For over a week the people of Puerto Rico have been protesting Ricardo Rossello. The streets of Puerto Rico and many other places of the world have been filled with signs and banners that showed the now famous hashtags #RickyRenuncia and #RickyRenunciaYa. Bad Bunny, Rene from Residente Calle 13, Ricky Martin, and Nicky Jam have been among some of the strong drivers for these political protests calling for Ricardo Rossello’s resignation. However, throughout all of the enraged outcries from Puerto Ricans, Ricky Rossello had stated that he was not going to resign, but these declarations have been buried. He has finally announced the much-awaited statement.
This political discord has been brewing for quite some time now. This was not something that came about for no reason within the last two weeks. Sure, the scandalous leaked chats triggered the fury of the people, but this was just the final straw for the people of Puerto Rico. Ricardo Rossello has been known to be complicit to the corruption that happens throughout Puerto Rico and its officials. He also embodied the injustices towards the citizens of Puerto Rico and an ill-navigated government from the time his father, Pedro Rossello, was the governor of Puerto Rico.
On Tuesday night, there were many sources claiming that Ricardo Rossello was set to resign. Though that brought joy to many, a lot of people were skeptical of these claims. Having had been acquainted by the lies and deceits the Puerto Rico government has brought, people wanted an official resignation.
It goes without saying that Wednesday was welcomed by many with a lot of anxiety. People wanted to know if Tuesday night’s claims were true. The people gathered again and protested the day away hoping for Rossello’s resignation.
Rossello’s team called for the media to assemble at 4 p.m. in La Fortaleza, Puerto Rico’s White House symbol, to hear the very anticipated message. It was believed that he was to resign at 5 p.m. but that never happened. Instead, the announcement kept getting postponed. The reporters even started to feel frustrated. They waited outside for many hours without any sign of Ricky Rossello. However, at around 6:30 p.m. the Secretary of Public Affairs, Anthony Maceira, came out from La Fortaleza to speak to the media and let them know that Ricardo Rossello would be broadcasting his message to Puerto Rico before the day ended. This only heightened the tension for Puerto Ricans and the reporters who had gathered around La Fortaleza. Apparently, the delay was based on the negotiations for some final requests from Rossello.
Nonetheless, resigning from his governor position was the expected move since Puerto Rico’s legislature had found grounds to move forward with his impeachment earlier in the day. They had found at least five counts against him to start the impeachment process. Puerto Rico’s legislature claimed that they would cease the process only if Ricardo Rossello resigned.
Thankfully, the efforts of Puerto Ricans and those standing in solidarity weren’t discredited. After waiting for over six hours to witness this historical message, the hashtag #RickyRenuncia became a reality on Wednesday, July 24th. Ricardo Rossello resigned during a Facebook Live pre-recorded video in La Fortaleza a few minutes before midnight.
In the video, he stated that his last day in office will be Friday, the 2nd of August, at 5 p.m. The Secretary of Justice, Wanda Vázquez, will assume his position. Ricardo Rossello is the first governor ever in Puerto Rico to resign.
Puerto Rico can now be seen as an example for countries all over the world. They demanded justice through peaceful protesting and received it. The people made sure to express their expectations of the Puerto Rican government and I think they’ve set the mood for many generations to come. Perhaps we can all learn from them and hope for a similar outcome when other countries choose to fight against their corrupt government. We can only hope, right?
As for now, congratulations Puerto Rico on your long-overdue win!
(photo credit below: @gabssofia14)