SAN JUAN – New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Saturday in Puerto Rico that the US government has not done the reconstruction work that Puerto Rico deserves following the devastation left in the path of Hurricane Maria last Sept. 20.
“In my opinion, the federal government should be ashamed of itself in the way they’ve handled this,” said Cuomo after lunch at a San Juan hotel, where some 400 workers gathered from different New York electric companies who are currently working on the Caribbean island to reestablish the electricity service destroyed by the hurricane.
Cuomo, one of the first US politicians to visit Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria, stated at the event that Puerto Ricans are not foreigners but are American citizens, and that this Caribbean territory belongs to the United States as a Free Associated State.
He said that when America has problems, all of its people should be united.
Upon his arrival, Cuomo committed himself with the Puerto Rican government to obtain all kinds of aid for reconstructing the island, including adequate electric power workers.
Nonetheless, due to the virtual obliteration of the power grid, dozens of businesses have had to close down, causing immediate unemployment and thousands of Puerto Ricans leaving for the United States, chiefly to the state of Florida.
Among the companies represented at the event this Saturday were Con Edison, National Grid, Orange and Rockland Utilities, Oracle Utilities and the New York Power Authority, as well as the New York National Guard.
Some of these companies have been at least three weeks on the island, backing up the more than 3,000 employees of the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA), who are working to reestablish electricity on the island.