San Juan mayor asks governor to stop port privatization
SAN JUAN — After a meeting in Miami with the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA), the mayor of San Juan, Carmen Yulín Cruz Soto, asked Gov. Wanda Vázquez to halt the ports’ privatization process.
“Governor, do the right thing for all of Puerto Rico, not the right thing for some investors. Privatization is a fatal blow to our small businesses, hotels, tour operators, taxi drivers and our people. Privatizing the ports is giving the key of our country to a third party that cannot promise anything because they do not own cruise ships,” Cruz said in statement.
Cruz met with FCCA officials to learn, first hand, the position of the cruise companies regarding the possible privatization of the Port of San Juan and the steps they would take were the government’s intention to materialize.
The meeting was attended by the president and vice president of the FCCA, Michele Paige and Adam Ceserano, respectively; the vice president of Royal Caribbean, Adam Goldstein; Bahamas Paradise Cruise Line President Kevin Sheehan; the president of Carnival Corp., Micky Arison; the president and CEO of Disney Cruise Line, Jeff Vahle; the president and CEO of Norwegian Cruise Line Holdings Ltd., Frank Del Rio; the president and CEO of Regent Seven Seas Cruises, Jason Montague; and the president and CEO of Virgin Voyages, Tom McAlpin.
“The central government has initiated the process of privatizing the port of San Juan without taking into account the effect this will have on the businesses of Old San Juan and on tourism in general in Puerto Rico. Nor have they taken seriously the position of the cruise companies that have supported Puerto Rico. For example, Royal Caribbean has invested around $60 million in construction related to Piers 1 and 2,” she said while reiterating her opposition to Port of San Juan’s privatization.