Things That Matter

Puerto Ricans Are Celebrating Across The Island And The Country As Governor Finally Announces His Resignation

Puerto Rico Governor Ricardo Rosselló resigned late Wednesday after Puerto Ricans took to the streets during historic protests calling for him to step down.

Rosselló said he would step down on Aug. 2 “to allow for an orderly transition,” and he will be replaced by Puerto Rico Secretary of Justice Wanda Vázquez.

It’s official, Governor Rosselló has said he’ll resign and leave La Fortaleza next week.

Credit: @cnnbrk / Twitter

The governor made the announcement at close to midnight on Wednesday. He had been expected to resign at 5 p.m. in accordance with an agreement with Puerto Rico’s House of Representatives, but remained silent for hours as protesters gathered, along with a heavy police presence, and tension built on the streets of San Juan.

His resignation came after nearly two weeks of mounting pressure from protesters and legislators on the island and in Washington, and after a series of resignations in his cabinet and staff. His decision came as members of Puerto Rico’s House of Representatives, which is controlled by Rosselló’s own party, told BuzzFeed News they had enough votes and had set a meeting on Thursday to begin impeachment proceedings against him.

The governor had been under pressure to resign after more than 800 pages of leaked chats between Rosselló and his closest advisers were published by the Center for Investigative Journalism on July 13. The messages showed him using misogynistic language, making anti-gay jokes, talking about using public funds to carry out vengeful schemes against political enemies, and making jokes about the large number of deaths caused by Hurricane Maria.

News of his resignation traveled quickly around the island Puerto Ricans took to the streets to celebrate.

Boricuas had been protesting for over a week and on Wednesday it looked like protesters may have lost the battle as reports began circulating that the governor was going to dig in his heels and refuse to resign.

So once word had left La Fortaleza (the governor’s residence), crowds erupted into song, dance, tears, and joy. The battle that had been fighting against a government they no longer trusted, that had hurt so many Puerto Ricans, was finally over.

Many were celebrating the news, which came on the eve of Constitution Day in Puerto Rico, as a new era.

Credit: @andreagonram / Twitter

Puerto Ricans discovered their unity and their common voice in the fight to topple a government that they longer trusted. This is a huge moment not just for Puerto Rico and island politics, but for democracy around the world,

It shows that if a community comes together, they can accomplish huge things.

Residente, who had been attending protests, celebrated Puerto Rico’s success.

Credit: @residente / Twitter

Translation: Thank you Puerto Rico, the happiness that I feel can’t be described. You sent a message of unity and strength but from the heart. Today we discovered that we are united from the heart. Tomorrow at 9am, I’ll see you in the Golden Mile.

Residente, along with Bad Bunny and Ricky Martin, had been attending several protests since they began. Tonight, Residente took to Twitter with full of orgulloso and happiness for his brave, powerful people.

A lot of people on Twitter hoped that this massive act of courage would help inspire a similar outcome on the mainland US.

Credit: @mprlibre / Twitter

Many took this as a sign of encouragement and hope that change is possible. Many were calling for similar movements and protests across the US to unite in the fight for the impeachment of Donald Trump.

While Ava DuVernay gave a shout out to the island for accomplishing something that many thought was impossible.

After news reports started circulating saying that the governor was going to refuse to resign, many began to lose hope. While even at the beginning of the protests many thought they’d they never be able to achieve change with protests. Especially not against a police force that was using tear gas and riot gear against protesters.

But Boricuas proved the world wrong and tonight they’re in the streets celebrating this milestone moment for the island and for democracy around the world.

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