TAMPA, Fla. — Thousands of people are calling for the Puerto Rican Governor, Ricardo Rosselló, to resign. They say they’re fed up with the Rosselló administration, and the ongoing scandals.
- Protest in support of Puerto Ricans held tonight
- Participants chanted, held signs calling Gov. Rosselló 'inept'
- Facebook page of Somos Puerto Rico Tampa
Hundreds of Puerto Ricans in the Bay Area gathered Friday night on Gunn Highway in Tampa to demand the island's governor, Ricardo Rosselló, resign.
They chanted, waves Puerto Rican flags and held signs calling the Governor "inept."
"We are just so disappointed and we want him out," said Nilda Torres.
The protests come in the wake of Hurricane Maria, along with several recent scandals, the latest of which involved leak chats that some said included homophobic, misogynistic comments.
Organizers of the rally said the situation is hurting Puerto Ricans everywhere.
"I feel so ashamed for something I didn't do. I'm not a corrupt person, I do pay taxes, I do everything legally and when I have a person that should be representing me, I want that person to do everything in order, too," said Linda Perez.
Many at the protest said they are also worried about family members on the island.
"We want our island to know we're there for them. A lot of us are still helping our family members there. They're still struggling to survive," said Torres.
They said it's especially important for people in Florida to speak up because the state has a large Puerto Rican population.
"If we are one blood, one voice here, we can definitely impact policy and help them," said Rafael Castro.
Trouble before recent revelations
Jeannie Calderin started the group “Somos Puerto Rico Tampa” shortly after Hurricane Maria devastated the island. She said ever since the storm hit, the issues with Puerto Rico’s officials have come to light, and the Governor’s messages are the final straw.
“I don’t think it’s about what just happened. It’s not about the chat that came out, it’s about the corruption that has been happening year after year in our island, and the Puerto Rican’s said no more, we’re done,” said Calderin.
Violent protests have broken out on the island since those chats came out. Over 900 pages from a private group message were published over the weekend where Governor Rosselló used homophobic and misogynistic language. He even made fun of the people who were affected by Hurricane Maria.
President Trump weighed in tweeting, in part, that Governor Rosselló is “under siege” and that “much of Puerto Rico’s leadership is corrupt and robbing the U.S. government blind.”