PUERTO RICAN GOVERNOR RICARDO ROSELLO FACES MOUNTING PRESSURE TO RESIGN AS PROTESTS CONTINUE INTO SECOND WEEK

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[Puerto Rico News]
Puerto Rican Governor Ricardo Rossello faces mounting pressure to resign with a major protest planned for Monday.
Photo: YouTube

Puerto Rican Governor Ricardo Rossello is refusing to resign as massive protests, unleashed last week, continue after offensive chat messages from within his administration were publicly leaked.

While Governor Rossello has made it clear he has no intention of resigning, many Puerto Ricans seem determined to remove him.

A major protest is planned for this Monday.

The offensive chat messages were revealed when Puerto Rico’s Center for Investigative Journalism published nearly 900 pages of leaked chats from Governor Rossello’s private Telegram Messenger group account. In the messages, Rossello and several of his top aides are allegedly documented making violent, homophobic and misogynistic messages against certain celebrities and politicians.

Among those targeted in the messages are San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulin Cruz, singer Ricky Martin, and former New York City Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito.

One of Rossello’s cabinet members, Christian Sobrino Vega, the former chief financial officer, reportedly said of Mayor Yulin Cruz "I am salivating to shoot her.” Rossello allegedly answered saying “"You'd be doing me a grand favor."

Sobrino Vega also attacked singer Ricky Martin’s sexuality saying, "Nothing says patriarchal oppression like Ricky Martin" adding "Ricky Martin is such a male chauvinist that he f---- men because women don't measure up. Pure patriarchy."

Another text by Sobrino Vega made an offensive joke in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria about the numbers of dead bodies that were being recovered. In a reference to government critics, Vega said "Now that we are on the subject, don't we have some cadavers to feed our crows?"

And Governor Rossello himself allegedly referred to Melissa Mark-Viverito as a “whore” because he was upset that she is against Puerto Rican statehood. Mark-Viverito, who was born in Puerto Rico, has travelled to the island to join those protesting for Rossello’s ouster.

The messages have enraged many Puerto Ricans who already disapproved of Governor Rosello’s government—which has been accused of corruption for years. The chaos and misery that has been visited on the island in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria has only made matters worse.

The fallout from the leaked messages led to the resignations of two of Governor Rosello’s cabinet members on Friday.

Several Democratic presidential candidates have called on Governor Rossello to resign.

Former San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro said “I stand with the Puerto Ricans in the streets protesting for his resignation. Excessive force against them is not acceptable.”

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren tweeted “I stand with Puerto Ricans who are taking to the streets this week to protest government corruption & Governor @RicardoRossello's deeply offensive comments. His actions are hurtful & undermine the public trust. He must answer to the Puerto Rican people.”

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