Puerto Rico is going through a pivotal moment. Since the release of an 889-page group chat highlighting Governor Ricardo Rosselló‘s inappropriate, homophobic and misogynistic comments about his rivals and allies, Puerto Ricans have called for his resignation. Already two senior members of Ricky’s cabinet have quit, but Rosselló hopes he can move past this incident. However, just recognizing that his behavior was “shameful” is not enough for Puerto Ricans; they have been protesting him for days. But as these massive demonstrations play out, most Democratic presidential candidates have kept mum.
Elizabeth Warren, however, is the only one that has used her platform to denounce Rosselló. In a tweet published on July 17, Warren said, “I stand with Puerto Ricans who are taking to the streets this week to protest government corruption & Governor @RicardoRossello’s deeply offensive comments. His actions are hurtful & undermine the public trust. He must answer to the Puerto Rican people.”
I stand with Puerto Ricans who are taking to the streets this week to protest government corruption & Governor @RicardoRossello's deeply offensive comments. His actions are hurtful & undermine the public trust. He must answer to the Puerto Rican people. https://t.co/ga3KpLNlJq
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) July 17, 2019
And while it’s disappointing that these presidential hopefuls haven’t publicly discussed this important moment, it’s not surprising. As Vox reported at the end of June, during the Democratic debates, Puerto Rico only came up one time when Julián Castro mentioned the island.
20 candidates, 5 moderators, 2 debates and only ONE mention of #PuertoRico in a #DemDebate that took place in FL, home of 1.2 million Puerto Ricans. And these are the progressives! #ShowUsYourPRpolicy
— Power4PuertoRico (@Pwr4PuertoRico) June 28, 2019
Despite Puerto Rico being a U.S. territory, it often goes ignored, making boricuas feel like second-class citizens and an afterthought. Puerto Ricans living on the island cannot vote in the presidential election, but they can cast their votes in the primaries. As they fight against their government, they’ll remember who was by their side.