Tuesday, August 12, 2008
ATLANTIC CITY-- For the past 12 years on the second Sunday of August people from New Jersey and surrounding states celebrate Puerto Rican culture on the Atlantic City boardwalk. The culture involves much more than music, dancing and food.Hundreds came out to the Atlantic City boardwalk for the Puerto Rican parade and Latin music festival.The goal is to educate the community on puerto rico's history, heritage and traditions.
Many would describe the food, the music and dancing as puerto rican culture."We're all about our culture and getting together and having a good time," said one parade-goer.By the looks of the crowd, they are having a good time, but many believe the culture goes even deeper."My message to them is yes, food is part of our culture, music is part of our culture...voting is part of our culture," said Kenneth McClintock, President of Senate, Puerto Rico.
Puerto Rico has been a territory of the United States for the past 110 years and while they can only vote in presidential primaries and not in presidential elections, they take politics very seriously."We're one of the most politically sophisticated jurisdictions under the American flag," said McClintock.Puerto Rico has a population of 3.9 million while nearly 4 million Puerto Rican’s have moved and now reside here in the states."What we're basically seeking now is approval of a bill in Congress HR-900…to allow people of Puerto Rico to vote no later than 2009 as to whether they want to remain as they are or whether they want change," explained McClintock.If they want change, there would then be a second vote between independence and statehood.Recent polls in Puerto Rico show over 57 percent of the people support statehood and less than 3 percent support independence.
If Puerto Rico should become a state, they would have 2 Senators and 6 members of the House of Representatives, causing a huge shift in the American political structure.Between 82 to 83 percent of Puerto Ricans vote in every election, whereas only about 40 percent of all eligible voters turn out for presidential elections here in the states.So until a change is made, they will continue to celebrate their Puerto Rican pride the best way they can.
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Wednesday, August 6, 2008
(CNN) – Hillary Clinton will campaign for Barack Obama on two dates in August, the Obama campaign announced Tuesday.
She will hold rallies and voter registration drives in the swing states of Nevada and Florida on August 8 and 21, respectively. Obama won’t attend Friday’s event since he is taking a planned vacation with his family — and it’s not yet clear whether he’ll be at the latter date, which falls just days before the Democratic convention in Denver.
The last time Obama and Clinton were seen together was at a New York fundraiser on July 10, when she told donors, “I’m going to do everything I can and everything I’m asked to make sure he takes the oath of office on January 20th, 2009.”
That fundraiser was one of three the pair have held since Clinton suspended her campaign in early June, and just their second public appearance together.
Obama has said on several occasions that he hopes for both Bill and Hillary Clinton’s help campaigning to win in November.
“I am proud to call [Hillary] my friend, and I know that I desperately need her and Bill Clinton involved in this campaign,” Obama said in New York.
Por José A. Delgado / jdelgado@elnuevodía.com
WASHINGTON – Los demócratas boricuas esperan acordar un lenguaje de consenso sobre temas prioritarios referentes a Puerto Rico, incluido el status politico, que puedan ser elevados al programa de gobierno del Partido Demócrata de Estados Unidos.
A petición del comité electoral de Barack Obama, los líderes demócratas en Puerto Rico hoy comienzan a escuchar a personas que interesen sugerir ideas al partido estadounidense.
“Lo ideal es que la plataforma refleje la posición del candidato o una versión mejorada”, dijo el presidente de los demócratas de la Isla, Roberto Prats, en referencia a la reunión que tiene lugar esta noche en la sede de la Unión de Tronquistas, en Santurce.
En el plan que le presentó en febrero al gobernador Aníbal Acevedo Vilá, Obama se comprometió a mantener una “estricta neutralidad” en el tema del futuro político de la Isla y a considerar como alternativas procesales tanto la convocatoria de un plebiscito como una Asamblea Constitucional de Status.
¿Cree que Planificación debe imponer una moratoria de construcción en la zona costera?
En un artículo de opinión que publicó casi en la víspera de las primarias presidenciales estadounidenses en Puerto Rico, Obama, además, dijo que cualquier nuevo proceso de status debe partir del “consenso”.
El Partido Popular Democrático (PPD), cuyos principales líderes apoyaron a Obama en las primarias, promueve la convocatoria a una Asamblea Constitucional de Status. Mientras, el Partido Nuevo Progresista (PNP), que tuvo también importantes sectores dentro de la campaña de Obama, acaba de decidir que el próximo cuatrienio volverá a presionar a favor de la convocatoria a un plebiscito federal.
Kenneth McClintock, delegado ante el Partido Demócrata de Estados Unidos y presidente del Senado de Puerto Rico, dijo que quisiera que Obama incorpore en el programa demócrata la propuesta de Hillary Clinton a favor de que haya una solución al debate del status “en los próximos cuatro años”.
Tanto Prats como McClintock respaldaron a Clinton durante las primarias presidenciales demócratas.
McClintock, sin embargo, sostuvo que es preferible esperar por el desarrollo de los trabajos del comité de Programa, antes de aventurarse a pronosticar qué compromisos con Puerto Rico se pueden conseguir a nivel del partido estadounidense.
Monday, August 4, 2008
Puerto Rico opposition parties reject governor's call for more sovereignty
Published on Thursday, July 31, 2008
By MM Sierra Caribbean Net News Puerto Rico
Correspondent Email: email@example.com
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico: After Governor Anibal Acevedo Vila called for the enhancement of the Commonwealth with more sovereign powers under the democratic premise that Puerto Rico’s political status future should rest on the people, members of opposing political parties immediately reacted saying that the governor “is trying to deviously create the false impression that we can retain perpetual and permanent American citizenship even if we acquired the sovereignty we currently do not have.”
During the 56th celebration of the Commonwealth’s Constitution Day last week, Acevedo Vila said that an enhanced commonwealth with more sovereign powers is not a synonym for independence. Senate President Kenneth McClintock told Caribbean Net News that there is no status “with more sovereign powers.” “You either have sovereignty or you don’t. Puerto Rico, as a United States territory exercises but does not possess, most of the sovereign powers it would begin to possess as a matter of right upon admission as a federated state of the United States,” McClintock said.
Kenneth McClintock, Puerto Rico Senate President New Progressive Party Gubernatorial Candidate Luis Fortuno has also made similar comments saying that the governor is trying to lead Puerto Rico to a road of separation from the United States after calling for a Commonwealth with more sovereign powers. Fortuno, a Republican, who believes in statehood for the island is also against the governor’s call on celebrating a Constituent Assembly to define the island’s political status. Fortuno, who is also the Commonwealth’s Resident Commissioner in Washington DC, has said that the island’s status problems need to be resolved through a referendum, in which Puerto Ricans will be able to vote directly for the Commonwealth’s status option they prefer. While McClintock said that Puerto Rico could obtain national sovereign powers by becoming a sovereign nation.
“However, national sovereignty would preclude permanent US citizenship. Technically, Puerto Rico’s current exercise of State sovereignty isn’t accompanied by permanent American citizenship – and shouldn’t, since Puerto Rico can conceivably become a sovereign nation. But in practicality, the current exercise of State-like sovereignty is now accompanied by perpetual, if not permanent, US citizenship: in reality US citizenship will continue as long as Puerto Rico is to remain subject to US national sovereignty,” the Senate President added.
Meanwhile, Puerto Rico Independence Party President Edwin Irizarry Mora said that Acevedo Vila’s speech “are just words and manipulations” he is recurring to because he’s politically desperate and trying to find votes from citizens that believe in the island’s independence as the solution for the status dilemma. “It constitutes of an act of cynicism and of opportunism without precedents because Acevedo Vila, who until the day he became a federal target for acts of political corruptions, had been the most unconditional and servile of the Puerto Rican colonialists…His actions demonstrate that in his desperation he is capable of anything,” Irizarry Mora said.
While McClintock said that the governor is allegedly “trying to deviously create the false impression that we can retain perpetual and permanent American citizenship even if we acquired the sovereignty we currently do not have.” “His (Acevedo Vila’s) polls as well as our (the New Progressive Party polls) demonstrate that Puerto Ricans overwhelmingly cherish their American citizenship,” McClintock added.