Lawmakers call for Puerto Rico’s governor to step down amid widespread protests on island

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Congressional lawmakers are siding with Puerto Ricans in calling for the island’s besieged governor to resign amid days of demonstrations and confrontations between protesters and police.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted her support for the people’s demand that Gov. Ricardo Rosselló step down.

“The people of Puerto Rico have spoken loudly and clearly for the world to hear. We must stand with la isla. Rosselló must resign,” tweeted the New York congresswoman, who is of Puerto Rican descent.

Florida Republican Sen. Rick Scott also called on Rosselló to step down, tweeting out that “it’s clear the current leadership has lost the confidence of the people of PR.”

Puerto Rico-born Rep. Nydia Velazquez, D-N.Y., said she came to the “inescapable conclusion that it is time for the Governor of Puerto Rico to resign” in a tweet accompanied by a lengthier statement.

New York and Florida are home to large Puerto Rican constituencies.

In a statement, Rep. Jenniffer Gonzalez-Colon, Puerto Rico’s non-voting member in Congress, said events over the past two weeks have negatively impacted the island commonwealth’s economy and government and portray an “anarchic image” to the world.

PROTESTS IN PUERTO RICO FORCING POPULAR CRUISE LINES TO ABANDON SHIP DESTINATIONS

“For this reason, I am requesting that for the good of Puerto Rico, you abdicate your position and allow a peaceful transition of government to bring peace and tranquility to our island, which has been mired in a fiscal crisis, severely exacerbated by Hurricanes Irma and Maria, ” she said.

Rosselló has faced mounting pressure to resign after nearly 900 pages of leaked online messages showed him and other government officials making profane, homophobic and misogynist comments and mocking his constituents.

His administration is also dealing with the fallout of a federal corruption probe that ensnared several former officials and contractors.

In this Wednesday photo, a demonstrator with a Puerto Rican flag draped over his shoulders balances on the hands of another during clashes in San Juan, Puerto Rico.  (AP Photo/Dennis M. Rivera Pichardo)

In this Wednesday photo, a demonstrator with a Puerto Rican flag draped over his shoulders balances on the hands of another during clashes in San Juan, Puerto Rico.  (AP Photo/Dennis M. Rivera Pichardo)

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Former Housing Secretary Julian Castro became the first 2020 Democratic presidential contender to call for the governor to leave office, though other candidates have shown solidarity with the people of Puerto Rico.

“It’s clear that Governor Rosselló can no longer be effective,” he told Fox News. “I stand with Puerto Ricans who are protesting in the streets.”

On Wednesday, some well-known Major League Baseball players with ties to the island also urged the governor to resign. They included the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Enrique Hernandez, the Saint Louis Cardinals’ Yadier Molina, the Houston Astros’ Carlos Correa, the Cleveland Indians Francisco Lindor, and Boston Red Sox manager Alex Cora.

J.J. Barea of the Dallas Mavericks also joined the chorus.

Fox News multimedia reporter Rob DiRienzo contributed to this report. 

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