September 20, 2017
Puerto Rico suffered its worst natural disaster since 1928 when hurricane Maria slammed into its shores with devastating power. This was following a glancing blow by hurricane Irma a short time before Maria's landfall. The category 4 Hurricane (Maria) caused catastrophic damage to the islands power grid rendering it all but useless. The storm destroyed thousands of housing structures and devastated the nations infrastructure. No cell service, land lines inoperable and caused thousands of deaths. Estimates at the time were damages of more than 94 billion US dollars.
As devastating as the hurricane itself was to this island and its 3 million plus residents, there was another catastrophe waiting to unfold in it's aftermath. Where hurricane Maria was a natural disaster, the one to follow was created by the actions, or inactions as the case may be, of corrupt politicians and other powerful people.
Lets take a look back. We will start with the Mayor of San Juan Puerto Rico, Carmen Yulín Cruz, who thrust herself out front with her attacks on President Trump. While being literally surrounded by aid from the United States she claimed that Trump was doing nothing to help the people of Puerto Rico. She essentially claimed that people were dying because Trump was not sending aid.
Of course we now know that none of this was true, and in October 2017 a video surfaced that shows what had actually happened to large amounts of that aid Trump was accused of not sending. To say that this video was shocking is an understatement, personally I would use the words infuriating and sickening.
From The Daily Wire:
The video shows a man shocked to find what looks like a shipping container-sized bin filled with box after box of unopened meals that have been discarded. When the camera pans, you can see a semi-truck trailer right behind the dumpster, which raises the question, “Did those supplies go straight from the truck to the trash?”
Marin states: “We got tipped about the mishandling of some of the supplies in a distribution center in Patilla, and we were able to corroborate what we didn’t want to see. In a garbage dump truck we found pallets full of meals ready to be distributed at one time but now all spoiled. They were left under the rain in the open air under the sun subject to rodents and animals.”
Then, a year after the hurricane these images of pallet after pallet of millions of bottles of water were found rotting on a privately owned airstrip not far from the city of San Juan. Where Mayor Cruz had been claiming this aid was never recieved.
From The Hill:
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) said this week that millions of water bottles meant for victims of Hurricane Maria have been left undistributed at an airport in Puerto Rico for more than a year.
CBS News journalist David Begnaud reported on Wednesday that FEMA acknowledged that loads of water bottles were brought to the island in 2017 in the wake of the hurricane and that it turned them over to the "central government."
However, a photographer working for a Puerto Rican police agency, Abdiel Santana, noticed that the water was still sitting at the airport runway one year later, according to Begnaud.
"FEMA says the water, and we’re talking what could be millions of bottles of water, were brought to the island by FEMA last year. FEMA tells me the water was turned over to the central government," Begnaud said in a video posted on Twitter Wednesday night.
A report by CBS News in August of 2018 also showed semi trailers of supplies that had sat undistributed for almost a year. Much if not all of the perishables had rotted. Yet more waste of resources that were directly under the responsibility of the Puerto Rican Central government.
From CBS News:
Donated food sent to Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria were left to rot in a parking lot of a government facility, CBS News correspondent David Begnaud reported Friday. Additionally, about 10 containers filled with non-perishable supplies sat at the government facility for 11 months.
Video of supplies covered in rodent droppings was first posted by a Puerto Rican radio station Radio Isla on Thursday. When Begnaud visited, the trailers with the containers were locked Friday.
Now, recently new reports are coming out of Puerto Rico that show at least one warehouse found by Puerto Rico citizens packed with aid supplies that were never distributed.
Video from inside the warehouse shows massive amounts of U.S. aid that possibly could have saved lives if it had been distributed by the Puerto Rican Central government.
From NBC News:
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — People in a southern Puerto Rico city discovered a warehouse filled with water, cots and other unused emergency supplies, then set off a social media uproar Saturday when they broke in to retrieve goods as the area struggles to recover from a strong earthquake.
With anger spreading in the U.S. territory after video of the event in Ponce appeared on Facebook, Gov. Wanda Vázquez quickly fired the director of the island's emergency management agency.
The governor said she had ordered an investigation after learning the emergency supplies had been piled in the warehouse since Hurricane Maria battered Puerto Rico in September 2017.
Vázquez said inaction by the fired official, Carlos Acevedo, was unacceptable.
“There are thousands of people who have made sacrifices to help those in the south, and it is unforgivable that resources were kept in the warehouse,” the governor said.
The finger pointing and blame games that have followed this disaster will likely not end in the near future. People are going to do everything they can to cover their own asses, which makes it all but impossible to get down to the truth.
Was it truly just a case of mismanagement and corruption or was their another agenda at play here? The fact that these supplies were still where they could be found, and much of it unusable. Would suggest that these resources were not intended to be sold for profit as we have seen in other cases of missing disaster relief in other countries.
Since no one in the Puerto Rican Central Government is owning up to what amounts to criminal incompetence in my mind, what's left as a reason behind this aid not being distributed to those who needed it?
The way I see it there is a possible answer to be found in how the Puerto Rican officials like Mayor Cruz of San Juan went out of their way to blame Trump for not doing enough to help the victims of this disaster.
Could it truly be that these supplies and resources were intentionally hidden away as a means to create more deaths and suffering? Death and suffering that then could be thrown at President Trump for purely political purposes?
Horrifying thought to any rational human being, and one that most would find very hard to believe. We do not like to think that our fellow humans, especially those we trust with our lives could do such a thing.
The problem is that they have done such things many times throughout history and in many countries they are still doing it today.
Using human life and suffering as political firepower is nothing new, especially when it comes to those who call themselves Socialists.
It should not be such a surprise if we find out that this is the case with the aid to Puerto Rico. This writer however believes that we will never know the truth because far too many people have far too much to lose if a truth like that ever came to light. Including those in our own government and media who went all in attacking our president over what we now know to be a lie.
I have a feeling that in the coming months we are going to hear about more such warehouses overflowing with aid that could have saved lives. In fact, according to CBS News David Begnaud, Puerto Rico's Secretary of State has confirmed this.
From CBS News:
Puerto Rico's former Housing Secretary Fernando Gil Enseñat claims that Governor Wanda Vázquez Garced knew about unused aid that was found sitting in a warehouse on Saturday. Vázquez has said she was unaware of the aid — some of the which allegedly dated back to 2017's Hurricane Maria — and called for an investigation into its disuse.
Vázquez fired Enseñat, as well as the island's emergency management director Carlos Acevedo and another high-ranking official, over the weekend. The governor cited in her decision a lack of information about aid collection and distribution centers.
As it stands I guess we are just going to have to wait and watch, see what happens, if anything.
I think though that the Governor may consider it in her best interest to give the people of Puerto Rico some answers, and soon.
They do not seem very interested in waiting.