March 1, 2021

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Protesters try to enter the international airport | PRESENT

The Socialist Workers Movement this afternoon called a protest caravan to demand that the government close the Isla Verde international airport, in Carolina, “to put the health of the people above the interests of the hotel industry and stop the flow of passengers from areas of high contagion to Puerto Rico. ”

The protesters present tried to enter the airport facilities to carry a caravan, but so far they have not been able to negotiate entry with the Police.

"We made the attempt to enter through the entrance that leads to San Juan towards Carolina and they (the Police) pointed out that no one was going to enter there, that the only access was from Carolina towards San Juan. After a period of time requiring him to give us special permission because we understood that it was not justifiable for us to go all the way around, because we decided to turn around. We found ourselves in the situation that they are preventing us from accessing, "Ricardo Santos, spokesperson, told Telenows MST.

Santos added that a lieutenant colonel explained that they were not allowed access because it was a political demonstration. "We tell the country that democratic rights are not easily transferred, one has to exercise them to the maximum to signal to the government that we are not going to surrender," he added.

The leader demanded that Wanda Vázquez Garced "intervene in this situation".

“Since the beginning of the crisis, the MST has warned of the government's inability to handle the pandemic and has urged the people to protect themselves. This protection, these individual measures, in no way substitute the government's responsibility in the situation of taking the necessary measures such as the control of passengers entering the country, "said Isabel Berríos Cruz, spokesperson for the organization.

MST noted that "rampant corruption, the privatization of health with insurers and austerity measures have caused a lack of personnel to respond in a coordinated way to the crisis."

"We can see how every time we face a crisis , like Hurricane Maria, tremors and now Covid-19, the precarious situation of the different government agencies due to the austerity measures of recent years makes an efficient response impossible, "said spokesman Ricardo Santos Ortiz.

The Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) is in charge of controlling air operations on the island and has refused to stop travel from high-risk areas. Given this, Santos stated that "it is impossible to demand the stoppage of all flights from high contagion areas without questioning the colonial relationship in which we live."

The meeting point of today's caravan was in front of the San Hotel Juan, on Isla Verde Avenue, and then leave en route to Luis Muñoz Marín Airport.

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