Governor of Puerto Rico Resigns After Protests

Governor of Puerto Rico Resigns After Protests

Governor of Puerto Rico Resigns After Protests

The Governor of Puerto Rico, Ricardo Rossello, has agreed to resign and will leave office next month. The island had been rocked by protests following the release of private conversations and charges of corruption.

The 40 year old Rossello had been a political rock star. He was the face of Puerto Rico for most Americans and had been touting a new fiscal policy for the island that had been in a debt crisis since 2006. Hurricane Maria devastated the country in 2017 leaving nearly 3000 dead and most of the population without water and electricity. President Donald Trump was criticized for throwing paper towels into the audience when he visited.

In February of this year, Rossello worried that Puerto Rico would be on the short end of the stick with President Trump’s border wall. He told The Hill.com:

“There [were] sources that said that the White House was thinking about using recovery funding to build the wall, I think that would be a terrible mistake and a terrible decision,” Rosselló, a centrist Democrat, told Hill.TV’s Krystal Ball and Buck Sexton on “Rising.”

“You cannot justify using money that’s there to rebuild the lives of U.S. citizens to build a wall and I have asked the president to show clarity on this position,” he continued.

Rosselló added that while he hopes Trump won’t move in that direction, local officials are prepared to put up a fight if the president does decide to go down that road.

And, then came the release of nearly 900 pages of private messages sent between Rossello and other Puerto Rican officials. He made light of the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria and those who died. From Metro USA:

n one particularly unsettling exchange, Rossello made fun of the victims of Hurricane Maria, which devastated the island in 2017, killing more than 3,000 people. Sobrino Vega, the former chief financial officer, made a joke about the number of bodies in the aftermath of Maria. Rossello responded, “Now that we are on the subject, don’t we have some cadavers to feed our crows?”

And, that wasn’t the only cold and cynical message, here are Rossello’s remarks about singer Ricky Martin:

“Nothing says patriarchal oppression like Ricky Martin,” he wrote.”Ricky Martin is such a male chauvinist that he f—s men because women don’t measure up. Pure patriarchy.”

Martin joined hundreds of thousands of islanders in protests, for twelve days, demanding that Rossello resign. The crowd chanted “Ricky Renuncia”! And, it wasn’t just his written words that damned the Governor. It was the corruption. As NBC News reported:

The news came after three attorneys commissioned by the president of Puerto Rico’s House of Representatives, Carlos Méndez Núñez, unanimously found five offenses that constituted grounds for impeachment.

In the report that was leaked to the press, the attorneys found Rosselló committed four serious offenses and one misdemeanor, including illicitly using public resources and services for partisan purposes, as well as allowing government officials and contractors to misuse public funds and time for non-government work.

Méndez had announced he had convened a meeting for Thursday afternoon to begin the impeachment process.

Rossello really didn’t have much choice. Resign or be impeached. Here is how CBS News reported the resignation:

Puerto Rico is a beautiful island with deep fiscal problems and massive corruption. The resignation of Ricardo Rossello may be just the start.

Photo Credit: Edgardo Colon/Creative Commons License S.A. 4.0 International

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3 Comments
  • Mad celt says:

    So long to another incompetent big mouth. A sort of Beto Lite, politically.

  • GWB says:

    Hey, Puerto Ricans are Americans, right? Natural-born?
    Give him until 2024, and the Dems will ‘beto’ him right into the presidential race!

    And, yes, PR is terribly corrupt.
    illicitly using public resources and services for partisan purposes, as well as allowing government officials and contractors to misuse public funds and time for non-government work
    IOW, A day ending in ‘y’ in Puerto Rico.

    But…
    leaving nearly 3000 dead
    I don’t think that is as true as “a very broken country let 3,000 people die because it couldn’t manage basic disaster relief.”

  • Scott says:

    “Puerto Rico is a beautiful island with deep fiscal problems and massive corruption.”

    Short version would be “Puerto Rico is a beautiful island run by democrats”….

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