Discover Puerto Rico Issues Travel Update on Protests

Protests in San Juan, Puerto Rico continue. As we previously reported, San Juan has been facing a series of protests calling for the resignation of Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló. The protests stem from nearly 900 pages of private chats released by Centro Periodismo Investigativo. Dubbed “RickyLeaks,” the chats contained profanity-laced, misogynistic and homophobic comments by the governor between December 2018 and January 2019; other comments from top officers joked about the dead bodies that piled up before and after Hurricane Maria. This followed a series of corruption scandals plaguing the governor’s administration.

Regarding the protests, Discover Puerto Rico, the Island’s first-ever Destination Marketing Organization, made the following statement to Travel Agent:

“Discover Puerto Rico is closely monitoring the protests around El Capitolio and Fortaleza, and our first priority is tourists and keeping them informed. We are in touch with industry partners and can confirm that other areas of San Juan and the Island have not been impacted. While we recommend travelers avoid this area and take precautions traveling in Old San Juan during this time, we can confirm that the Island remains open for business.

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“We are working with our tourism partners to keep them up to date with the information, so they can be a resource for travelers and guests and ensure they have the information they need to have a safe and enjoyable time while in Puerto Rico and move smoothly around the Island.

“Airports and taxi services are operating normally, as are tourist attractions and hotels. While two cruise ships have altered plans, multiple flights and cruises arrive in Puerto Rico each day, and we are not aware of others changing schedules. Travelers should check with area businesses and travel providers regarding operations and should allow additional time for travel, as there may be delays.”

According to CNN, during one of the largest demonstrations on Wednesday night, police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at protesters, while another was caught grabbing a protester who was claimed to be jumping a barrier (which video evidence later proved the protester wasn’t attempting).

Despite the protests, Governor Rosselló says he will not resign. "I will continue my work and my responsibility to the people of Puerto Rico," the governor told reporters Tuesday. On the other hand, the mayor of San Juan, Carmen Yulín Cruz, is urging people to join the demonstrations, saying, "I'm not going to cooperate with his (Roselló's) abuses. I won't be part of his efforts to criminalize the legitimate right of the people of Puerto Rico to ask for his resignation.”

NPR reports that trap artist Bad Bunny and singer Ricky Martin were among the crowd that marched to the governor's mansion, while Lin-Manuel Miranda led a demonstration in New York City. CNN adds similar protests are taking place in Miami and Orlando, FL.

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