Puerto Rico Could Be Left Without A Governor As The Woman Next In Line Doesn’t Want The Job
Puerto Ricans have set a shining example of what peaceful political reform and patriotism looks like in a democracy. After two weeks of ongoing protests and a trending hashtag #RickyRenuncia, Governor Ricardo Rossello announced Wednesday, July 24, that he is resigning August 2. Dozens of officials involved in the leaked text message scandal that insulted victims of Hurricane Maria, called San Juan’s mayor “una tremenda hija de puta” and specifically blasted their very own Ricky Martin with homophobic slurs, has left Puerto Rico with few existing options to take Rossello’s seat.
Former Secretary of State Luis Rivera Marín would have been instated as governor, but he has also resigned as complicit in the scandal. The woman next in line would be Secretary of Justice Wanda Vázquez, but Puerto Rico isn’t having it. The very same day as Rossello’s announcement, a new hashtag was born: #WandaRenuncia. Yesterday, she announced that she doesn’t want the job.
Even amidst the #WandaRenuncia protests, Rossello posted this photo op with Vázquez.
He captioned the photo, “Discussing the transition with the Secretary of Justice, Wanda Vázquez.” If officials ever thought Puerto Ricans were disengaged from politics, it’s clearer than ever that they won’t get away with much anymore.
Puerto Ricans have a list of officials they want ousted, though Vázquez has tried to maintain her innocence in the alleged scandal.
Vázquez is under fire from the public for not calling an investigation into the mismanagement of money and supplies for Hurricane Maria victims. On Friday, Vázquez said that much of the complaints are based in misinformation, and that she is legally bound to keep certain cases private.
Vázquez believes that her loss of public favor is due to the “agenda of some” to “destabilize the government.”
“The vicious attacks on my personal and professional integrity continue,” Vázquez said Friday. “The desire and agenda of some to try to undermine my credibility at this moment of transcendental importance to Puerto Rico and to destabilize the governmental order is evident.”
Another massive protest was planned for today, this time against Vázquez.
The focus since Rossello’s resignation had already shifted to Vázquez, with Old San Juan sounding like this: “Wanda Vazquez no te vistas que no vas, llevate a la junta, Johnny Mendez y Tomas Rivera Schatz.”
Still, the day before the major protest scheduled, Vázquez announced that she won’t be filling in for Rossello. We’ll see if that’s enough for the Puerto Rican people.
Puerto Ricans feel betrayed by their government and empowered to change it in the largest limpia in Puerto Rican history.
In fact, it was the FBI that eventually arrested six officials on charges of conspiracy and other crimes involved with the millions of dollars in Medicaid and education funds funneled away from the Puerto Rican people.
Puerto Ricans not only reject Vázquez as Governor–they want her to resign from her current position as well.
Claro, Puerto Ricans are getting creative in their efforts to get Vázquez’ resignation.
One Twitter user tries to explain this image: “Creative protests continue. This one is odd to explain but I’ll try in this thread.PRican TV icon and weatherperson @SusanSoltero used social media to call for a mass rolling down El Morro’s hill to call for Wanda Vázquez’s resignation before she becomes governor. #WandaRenuncia”
It’s written on San Juan’s walls, Vázquez: Puerto Rico doesn’t want you anymore.
Many suspect that these protests are much bigger than a simple shift in leadership. It’s a complete government overhaul of the people who are not gente. The RickyLeaks that mocked the deaths of Maria victims has shook la gente, many of whom weren’t ever able to give their family a proper burial amidst the chaos.
Now, Puerto Ricans are warily expecting Rossello to choose his replacement.
With the Secretary of State position left vacant, Rosselló must select a new official, who would then, under Puerto Rican law, would become the governor. After Secretary of State would be the Treasury Secretary. Unfortunately, Puerto rico’s Treasury Secretary Francisco Parés is four years too young to become Governor.
Interim Education Secretary Eligio Hernández is expected to be tapped by Rosselló.
Hernández replaced former education secretary Julia Keleher, who resigned after her arrest on federal corruption. That would mean that Hernández would be the fourth in line. Will Puerto Rico accept him? Vamos a ver.