July 22, 2019

LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Puerto Rico’s Governor Should Resign

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To the Editor:

As of July 19, 2019, the island of Puerto Rico, along with many cities across the mainland United States, have begun mass protests directed towards Governor Ricardo Rosselló. On July 14, nearly 900 pages of leaked group chat conversations were released to the public. The group chat designated Governor Rosselló as its administrator, as well as other government officials. The comments made in this group chat display misogyny, homophobia and denigration towards other government officials and fellow Puerto Ricans, as well as a mishandling of government information, which was freely and openly discussed in unofficial and inappropriate conversations. These revelations exposed a great deal that has left members of the Puerto Rican Student Association, along with thousands of Puerto Ricans across the island and the mainland United States, with feelings of contempt, disgust, frustration and flat-out disappointment in Governor Ricardo Rosselló and his administration.

However, these revelations are only symptomatic of the leadership of Ricardo Rosselló and his administration, who has shown himself to be ineffective and negligent both in periods of crisis and in the handling of the bureaucracy of the island’s government since its very beginning. Besides the highly inappropriate and denigrating comments made by Rosselló and the members of the group chat, the leaks suggest that members in the highest position of power in the Rosselló administration allegedly withheld and mismanaged provisions such as food and water meant for the victims of Hurricane María for political machinations. In addition, government officials, such as the former Secretary of Education and the former Executive Director of the Administration of Health Insurance, to name a few, were arrested by the FBI under 32 counts of corruption, fraud, theft and money laundering just days before the leaked group chat conversations.

The Executive Board members of the Puerto Rican Students Association at Cornell University publicly denounce the actions of the Rosselló administration, and join the thousands of voices in calling for the resignation of Ricardo Rosselló as the Governor of Puerto Rico. The island of Puerto Rico deserves better leadership, and until its human and constitutional rights are met, we will not be silent.

The Puerto Rican Students Association Executive Board