Puerto Ricans faced tear gas as they stood up to the governor— and San Juan’s mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz is standing with them.
“You know, it’s a historic day. It’s a day where Puerto Ricans have put aside their differences and joined in one voice,” she said.
Thousands of Puerto Ricans have protested every day for more than a week after chats leaked between governor Ricardo Rosselló and administration officials that contained sexist and homophobic remarks targeting public figures. The leaked chats were the tip of the iceberg for Puerto Rican protesters as they called out ongoing corruption as Puerto Rico recovers from hurricane Maria and financial crisis.
“This is about his lack of integrity, it’s about him using the power of the state to suppress political opposition, it’s all about the austerity measures,” Cruz stated. “It’s about him admitting that he’s withholding aid that was necessary for people during Hurricane Maria just to setup the appropriate marketing or public relations event.”
Puerto Rican’s population of 3 million Americans is bigger than 21 states but they can’t vote for president and have no vote in Congress.
“We live in a colony but, you know, colonies have to wake up,” Cruz explained. “When people think that they don’t live in a colony when they live in a colony, when they’re not aware of their own shackles, they think that they’re free. We’re not free.”