|Taking stock of rebuilding materials "stored" in a Puerto Rican warehouse|
Thursday, February 8, 2018
Armed Federal Agents Enter Warehouse in Puerto Rico to Seize Hoarded Electric Equipment
Hat Tip: Suzanne Eovaldi
The following article appeared in the Intercept on January 10th
By Kate Aronoff
On Saturday, a day after becoming aware of a massive store of rebuilding materials being held by the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, the U.S. federal government — the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, along with their security detail — entered a Palo Seco warehouse owned by the public utility to claim and distribute the equipment, according to a spokesperson for the Corps.
Rumors of a tense standoff had been
circulating on the island, but the encounter was confirmed to The Intercept in
a statement from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Asked if the federal
officers were armed when they entered the warehouse, USACE spokesperson Luciano
Vera said they were indeed accompanied by security detail and quickly began
distributing the material after seizing it. Vera declined to say whether there
was a confrontation at the entrance, saying only that PREPA officials
ultimately toured the warehouse along with the feds:
Leadership responsible for restoring the Puerto Rico power grid and their security detail toured the warehouse in cooperation with PREPA. USACE conducted a full inventory and immediately sent out critical materials to contractors at work sites. USACE will continue to distribute critical materials from the site to contractors. The hope is to strengthen the partnership between PREPA and its restoration partners, while increasing visibility of the inventory of all materials on the island. PREPA has invited FEMA and the Corps to visit its warehouses anytime and to distribute material as needed.
The federal government “began distributing [supplies] to contractors,” Vera said, including hard-to-find full-tension steel sleeves, critical to rebuilding. “We obtained several hundred of these sleeves on Saturday,” Vera added.
The armed encounter comes as around half of Puerto Ricans still remain without electricity well over 100 days after Hurricane Maria. As PREPA hoards crucial resources that could help remedy the island’s dire situation, the Puerto Rican government is attempting to annihilate the power provider’s only regulator.
“Warehouse 5” — the one which USACE and FEMA entered Saturday — “falls under the control of the [PREPA] transmission division and has lacked transparency in inventory and accountability,” the email from Vera continued. Carlos Torres, appointed by Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló to oversee power restoration, was on site as well.
“Due to the size of the warehouse,” Vera said, accounting for everything contained therein is still underway days later. Among the materials recovered so far are “2,875 pieces of critical material to contractors” along with the sleeves of full-tension steel, a component of Puerto Rican electrical infrastructure required to erect new power lines. PREPA did not respond to The Intercept’s request for comment, though in a statement to the Associated Press, it rejected allegations that it had failed to distribute the warehouse’s contents. The AP only reported that “officials over the weekend also discovered some needed materials in a previously overlooked warehouse owned by Puerto Rico’s Electric Power Authority.” How they discovered them and how they were obtained is a story that has not been fully told.
Ed. Upon his death, Fidel Castro was described by American sources as a billionaire, thanks to the decades of money being poured down the Cuban rat hole. Why should we be surprised when we find graft and corruption among officials in one of our chief U.S. protectorate rat holes?
The Coach's Team published articles last year concerning the very corrupt--and possibly brain dead--Carmen Yulin Cruz, mayor of San Juan, P.R. Those links are HERE and HERE.