Just when you thought former Puerto Rico governor Ricardo Rosselló would disappear from the political limelight, a new story from Spain published this weekend by digital outlet Vozpópuli would suggest otherwise.
According to the outlet, new recordings by from the ongoing two-year Caso Tándem scandal in Spain mention both Rosselló and Manny Ortiz —a childhood friend of Rosselló and the Puerto Rico government’s top DC lobbyist during the former Rosselló administration— in an allegation involving (stick with us her) former Donald Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort and his push to have a Chinese investment company buy up part of Puerto Rico’s debt.
The recordings alleged that Ortiz and Puerto Rican businessman Héctor Hoyos are the go-to guys in the Rosselló administration to connect Spanish businessmen to the deal so that they could make money off of it. The amount being discussed was $500,000.
Puerto Rico’s Noticel has a very detailed summary in Spanish about the allegations and recorded conversations, which were made by José Manuel Villarejo, an former Spanish police official who is the main source of Caso Tándem and is also serving a jail sentence since 2017.
We told you this was complicated.
UPDATE, 1:33pmET: Ortiz tweeted out a statement in Spanish where he says that the story is absolutely false and that he has never had a personal or professional relationship with Manafort or Villarejo. He also urged media outlets to not waste time on these types of stories. We did respond to Ortiz and said he has an open invite for an interview any time.
we are just publishing what a legitimate Spanish language outlet published over the weekend. thanks for your statement and we will publish it in English now at the end of the story. but to suggest that we are being unethical is ridiculous. thanks again.
— Latino Rebels (@latinorebels) August 26, 2019
Clearly the audio mentions Manny Ortiz. There is no doubt. Puerto Rico is run by a political mafia in all political parties. A so called civil society like the ones who run corrupt governments all through Latin America.