Entertainment

The Governor Of Puerto Rico Was Caught In A Chat Using Grotesque Homophobic And Sexist Language And The Entire Island Is Calling Him To Resign In Massive Protests

Raul Colon - Photographer, Web Developer, Activist / Facebook

Over the last week, Puerto Rico has been hit with multiple political scandals that have motivated thousands of people on the island and in the diaspora to protest. Puerto Ricans are calling for the resignation of its governor, its fiscal control board and, for a growing sum, its colonial ties to the United States. A lot of the unrest stems from recent private messages released that showed the governor using offensive language against women, the LGBTQ+ community, and Hurricane Maria Victims.

Puerto Rico is being rocked with a growing political scandal.

Credit: @IsabelSDieppa / Twitter

On Wednesday, the FBI arrested former Education Secretary Julia Keleher, former Puerto Rico Health Insurance Administration head Angela Avila-Marrero, businessmen Fernando Scherrer-Caillet and Alberto Velazquez-Piñol, and education contractors Glenda E. Ponce-Mendoza and Mayra Ponce-Mendoza, who are sisters, on 32 counts of fraud and related charges.

The streets were filled with people demanding that the governor resign facing corruptions and damning messages leaked to the public.

Credit: @flores_0h / Twitter

The corruption scheme, which ushered federal money to unqualified, politically connected contractors, involves $15.5 million in federal funding between 2017 and 2019. Of that, 13 million was spent by the Department of Education during Keleher’s time as secretary. During her two-year term, Keleher, an Italian-American educational leader from Philadelphia, was criticized by the people of Puerto Rico for closing down hundreds of schools and implementing the island’s first charter school. The additional $2.5 million was spent by the insurance administration when Avila was the director.

The governor was caught in a chat using grotesque homophobic and sexist language.

Just days later, on Saturday, the island experienced another political blow: Puerto Rico’s Center for Investigative Journalism published 889 pages of Gov. Ricardo Rosselló’s private Telegram chat. The secret messages, between him and several of his aides, included profanity-laced, and at times misogynistic, homophobic and violent, comments and memes about several high-profile women politicians, celebrities, the press and even the victims of Hurricane María.

Puerto Rico-born former New York city council speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito is one person the governor attacked.

Credit: @MMViverito / Twitter

“All of my solidarity with my friend @CarmenYulinCruz for the unacceptable attacks by @ricardorossello,” Mark-Viverito tweeted. “The women are not ‘b*tches’ nor ‘sons of b*tches,’ we are fighting, courageous, and dignified human beings who contribute to society. Stop the machismo!”

In one chat, Rosselló calls Mark-Viverito a “puta” for criticizing DNC Chair Tom Perez, who was siding with statehood Democrats like Rosselló, who is the leader of the Statehood party in Puerto Rico. In another, the governor’s former chief financial officer Christian Sobrino said of San Juan mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz, who is running for Puerto Rico governor in the 2020 elections, that he was “dying to shoot her up.” Rosselló replied: “You’d be doing me a big favor.”

Mark-Viverito, who now heads the Latino Victory Project, released a statement in response to the governor’s violent sexism.

“The governor’s machismo was exposed,” she said in Spanish. “When a male chauvinist wants to belittle a woman, he uses words like “whore” to belittle, dehumanize and degrade her. A person who uses that language against a woman, whether a public figure or not, should not govern Puerto Rico.”

The conversations also included transphobic remarks about transgender and gender nonconforming protestors and homophobic comments about Ricky Martin.

Credit: @ricky_martin / Twitter

“It is shameful and unacceptable and it isn’t resolved with an apology,” Martin tweeted. “This is not the government we need. This is not the Puerto Rico that our grandparents and parents built and even less [the Puerto Rico] we want to leave to our children.”

One associate wrote, “Nothing says patriarchal oppression like Ricky Martin. He is such a male chauvinist that he f–ks men because women don’t measure up. Pure patriarchy.”

Probably the most stomach-churning exchange in the leaked chat was Sobrino joking about the backlog of dead bodies after the devastating 2017 storm. 

Credit: @Chiji007 / Twitter

“Now that we are on the subject, don’t we have some cadavers to feed our crows? Clearly, they need attention,” he wrote, likely referencing journalists and the administration’s critics, who long questioned Rosselló’s assertion that the hurricane claimed only 64 lives. A Harvard study later put the death toll at 4,645. 

The impropriety, which has been nicknamed #TelegramGate, has been likened to the Watergate scandal, which rocked President Nixon’s administration in the 1970s and ultimately led to his resignation.  

“For Puerto Ricans, this has been basically our Watergate,” Caribbean scholar Yarimar Bonilla, who writes about post-Hurricane Maria recovery, told CBS News. “The government is distracted thinking about its image, worrying about how they’re being represented in the press instead of attending to matters of the recovery.”

While two members of Rosselló’s cabinet have offered their resignations, the people are similarly calling on Rosselló to step down.

For several days, thousands of protestors have taken over the streets of Old San Juan, packing the cobblestone lane in front of La Fortaleza, the governor’s mansion, demanding that he immediately give up his seat. On Monday, the mostly-peaceful action turned violent when police officers tear-gassed crowds, injuring dozens and arresting five protestors. The streets were ablaze, but the people, enlivened, stayed chanting that they were not afraid. 

They’re not alone. Celebrities like Ricky Martin, Residente, Kany Garcia, Jon Z and more have taken to social media calling on the governor to resign. Meanwhile, rapper PJ Sin Suela released a heated track called PUTA, referencing Rosselló’s misogynistic comments, about political corruption on the island, and Bad Bunny announced on Instagram that he would be leaving Europe, where he is touring, to fly to Puerto Rico and march with the people on Wednesday.

Bad Bunny posted a video as a call to action for all Puerto Ricans to march and demonstrate.

Across the U.S., Puerto Ricans of the diaspora have also united, with protests in New York, Washington, DC, and Philadelphia, and more scheduled for Tuesday in Miami and Orlando, where a majority of Puerto Ricans displaced by Hurricane María found refuge.

Despite the massive calls, on Tuesday morning, Rosselló, who has apologized for his “improper acts” and attended an Evangelical church where pastors prayed over him, insisted that he would not resign.

“I have not committed an illegal act and I have not committed an act of corruption,” he said during a press conference. “I committed some improper acts and I asked forgiveness for that.”

The governor also noted that the prime reason he would not resign is that he “was elected by the people” — despite many of those Puerto Ricans now begging for his removal.

Read: Two Racist Florida Women Are Caught On Video Telling A Puerto Rican Man To ‘Go Back To Mexico’ If He Wants To Speak Spanish

Boricuas Dub Themselves “Caribbean Vikings” After Trump Joked About Trading Puerto Rico for Greenland

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Boricuas Dub Themselves “Caribbean Vikings” After Trump Joked About Trading Puerto Rico for Greenland

In case you missed it, Trump recently assumed the United States could purchase Greenland, an autonomous territory of Denmark. When the prime minister of Denmark publicly denounced that even the idea that Greenland was for sale was “absurd,” Trump took to Twitter to call her “nasty.”

Last year, a former White House official reportedly heard President Trump joke about trading Puerto Rico for Greenland in a meeting. Ever since the former official leaked the story, Boricuas are the ones cracking all the jokes.

Boricuas are daring Trump to make the trade, given Denmark allowed for Greenland to govern themselves in 1979.

@dartinaperez / Twitter

In 2008, Greenland voted for the Self-Government Act which transferred even more power from the Danish government to its own local government. Since then, Greenland has gradually assumed responsibility for its local laws, law enforcement and finances. Plus, for Puerto Ricans on Twitter,”the Danish cookie tin cans will finally have cookies instead of sewing thread and needles.”

Now, Boricuas are seeing Denmark’s influence everywhere.

@juliana_icm / Twitter

We always knew our abuelas were brujas, seeing into the future. It’s like they knew that the only way we could repair (though, not with needle and thread) Puerto Rico’s government would be with the Danes.

Are Puerto Ricans soon-to-become a “Product of Denmark?”

@miss_gines / Twitter

“Toda una vida en training,” tweeted one Boricua. Puerto Ricans are taking to Twitter to discuss how they might already be culturally primed to become part of Denmark.

They have already started calling themselves the “Caribbean Vikings.”

@NielInRealLife / Twitter

“You can hear the Caribbean Vikings coming from the dembow beat over the horizon,” tweets one Puerto Rican. Can you imagine? 😂 

Except, they’ve made some changes to the traditional Viking gear.

@arnaldot76 / Twitter

Don’t underestimate what Boricuas can do with a plantain. You might know us for our mofongo, but you won’t survive an encounter with a plantain-wielding Puerto Rican out for vengeance.

Puerto Ricans have googled their new queen, and they approve.

@regcoral / Twitter

“She looks so much better than Trump,” tweets one Puerto Rican. “Count me in, too!” Another says, “love the idea. Denmark will definitely treat us better. Long live the Queen!” The #DinamarcaPR movement is alive and well, y’all.

That said, Puerto Ricans are divided on having to learn another language.

@vodkatito / Twitter

When Spain colonized Puerto Rico, the indigenous peoples’ (Tainos) were brutally killed, along with their language. With Spaniard rule, Spanish became the most spoken language on the island. Now, as a territory of the United States, English is also an official language. Some folks are tired of colonialism, while others are down to learn a new language in exchange for free healthcare and respect.

Some have joked that they’d be trading up from Captain America to Thor.

@mewlngasgardian / Twitter

“We’re trading in Captain America for Thor #DinamarcaPR,” tweeted on Boricua. The funniest part about all of this, is that the Danes want Puerto Rico. A Danish person replied to this tweet saying, “You’re more than welcome to join Denmark. It’ll be an honor to have Puerto Rico be a part of our country.”

The Nordic people actually really want Boricuas to join their country.

@a_fly_guy / Twitter

Another Dane laid it all out for Boricuas:
“Love you guys, you are more than welcome to join our little kingdom. *Free health care
*Free schools
*Free education and you get government support while doint it.
*Work week 37 hours
*Low unenployment
And the best thing, we do not have Trump and Obama are visiting next month!”

The merch is already in production.

@la_guapa / Twitter

“You guys bring the beaches we bring the beer,” one Dane tweets to the #DinamarcaPR. Another Puerto Rican is just keen on the idea that “Denmark’s PM won’t throw power towels at their brown citizens.”

At the end of the day, #DinamarcaPR is a joke, but government autonomy isn’t.

@lherrero / Twitter

Some folks are serious about this, tweeting “And they think we are joking!” Others acknowledge that #DinamarcaPR is just one way that Puerto Ricans are expressing their desire for a government that takes care of them. “I kind of am [joking] about joining Denmark. That’s absurd. But that we want actual functioning government with real policies that help people. No one is joking about that.”

Just weeks after forcing their Governor out of power, Puerto Ricans aren’t quitting until they get health care, free education and some respect.

Bad Bunny Strikes Again And Graces A Security Guard’s Debut Single

Entertainment

Bad Bunny Strikes Again And Graces A Security Guard’s Debut Single

@urbanfloweb / Twitter / shootter_ledo / Instagram

San Benito Antonio Martínez Ocasio, more commonly known as Bad Bunny, El Conejo Malo, is very familiar with the transformative effects of SoundCloud. Bad Bunny was bagging groceries at a supermarket when he gained a cult following on SoundCloud. Since then, he’s risen to international fame, with dozens of accolades under his belt. Last year, he won the Latin American Music Awards Artist of the Year award and Billboard awarded him the Top Latin Song of the year for “Te Bote.”

Bad Bunny’s style and attitude might seem odd to some, but that’s given him all the success in the world. Like a true saint, he has a history of prioritizing his people over fame and glory. Just last month, Bad Bunny canceled a European concert tour last minute to fly home to Puerto Rico and participate in the Ricky Renuncia protests.

For the last year, Bad Bunny has been secretly working with other SoundCloud traperos to help boost their career.

Credit: Nabru Records / YouTube

In a way, nothing has changed for Bad Bunny when it comes to what matters most to him. He’s prioritizing Boricuas and Latin trap, hanging out with his friends, and listening to SoundCloud. 

That’s how he discovered Jesús Antonio Dominguez Collazo, A.K.A. Shootter Ledo.

Credit: Nabru Records / YouTube

Ledo has a biology degree and just fools around with music on the side. Right now, he’s working as a security guard. It just so happened that Dominguez and Benito had a mutual friend in La Paciencia, a producer with ears in all the right places. Last fall, La Paciencia played “Subimos de Rango” for Bad Bunny, and the trapero couldn’t get enough of it. Apparently, Ledo and Omy de Oro had spent just a couple hours making the track before they posted it to SoundCloud.

Bad Bunny loved the song so much that he created some verses to add.

Credit: Nabru Records / YouTube

La Paciencia had given him a heads up that they wanted to share the track with Bad Bunny to see what he thought of the song as a single. Dominguez says he honestly hadn’t even thought of getting off SoundCloud and creating a track, let alone with El Conejo Malo, when he got the call that San Benito already was writing verses for the song. 

It’s no mistake that Bad Bunny is helping produce new artists.

Credit: shootter_ledo / Instagram

It seems that La Paciencia and Bad Bunny had set up the hotel room specifically to hear artists spit lines in person. When Dominguez first walked into the hotel room with Bad Bunny, he was nervous. Bad Bunny knew it, and afterward, asked him to come back the next morning to try again. For Bad Bunny, it felt like he was “forcing it.”

So Dominguez went back to his security guard night shift and went back the next morning with new verses.

Credit: Nabru Records / YouTube

He literally wrote new verses during his shift and nailed it. La Paciencia and Bad Bunny took him on and more. Bad Bunny is a featured artist on the single. “What that man did, no one does…,” Dominguez said. “The most popular artist in the world did a remix to someone else’s first song. And he didn’t even know me…. no tiene nombre lo que él hizo.”

The track’s cover art honors El Conejo Malo’s own letras.

Credit: @urbanfloweb / Twitter

It’s a full-circle moment when Bad Bunny gets to rap about his Gucci wallet and how, “Si quiero, me retiro feliz y contento.” He knows that he’s in his moment, and that if he were to die, they’d erect a monument of him (Me muero y me hacen un monumento / estoy en mi momento).

Now, Ledo is just waiting to see if Bad Bunny’s help with “Subimos de Rango” jump-starts his music career.

Credit: Nabru Records / YouTube

“I’m going to see what fruits this [single] brings,” he says thinking about what’s next. “I’m going to see who sticks, who wants to collaborate. Pero, yo estoy puesto pa’ zumbar canciones… and get to where I need to get to.”

You can watch the full music video, by Shootter Ledo and Omy de Oro, featuring Bad Bunny right here.

The video premiered just two days ago and already has 700,000 views. The most liked comment on YouTube translates, “Wow, Bad Bunny with the surprising theme and bringing back trap. Thank you Bad Bunny.”

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