Puerto Rico Absurd Political Hurricane

The corruption network involving the governor, former economy minister, and others came to light through chat revelations on the Telegram platform 

Puerto Rican rapper Rene Juan Perez and Benito Antonio Martinez Ocasio, warm up the crowd in front of the Puerto Rican Capitol, before a protest march against governor Ricardo Rosello, in San Juan, Puerto Rico,

LatinAmerican Post Staff

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Two years ago it was a hurricane – today it is a political storm that shakes the island with a population of about 3.2 million. With relatively peaceful street protests, hundreds of thousands of outraged people forced the governor to resign.

Leer en español: El absurdo huracán político de Puerto Rico

To understand the political storm in Puerto Rico, one must comprehend what it means to be part of the United States: Although Puerto Ricans pay taxes in the US, they cannot participate in presidential elections and are represented in Congress by a powerless parliamentarian. So when it comes to the misuse of public funds, it is the misuse of American public money.

Protesters accused former governor Ricardo Rosselló of using state funds for his own ends. Add to this the fact that the territory has been heavily indebted for years and therefore virtually insolvent.

The corruption network involving the governor, former economy minister, and others came to light through chat revelations on the Telegram platform. The conversations, approximately 900 pages, took place between Rosselló and 11 of his advisers, including high-ranking politicians in the territory.

In the revealed chats, decisions were made about spending state funds and manipulating public information. However, the reason why the people of Puerto Rico were more outraged than ever is another part of chat content where participants make discriminatory, insulting, and obscene statements about women, for example calling them "prostitutes"; about homosexuals, overweight people – and even mocked the victims of Hurricane Maria in 2017.

Also read: Argentina appears to be choosing corrupt populism over tough needed changes

It is also reported that the governor intervened in the judiciary by appointing judges who strongly sympathize with him and his government to Puerto Rico’s Supreme Court.

Former Governor Rosselló may thus be charged in court with misappropriation of public funds and corruption, but the population also criticizes him from a moral and ethical point of view. That's why Puerto Ricans have taken to the streets in recent days – they are outraged by politics and their representatives in general.

Two years ago, the governor, backed by Democrats and Republicans, was smiling at the cameras, while US President Donald Trump was not helping  Hurricane Maria victims much. Today, Roselló has been isolated and has been criticized by both Trump and Puerto Rico's congressional representative, Jenniffer González. Gonzalez also called for the resignation of the governor.

In this context, sexist tones are no stranger to the president, and Trump has also installed his candidate as a judge in the US Supreme Court. The fact that the Puerto Rican people stood up to this absurdity deserves world recognition.

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