Drawing by Miguel Guerra
One of your most memorable campaign phases was your promise to, as you call it, “drain the swamp.” Well, this week you have a golden opportunity to help drain one swamp. Two weeks ago, three private corporations, Whitefish, Cobra and Fluor signed a very fishy, no-bid contract with PREPA, The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority to rebuild the power grid in Puerto Rico. This was done with alleged consent from FEMA, who by the way adamantly denies knowledge of the contracts. Each of these contracts are worth in the hundreds of millions of dollars. These corporations are clearly trying to take advantage of the recent cataclysmic events in Puerto Rico and if these contracts are honored and deemed legitimate, hundreds of millions of American dollars will go directly into the pockets of the few people in charge of these corporation, the likes who charge, for example, a whopping $20,000 an hour for heavy-lift Chinook helicopters.
If a swindle ever existed, Mr. President, these contracts are part of a huge, stinky and shameless swindle. To take advantage of our citizens while they are at their most vulnerable has got to be the lowest of the low. To attempt to make off with hundreds of millions of dollars from American people; one can simply not get lower than that. In Spanish there is a very fitting word to describe these vultures: descarado. It translates directly to “without a face.”
This is your big opportunity, Mr. President. This is your chance to stand up for the common man you came into office to protect. This is your chance to fight against what you yourself described as a clearly rigged system that rewards the few and the wealthy. Naomi Klein illustrates in her book, Shock Doctrine, the phenomenon called “Disaster Capitalism”: the use of tragic events to advance, what she labels, radical privatization. Radical privatization is what’s happening right now in Puerto Rico. So, here’s your chance to keep your promise to drawn the swamp, a golden opportunity for you to follow through on this ONE commitment. At the very least, Mr. President, tweet away to help get these controversial contracts, worth over a billion dollars, nullified.