The Mayor of San Juan, Puerto Rico, Carmen Yulin-Cruz attempts to make the crisis in Puerto Rico political. The insufferable mindset to make things political is only exceeded by the ridiculous optic of calling for federal aid while surrounded by relief supplies provided entirely by the U.S. federal government.
•50% of the native Puerto Rican National Guard refused to report to duty when the governor called them up. •Thousands of tons of supplies and equipment, provided by FEMA, U.S. military and U.S. relief agencies, sit at ports while municipal government has no process for delivering them. •Frente Amplio (PR Teamsters Union – truck drivers) are on strike and refusing to deliver supplies. •Over 10,000 U.S. federal personnel are providing recovery and relief on the island….
…and the priority for the Mayor of San Juan, with no power or infrastructure, is to have T-Shirts made to push a political agenda?
Funny how Anderson Cooper never asks:Where does one get a shirt like this made when Puerto Rico is under water and out of power? (rhetorical question)
Because “Thank You” is just too damned challenging? (Again, rhetorical)
PUERTO RICO – Speaking today exclusively and live from Puerto Rico, is Puerto Rican born and raised, Colonel Michael A. Valle (”Torch”), Commander, 101st Air and Space Operations Group, and Director of the Joint Air Component Coordination Element, 1st Air Force, responsible for Hurricane Maria relief efforts in the US commonwealth with a population of more than 3 million. Since the ‘apocalyptic’ Cat 4 storm tore into the spine of Puerto Rico on September 20, Col. Valle has been both duty and blood bound to help.
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 US 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. (read more)
WATCH to see CNBC actually report on the truth of the matter:
The transportation issue is worsened by the PR Teamsters Union, the truckers who deliver goods from the ports, using the crisis to negotiate for better terms on contracts.