By The Star Staff
The Popular Democratic Party (PDP) majority leader in the island House of Representatives, Ángel Matos García, on Wednesday described the Discover Puerto Rico tourism campaign entitled “Vive a lo boricua” (Live Boricua, or Live Puerto Rican Style) as “a shame and a waste of $20 million.”
“Living Puerto Rican style is living painfully in a society without electricity, [and with] increases in tolls, water, electricity, holes in the highways, poor signage and a dirty and unpresentable airport,” the Carolina District legislator said in a written statement. “Living Puerto Rican is living with an average of 11 carjackings a day, murders, robberies and the highest rate of rape and gender violence. [Discover Puerto Rico CEO] Brad Dean makes fun of the island and its economic and social situation. The worst thing is that Dean enjoys the endorsement of Gov. Pedro Pierluisi, who laughs as he thanks and rewards him with salary increases.”
He added that the “Vive a lo boricua” campaign is an advertising campaign cooked up by the island’s destination marketing organization (DMO) only for the mainland United States at a cost of $20 million.
“Now some useful idiot will come to defend this racist campaign that denigrates our Puerto Rican identity and it will probably be some hotel operator who amasses room tax debts with the country,” Matos García said. “As I always remind you, the DMO is a philanthropic pseudo-mafia where they live the good life with the country’s money. They can make as many noises as they want, but the country knows them, they are like ‘leeches,’ sucking off public funds.”
As reported in Wednesday’s STAR, Discover Puerto Rico unveiled its new “Live Boricua” brand campaign on Tuesday, describing it as a movement born out of Puerto Rico — with creative insights and assets from and driven by Puerto Ricans — that highlights how to enjoy things the Boricua way, which means like a person of Puerto Rican descent. “Live Boricua” is being brought to life via new advertising and activations that spotlight #LiveBoricua moments shared by Puerto Ricans, the Puerto Rican diaspora and destination lovers, officials said.