July 26, 2019 Editor

Puerto Ricans Demonstrate How to Oust a Corrupt Leader

Opinion | TD originals

Sonali Kolhatkar

photo above: Puerto Ricans gather in San Juan to celebrate the resignation of Gov. Ricardo Rosselló. (Dennis M. Rivera Pichardo / AP)

WN: Wouldn’t it be wonderful if the Ultimate Corrupt/Ultimate Despicable/Ultimate Deplorable Trump were next (or better went through a genuine Christian conversion)?! 🙂


This mass uprising was triggered by the publication of nearly 900 pages of private chat messages between Rosselló and his aides, discussing in disparaging terms the victims of hurricanes Maria and Irma, and making homophobic remarks about LGBTQ Puerto Ricans, including the wildly popular Ricky Martin. Among the chats—dubbed “Rickyleaks”–was a playful threat to shoot Carmen Yulín Cruz, mayor of San Juan. Puerto Rico’s Center for Investigative Journalism (its Spanish acronym is CPI) obtained the chat messages and published them online, sparking outrage among the island’s residents, who have struggled for years with a debt crisis, poverty, widespread corruption and nearly 3,000 hurricane-related deaths in 2017 that have yet to be properly acknowledged.

Meanwhile, Donald Trump predictably took political advantage of the unrest by tweeting his disgust with both Rosselló—who recently threatened to punch Trump—and Cruz, who has been his fiercest Puerto Rican critic. He also claimed that “much of their leadership is corrupt, & robbing the U.S. Government blind!” While the first part of that statement is true, the second part is Trump’s attempt to obscure the fact that Puerto Ricans have been the target of almost criminal neglect by the federal government. He claimed that “the United States Congress foolishly gave [Puerto Rico] 92 Billion Dollars for hurricane relief,” a blatant lie that he has repeated many times.

“Washington has literally shut its doors to anyone who wants to lobby for Puerto Rico or talk about the island’s needs,” Varelo noted. “The members of the Puerto Rican political class are accomplices to the colonial system that the American government has created.”

What’s happened in Puerto Rico provides important lessons for all Americans fed up with our deeply corrupt, racist, misogynist and hateful commander in chief. A sustained mass movement that is committed to changing the system can bring about a revolution, if the circumstances are right. The movement in Puerto Rico succeeded on the same day that contentious, arguably disastrous, hearings on the Robert Mueller investigation were held in Washington, D.C., by lawmakers hoping to drum up public support for impeaching the president. In Puerto Rico, massive grassroots pressure pushed the Legislature to threaten impeachment and force Rosselló’s hand. The same can—and should—happen here, at the federal level.

Please click on: How to Oust a Corrupt Leader

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Wayne Northey was Director of Man-to-Man/Woman-to-Woman – Restorative Christian Ministries (M2/W2) in British Columbia, Canada from 1998 to 2014, when he retired. He has been active in the criminal justice arena and a keen promoter of Restorative Justice since 1974. He has published widely on peacemaking and justice themes. You will find more about that on this website: a work in progress.

Always appreciate constructive feedback! Thanks.