Many people celebrated as Puerto Rican Gov. Ricardo Rosselló announced his resignation—and Rev. Samuel Rodriguez is one of them.
During his speech late Wednesday, Rosselló said his resignation would take effect on Aug. 2 and that Secretary of Justice Wanda Vázquez would take his place.
People crowded the streets to celebrate the announcement, which came after two weeks of protests. Private messages allegedly from Rosselló were leaked several weeks ago, revealing unsavory comments making light of Hurricane Maria as well as degrading women and LGBT people.
"I welcome the news that Gov. Ricardo Rosselló has decided to step aside," says Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference (NHCLC). "He made the right decision for the good of the Puerto Rican people. But let us be clear: this is not yet a new day in our beloved Puerto Rico. We must recognize that the challenges our island faces are not the product of one leader alone—nor will they be resolved by one person. It will require citizens of all types to do their part in ensuring a better and a brighter future for all Puerto Ricans. So the celebrations at today's news ought to be taken in their appropriate context. There will be no new beginning without a new way forward."
Prior to Rosselló's resignation, three attorneys found five offenses that provided grounds for impeachment, including four serious offenses and one misdemeanor.
Rodriguez points to prayer as the answer to the crisis Puerto Rico is facing.
"As an evangelical pastor, I believe our island's way forward should begin with prayer," he says. "As the Bible says, 'If My people who are called by My name put away their pride and pray, and look for My face, and turn from their sinful ways, then I will hear from heaven. I will forgive their sin, and will heal their land' (2 Chron. 7:14). Let us keep praying for the healing of our people and our island. Puerto Rico's best days are still to come."
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