Last Thursday, President Donald Trump joined voices criticizing the current Puerto Rican government, accusing it of “stealing everything they can.” In the midst of the political tensions that are brewing in the U.S. territory against Gov. Ricardo Rossello, Trump acknowledged the panorama of crisis through several messages on Twitter where he assures that “a lot of bad things are happening in Puerto Rico.”
The president wrote, “The Governor is under siege, the Mayor of San Juan is a despicable and incompetent person whom I wouldn’t trust under any circumstances, and the United States Congress foolishly gave 92 Billion Dollars for hurricane relief, much of which was squandered away or wasted, never to be seen again.”
“This is more than twice the amount given to Texas and Florida combined. I know the people of Puerto Rico well and they’re great, but much of their leadership is corrupt and robbing the U.S. government blind,” he added in his official Twitter account.
According to the New York Post, Gov. Rossello has been under fire since the Puerto Rico Investigative Journalism Center revealed sexist comments and other offensive remarks from him and other officials through a Telegram chat.
In one of the messages, the governor referred to former New York City Council President Melissa Mark-Viverito as “a w***.” He also said that if someone murders Yulin Cruz “they would be doing him a favor.” He also slandered political opponents, journalists, and artists.
Judd Dere, White House deputy press secretary, said the events “prove the president’s concerns about mismanagement, politicization, and corruption have been valid,” according to The Weekly Journal.
“We remain committed to Puerto Rico’s recovery and steadfast in protecting taxpayers and the Puerto Rico survivors from political corruption and financial abuse,” the spokesman added in a statement.
As CBS points out, in the face of pressure from the scandal over the messages, Rossello cited a legal analysis that allegedly would have shown that his messages were not proof or evidence that determined his actions as a criminal act. “I did not commit illegal acts or ones of corruption. I did commit inappropriate acts,” he said.
Rossello also rejects the accusations that have arisen from different sectors and the voices that demand his resignation.
According to The Hill, the Puerto Rican people have long been frustrated with the island’s political legislation. Since 2006 Puerto Rico has been struggling with economic depression and high emigration rates.
Due to a fiscal crisis, the government was forced to create a Financial Supervision and Management Board, which invalidated the community’s self-government. In addition, the situation worsened after Hurricane Maria, in which 3,000 residents of Puerto Rico died after spending months deprived of electricity and adequate medical care.