PortandTerminal.com, July 18, 2019
The fifth day of protests in Puerto Rico is forcing popular cruise lines to abandon stops to the beloved island destination.
SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO – Mass protests in Puerto Rico are causing cruise ships to cancel port calls to the island.
The protests began days ago in Puerto Rico when nearly 900 pages of leaked chats from the governor’s private Telegram Messenger group were published over the weekend. Included in the embarrassing private chat transcripts were homophobic and misogynistic remarks.
In the chats on the encrypted messaging app Telegram, Rosselló calls one New York female politician of Puerto Rican background a “whore,” describes another as a “daughter of a bitch” and makes fun of an obese man he posed with in a photo.
In another exchange on the messaging platform between Governor Roselló and Christian Sobrino Vega — who was Puerto Rico’s chief fiscal officer at the time, pop star Ricky Martin’s sexuality was criticized.
“Ricky Martin is such a male chauvinist that he f—- men because women don’t measure up”
Ricky Martin and other musicians responded by encouraging Puerto Ricans to protest in the streets and demand the Governor’s resignation.
Cruise ship cancellations
The unrest in Puerto Rico has led to two cruise ships belonging to Royal Caribbean skipping the port after violent protests rocked the island seeking the governor’s ouster.
The cruise ships Empress of the Seas that sailed from Miami on Saturday and skipped Puerto Rico on Tuesday and was rerouted to the British Virgin Islands.
On Wednesday, another ship Harmony of the Seas scheduled to dock in San Juan was also diverted. The company has offered refunds to guests on prepaid activities booked in Puerto Rico.
Royal Caribbean said it would be going to St. Maarten instead because of safety concerns. Royal Caribbean spokesman Owen Torres said in a statement: “In light of current unrest in San Juan, Puerto Rico, we have cancelled today’s call to San Juan.
The cruise line also addressed a letter to the 1,800 passengers on Empress of the Seas explaining the circumstances that led the ship to bypass Puerto Rico.
“There was a protest involving a large crowd that escalated and as you may have heard from our Captain, we decided to cancel our visit,” the letter noted.
Nearly two years ago, Hurricane María exposed the raw dysfunction of Puerto Rico, collapsing long-neglected infrastructure and leaving several thousand dead on Gov. Ricardo Rosselló’s watch.
People living in Puerto Rico, still recovering from Hurricane Maria’s wrath in 2017, continue to struggle amid a debt-driven financial failure. Hundreds of schools have shut down as the government looks to save money. Social services and pensions are also at risk.
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