Retailers Take Stronger Stance on Gov’t Crisis
CUD head says Gov. Rosselló’s time to reflect ‘has expired’
SAN JUAN — Acknowledging the unfolding events and the expressions of his organization’s members, the president of the United Retailers Center (CUD by its Spanish acronym), Jorge Argüelles, argued that Gov. Ricardo Rosselló should step down.
“The governor had asked for a period of reflection, and I believe that, in light of all the events that have recently come to pass, that period has expired. It is the time to make responsible decisions and look for a person who can clean the image of Puerto Rico and do whatever needs to be done,” Argüelles said.
Last week, the Puerto Rican government faced public outcry after private messages were leaked, exposing the governor and his inner circle, including Elías Sánches, who didn’t hold a government position or contract at the time. The messages were peppered with derogatory and violent language, and discussed courses of actions that have been deemed improper or illegal by a Puerto Rico Bar Association report.
That same week, the U.S. Department of Justice had arrested the former head of the Department of Education and the Health Insurance administrator, along with government contractors, for misappropriation of public funds.
The CUD president argued that the person who takes the reins needs to be someone who “can give back [Puerto Rico] credibility in the markets and give back the People tranquility and be able to move forward.”
Earlier in the week the Puerto Rico Restaurant Association (Asore by its Spanish acronym) President José Salvatella, had expressed disapproval of the scandals, and along with other industry representatives, said the resulting uncertainty is not conducive to attracting investment.
“As an Association that promotes and looks out for compliance with the law, and that believes in ethical behavior, we strongly reject any type of act of corruption, at any level,” said Santaella, adding that there shouldn’t be any room in government for disrespect and personal attacks, and that “we Puerto Ricans deserve to live in a country in full development and that is internationally competitive.”