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jueves, 26 de noviembre de 2009

The Governor of Puerto Rico ... for President?

Image and video hosting by TinyPic NewsWeek Andrew Romano There are four kinds of candidates for the 2012 Republican presidential nomination. Politicians like Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, and Tim Pawlenty belong in the sure-thing category; we know they'll be running because, well, they already are. Next come the wild cards: the headliners who haven't decided on anything yet ... except to keep their options open. Think Sarah Palin and Newt Gingrich. Finally there are the long shots. Until now, I would've stocked the long-shot pool with gents like Bobby Jindal, John Thune, and Haley Barbour—prominent Republicans who occasionally inspire 2012 speculation but stand little chance of actually getting (or, for that matter, trying to get) the nod next time around. But late last week, Republican antitax activist Grover Norquist—a guy who, love him or hate him, is still pretty plugged into GOP power sources in Washington—stopped by the NEWSWEEK offices and dropped a name I'd never even heard before, let alone heard in the context of 2012: Luis Fortuño. I can imagine your reaction: "Um, who's that?" Or as Fortuño might put it, "Este, quién es ese?" Allow me, then, to introduce you. Fortuño is the governor of Puerto Rico, which, as you may have learned in fifth-grade social-studies class, is a United States commonwealth located to the east of the Dominican Republic in the Caribbean Sea. Yes, Fortuño is a U.S. citizen. And, yes, he is a true-blue, Reagan- and National Review-loving member of the GOP—despite the liberal leanings of his native island, where "Republican" typically means pro-statehood rather than conservative. So while Fortuño can't vote in a U.S. presidential election, he can, in fact, run as a Republican in one. "He could pop up on the national level like that," said Norquist, snapping his fingers. "I’m very impressed with both his presentation and what he’s accomplished so far." Why is Norquist so fond of this unfamiliar face? For starters, Fortuño has proven to be a rather bold fiscal leader since assuming office last January. After discovering that Puerto Rico's deficit was four times greater than what he'd previously been told—at more than $3.2 billion, it's the highest per capita in the nation—he outlined a plan in March to cut spending by $2 billion per year and slash government payrolls by tens of thousands of workers. (In Puerto Rico, the government employs 30 percent of the workforce; another 30 percent rely on government contracts.) The idea was to chart a new economic future for the cash-strapped commonwealth by focusing on private-sector job creation—and so far, the plan is on track. Despite labor protests, Fortuño has trimmed approximately 20,000 government positions and, with the help of $6.5 billion in combined federal and local stimulus funds, has managed to create 17,000 new jobs in return (which, according to a recent analysis by The Christian Science Monitor, puts Puerto Rico third in the country behind Washington and Montana in terms of jobs created by the federal stimulus bill). Puerto Rico's unemployment rate—nearly 17 percent—is still staggeringly high. But Fortuño is effectively using Obama's bigger-government policies to move the commonwealth toward less bureaucracy, less spending, and more privatization. This is catnip for fiscal conservatives like Norquist. Blessed with a Republican legislature, Fortuño stands a good chance of passing other conservative reforms as well—reforms that could "all of sudden" gain him a national Republican audience, according to Norquist. These might include a school-choice bill ("a third of the population goes to private schools already") and a push to lower the top tax rate from 33 percent to 20 percent ("everybody who used to retire to Miami would retire to Puerto Rico"). Given that Fortuño is young (49), telegenic, well-educated (Georgetown; UVA Law), fluently bilingual, and a proven winner on Democratic turf—he was elected last November by the largest margin in 44 years and is the first Republican governor of Puerto Rico since 1969—it's not hard to see why Norquist is crushing on him. But ultimately, the most important thing about Fortuño may be that Norquist & Co. are mentioning his name at all—at least for now. Do I think a Puerto Rican will win the 2012 Republican nomination? Not really. And neither, I'm guessing, does Norquist. A party whose base is animated in part by its opposition to illegal immigration is probably not going to "import" someone, as it were, for the biggest job in the land. But in the age of Obama, the GOP is suffering from a serious dearth of credible minority leaders—people who can speak with authority to an increasingly multiethnic electorate. And the shortfall is especially glaring in regard to Latinos, who are the country's fastest-growing minority group (they represented 7.4 percent of the electorate in 2008, up from 6 percent in 2004 and 5.4 percent in 2000) but are trending heavily Democratic, despite their religious, family-first leanings (George W. Bush took 44 percent of the Latino vote in 2004 versus only 31 percent for John McCain in 2008). This is where Fortuño comes in. For Republicans, using Fortuño to fuel the eternal flame of 2012 speculation serves to make the GOP seem, at least, like a more welcoming place for Latinos—however whimsical his chances of reaching the White House currently are. "Our party needs growth among minorities," said one Republican Governors Association official earlier this year. "Then along comes a young, well-spoken Puerto Rican governor, and we've got a person who can help our party articulate why Hispanics and Latinos should fit into the GOP." Which is why, regardless of electoral reality, you can expect to keep hearing Fortuño's name from folks like Norquist—for the next three years and beyond. And who knows? One day, he may actually be a sure thing.

lunes, 23 de noviembre de 2009

Resolución para investigar actividades ministerio extranjero de Venezuela

Image and video hosting by TinyPic CyberNews San Juan - Como parte de su reunión anual llevada a cabo este pasado fin de semana el Comité Hispánico Nacional de Legisladores Estatales (NHCSL) aprobó una resolución donde piden al Congreso de Estados Unidos que soliciten al Departamento de Estado investigar las actividades del Ministerio Extranjero de Venezuela. La resolución detalla la evidencia documentada de la implicación del régimen de Hugo Chávez en la ayuda de las organizaciones terroristas tales como la FARC en Colombia y sus lazos con regímenes anti americanos tales como Irán. La resolución fue introducida por un grupo de dos partidos políticos. Estos fueron el portavoz de La Mayoría del Senado de Puerto Rico Roberto Arango, el representante por Georgia Pedro Marín y el representante del Estado de la Florida Juan Zapata. “Hugo Chávez cada vez más ha ignorado los derechos fundamentales de sus ciudadanos, que son la base de una democracia y se conceden bajo la Constitución de Venezuela la libertad de prensa y el derecho a la propiedad privada junto a otros derechos se están erosionando”, dijo el representante por Georgia. “Dentro de los Estados Unidos, Hugo Chávez está intentando influenciar los activistas políticos para llevar su agua. En Puerto Rico hay evidencia que apunta a que Chávez ha estado proporcionando financiamiento y otra ayuda a grupos anti-americanos que presentan una minoría minúscula en nuestra isla”, dijo por su parte el senador Arango De hecho, Arango agregó que el Departamento de Estado de Estados Unidos necesita tomar una postura más dinámica en la supervisión y la investigación de las acciones del Ministerio Extranjero Venezolano no solo en el exterior. “Hugo Chávez ha asumido el papel de Fidel Castro en promover actividades para minar elecciones y la democracia en América Latina y el Caribe. El régimen es una amenaza clara para nuestro país”, dijo de su lado el representante por el Estado de la Florida, Juan Zapata.

martes, 17 de noviembre de 2009

Advertencia de Fortuño a Chávez

Image and video hosting by TinyPic R@S El gobernador Luis Fortuño advirtió hoy al presidente de Venezuela Hugo Chávez que no permitirá que intervenga en los asuntos de Puerto Rico. El Primer Mandatario reaccionó ante la noticia y subrayó que es el pueblo puertorriqueño el que escoge su liderato y su status político. “Me preocupa que siga saliendo la información de posibilidad de intervención de afuera en asuntos que nos corresponde a nosotros decidir. Nosotros decidimos nuestro estatus, nosotros escogemos quiénes son nuestros gobernantes. No le corresponde a nadie fuera de Puerto Rico escoger por nosotros. Y no lo vamos a permitir”, dijo. El líder venezolano supuestamente ha indicado que tiene aliados para que Puerto Rico deje de ser colonia y se ha asegurado que existe evidencia de que el gobierno venezolano dirigido por Hugo Chávez, a través de su consulado en la Isla, ha estado aportando económicamente a figuras como el fenecido líder de Los Macheteros Filiberto Ojeda Ríos, al ambientalista Alberto de Jesús, conocido como Tito Kayak y al Movimiento Independentista Nacional Hostosiano (MINH).

Investigacion Federal en torno a ex consul venezolano en Puerto Rico

Image and video hosting by TinyPic Miami Herald JUAN O. TAMAYO Generalmente, los cónsules son diplomáticos de bajo rango que se ocupan de temas como las solicitudes de visas. Pero bajo el presidente Hugo Chávez, dos cónsules venezolanos en Estados Unidos han sido excepcionalmente visibles. Uno de ellos llamó la atención del Buró Federal de Investigaciones (FBI) por sus estrechos vínculos con los militantes puertorriqueños proindependentistas. Y otro suscitó preocupación por sus relaciones con una página en la internet que ha publicado varios ataques antisemitas. Chávez ha sido desde hace tiempo un exuberante promotor del Socialismo del Siglo XXI, atacando regularmente al "imperio''' de Estados Unidos y sus "lacayos'', como Colombia e Israel. Y su gobierno ha gastado decenas de millones de dólares vendiendo esa visión en el exterior. Pero, en ocasiones, sus enviados parecen olvidar su carácter de diplomáticos. O algo peor. El mes pasado, Costa Rica criticó públicamente al embajador de Venezuela Nelson Pineda por organizar un seminario dedicado a "debatir'' el controversial acuerdo que le permite al personal militar norteamericano usar algunas bases militares colombianas. "Le expresamos nuestro descontento y le pedimos que respetara plenamente [. . .] que no hubiera intervención en los asuntos internos de Costa Rica'', dijo el ministro de Relaciones Exteriores, Bruno Stagno, en una conferencia de prensa. Mucho más problemático ha sido el caso de Vinicio Romero, que fue cónsul de Venezuela en Puerto Rico de octubre del 2000 a marzo del 2006. Romero, un firme partidario de Chávez, escribió varios libros sobre el héroe de Chávez, Simón Bolívar, que lideró la guerra de independencia de Venezuela. Agentes del FBI en Puerto Rico empezaron a investigar a Romero en el 2004 o el 2005 entre reportes confidenciales de que se estaba reuniendo con radicales proindependentistas, dijo un ex funcionario del gobierno de Bush que pidió no ser identificado. El senador puertorriqueño Roberto Arango le dijo a El Nuevo Herald que "le habían dicho, no oficialmente'' que la investigación del FBI "prosigue'' y que implica alegaciones de que el consulado está utilizando valijas diplomáticas para dar dinero a los radicales proindependentistas. Los independentistas son una pequeña minoría en la isla que han recurrido a ataques terroristas en el pasado, incluyendo la colocación de bombas en objetivos civiles y un ataque en 1954 en el Congreso que dejó heridos a cinco legisladores. La oficina del FBI en San Juan dijo no tener comentarios. La embajada venezolana en Washington, que supervisa los ocho consulados venezolanos en Estados Unidos, que van de San Francisco a Boston, no respondieron a un mensaje electrónico de El Nuevo Herald pidiendo comentarios. Irónicamente, las actividades de Romero empezaron a hacerse públicas después de su muerte, de causa natural, en el 2006, mientras era embajador en Trinidad y Tobago. Un mes después, el semanario proindependentista Claridad elogió "su solidaridad con la independencia de Puerto Rico'' y atribuyó a su esposa haber dicho que él "lamentaba no haber visto la independencia de Puerto Rico''. Arango, miembro del Partido Nuevo Progresista, dijo que esa nota lo había llevado a estudiar las actividades de Romero. Un año después le envió --e hizo pública-- una carta a la Secretaria de Estado, Condoleezza Rice, exhortándola a "determinar si el consulado [venezolano] se estaba usando para financiar actividades de organizaciones políticas en Puerto Rico''. Unos 14 meses después de la carta, grupos judioamericanos empezaron a quejarse de que el cónsul venezolano en San Francisco, Martín Sánchez, era cofundador y propietario de Aporrea.org, una página web pro Chávez que había publicado varios columnas con títulos como Judíos, conspiradores y asesinos, y ¡Ataquen la sinagoga! Michael Salberg, director de Asuntos Internacionales de la Liga Anti Difamación (ADL), dijo que se habían quejado al Departamento de Estado y que habían recibido una respuesta por escrito en abril del secretario de Estado Adjunto para las Américas, Thomas Shanon. "Shannon escribió que el vínculo era muy preocupante y que trabajaría en el Departamento y otras entidades para examinar los hechos y estudiar las opciones'', dijo Salberg. Declinó ofrecer una copia de la carta. Aunque Chávez ha sido muy crítico de Israel y de su trato a los palestinos en los territorios ocupados, su gobierno ha insistido en que hace una clara distinción entre los comentarios contra Israel y el antisemitismo. Sánchez le dijo a El Nuevo Herald que se separó de Aporrea cuando entró en el cuerpo diplomático en el 2005, pero que siguió como dueño hasta principios de este año porque había olvidado cambiar el registro. Observó que el 6 de febrero del 2009 había colocado un artículo en Aporrea diciendo que aunque "ya no estaba activo'' en la dirección se había sentido forzado a responder a una virulenta nota antisemita publicada el 22 de enero. Escribió que el personal de Aporrea se había equivocado al publicar la nota, escrita por Emilio Silva, profesor universitario venezolano, y observó que la había retirado rápidamente porque contenía materiales "injustamente discriminatorios contra un grupo religioso''.' Desafiar públicamente a los judíos en las calles, como pedía Silva, eran "medidas fascistas'', escribió Sánchez. Y calificar de mito el Holocausto era "una barbaridad condenable''. "Que exista una industria cinematográfica que explote esas actividades con objetivos comerciales y políticos no cambia las acciones de Hitler'', añadió Sánchez. Sánchez repitió la nota de Silva al final de su artículo "para que los usuarios [de la página web] pudieran tener una plena versión de la misma''.

domingo, 15 de noviembre de 2009

Intromisiones de Hugo Chavez!?

Image and video hosting by TinyPic 23/sept/09 Global Research by James Suggett During a meeting with U.S. labor union leaders in New York on Wednesday, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez invited the unionists to participate in the fair trade integration bloc known as the Bolivarian Alliance for the Americas (ALBA), and he invited U.S. President Barack Obama to hold a "peace dialogue." "Groups of unions, groups of workers from the United States, could incorporate themselves into the ALBA, because the ALBA has a council of social movements in addition to its council of presidents," said Chavez in response to a participant who asked how U.S. and Latin American social movements could work together more. The first such opportunity for U.S. labor leaders to participate could be in the ALBA meeting scheduled to take place on October 16-17th in Cochabamba, Bolivia, said the president. "The ALBA, the Bolivarian Alliance, is much more than an alliance of governments," the president explained. "We must fill it with people, from below, from the roots... because you are the ones who construct these alternatives." The ALBA was created in 2004 by Venezuela and Cuba to provide an organization for cooperation-based trade between countries as an alternative to the U.S.-dominated free trade agreements, and to promote regional integration on the basis of solidarity. The bloc now has nine members in South and Central America and the Caribbean. Chavez, who was wearing a red and white striped tie and blue suit, told the U.S. unionists that Venezuela is not an enemy of the U.S., as the media portray it to be. "One thing is the empire and another is the people of the U.S.," he said. "We are enemies of imperialism, of hunger, of misery, of exploitation," said the leader of Venezuela's drive toward "21st Century Socialism." Turning his comments to the U.S. government, Chavez said he hopes to have a positive relationship with the Obama administration, but that President Obama will have to assure that the actions his administration takes are in line with his call for "a new era of engagement" during a speech before the 64th U.N. General Assembly in New York this week. "Sometimes one gets the sensation that there are two Obamas. One, who gave the speech, is good. The other makes decisions that are contradictory to his speech," said Chavez. As an example, Chavez cited a recently signed deal to expand the presence of the U.S. military on seven Colombian bases. "If you promote peace, then why the seven military bases in Colombia?" he asked. "Obama, Obama, wake up! Open your eyes!" Chavez exclaimed. "Don't send any more soldiers or war planes to Colombia, that is throwing gasoline on the fire, and that affects us all in South America... Let's talk about peace, let's set up a peace dialogue," he suggested. "The world has begun to change, and the United States is part of the world, it cannot remain behind," Chavez said, emphasizing that he is optimistic that the 21st Century will bring substantial improvements and that "the process of building unity cannot be detained." "In the first ten years of the 21st Century, we have been able to advance on what could not be achieved in the two hundred previous years," he said, mentioning as examples the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR), the Bank of the South, and the Latin American television news station Telesur, in addition to the ALBA. "The next ten years will be decisive," he said. "I feel optimistic, and I ask all of you to feel optimistic, but to struggle hard." This struggle includes that of Puerto Rico to become an independent republic, said the Venezuelan leader, after recognizing that September 23rd is the anniversary of the day when Puerto Rican leaders declared the island independent from Spain in 1868. "Who said history has ended? History has re-begun," Chavez said. "Someday, Puerto Rico should be a republic." His comments were followed by strong applause. Wednesday's event took place in the office of Venezuela's ambassadorship to the United Nations. The participants included labor leaders from the national and multi-national electricity, food, commercial, automobile, public, and university sectors, as well as organizers of African-American and Puerto Rican worker unions. Chavez also came to New York to address the 64th United Nations General Assembly meeting on Thursday.