Puerto Rico’s Governor Finally Listened to the Island and Resigned

The protest movement in Puerto Rico scored its first victory when Gov. Ricardo Rosselló resigned Wednesday night. But that’s not demonstrators’ only demand: They want “la junta” gone too.

Hundreds of thousands of people rallied in the streets of San Juan this week to chants of “Ricky renuncia y llévate a la junta”: Ricky, resign and take the “junta” with you. Referred to colloquially as “la junta,” the eight-member Fiscal Oversight Management Board was appointed by President Obama in 2016 to restructure Puerto Rico’s more than $70 billion in debt and lift the island out of bankruptcy.

With the help of high-paid consultants, the board has cut costs on the island — but largely through budgets cuts. That’s led to rampant public school closures and a broken healthcare system, which will run out of money five months before the end of its fiscal year in 2020.

Now, protesters want the board’s members to resign, although none of them seem to want to do that. “We will steadfastly continue our efforts to restructure Puerto Rico’s debt and to ensure fiscal balance,” its members said in a statement.

Even if they did resign, President Donald Trump would pick their replacements. That’s likely exactly what will happen in September, when the board’s current term ends. Only Congress could dissolve the body before then.

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Puerto Rico Gov. to resign; celebrations erupt

Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselló said late Wednesday that he will resign Aug. 2 after nearly two weeks of furious protests and political upheaval. The announcemet brought huge celebrations in San Juan. (July 25)

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Tear Gas And Rage At Puerto Rico’s Massive Protests

Puerto Rican Gov. Ricardo Rosselló and his wife went on the offensive Monday in an attempt to do damage control after more than a week of protests on the island. But demonstrators didn’t seem to care: Hours later, they clashed with police, who used tear gas to disperse a crowd that threw bottles and rocks.

In a televised interview on Fox News on Monday, Rosselló was asked point-blank why he won’t resign, as the island’s protesters have repeatedly demanded. He tried to project that he understood why people were in the streets but that the best move for Puerto Rico was his continued leadership.

“I’ve seen the protests. I’ve heard the people talk. I’ve had a process of introspection,” he told Fox News’ Shepard Smith. “I’ve made a decision. I’m not going to run. I’m not going to seek reelection, that way I can focus on the job at hand.”

Rosselló’s wife, Beatriz, also tried to save face Monday when she visited a women’s shelter in Arecibo hit hard by Hurricane Maria. The island’s lackluster hurricane response has, in part, fueled the protests, as well as a trove of leaked messages between the governor and 11 of his confidants — one of which joked about feeding dead bodies to crows in the wake of the storm.

Rosselló has since apologized for the chats. Puerto Ricans aren’t convinced.

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Massive rally in Puerto Rico to demand the governor’s resignation | AFP

Tens of thousands of demonstrators took to the streets of the Puerto Rican capital to demand the regination of Governor Ricardo Rossello. Later in the day police launched tear gas to disperse hundreds of protesters still rallying.

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Here’s the latest for Tuesday July 23rd: Trump, Congress leaders endorse budget deal; Gillibrand says resigning was Al Franken’s decision; Police and protesters clash in Puerto Rico; Hawaii Lt. Gov. meets protesters.

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Police in Puerto Rico launch tear gas at protesters | AFP

Police in in Puerto Rico’s capital fire tear gas at protesters after hundreds of thousands of angry protesters take to the streets seeking the resignation of the US territory’s embattled governor. IMAGES

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Reggaeton star Daddy Yankee joins Puerto Rican protesters | AFP

Reggaeton star Daddy Yankee joins protesters near the official residence of Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rossello in San Juan to demand his resignation over allegations of corruption. IMAGES

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Here’s the latest for Monday July 22nd: Robert Mueller testifies this week; Israel destroys Massive protests expected in Puerto Rico; Palestinian homes in East Jerusalem; Heat wave-related power outages in New York City.

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Police clash with protesters during demonstration in Puerto Rico | AFP

Police clash with protesters during a demonstration in the streets of San Juan, in Puerto Rico. Thousands gathered for a fifth day, demanding the resignation of Governor Ricardo Rossello, following corruption accusations and the leak of text chats in which he made sexist and homophobic remarks. “Ricky has to go now” said Puerto Rican reggaeton singer Bad Bunny, who with other local celebrity performers such as rapper Rene Perez, aka Residente, and singer Ricky Martin, took part in the demonstration.

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Puerto Ricans march demanding governor resign

Thousands of people in Puerto Rico have marched to the governor’s residence in San Juan, carrying the U.S. territory’s flag and chanting demands for Gov. Ricardo Rosselló to resign. (July 18)

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