The U.S. media are being intentionally obtuse and in some cases downright false in their assertions of the primary problems for Puerto Rico. CTH has ongoing numerous conversations with recovery and relief efforts around the entire impacted island.
The most consequential logistical issue was port access for the arrival of relief supplies. That immediate and critical issue was met by the U.S. Defense Department, FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security.
However as FEMA Director Brock Long outlines in this interview, albeit with diplomatic nuance, the Puerto Rican municipal government system has essentially collapsed. Government and public sector workers are not showing up to work, and the U.S. military is having to try and fill the roles of local officials within society.
The culture within the island nation is based around comfortable dependency, and Puerto Ricans are currently showing no capacity to care for themselves, their neighbors, or take action as individual communities to help their own recovery.
There are thousands of tons of relief supplies sitting in ports, 3,000 full containers, with the U.S. army ready to help load up Puerto Rican trucks for local delivery. However, the municipal governments and local transportation officials are not lifting a finger to get these supplies into their communities. WATCH THIS VIDEO BELOW:
3,000 shipping containers packed with food water & medicene have been sitting at the port in Puerto Rico since Saturday pic.twitter.com/LJ0ETpmnOf
— David Begnaud (@DavidBegnaud) September 27, 2017
The lifting of the “Jones Act” to allow any flagged ocean carrier to deliver supplies is not needed because the ports are backlogged with ample supplies and fuel while the Puerto Rican government does nothing to transport them.
Neither FEMA, nor the DoD, can be expected to take the place of municipal authorities; yet that is exactly what it appears the Puerto Rican government expects.
This is what happens when a culture of dependency is allowed to fester over generations. Yes, there are many Puerto Ricans who do not fit that narrow definition, however their numbers are in the minority. The vast majority of island residents have no concept of self-sufficiency, and the municipal workers reflect the same ideological mindset.
Domestic Puerto Rican truck drivers sit at home waiting for FEMA or the U.S. Army to arrive with breakfast, lunch and dinner. Meanwhile the cargo of foodstuffs and supplies they should be transporting sits in various Puerto Rican ports waiting for them to show up and do their job.
No amount of aid is going to help Puerto Rico until the people who live there agree to lift a finger and begin to help themselves.