El Caribe Puerto Rico The Caribbean (featured)

beyond a chat … – COHA

By Iris Alejandra Soto Ruiz and Erick Javier Padilla Rosas

In an effort to understand the present state of affairs of the Puerto Rican archipelago, it’s necessary to make a temporary account of the history of how former governor Ricardo Rosselló came to energy.

Ricardo A. Rosselló Nevares is the youngest son of former governor Pedro Rosselló, who dominated the island between 1993 and 2001[1]. It’s common to listen to the generations of that time say that, although beneath the government administration of Rosselló's father, his cupboard officers stole public money from the country, the citizens weren’t in a state of misery[2].

Corruption of the father, corruption of the son

In the course of the time that P. Rosselló was in energy there were several occasions just like those skilled immediately together with his son. Lots of his trusted officers have been arrested, and he was accused multiple occasions of thief and corruption. Regardless of all these information, at the moment the individuals did not categorical their enthusiastic about corruption in unison. Fairly, he acquired the title of “political messiah” from his supporters[3]. After its period of government, the country entered into an financial recession, during which Puerto Rico continues to be submerged. His legacy as “the messiah” opened the best way for his son when he decided to run for governorship in the 2016 elections.

Before formally operating, former Governor Ricardo Rosselló began campaigning for his candidacy. Though his final identify led his profile, R. Rosselló had the help of such influential individuals as Mr. Elías Sánchez, who maintained a close relationship with him, including sponsoring the governor's wedding ceremony together with his second wife, Beatriz Rosselló[4].

In 2012, Sánchez employed R. Rosselló in the Veritas Company, which had contracts with the Senate of the archipelago[5]. This firm did not lose its business relations with the now governor R. Rosselló, receiving in 2017 contracts to introduce medical marijuana in Puerto Rico[6]. That’s, Sanchez maintained a robust financial and administrative affect in order that R. Rosselló had a privileged state of affairs throughout his election campaign for the governorate.

Then again, the presence of R. Rosselló was felt in public and private activities. In this means people who lived underneath the federal government of P. Rosselló might see the brand new emergence of the “dynasty” Rosselló. This was appreciated by some. Who might know more about politics than the son of the “political messiah”? But there was no reminiscence of corruption instances beneath his father's government.

Protest towards Governor Rosselló, in Mayagüez in entrance of the mayor's workplace of that city (Photograph credit: Erick Padilla).

During his 2016 marketing campaign the skeletons of his previous resurfaced. Ricardo Rosselló himself was accused in his youth of being answerable for the dying of a lady and her son while driving drunk[7].

As a part of his political campaign, R. Rosselló began to be referred to as “the son of the messiah”, referring to the governorship of his father. Ricardo Rosselló, a man who had by no means participated in politics before, turned the candidate for governorship by the New Progressive Celebration (PNP), beating his opponent Pedro Pierluisi, who had an experienced profile as a politician.

A vitiated government from the start

In November 2016 Ricardo Rosselló turned the brand new governor of the Puerto Rican archipelago. From the beginning of his governorship he confronted issues. He came to control when america Congress had imposed a Fiscal Management Board, which was chargeable for slicing budgets to gather the debt that the island has[8]. This turned out to be, and still is, a major obstacle for the nation as austerity measures have been carried out as a answer to pay that debt.

In April 2017, after the nation's public university system was threatened with monumental cuts that may limit entry to public schooling, university students declared a systematic strike. The eleven university campuses, the Conservatory of Music and the Faculty of Plastic Arts demonstrated towards the federal government of Rosselló, the Fiscal Control Board and towards the secretary of schooling, Julia Keleher. This was dedicated to closing public faculties and is now accused of fraud and theft of the schooling system[9]. Then, in September 2017 two category 5 hurricanes hit the island, growing the problems of the archipelago[10].

The resignation arrives

All these accusations and speculations have been confirmed in the 889 pages of the Telegram chat that have been revealed in the newspapers on July 12, 2019[11]. The result of the studying of the chat by Puerto Rican citizens was decisive to demand the resignation of the governor, who introduced his resignation with a prerecorded video at present July 25, 2019[12].

The textual content of the leaked chat, with the direct participation of Rosselló, consists of “misogynistic insults against civil servants, homophobic comments against Ricky Martin and Puerto Rican politicians, memes of adversaries, threats to the press and obscene language”. In the conversations “sensitive issues of government were also discussed and confidential and privileged information was shared with participants who no longer worked for the administration and others who belong to the private sector, raising possible conflicts of interest,” CNN defined.[13].

Though the protests started after the publication of the Telegram chat, they cannot be understood if the corruption historical past that was managed beneath the administration of R. Rosselló is just not taken under consideration. The varied protests and marches are the results of critical social problems that the country has been dealing with since lengthy before the chat pages came to mild. Subsequently, what has been reported in current days in the national and worldwide media reflects the union of many sectors of the country which might be continually demonstrating towards the abuse of political power of Rosselló.

A planetary rejection response

His actions inspired the creation of the hashtag #RickyRenuncia, which invaded social networks. In addition, protests have been held in front of the mansion where the governor lived. The demonstrations not solely remained in the capital and in social networks: Puerto Ricans demonstrated all through the island and on the earth diaspora, and never only in the population in america.

The Puerto Rican declare was supported by nationwide, worldwide artists and members of the diaspora similar to Ricky Martin, Residente, Dangerous Bunny, Ednita Nazario, Olga Tañón and Julián Gil, amongst others. The participation of these artists received the demonstrations backed by individuals from everywhere in the world.

One million individuals in the streets

On Monday, July 22, the national strike was carried out to ask the governor to resign. In addition to the world of ​​the capital, San Juan, there have been additionally demonstrations in numerous elements of the island such because the municipalities of Aguada and Mayagüez, amongst others. This, coupled with protests in a number of cities in america. In the strike the participation of multiple million individuals was achieved[14]. It was attainable to appreciate the creativity of the Puerto Rican individuals who demanded that the governor resign. Individuals affiliated with all political events and unbiased citizens of all ages: adults, the elderly, youth and youngsters. Then again, it was about organizing a march with those who supported the governor, nevertheless it was unsuccessful. Among the forms of protest and demand for resignation from the governor was the normal “cacerolazo”[15].

The governor announced that he would give a message on July 24 at 4:00 p.m., nevertheless, this did not occur. Puerto Ricans, nationwide and international journalists waited for greater than 7 and a half hours for his or her message, which ended up being a video pre-recorded on Fb Stay. In it, the governor spent twelve minutes explaining the whole lot he stated he had carried out for the Puerto Rican individuals. He then announced his resignation and reported that his successor can be the secretary of Justice, Wanda Vázquez.

Successor: also accused of corruption

That R. Rosselló has resigned and declared Wanda Vázquez as his successor doesn’t remedy the problem. Wanda also confirmed inefficiency on the time of investigating the instances of the humanitarian help wagons that were not distributed after the arrival of supplies to the archipelago after the passage of Hurricane Maria. This irresponsibility might involve his imprisonment[16].

The marches of many sectors of the Puerto Rican inhabitants, the million individuals who took to the streets in the course of the July 22 national strike, the reaction of Puerto Rican communities throughout the globe, and the response of public rejection of world-renowned artists have revealed the political power of the citizenship of the island. On July 25, the day by which the Constitution of Puerto Rico is widely known, the Puerto Ricans joined again in march to have fun the resignation of the “son of the political messiah”.

Iris Alejandra Soto Ruiz is a grasp's scholar from the College of Oregon, Division of Roman Languages. Erick Javier Padilla Rosas is a grasp's scholar on the Louisiana State College, Division of Philosophy and Spiritual Research.



[1] “Pedro Rosselló, Biographies and Lives: the online encyclopedia”: https://www.biografiasyvidas.com/biografia/r/Rosselló_pedro.htm

[2] “Could they be forgiven?” Diario Primera Hora, January 25, 2008: https://www.primerahora.com/noticias/gobierno-politica/nota/podrianserperdonados-150820/

[3] “Resident:‘ This does not end with Rosselló’s resignation, ”Diario El Nuevo Día, Wednesday, July 24, 2019:https://www.elnuevodia.com/entretention/musica/nota/residenteestonoacabaconlarenunciaderossello-2507716/

[4]”Manuel Natal crumbles links between Elías and Rosselló”, TV Channel Telemundo PR, Jay and his X-rays, Wednesday July 24, 2019. Hereafter cited as MNER: https://www.telemundopr.com/noticias/destacados/Manuel-Natal-desmenuza-vinculos-entre-Elias-y-Rossello-telemundo-telenoticias-513126291.html

[5] See, MNER.

[6] “Veritas Signs MOU with Institute for Medicinal Cannabis of P.R. to Advance Market ”, News is my Business, October eight, 2018;https://newsismybusiness.com/institute-medicinal-cannabis/

[7] “Speak survivor of fatal accident linked to Rosselló”, Canal Telemundo PR, Saturday July 20, 2019: https://www.telemundopr.com/noticias/destacados/Habla-sobreviviente-de-accidente-fatal-vinculado-a-Rossello-512986861.html

[8] “Obama establishes a fiscal control board for Puerto Rico,” El Nuevo Herald, August 31, 2016: https://www.elnuevoherald.com/noticias/estados-unidos/article99152052.html

[9] “Chronology of the strike in the UPR”, Lyanne Meléndez García, Diario Metro PR, Monday June 5, 2017: https://www.metro.pr/pr/noticias/2017/06/05/cronologia-la-huelga-la-upr.html

“The enrollment in public and private schools of the Island falls by more than 40%,” The Related Press, Diario Primera Hora, Might 7, 2019: https://www.primerahora.com/noticias/puerto-rico/nota/caeenmasde40lamatriculaenescuelaspublicasyprivadasdelaisla-1341282/

“Former Secretary of Education Julia Keleher is arrested,” Diario Primerahora.com, July 10, 2019: https://www.primerahora.com/noticias/gobierno-politica/nota/arrestanalaexsecretariadeeducacionjuliakeleher-1351935/

[10] “Abandoned water vanes in Ceiba are valued at $ 22 million,” Ronald Ávila Claudio, Diario Metro PR, Thursday, September 13, 2018: https://www.metro.pr/pr/noticias/2018/09/13/paletas-agua-abandonadas-ceiba-estan-valoradas-22-millones.html

[11] “The 889 pages of Telegram between Rosselló Nevares and his relatives”, Luis J. Valentín Ortiz and Carla Minet, Diario Centro de investigative journalism, July 13, 2019: http://periodismoinvestigativo.com/2019/07/las-889-paginas-de-telegram-entre-rossello-nevares-y-sus-allegados/

[12] “Governor Ricardo Rosselló resigns”, TV Channel Telemundo PR, Wednesday, July 24, 2019: https://www.telemundopr.com/noticias/destacados/Renuncia-el-Gobernador-Ricardo-Rossello-512679881.html

[13] “The details of the offensive chat that required the resignation of Ricardo Rosselló in Puerto Rico”: https://cnnespanol.cnn.com/video/chat-rossello-puerto-rico-telegram-memes-homofobia-censura-insultos-pkg-seg-gabriela-matute/

[14] “Monday 22 PR-18”, YouTube Channel: King Arthur PR, July 23, 2019: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LOh6UoVNklo

[15] “Massive cacerolazo across the island against Rosselló”, Diario Elnuevodia.com, Friday July 19, 2019: https://www.elnuevodia.com/noticias/locales/nota/masivocacerolazoatravesdelaislaencontraderossello-2506791/

[16] “They present compromising documents on Wanda Vázquez shares”, Diario Metro PR, Thursday, July 25, 2019: https://www.metro.pr/pr/noticias/2019/07/25/presentan-comprometedores-documentos-sobre-acciones-wanda-vazquez.html