The star of Puerto Rico Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla’s “Star Island” media campaign to promote pride and confidence in the territory has moved to a State for a better life.
The advertisements feature a young boy and pictures of people who are supposed to be successful islanders.
A sports reporter who was a neighbor of the boy disclosed Wednesday that the child and his family have just moved to Florida because the father could not make a decent living in the islands despite being a structural engineer.
The boy’s move is the second major embarrassment for the campaign. The first was that some of the ‘Puerto Ricans’ it features — such as U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor — never lived in Puerto Rico.
The advertisements were produced by the advertising agency that has long handled “Commonwealth” party political campaigns.
Puerto Rico House of Representatives Minority Leader Jenniffer Gonzalez Wednesday said that she would ask Puerto Rico’s Comptroller to investigate the campaign because it was spending public money without a valid government purpose.
The Garcia Administration has claimed that the campaign’s purpose is to encourage economic growth but Gonzalez observed, “It won’t spur entrepreneurship, lure investment, or create a single job.”
Gov. Garcia reacted to reports of these developments by saying that those who had made the points “apparently aren’t proud to be Puerto Rican.”
He did admit, however, that, “There has been a problem of a brain drain from Puerto Rico in recent years” adding “That’s why we have to continue fighting crime and creating jobs so people won’t leave.
Rates of some crimes remain very high in the territory, which has continued to lose jobs under Garcia.