Kirsters Baish| While some Puerto Ricans have been given some relief this weekend after 112 days of being without electricity since Hurricane Maria struck the island leaving a wake of terror in its path, something else also happened. Power was being turned back on in schools, businesses, and homes, but at the same time the corruption and the incompetence of the Puerto Rican government was brought to light.
The Intercept reported that last week, federal government officials found out that “a massive store of rebuilding materials” which were needed to rebuild Puerto Rico’s electrical grid was being hoarded and hidden by the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority. This state owned corporation is operated by the territory’s government.
It was confirmed by USACE spokesman Luciano Vera that once federal agents received this information, they proceeded to raid the PREPA’s warehouse along with a security detail. They then “began distributing supplies to contractors.”
The Intercept reported on the matter, quoting Vera as having said, “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.”
About fifty percent of Puerto Ricans were still without electricity when this encounter reportedly occurred.
Moving on to Wednesday of this week when power was finally restored in the Academia Bautista de Puerto Nuevo in San Juan, students and teachers were overjoyed.
Teachers and students at a school in Puerto Rico jump for joy after the school gets electricity back for the first time in the 112 days since Hurricane Maria struck. https://t.co/3wCH5JEpP3 pic.twitter.com/2PTDb4kHtp
— Good Morning America (@GMA) January 17, 2018
This is a huge improvement, but no thanks can be given to the local government.
This isn’t even the worst of it, unfortunately. The Intercept stated 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.”
Former Puerto Rico state Senator Ramón Luis Nieves stated “When the current administration was in the opposition, they opposed all the energy reform bills” when referring to the so-called New Progressive Party.
Another interesting piece of information is that because of PREPA’s hoarding of supplies, some Puerto Rican mayors attempted “taking matters into their own hands, reportedly buying grid restoration supplies out of municipal budgets” reported the Intercept.
It sounds to me like local elected officials used personal initiative to get something done in spite of a governmental system that cannot seem to function properly.
It shouldn’t come as much of a shock that the list did not include San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz. Cruz has made it her personal goal to waste the time and resources of Americans by constantly attacking President Donald Trump and his administration rather than sticking to what she should be doing… her job.
If it weren’t for President Trump and his administration’s raid last week, the children at the Academia Bautista de Puerto Nuevo would probably not have power yet. Cruz didn’t do anything to help.