If Trump Won't Send Help To Puerto Rico, Royal Caribbean Cruises Will

Credit: Getty Images

For a week after Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico, President Trump refused to temporarily waive the Jones Act, which would've allowed international organizations and governments to ship aid to the millions of desperate American citizens who are without food, water, power, and shelter. Previously, Trump waived the Jones Act for Houston and Florida after Hurricanes Harvey and Irma respectively. 

Trump ignored the calls of lawmakers, activists, and even John McCain to lift restrictions that prohibit foreign vessels from providing aid, citing business reasons: “We have a lot of shippers and a lot of people... who work in the shipping industry that don’t want the Jones Act lifted. And we have a lot of ships out there right now."

Fortunately, the humanitarian acts of both private citizens and private companies, as well as a petition from Puerto Rico's Governor Ricardo Rossello, forced the president's hand, and as of this morning the White House authorized a waiver of the Jones Act in order to assist in the recovery efforts in Puerto Rico.

The Jones Act, a.k.a. The Merchant Marine Act of 1920, is a post-WWI relic of a law meant to ensure the United States maintains a shipbuilding industry and a seafaring labor force, by requiring all goods shipped between American ports to be on American ships built, owned, crewed by American citizens. Satisfying all those requirements, cruise line Royal Caribbean decided to send one of its cruise ships to provide aid and much needed supplies to Puerto Rico.

The cruise line cancelled its upcoming September 30 Adventure of the Seas trip to make the 3,800 passenger vessel available to the victims of Hurricane Maria, bringing water, medical supplies, and additional aid to Puerto Rico and the surrounding Caribbean islands. Adventure arrived in the port of San Juan in Puerto Rico yesterday and will return to Fort Lauderdale, Florida with evacuees. Norwegian Cruise Line and Carnival are two other cruise lines providing relief.

Other private citizens answered the call to help Puerto Rico as well:

Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban lent point guard J.J. Barea the team’s plane to bring relief to the NBA player's home country. Barea flew in 32 generators as well as thousands of pounds of food, water, and medical supplies. "As soon as I told them I was doing this, they were like, 'Go, go, go, go, go,'" Barea said.

Rapper Pitbull quietly sent his private plane to ferry cancer patients off the island, bringing them to New York for treatment. When his involvement became public, he responded: "Thank God we're blessed to help. Just doing my part."

And music artists Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony, whose parents are Puerto Rican, came together to create humanitarian initiative “Somos Una Voz,” which will expedite food, medicine, and other resources to those in need in Puerto Rico. With over a 100 million followers on Twitter and Instagram, Lopez posted a video on Instagram asking for others to help, after donating $1 million herself to relief. Their alliance already has over 30 other celebrities involved, including Hamilton’s Lin Manuel-Miranda, Ricky Martin, Ed Sheeran, Bruno Mars, and Jada Pinkett Smith.

For more on the Jones Act and how it affects Puerto Rico past and present, including how it has even caused the island's bankrupt economy, read HERE.

Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

The United States, unlike North Korea and other nations President Donald Trump admires, does not have an official state media channel where the federal government can push propaganda.

But since his 2016 campaign, Trump has spoken as though he does have an official state media in Fox News.

Keep reading...
Leon Neal/Getty Images

Retired General John Kelly served as President Donald Trump's Chief of Staff until late 2018, and now he's siding against Trump on a crucial point.

Former National Security Advisor John Bolton's allegations in his upcoming memoir have rocked the impeachment trial in the Senate. Bolton claims Trump sought to withhold aid from Ukraine until it acquiesced to performing politically beneficial investigations for Trump's reelection bid.

Keep reading...

As calls continue to grow for former National Security Advisor John Bolton to testify before the Senate in President Donald Trump's impeachment trial, Trump's personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani is feeling left out.

Demands for Bolton's testimony skyrocketed among the public after allegations in his upcoming memoir that Trump sought to withhold Ukrainian aid as late as September to secure foreign investigations into Trump's political rivals.

Keep reading...
Fox News

Explosive allegations from an upcoming memoir by former National Security Advisor John Bolton are strengthening the case for additional witnesses at the Senate impeachment trial of President Donald Trump.

According to Bolton's manuscript, the President sought as recently as September to withhold $391 million in congressionally approved aid to Ukraine until its President announced investigations into his political rival, former Vice President Joe Biden.

Keep reading...
Scott Olson/Getty Images // Drew Angerer/Getty Images

The defense team in President Donald Trump's impeachment trial spent its second day of arguments defending Rudy Giuliani, bashing House Democrats, and ignoring bombshell developments regarding former National Security Advisor John Bolton that broke in the days before.

The team went after a familiar target in a performance that was likely for an audience of one: Donald Trump.

Keep reading...

Ken Starr, a conservative pundit and frequent Fox News guest, is best known for his dogged attacks to find impeachable offenses by President Bill Clinton during a multi-year investigation into every aspect of the Clinton family's lives.

In the end, Starr found an extramarital affair which was used to impeach Clinton and that Clinton lied under oath about his personal life.

Keep reading...