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STORMY TIMES FOR PUERTO RICO

International 19 Jul, 2019 Follow News

STORMY TIMES FOR PUERTO RICO

By Michael Jarvis
UK Correspondent

 

Pressure is mounting on Puerto Rico’s governor Ricardo Rosselló to step down over a series of leaked lewd texts and persistent allegation of corruption.

 

Thousands of of Puerto Rican demonstrators have descended on the governor’s official residence as calls for his resignation intensify.

 

As many as a hundred thousand are believed to have taken part in the most recent protests and that number is expected to increase. There have also been violent clashes with police.

 

All indications are that the demonstrations will intensify in the coming days.

 

Puerto Ricans are furious at Governor Rosselló not only over the leakage of close to a thousand pages of lewd misogynistic and homophobic text messages but a series of other grievances.

 

Corruption tops the list, but years of mismanagement, government scandals, and more significantly the painfully slow recovery from recent crippling hurricanes have resulted in Puerto Ricans giving vent to pent up feelings of frustration.

 

The island, already in serious financial difficulties before 2017’s category 5 Hurricane Maria tore through it, is now mired in an even deeper economic crisis.

 

Recovery has been made slower has President Trump ramps up the pressure oh the local over an abiding mistrust in handling the billions of dollars it would take to ‘put the island back on its feet’.

 

With all that hanging over him, the crass nature of the leaked chats might prove to be Governor Rossello’s ‘coup de grace’.

 

The powerful labour unions of the US Commonwealth - Puerto Rico is not a state - are now flexing their muscles.

 

With pressure mounting, the governor has offered an olive branch of sorts, hoping to maintain his tenuous hold on to power.

 

"I recognize the challenge that I have before me because of the recent controversies, but I firmly believe that it is possible to restore confidence and that we will be able, after this painful process, to achieve reconciliation," he has implored.

 

That seems to have had little or no impact and even in mainland USA Puerto Ricans are now rallying to force him out of office.

 

With the storm of protest raging, stressed-out Puerto Ricans eager for relief from their daily travails, are also keeping a concerned eye on the weather.

 

They have been living with daily reminders of the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria two years ago.

 

It’s the hurricane season again.


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