Puerto Ricans Failed Puerto Rico

After news broke that the official death toll as a result of Hurricane Maria in September of 2017 was raised to just short of 3,000, politicians on the left were quick to criticize the federal government’s response to the tragedy.

The Truth is, the seeds of Puerto Rico’s demise were planted by the crooked politicians who took kickbacks from the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA) in the years leading up to the 2017 Hurricane Season.

I have written at length about this issue for websites including Newsmax, The Washington Times and The Hill and laid the blame appropriately on cronyism and political corruption.

Here is some of what I have previously written:

From The Hill.com

In November, Puerto Rican Gov. Ricardo Rosello appeared before Congress to make a request of the American taxpayers for $94 billion. Rosello intended to use $77 billion towards the Puerto Rican debt and $17 billion to “modernize and protect Puerto Rico’s energy infrastructure.” Soon after his testimony the island’s “secret” bank accounts came to light, which were missed by the oversight board and include almost $600 million at PREPA.

From The Washington Times.com

• PREPA together with Petrobas and Shell Trading (U.S.) Company, Inspectorate America Corporation, Bureau Veritas Holding, Core Laboratories, Alchem Laboratory, Altol Environmental Services, and others were named in a class action lawsuit filed by the residents and businesses in Puerto Rico for falsifying fuel laboratory results.

• PREPA illegally borrowed $4 billion dollars in a Ponzi scheme that “benefited the financial community” but left PREPA insolvent.

• Allegations that the head of the PREPA fuel purchase office was making direct calls to the former president of Venezuela, the late Hugo Chavez, to set up sludge oil purchases from Venezuela while billing the utility for high grade oil. The difference in value, said to be hundreds of millions per year, was allegedly kicked back to PREPA’s fuel office manager and distributed to politicians and government officials on the island.

• On July 2, 2017 PREPA filed in the United States District Court of Puerto Rico for protection under Title III of the 2016 Puerto Rico rescue law known as PROMESA. This bankruptcy filing occurred after PREPA was already $9 billion in debt.

The uncertainty regarding the ability to consistently engage in energy consuming manufacturing and new industry dissuaded entrepreneurs and CEOs from populating the destination hub. As a result, many American and multi-national businesses that have left the States and its onerous layers of taxation to seek relief have looked elsewhere globally.

From Newsmax.com

A culture of corruption in Puerto Rican politics has long existed. It is time for the federal government to extensively audit the questionable business and political dealings of a utility company that has contributed to and exacerbated the worse humanitarian crisis of this generation.

I find it perverse that political grifters like San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz and Illinois Congressman Luis Gutierrez refuse to accept where the true blame should lie for the worst humanitarian crisis of our generation.

God is watching.

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