Puerto Rico: Celebrations continue after governor's resignation

Puerto Rico: Celebrations continue after governor's resignation

Puerto Ricans waited for hours for an answer from their embattled governor as the uncertainty ratcheted up and speculation about his potential successor abounded.

He has been at the centre of a group text message scandal that has already led two top officials to resign. She was later cleared of those charges.

Tampa resident Jose Luis Guerra, who moved here after his town in Puerto Rico was destroyed by the hurricane, says this is a step in the right direction. Public frustration has mounted over slow recovery from the disaster.

For almost two weeks, Rossello asked for forgiveness while insisting he would remain in power to finish the work he had started.

He promised not to run for reelection and resigned as head of the New Progressive Party, which holds majorities in both the Puerto Rico House of Representatives and Senate.

But what he thought were concessions only inflamed passions and intensified protests across the archipelago.

The scandal ignited mass protests in San Juan for 12 days demanding for a resignation while pushing back against the debt crisis.

Protesters who had thronged the streets near the governor's mansion since the afternoon erupted into cheers as the news broke, shooting fireworks and waving Puerto Rican flags.

History was made Wednesday night in Puerto Rico, much to Alex Cora's delight.

Many protesters have drawn attention to Puerto Rico's status as a USA colony and how that has negatively affected relief, aid and decision making in relation to the island.

The rallies started on July 13, when the Center for Investigative Journalism released 889 pages of text chats on the encrypted messaging app Telegram in which Rossello and 11 other male administration members criticised officials, politicians and journalists.

There were signs that Rossello's governorship was unraveling. As a US territory, Puerto Rico is subject to all applicable federal laws and regulations. It is unclear whether the devices have been turned over to authorities.

The Secretary of Justice, Wanda Vazquez, will become acting governor.

"The governor wasn't the right person to drive the island", says Guerra.

Correa agrees. She says it is OK to celebrate a moment her country came together - "not by violence, without having to debate the issue of impeachment, but by the sheer force of their values, by the sheer force of their united voices" - but that it is more important to start working toward a better future.

Her brother Residente also calls the protests an "awakening". "That was the most frustrating and aggravating part of it", Ramos said.

"We continue to consistently work with our tourism partners to keep travelers up to date with the latest information they need to have an enjoyable and safe time while in Puerto Rico. It's going to be a long process", said Colon.

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