Puerto Rico Is A Mess Years In The Making [VIDEO]

Puerto Rico Is A Mess Years In The Making [VIDEO]

Puerto Rico Is A Mess Years In The Making [VIDEO]

Just how big of a disaster is Puerto Rico?

Highway 10, a north-south arterial in Puerto Rico, is washed out after Hurricane Maria (photo: Getty Images)
It’s so bad that not even their National Guard can show up for duty.

But nine days after Hurricane Maria, a striking trend has emerged: Less than half of the 8,000 members of the Puerto Rico National Guard are on duty. Army Lt. Gen. Jeffrey Buchanan, the top U.S. officer overseeing military operations on the island, attributed this to a combination of factors. Many personnel are dealing with the devastation in their own lives, he said, and some are providing help in their full-time jobs as police, firefighters or other first responders rather than through the Guard.

The comparatively small number of Guard troops on duty in Puerto Rico appears to underscore a disconnect between pleas made on the ground by civilians on the ground since the storm, and the federal government’s relatively modest response at first. It also may have slowed awareness of how bad the destruction was, with fewer personnel responding early and cataloguing needs.

And no, President Trump is not helping the situation with his tweeting (which is the thorn in the side of every normal person serving in the current administration, I’m sure). But the left is not helping when they go all out on the hyperbole.

Okay, the golfing is not good optics. But the left really should not be throwing stones, considering how Obama golfed after learning that journalist James Foley had been beheaded by ISIS.

So let’s look at some real facts regarding Puerto Rico, some of which we have covered previously on this blog.

Puerto Rico defaulted on its debt in May 2016, and the current administration held a meaningless vote in June 2016 that asked people to consider petitioning for statehood. Puerto Rico’s infrastructure was problematic at best before being destroyed by Hurricane Maria. The government has been called corrupt and inept. The damage that Hurricane Maria wrought is only serving to spotlight every single problem at once.

The mayor that Trump criticized, Carmen Yulin Cruz, has been busy and I don’t doubt that she is sincere in wanting to get people real help. But her optics have been off as well.

And just where did she get this T-shirt?

And the problem is not that the supplies aren’t present – as you can clearly see behind the mayor. The problem is getting the supplies where they need to be.

Col. Valle is a firsthand witness of the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) response supporting FEMA in Puerto Rico, and as a Puerto Rican himself with family members living in the devastation, his passion for the people is second to none. “It’s just not true,” Col. Valle says of the major disconnect today between the perception of a lack of response from Washington verses what is really going on on the ground. “I have family here. My parents’ home is here. My uncles, aunts, cousins, are all here. As a Puerto Rican, I can tell you that the problem has nothing to do with the U.S. military, FEMA, or the DoD.”

“The aid is getting to Puerto Rico. The problem is distribution. The federal government has sent us a lot of help; moving those supplies, in particular, fuel, is the issue right now,” says Col. Valle. Until power can be restored, generators are critical for hospitals and shelter facilities and more. But, and it’s a big but, they can’t get the fuel to run the generators.

They have the generators, water, food, medicine, and fuel on the ground, yet the supplies are not moving across the island as quickly as they’re needed.

“It’s a lack of drivers for the transport trucks, the 18 wheelers. Supplies we have. Trucks we have. There are ships full of supplies, backed up in the ports, waiting to have a vehicle to unload into. However, only 20% of the truck drivers show up to work. These are private citizens in Puerto Rico, paid by companies that are contracted by the government,” says Col. Valle.

With roads washed out and communication abilities gone with no electricity, the situation is chaotic at best. Let us hope and pray that the help and supplies that are actually on the ground can get to the people who need them. But pointing fingers on either side right now does not bring the power back on in Puerto Rico any faster. If the situation before Hurricane Maria was a snowball that was slowly gathering strength to do damage, the hurricane was like an asteroid falling on top of the snowball and flattening everything around it. It will take years – and some very dedicated people with innovative and entrepreneurial ideas – to rebuild Puerto Rico.

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  • Wfjag says:

    The American Haiti. Leave Progressives in charge and a place is borrowed and spent into bankruptcy, while the critical infrastructure is not improved and left to decay. Along comes a crisis, which should be manageable in America, and it takes on Third World proportions because Progressive ideology and governance made Puerto Rico into a Third World colony of the Democrat Party.

  • Max says:

    They’ve been getting $21 billion a year from us, and they don’t pay federal income taxes. So what have they been doing with all that money?

  • […] Well, I’m not sure what the cure is for that. We get the government we vote for, and the Puerto Ricans voted for these people. Still, they do appear to be doing their best, but it is not, and never has been, good enough. But even The National Guard can’t show up. From Deanna Fisher at Victory Girls Blog. […]

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