The “public private partnership” that is running the Luís Muñoz Marín International Airport in San Juan, PR is not paying its electric bills.
Gov. Luis Fortuño announces the Aerostar takeover
From the first day that it assumed control of the airport (February 2013) until the present day, Aerostar Holdings, Inc. has been delinquent in all its electricity payments. It now owes $25 million to the government of Puerto Rico.
To put this in context, the people of Puerto Rico are paying 24 cents per kilowatt hour for their electricity. This is three times the rate that people are paying in New York City, where consumers pay 8 cents per kilowatt hour.
When Puerto Ricans do not pay this extremely high electricity bill, their electricity gets turned off. But Aerostar Holdings has not paid their electricity bill for 1…2…3…4…5.…6…7…8…9…10…11…12…13…14…15…16…17…18…19…20…21…22…23…24…25…26…27…28…29…30…31…32…33…34 months.
Under normal conditions, with average citizens, this is called theft of services…and the citizen goes to jail. But when two foreign corporations from Wall Street and Mexico owe Puerto Rico $25 million, this is called “infrastructure development.”
In February 2013, when Aerostar was awarded a 40-year lease to run the airport, there was a great deal of local protest. A major concern was that all the airport profits would leave the island, since Aerostar is a 50-50 joint venture between Highstar Capital (a private equity firm in New York) and Grupo Aeroportario del Sureste (GAS, a Mexican management firm).
Apparently, those concerns were well-founded. Aerostar is not only withdrawing its profits from Puerto Rico…it is not paying its bills to Puerto Rico.
The owner of the Mexican firm GAS is a top lieutenant of Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim – the world’s richest man, who also owns the Puerto Rico telephone company. The officers and directors of Highstar Capital are deeply entrenched in the United States GOP party.
Carlos Slim, the richest man in the world
None of this mattered to Gov. Luís Fortuño, who brokered the entire deal during his administration. Fortuño welcomed them – the Mexican and Wall Street firms – with open arms. He engineered the entire deal with them. Now they owe Puerto Rico $25 million.
This is the kind of “management” and “accountability” we can expect, when the US imposes a Financial Control Board on Puerto Rico.
For a history of the War Against All Puerto Ricans, read the book…
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