New York Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez told supporters Thursday that the announced resignation of Puerto Rico’s governor was the beginning of the U.S. territory’s “decolonization” and called it the first step toward Puerto Rican citizens “taking their own self-governance into their own hands.”
What are the details?
Ocasio-Cortez — who is of Puerto Rican descent — was asked during an Instagram livestream about her thoughts on what’s happening on the island.
“First of all, I am so incredibly proud of everyone in Puerto Rico right now coming together to demand accountability from their government,” the congresswoman began, before giving her followers a rundown of why and how people took to the streets demanding the governor’s ouster.
“They were so relentlessly creative in their protest that they were able to get the governor to finally resign as well as some of his cabinet members,” she continued. “I’m really proud of everyone that’s out there, but, of course, there’s a lot of work to be done.”
Fox News reported that the congresswoman went on to suggest Puerto Rico’s independence from the United States, saying, “I believe this is really just the beginning of a decolonization process, a process of self-determination where the people of Puerto Rico begin to start taking their own self-governance into their own hands.”
Ocasio-Cortez added, “So I’m really excited about the protest, I’m excited and I’m encouraged to hear about [Gov. Ricardo] Rosselló’s resignation, but it’s also just a first step. We have a long way to go.”
What’s the background?
Massive protests erupted in Puerto Rico in recent weeks after the leak of private group chats between Gov. Ricardo Rosselló and his inner circle. A number of the messages were reportedly homophobic and misogynistic, and even mocked the victims of Hurricane Maria, which killed thousands of Puerto Ricans in 2017.
Rosselló gave in to pressure and announced Wednesday that he would step down on Aug. 2. Until the next election, Puerto Rico’s Justice Secretary, Wanda Vázquez, will take over the duties of president.