03:22 GMT28 January 2021
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    On Tuesday, the New York Times revealed that a $156 million dollar contract given to Tribute Contracting LLC to provide 30 million meals to Puerto Rico was a complete bust.

    According to the outlet, Tiffany Brown, the owner and sole employee of the company that subcontracted to a wedding caterer for the project, only managed to deliver 50,000 meals.

    And as shocking as the story might be, Juliana Musheyev, a community engaged researcher at Sarasota County Openly Plans for Excellence (SCOPE), says the entire ordeal isn't remotely surprising.

    Speaking to Sputnik Radio's Loud & Clear, Musheyev told show hosts Brian Becker and John Kiriakou that it's just one more failure for FEMA to add to a growing list.

    "During Hurricane Katrina, FEMA had botched contracts that were inadequately distributing services," the activist said. "FEMA has proven their inadequacy time and time again."

    "It's not necessarily surprising that this has happened, but it's still absurd nonetheless," Musheyev added.

    The enormity of FEMA's mess could even suggest malintent, she pointed out.

    "They have warehouses full of supplies that are not being distributed to the people that really need those supplies. I don't know if it is negligence or if it's being done on purpose at this point," she told Becker. "With the amount of failure that's going on, I can't see how there couldn't be some malintent with how much FEMA is failing to aid the people of Puerto Rico."

    While US officials claim that increased military spending is meant to protect Americans, Musheyev says that they're really just "diverting the funds that would protect the American people from actual threats like climate change."

    "They're lying to us and they're putting us in danger by diverting funds that could be used to actually help people from threats like starvation [and] disease," she pointed out.

    Despite the absurdity of FEMA's management, the ongoing setbacks in Puerto Rico revealed an even more disturbing angle.

    "It's being used as an opportunity to privatize, to gentrify and also they're trying to use it as an opportunity to militarize [the island by putting] more police officers into Puerto Rico in order to maintain law and order."

    The views and opinions expressed in the article do not necessarily reflect those of Sputnik.


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    Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Puerto Rico
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