For well over a week, there have been hundreds of thousands of Puerto Rican people protesting in the streets against the Democrat-led government of the U.S. island territory, and more specifically against Gov. Ricardo Rosselló, over allegations of criminal corruption by administration members and the revelation of scandalous private group chat and text messages among top officials.
The governor initially refused widespread demands that he resign, offering instead to serve out the remainder of his term and not seek re-election in 2020 — but it appears that the pressure against him has grown too great to be ignored, and local sources in Puerto Rico say it is likely that Rosselló will soon tender his resignation.
Source: “It’s over”
Fox News reported that a source “close to Rosselló” informed the media outlet that the governor is on the verge of making a “quick exit” from his leadership role in response to the growing protests against him and his team.
The source said a video officially announcing the resignation had already been made and that changes to the island’s government had already commenced.
“It’s over. Transition well in gear,” Fox quoted the source as saying.
Awaiting official word
There has yet to be an official announcement from Rosselló’s administration, however, and the governor’s office released a statement on Wednesday that seemed to push back, at least temporarily, against the rumors of an imminent resignation.
“Governor Ricardo Rosselló Nevares has not resigned and continues in Puerto Rico. As he said yesterday, he is in a process of reflection and listening to the people. Whatever decision you make, it will be officially communicated, as usual,” the office said in the statement.
The governor’s office added: “Due to the environment of expectation, at the moment, there are incorrect rumors that are being disseminated, even in some media. We reiterate that any official communication will be shared with the media.”
Rosselló can try to hold on to his office as long as possible, but it has become increasingly apparent that he will be unable to withstand the unified opposition that has taken shape against him.
Two members of his administration have already been arrested on corruption charges for allegedly illegally redirecting hurricane recovery funds to politically-connected friends and contractors, and others are reportedly still under investigation.
Meanwhile, a local journalism organization obtained and leaked to the public over 900-pages worth of scandalous group chat and text messages exchanged among Rosselló and other top administration officials, messages that denigrated and even threatened local and U.S. politicians, Puerto Rican celebrities, and even the Puerto Rican people who suffered and lost loved ones in the devastating hurricanes of 2017.
Rosselló himself can no longer deny that the protesters, media, and U.S. politicians demanding his resignation will not be satisfied until he is gone, thus, his eventual exit from office will most likely come sooner rather than later.