Tell Congress: Extend the Jones Act exemption
At 5:30 a.m. on Wednesday, September 19, my husband Jose called me from Puerto Rico to tell me our apartment was shaking. As he took shelter in the tub from Hurricane Maria we got disconnected. After five days with no communication from Miami I was fearing the worst—maybe he flew away in the hurricane, was trapped under cement, was hurt and couldn't get help.
When I finally spoke to Jose on Sunday, he told me he was without potable water, the apartment didn't suffer damages, just water and sand. Sand! I live three blocks from the coastal line on the sixth floor. Maria had a lot of fury.
A ship takes five days from Jacksonville to San Juan or any other port in Puerto Rico. If Panama, Venezuela, or our neighbor the Dominican Republic wanted to send in assistance, the Jones Act requires it to dock first in a US port, like Jacksonville, and then head over to Puerto Rico. My husband and many others cannot wait that long for aid.
(Editor's Note: This is not true. The Jones Act prohibits cargo from being picked up in one US port and delivered to another US port by a non-US ship. Foreign ships can carry foreign cargo direct to any US port.)
Please tell your member of Congress to extend Puerto Rico's exemption from the Jones Act.
The line to the supermarket was four streets long, no gasoline, no water, no electricity. One day after five hours on a line to enter the supermarket, when he was getting close to the entrance they closed because they ran out of diesel for the generator.
Puerto Rico needs an extended exemption from the Jones Act to survive. Call your member of Congress today and tell them to extend the Jones Act exemption for Puerto Rico.
Puerto Rico needs our held. Thank you for taking action.
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