling at the federal level, quite the opposite in fact.
The head of an international engineering firm in Puerto Rico said in an editorial Saturday that when the time came to send 50 of his engineers to help in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, he bypassed local officials and went straight to FEMA.
The reason, said Jorge Rodriguez, the CEO of PACIV, in an editorial in the New York Post, is that “for the last 30 years, the Puerto Rican government has been completely inept at handling regular societal needs, so I just don’t see it functioning in a crisis like this one.”
“Even before the hurricane hit, water and power systems were already broken. And our $118 billion debt crisis is a result of government corruption and mismanagement.”
Now, months later, supplies have been delivered and what do we find? Politicians in charge of distributing the materials have instead stashed them in a warehouse, helping no one.
According to The Intercept, federal government officials learned that “a massive store of rebuilding materials” needed to restore Puerto Rico’s electrical grid was being hoarded by the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, a state-owned corporation operated by the territory’s government.
Armed with this information, federal agents then raided PREPA’s warehouses on Jan. 6 with a security detail and thereafter “began distributing (supplies) to contractors,” confirmed USACE spokesman Luciano Vera.“Among the materials recovered so far are ‘2,875 pieces of critical material to contractors’ along with the sleeves of full-tension steel, a component of Puerto Rican electrical infrastructure required to erect new power lines,” The Intercept reported, quoting Vera.
This encounter reportedly occurred as around 50 percent of Puerto Ricans still remained without electricity.
Now fast forward to Wednesday, when power finally began to flow in the Academia Bautista de Puerto Nuevo in San Juan, spurring cries of joy from teachers and students alike.
The Washington Examiner further notes that by Wednesday, “83 percent of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority customers (had) power.”
Talk about a big improvement — and again, no thanks to the local government’s extraordinary incompetence.
But it gets worse. The Intercept pointed out that even “(a)s PREPA hoards crucial resources that could help remedy the island’s dire situation,” Puerto Rico’s government “is attempting to annihilate the power provider’s only regulator.”
“When the current administration was in the opposition, they opposed all the energy reform bills,” said former Puerto Rico state Sen. Ramón Luis Nieves, referring to the so-called New Progressive Party.
“Now that they are in power, they have been trying to eliminate the energy regulator and the reforms that were passed.”
Here’s another interesting tidbit of information: Because of PREPA’s hoarding, some mayors tried “taking matters into their own hands, reportedly buying grid restoration supplies out of municipal budgets,” according to The Intercept.
That sounds like a local elected official using personal initiative to get something accomplished in the face of a system that’s completely dysfunctional.
Not surprisingly, that list didn’t include San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz, who’s made it her personal mission to waste valuable time and resources constantly smearing President Donald Trump and his administration instead of doing her job.
Except that if it weren’t for the Trump administration’s raid last week, the kids at the Academia Bautista de Puerto Nuevo would likely still be without power — and again, no thanks to Cruz, the New Progressive Party and every other corrupt official in Puerto Rico.
You can see that out of desperation local leaders are going directly to suppliers and bypassing the system so that progress can be made. I doubt that will make much of an impact on the liberal, Trump-hating Mayor of San Juan, but at least it is making things progress.
What an excellent example of the power of local governments, the failure of Democratic leaders and the leadership of FEMA and President Trump. It’s easy to blame Trump when you don’t have all the facts, but a closer look at the disaster in Puerto Rico, and you can see where the real problem lies!
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