Jones Act provides jobs for Puerto Ricans | Opinion

A house rests in the mud after it was washed away by Hurricane Fiona at Villa Esperanza in Salinas, Puerto Rico.

The Miami Herald’s Sept. 29 report “U.S. issues ‘targeted and temporary’ Jones Act waiver for Puerto Rico after Hurricane Fiona,” on the waiver of the domestic shipping law to allow the foreign-flagged tanker delivery of diesel fuel to Puerto Rico, included this disturbing quote from Roberto González Nieves, the Archbishop of San Juan’s Roman Catholic Church: “The Jones Act should be repealed — it is immoral.”

The Jones Act, also known as the Merchant Marine Act of 1920, provides Puerto Rican residents working at sea and ashore under this law with high-standard, family-friendly wages, comprehensive health insurance and retirement security benefits, among other advantages.

Jones Act dry-cargo ships operate routinely and efficiently in shuttle service between ports in Florida and Puerto Rico, delivering essential consumer goods and equipment to everyone in this territory.

Foreign-flagged ships already monopolize delivery of petroleum products to Puerto Rico — fuels that are not sourced on the United States mainland.

The Jones Act accounts for some 700,000 jobs nationwide; only Louisiana provides more of these jobs than Florida, which gains from Jones Act services on three coasts.

Today’s Jones Act cargo ships are indeed suited for national security services in defense emergencies, and this law generates the highly trained and dedicated U.S. merchant mariner labor force needed to deliver cargoes to our armed forces personnel overseas.

The Jones Act stands on absolute merit at no cost to American taxpayers.


The church should know better.

Paul Doell,


American Maritime Officers,

Dania Beach

A showstopper?

Re the Miami Herald’s Sept. 29 story “Miami Dade College will no longer run Little Havana’s Tower Theater, Miami says:” There is a lot wrong with Miami’s City Commission, but that list is too long to include here. However, it is hard to believe the commission will deny the residents of Miami one of its few cultural venues.

The Tower Theater is a great institution, dedicated to exhibiting excellent films from anywhere in the world. It presents the Miami Film Festival, and other cultural events. Miami Dade College renovated the building, adding to Calle Ocho’s appeal as a tourist attraction.

Is this theater’s future the same as the Coconut Grove Playhouse? Will it become a dilapidated eyesore, as it was before? Is Freedom Tower next?

Are we all going to let this happen?

Margarita Batlle,


Local news

The writer of the Sept. 29 letter “Angry words,” said he gets “inflamed” every time he reads the Open Mic section of the Miami Herald because of what he perceives as a “liberal left-wing” tilt. I read (and contribute) to this forum regularly.

Lumping liberals and “leftists” together is no different than when conservatives are branded as fascists and racists. Most people are just right or left of center, but it is the extremists in both parties who suck up all the air in the room.

By branding the Herald a tool of the left wing, while ignoring the award-winning journalism it has provided over many years, the writer is doing himself a great disservice.

The Herald sometimes publishes letters from people claiming they will cancel their subscription due to their perception of the paper’s political leanings. It is this type of myopic thinking that will create a news desert and subject local readers to national media, with no local reporting.

That would be a very depressing future.

Alex Jimenez,

Winter Park

Insurance crisis

As the largest insurer in Florida teeters in insolvency and millions of Floridians face being under-insured or not insured at all because of catastrophically high premiums, Gov. Ron DeSantis and the GOP-led Legislature made culture wars their priority instead of working on property-insurance reform.

Come November, many voters will not forget.

Lourdes Cantillo,

South Miami