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jueves, 15 de enero de 2009

compromiso de resolver el problema colonial

Image and video hosting by TinyPic vocero.com Ricardo Rossello A los que digan que el problema del estatus de Puerto Rico no le importa a nadie fuera de Puerto Rico, les presento al joven Emanuel Pleitez, candidato al escaño vacante de Hilda Solís en el Distrito 32 de California. He tenido el privilegio de conversar varias veces con mi amigo Emanuel sobre la situación colonial de Puerto Rico. Su profundidad y conocimiento del tema me sorprendió muchísimo, y su conclusión es concreta y visionaria: "Entiendo que uno de los asuntos de derechos civiles más significativos de nuestra generación es resolver el problema del estatus de Puerto Rico, con soluciones no territoriales y no coloniales. Sólo así podremos darles a nuestros hermanos puertorriqueños el apoyo necesario que se merecen como ciudadanos americanos de primera clase," expresó Pleitez. Como joven de descendencia mexicana, Emanuel Pleitez cita al legendario líder de los derechos civiles, César Chávez, quien dijo: "Tal vez, algún día, podremos ver el momento cuando nuestros niños aprendan a dar su vida por la liberación de sus hermanos que sufren… Esto no pasará a menos que no decidamos utilizar nuestras propias vidas para demostrar el camino." Emanuel explica que "a pesar de todas las contribuciones que Puerto Rico le ha brindado a la democracia más exitosa del mundo, los 4 millones de ciudadanos americanos residentes en Puerto Rico no tienen representación al nivel más alto de su gobierno. " Emanuel representa una generación de ciudadanos en Estados Unidos que entiende lo que es luchar por los derechos civiles, y que está consciente del déficit de estos derechos civiles en Puerto Rico por su estatus colonial. MY COMMITMENT TO THE PEOPLE OF PUERTO RICO I am committed to protecting and advocating for the civil rights of all Americans. As the legendary civil rights leader Cesar Chavez once said: “Perhaps we can bring the day when children will learn… to give one's life to the liberation of the brother who suffers… It won't happen unless we decide to use our lives to show the way.” I believe that one of the most pressing civil rights issues of our generation is resolving Puerto Rico’s status issue by means of non territorial, non colonial solutions and providing our Puerto Rican brethren with the appropriate programs they need to lift themselves out of poverty. The United States acquired Puerto Rico in war from Spain in 1898. While our country has granted American citizenship to Puerto Ricans since 1917 and self-government on local affairs, Puerto Rico remains an unincorporated territory of the United States and its ultimate political status remains undetermined. Puerto Ricans want someone who will exercise leadership to finally resolve the question of the islands’ ultimate political status. Puerto Ricans have made important cultural and economic contributions to our nation. They have also proudly and bravely served in the United States military. Many have made the ultimate sacrifice to preserve our freedom, secure peace, and bring liberty and justice around the world. Puerto Ricans in uniform have sustained higher per capita service-connected disabilities than citizens of the States. Despite these enormous contributions to the world’s greatest democracy, however, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico’s 3.9 million residents do not have voting representation in the government that makes their national laws. All of Puerto Rico’s political parties are based on visions of a governing arrangement that provides for democratically determined and implemented national laws but the parties are divided on what the options are. The issue of Puerto Rico’s ultimate status also raises questions of what economic and social policies are appropriate for the Commonwealth. Additionally, Puerto Rico’s territorial status permits the Commonwealth to be treated differently than the States in federal and congressional programs – mostly to the detriment of its people. Partly as a result, Puerto Ricans on the islands are treated as second-class citizens with half of the population living below the federal poverty level. At the same time, the unemployment rate is twice that of the nation as a whole. This has forced many Puerto Ricans to move to the States to meet basic human needs and obtain greater opportunities. As Congressman, I will work to rectify the injustices presented by the current status of Puerto Rico and to improve the quality of life for its residents by: 1. Resolving the question of Puerto Rico’s ultimate status 2. Striving for equality for Puerto Ricans through congressional legislation I will work with Congress to resolve the question of Puerto Rico’s ultimate status by: * Seeking funding for an objective public education campaign on the constitutionally viable status options – national sovereignty, either fully independent from or in a free association with the United States, or to join the Union as a State – and making such information available to the Puerto Rican people * Working with my Congressional peers to introduce legislation for a congressional referendum that would allow Puerto Ricans to choose among the aforementioned constitutionally viable status options; self-determination cannot produce the change in status Puerto Ricans desire in the absence of a congressional mandate * If a Puerto Rican majority chooses one of the aforementioned options for a new status, I will prioritize working with Congress to implement the choice of the Puerto Rican people Following the lead of President-Elect Barack Obama who recently pledged to make sure the islands are an integral part of our nation’s economic recovery plan, I will work to meet the needs of the many Puerto Ricans who have not been adequately helped by the economic policies of the past. I will also work with Congress to develop new sustainable economic development proposals that create jobs and accelerate economic growth on the islands, while striving for equality in federal and congressional assistance programs. As Cesar Chavez once said: “It is not enough to progress as individuals while our friends and neighbors are left behind.” Puerto Ricans are our friends and neighbors, and sadly they have little influence over their political and economic destiny. As Congressman, I will make sure that our Puerto Rican brethren have a friend in Washington, D.C. who is willing to represent and fight for their interests. Emanuel Pleitez Candidate for the 32nd Congressional District in California