Is Puerto Rico corrupt? At this point, we can’t think of any government that isn’t — and the U.S. is on top of that list. And, when you have two corrupt governments, one that is supposed to distribute federal aid and the other that is expected to distribute it, well, the most vulnerable communities end up being the real victims. Such was the case, again, in Puerto Rico, when it was discovered over the weekend that a warehouse full of aid was never disseminated.
In Ponce, the area affected by the 6.4 earthquake that struck there on Jan. 7, people opened up a warehouse and found water, baby formula, and crates of supplies, all things that people have needed for weeks, months — years. It’s unclear when these supplies arrived in Ponce, but it is speculated that they’ve been sitting there in the wake of Hurricane Maria, that devastated the island more than two years ago. Because the supplies were discovered to be expired, many speculate that they were initially intended for Hurricane Maria victims. There is also no inventory of the supplies, and the person in charge of the warehouse retired in 2017. But there is some accountability.
Some Puerto Ricans are furious at the discovery of the supplies and now demand the newly installed Governor to step down from office. Protestors said Governor Wanda Vázquez Garced should resign from office over the revelation.
Garced, however, has so far fired three officials, including Carlos Acevedo, the director of Puerto Rico’s Office of Emergency Management, Housing Secretary Fernando Gil, and Department of Family Secretary Glorimar Andújar. Garced also said on Twitter that people need to calm down.
Respeto el derecho constitucional de los ciudadanos a manifestarse y confío que mis hermanos puertorriqueños lo harán en orden. No hay necesidad alguna de la utilización de la fuerza de choque en este momento, por lo que he solicitado se retiren y se mantenga la seguridad regular
— Lcda. Wanda Vázquez Garced (@wandavazquezg) January 20, 2020
“I respect the constitutional right of citizens to demonstrate, and I trust that my Puerto Rican brothers will do it in order,” she tweeted. “There is no need for the use of the shock force at this time, which is why I have requested that regular safety be removed and maintained.”
But people are fed up. How much more disservice and lies must the people of Puerto Rico endure? They have endured disrespect and plenty of lies from the President of the United States, they got the same treatment from ousted former Governor Ricardo Rossello, and now they are getting shut out of aid they have needed since Hurricane Maria? What else is going on behind closed doors?
Protesters in Puerto Rico demand that governor Wanda Vazquez resign after emergency supplies for Hurricane Maria were found in a warehouse pic.twitter.com/jAU9MCw97H
— TRT World Now (@TRTWorldNow) January 21, 2020
“I have never come out to protest, but this caused me so much anger and indignation,” protester Rubi Oliveras told El Vocero newspaper.
“How is it possible that you say you care about the country, and yet you let so many people die while hiding these supplies?”
We demand answers now!