Benjamín Torres Gotay

Las cosas por su nombre

Por Benjamín Torres Gotay

The soul of Rosselló

Have you ever secretly wished for the opportunity to look through the lock of a room, while those inside it -without knowing that they are being watched- remove the mask they show the world and reveal themselves as who they really are?

That is the precious opportunity that Puerto Rico was given with Saturday morning leak of a 889-page group chat between Puerto Rico's Governor Ricardo Rosselló and some of his closest collaborators. The disclosed chat contents triggered a telluric movement that Puerto Rico never experienced before and which ended last night with the fulminant collapse of the Governor´s closest circle, who is right now alone and thoughtless and doesn´t seem to have understood, yet, the dead-end street he faces because of his enormous deficiencies.

Rosselló and eleven of his closest collaborators were behaving as if they would never be discovered. They removed their good men masks. They opened the doors of their souls and, as if they were a long-closed coffer, bats, pests and ugliness came out.

Legal and moral corruption, abuse of power, contempt for the weak, intellectual and spiritual poverty, vacuous character, small, translucent, light things were all hanging in a clothesline they thought no one saw. Homophobia, misogyny and mockery, politicking and charlatanism flew like doves.

These people showcased the most shameful performance we have ever seen from the official sphere. They were what every decent parent would never want their children to be: abusive, superficial, small and corrupt. The wind lifted the skirt of privilege and let us see what lies beneath. Quoting one of them: Fo!

Except for three officials, last night, all those who held government positions were unemployed and covered in ignominy. The three who survived are Puerto Rico´s Chief of Staff Ricardo Llerandi, La Fortaleza Public Affairs Secretary Anthony Maceira and Ricardo Rosselló Nevares, Governor of the Commonwealth.

About the first two, it can be said that their participation was brief and without the vulgarity of the others. But that is not the case of the third one, Rosselló, the Governor. If there is a leader of this gang to be pointed at, it is this one. If it had to be said that one of them was the instigator, the guide, whom others were striving to please, the one who carried the torch of abuse, the one who set the charlatan tone of the conversations in that group, it is that one, the Governor.

Rosselló was the one who could bring order if that were part of his abilities or his interests.

We are not very interested in the other participants. Publicists, "strategists," men good for nothing, all that fauna gravitating around power, those come and go. Almost no one remembers who folded a Governor's socks when he went on a trip.

Governors, on the other hand, appear in history books. Buildings are named after them.

The Governor in question here, Rosselló, showed hissoul in the chat and the picture is not nice.

There came Carlos Bermúdez, a press advisor, to make homophobic comments about different politicians or indecent insinuations about a female journalist and there was the Governor laughing at his jokes. There came teenagers Ramón Rosario (who, imagine, reportedly wanted a seat in the Supreme Court) and Christian Sobrino to say "kitty" to Natalie Jaresko and there was the Governor saying nothing to this.

There came the Governor, as if he were still in eighth grade at the Marista School, to make fun of a boy sick with morbid obesity, reportedly a fan of him, to make fun of his condition. There was the Governor up and down with vulgar language to refer to the male sexual organ always in the mouth, especially to refer to this journalist.

There they made fun of the dead bodies piled up in the Forensic Sciences Institute. They made fun of the death of the independentists Carlos Gallisá and Marta Font. They mocked San Juan mayor Carmen Yulín Cruz, Senator Eduardo Bhatia, and former senator Roberto Prats, who seems to have been specially targeted. PNP Sen. Evelyn Vazquez was elegantly described as prostitute.

The Governor never put a stop to it. He never wanted to put the house in order. They spent hours doing this and if an important issue slipped in, they quickly dismissed it. In those cases, only Elías Sánchez, who is not an official, but a lobbyist, paid attention, perhaps because that's why he was there, to identify business opportunities for his clients, something that will surely call the attention of the federal agencies investigating him.

The chat reveals that the Governor who came to pull Puerto Rico out of bankruptcy and bring statehood; Rosselló who earned a bachelor’s degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in biomedical engineering and a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan, was fascinated by those who made him believe that fatuous internet polls of the media have some meaning or importance.

He was happy and cheerful when one won something, thanks to manipulations directed by his publicist Edwin Miranda, allegedly with public funds. The Governor got 90 percent of approval in a survey in Radio Nonsense and that made him super happy.

In short, that boy who sold himself as the personification of all our aspirations, the one who was going to take us by his shining hand towards the promised land, was in effect a small, superficial creature, an abuser of the most vulnerable, whose inability to understand that being the Governor does not have to do, as many of us believed, with his zero work experience, but with fundamental defects in his character.

Yesterday in a few hours, what remained of a government that had been long crumbling down under the weight of incompetence and incapacity collapsed. He lost everyone's support. But he didn't understand. He thinks he can go on. He doesn't just see that the trip is over.

Yesterday afternoon, he was seen in La Fortaleza Sunken Garden, alone, head down and meditating, looking at his cell phone. Perhaps he was looking for some internet poll to give him back the illusion that he can govern.

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