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RIOTS IN PUERTO RICO: More cruise ships bypass San Juan

PortandTerminal.com, July 23, 2019

After a day of largely peaceful demonstrations, masses of protesters were met with tear gas in San Juan late Monday as they called for the ousting of embattled Gov. Ricardo Rossello. The protests and uncertainty are scaring cruise ships away.

SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO – Hundreds of thousands of people swept through the capital of Puerto Rico on Monday, shutting down a major highway and paralyzing much of the city in the latest in a series of furious protests over the island’s embattled governor, Ricardo A. Rosselló.

According to the New York Times, Monday’s protest was one of the largest ever seen on the island, as Puerto Ricans streamed into the capital on buses — and some on planes from the mainland — in a spontaneous eruption of fury over the years of recession, mismanagement, natural disaster and corruption that have fueled a recent exodus

More Cruise ships diverting

The mass protests sweeping Puerto Rico demanding the resignation of Gov. Ricardo Rosselló are taking a toll on the economy, with some cruise lines avoiding San Juan and fewer tourists visiting the island’s capital. 

“All week we have had no customers coming in. The cruise ships have already turned around, and most of our customers are tourists,” he said. “I support the protests, but they are hurting us from a business standpoint. But it’s not the people’s fault, it’s the fault of the government.”

Local San Juan bar owner

More cruise ship operators cancelled scheduled trips to San Juan on Monday, citing the political unrest.

San Juan is not especially cruise ship tourist friendly this week

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.

Last 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.

The Puerto Rico Tourism Company, a government agency, said in a statement that the MSC Cruises ship MSC Seaside would also not be stopping in the port.

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