Green Party: President Trump and Congress must remove all barriers to emergency relief for Puerto Rico
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The Green Party of the United States called on the White House and Congress to repeal the Jones Act and all barriers to emergency relief for Puerto Rico and provide massive aid for the island in the wake of Hurricanes Irma and Maria.
The devastation in Puerto Rico may be even worse than in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The Virgin Islands have also suffered severe damage and need emergency aid.
For Immediate Release:
Wednesday, September 27, 2017
Scott McLarty, Media Director, 202-904-7614, email@example.com
Puerto Ricans need food, water, medicine, fuel, power generators, supplies for temporary shelter, and repairs for dams and other damaged infrastructure. Many Puerto Ricans need evacuation, especially those with injuries, the elderly, and the very young.
The Jones Act (Merchant Marine Act of 1920) mandates that all goods transported by water to Puerto Rico must be carried on ships with U.S. flags, constructed in the U.S., owned by U.S. citizens, and with U.S. crews. The act enforces Puerto Rican dependence on the U.S.
Repealing the Jones Act would enable international delivery of aid to Puerto Rico. The act was briefly waived after Hurricane Irma.
The Green Party urged President Trump to reverse his recent orders restricting flights and denial of permission for members of Congress to visit Puerto Rico and meet with local officials. Mr. Trump has said he does not support waiving the Jones Act.
Green Party leaders said that long-term assistance requires canceling Puerto Rico's enormous and unpayable debt; lifting austerity policies; ending the colonial status that has subjected the island to outside rule, exploitation, and racism since 1898; enabling self-determination and independence; and providing reparations for a century of occupation.
Greens also noted that the severity of Hurricane Maria and other recent storms proves that climate change is now a global emergency, with Puerto Rico and other islands and mainland areas in "Hurricane Alley" facing more catastrophes in the coming years.
Hurricane Harvey is the latest alarm bell on climate change
Press release: Green Party of the United States, August 31, 2017
Puerto Rico expects U.S. to lift Jones Act shipping restrictions
Reuters, September 27, 2017
Puerto Rico’s Double Devastation: Hurricanes And Austerity
By Natasha Lycia Ora Bannan, The Huffington Post, September 26, 2017
Puerto Rican debt holders respond to catastrophic hurricane by offering Puerto Rico more debt
By David Dayen, The Intercept, September 27, 2017
Puerto Rico Goes Dark After its Power is Stripped: Hurricane Maria wreaked havoc on Puerto Rico, but massive debt and a crumbling infrastructure put the island in crisis long before the storm
Interview with Monxo Lopez, The Real News, September 22
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