The movement that forced Ricardo Rosselló to step down as governor of Puerto Rico is one of the largest in the island’s history. It unified people across the ideological and political spectrum toward a common purpose: ending the governor’s corrupt regime. On Monday, hundreds of thousands of people gathered in San Juan to demand “Ricky Renuncia.”
Traveling to her native Puerto Rico to witness what was unfolding, political activist and journalist Rosa Clemente told me in an interview that rumors had spread on Monday that Rosselló was readying his resignation. But then, she said, “He doubled down again by giving a horrific interview on Fox News, and that made especially young people more angry and agitated and ready to stay in the streets.” Rosselló told Fox News’ Shepard Smith that while he wouldn’t seek re-election, he also would not resign on the same day that half a million of the island’s people were demanding he step down.
Two days later, more news outlets began reporting that Rosselló was expected to resign later in the day. Some claimed that he had recorded a farewell message. But as the hours wore on, nothing happened. At that point, the Puerto Rican Legislature threatened to begin impeachment proceedings against him unless he stepped down. Hours later, when the day was nearly over, Rosselló finally conceded. He refused to step down immediately, offering instead to resign Aug. 2.