Every summer since 2007, I travel to Puerto Rico and visit my parents. For three or four weeks I disconnect from everything and spend all my time with family and friends in my homeland – something made easier by the lack of internet service at my parents and the fact my cellphone does not work there after hurricane Maria. I use my free time to hang out with family, reconnect with friends, and plan the next steps in my life with a cold one at the pool.
This year was different… very different!
This year I was part of a historic event in my homeland. For the first time in our history, a governor is forced to resign mid term. By the people. Peacefully.
For the first time, Puerto Ricans of all political ideologies united in demanding a politician to do what was right and get off power after a series of scandals. It was not the rampant corruption in the government. It was not the off-color jokes and comments about disabled people, members of the LGBT community, older politicians or the sexist comments about female reporters and staff. What drove Puerto Ricans to take the streets and post twelve days of constant protests outside La Fortaleza (the Governor’s Official Residence) was the fact that he fooled thousands of people that believed his words back in 2016.
Rosselló presented himself as a young, inexperienced candidate (37 years?) capable of taking a government destroyed by public debt, corruption, and indifference and transform it with “fresh blood”. Unfortunately it was a facade, a manufactured image to fool voters – “coger de pendejo” – and all that was unmasked after 889 pages of a chat was leaked to the press. That was the last drop on the cup of a nation that have been dealing with corruption for decades, the inability of government to provide quality services, the effects of a massive hurricane, and the increases in the cost of living. Being fooled – and mocked – by government officials was too much. A nation got together and told its governor – and all other politicians – NO MAS.
Remember that song “The Revolution Will Not Be Televised”? Well, the author was not Puerto Rican, because our revolution WAS TELEVISED!