Things are getting nasty in Puerto Rico.
As thousands of local demonstrators gathered to protest the U.S. territory’s government after a recent scandal was brought to light, an entirely new scandal came out of nowhere.
Puerto Ricans protested after 900 pages of “homophobic and misogynistic texts between a dozen influential Puerto Rican politicos” were leaked by investigative outlet Centro de Periodismo Investigativo, according to Vice News.
Celebrities from the territory like actor Benicio del Toro and singer Ricky Martin led rallies against the government.
“We’re tired of cynicism. They put down women, they put down the LGBT community, people with disabilities. Corruption. It is insane…” Martin said. “It’s pretty much barbaric what he’s doing. We’re tired. And we’re angry.”
But according to the same Puerto Rican investigative outlet, the individuals who had sent the incriminating messages had also been “pilfering public funds.”
The report by Centro de Periodismo Investigativo stated that numerous government officials, lobbyists, and operatives in Puerto Rico have been involved with a corruption scheme worth millions of dollars. The government secretly provided contracts to favored companies, breaking countless rules and regulations.
The locals are furious.
“We are so, so pissed with the government,” demonstrator Carmen Ponet told David Begnaud, lead national correspondent for “CBS This Morning.”
In 2017, President Donald Trump had a public feud with San Juan Mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz, who said that thousands of Puerto Ricans had died because of the Trump administration’s poor response to Hurricane Maria.
“The administration killed the Puerto Ricans with neglect. The Trump administration led us to believe they were helping when they weren’t up to par, and they didn’t allow other countries to help us,” Yulín Cruz said, according to CNN.
“Shame on President Trump,” she continued. “Shame on President Trump for not even once, not even yesterday, just saying, ‘Look, I grieve with the people of Puerto Rico.'”
While many liberals used Cruz’s sentiments as a springboard to attack the administration, the facts that came out later supported Trump. Puerto Rico had left cargo containers of food and various donations out to rot in the streets, according to CBS News.
Some of the containers rat droppings and the food had to be discarded. There’s no telling how many wasted resources sat inside giant bins on the island, never seeing the light of day.
The president knew that the U.S. did its job, saying, “I think we did a fantastic job in Puerto Rico. We’re still helping Puerto Rico.”
When it was time for the San Juan mayor to do hers, however, the disaster recovery plan fell apart.
Puerto Rico reeks of corruption. No one in power should be safe from the will of the people, but until the island’s government roots out bad actors, corruption will be an everyday occurrence for years to come.
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