‘Ricky, resign!’: Thousands of Puerto Ricans reiterate demand

“They can’t deny it: The power is in the street,” San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz tweeted on Monday.

Demonstrators attend the national strike calling for the resignation of Governor Ric.

By TeleSur
Tens of thousands of Puerto Ricans took the streets Monday, on the tenth day of consecutive protests to demand Governor Ricardo Rossello to resign.
“They can’t deny it: The power is in the street,” San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz tweeted on Monday.
Waving flags, chanting and banging pots and pans, demonstrators blocked the American Expressway, as growing discontent against Rossello was seen with the surge of more people asking for his resignation. Puerto Rico’s largest newspaper, El Nuevo Dia, joined the call on Monday with an editorial echoing the request.
Although the governor stated on Sunday evening that he would not seek re-election and will resign as president of his political party, the New Progressive Party (PNP), he refused to resign as Governor stating that he is determined to complete his term which will come to end on January 2021.
“The people must make themselves be respected. And we take to the streets to be respected,” Martin Gonzalez, who joined Monday’s march told Reuters. The demonstrations represent the biggest protest movement on the island since Puerto Ricans rallied to put an end to U.S. Navy training on the island of Vieques more than 15 years ago.
As Gonzalez, many Puerto Ricans decided to demonstrate due to Rossello’s refusal, even after it was revealed that the official has led a racist, misogynist smear campaign against his competitors and journalists, corruption scandals pertaining to his administration and a growing discontent regarding the inadequate use of funds for the island’s reconstruction after 2017 Hurricane Maria.
On July 13, an 889-page document, released by the non-profit journalism group Center for Investigative Journalism, revealed how the governor, along with 11 high-ranking members of his office, manipulated public opinion about his administration through mass media, creating a “troll network” to discredit negative press coverage, criticism from opposition leaders, and even journalists.
Not only is the governor accused of the smear campaign, but July 10, a pair of his ex-senior administration officials were arrested and charged with fraud for abusing federal work contracts from the Department of Education and the Health Insurance Administration (ASES) and other state departments. According to reports, the three corruption cases amount to US$15.5 million in stolen state funds.
Even President Donald Trump said that Rossello is a “terrible” governor and that hurricane relief money sent to Puerto Rico has been “squandered, wasted and stolen” and the island’s top leadership is “totally, grossly incompetent.”

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