Puerto Rican residents in West Palm Beach demanded Rosselló resign
Puerto Ricans in West Palm Beach, chanted, sang, and demanded Puerto Rico Gov. Rosselló resign (Photo Pedro Penalver)

While celebrities and hundreds of thousands of ordinary people in Puerto Rico swarmed to La Fortaleza (The Fort) in Old San Juan, Puerto Rican residents in West Palm Beach demanded Rosselló resign over a series of leaked online chats insulting women, political opponents and even the victims of Hurricane Maria.

The crowd gathered together along Flagler Dr with banners and chanted: “Ricky Resign.”

After decades of government corruption, a more than decade-long recession and an ongoing debt crisis, the leaked messages between the governor and his staff proved to be a breaking point for many Puerto Ricans.

Another group came together at the parking lot of the Hispanic TV Station, Hola Palm Beach where Jhensen Aquino, a local TV personality, assembled a group of Puerto Ricans to also voice their opinions in public regarding the corruption in the island’s federal government. Hola Palm Beach TV 47‘s president, Oscar Nodarse was also among the demonstrators.

Puerto Rican residents in West Palm Beach demanded Rosselló resign
Hola Palm Beach TV 47’s president, Oscar Nodarse (left in front) and Jhensen Aquino. Photo by Rolando Barrero

West Palm Beach demonstrations over the weekend and Monday continue to demand the resignation of Gov. Ricardo Rosselló in a crisis triggered by the chat leak between him and his advisers. Meanwhile in Puerto Rico, tens of thousands of Puerto Ricans jammed the highways waving flags, chanting and banging pots and pans. The demonstration appeared to be the biggest protest on the island in nearly two decades.

In an interview Monday with Fox News, Rosselló said that he will not resign and that he is focused on tackling corruption and helping the island recover from Maria. The biggest newspaper in this territory of more than 3 million American citizens, El Nuevo Dia, added to the pressure with the front-page headline: “Governor, it’s time to listen to the people: You have to resign.”