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Rodriguez Backs Pesquera

La Fortaleza Summons PDP Legislators

Lebron To Leave Prison

Governor Won't Remove Police From Vieques

Jeb Bush To Visit Island

'Undercover Independentistas' Must Leave PDP

Sharpton To Endorse Ferrer

Former Senate President Supports Pesquera To Head NPP

August 23, 2001
Copyright © 2001 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

SAN JUAN (AP) - Former New Progressive Party (NPP) Senate President Charlie Rodriguez voiced his support for former NPP gubernatorial candidate Carlos Pesquera on Thursday to take the reigns of the party once again.

Rodriguez also said he was available to return to politics for the 2004 general elections and added that he hasn't violated the determination of the NPP not to talk about candidacies at the moment.

[Earlier this week Rodriguez said he would vie for the post of Resident Commissioner in Washington.

"If the people support me for that position, I accept," said Rodriguez, who added that he would not return to the Legislature, where he spent 16 years as representative and senator.]

"I believe Pesquera must take that responsibility, and I trust he will do it, and that when the time is right, he will announce that he is available to preside over the party again," Rodriguez said in a radio interview.

However, Rodriguez said he would favor primary elections to choose the president and the two vice presidents of the party.

Pesquera won't attend the annual assembly of the NPP to be held this weekend in Dorado, where they would decide who would be the future president of the collectivity, given the interest of current NPP President Leo Diaz, to resign to his post.

PDP Legislators Summoned To Caucus By La Fortaleza

By Proviana Colon Diaz

August 23, 2001
Copyright © 2001 PuertoRicoWOW News Service. All rights reserved.

Less than 48 hours from their legislative conference with Gov. Sila Calderon, all Popular Democratic Party (PDP) legislators were summoned Wednesday to a meeting with Secretary of State Ferdinand Mercado and La Fortaleza Chief of Staff Cesar Miranda.

The last-minute, unscheduled mandate forced a cancellation of all scheduled public hearings for Wednesday afternoon at the Legislature.

What needed to be discussed prior to the meeting between legislators and Calderon that could not wait until the Friday conference was not revealed for the record.

But sources said the meeting was intended to address the increasing animosity between PDP lawmakers and the governor as a result of the lack of communication between the legislative and executive branches.

One legislator, who talked on condition of anonymity, said the meeting was to "channel our complaints and frustrations over the lack of communication."

Lolita Lebron To Leave Prison; Mari Bras, Others To Be Tried

August 23, 2001
Copyright © 2001 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

SAN JUAN (AP) - Congreso Nacional Hostosiano founder Juan Mari Bras, his son, and grandson are to be tried Friday at the U.S. District Court in San Juan for trespassing on U.S. Navy land in Vieques.

Meanwhile, nationalist Lolita Lebron is scheduled to leave the federal prison in Guaynabo after serving a 60-day sentence for the same charges.

The hearing on Mari Bras' case will be held at 9:30 a.m. before Judge Jay Gregory Garcia.

Mari Bras, his son, Juan Raul Mari Pesquera, and grandson have been jailed since their arrest earlier this month after they refused to post bail.

Also Friday, Mexican-American actor Edward James Olmos is scheduled to be released. He served a 20-day sentence.

Governor Won't Remove Police From Vieques

August 22, 2001
Copyright © 2001 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

SAN JUAN (AP) - Stressing that her constitutional responsibility differ from those of the rest of the citizens in Puerto Rico, Gov. Sila Calderon said Wednesday that she will keep the necessary police surveillance on the island municipality of Vieques.

"I swore before the people of Puerto Rico to comply with the law. Whether I like it or not, that is my responsibility," said the governor.

Calderon was answering the petition made by protest leader Jose Paraliticci, who had told her in a meeting Monday about the bad feelings among the anti U.S. Navy protesters due to the presence of police officers on Vieques.

During the latest Navy bombing exercises on Vieques, Police Superintendent Pierre Vivoni assigned 250 police agents to the island municipality to provide security.

Jeb Bush To Visit The Island Friday

August 22, 2001
Copyright © 2001 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

SAN JUAN (AP) - Republican Florida Gov. Jeb Bush will arrive to the island Friday to raise funds for his reelection campaign of 2002, formally kicking off a new electoral season, said Jesse Manzano, Bush's spokesman in Tallahassee.

The Florida governor will attend two fund raising events in which more than $150,000 is expected to be collected for his campaign.

It was reported that both activities will be presided over by former Gov. Luis A. Ferre.

Legislator: `Undercover Independentistas' Must Leave PDP

August 22, 2001
Copyright © 2001 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

PONCE (AP) - Popular Democratic Party (PDP) Rep. Roberto Cruz demanded on Tuesday that all "undercover pro independence followers" must leave the party..

"I'm a pro American member of the PDP, because Commonwealth followers are American citizens," said Cruz in Ponce.

"He who doesn't believe himself to be an American citizen or pro American within the PDP is an `independentista'. There are many others who are `independentistas' in disguise and what they ought to do is to leave our party," he added.

Sharpton To Endorse Ferrer For Mayor


August 21, 2001
Copyright © 2001 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

NEW YORK (AP) - The Rev. Al Sharpton will endorse Bronx Borough President Fernando Ferrer in the Democratic mayoral primary, telling the Village Voice "we are on the verge of creating history" by electing the city's first Latino mayor.

The Voice said Sharpton will make a formal announcement shortly before Labor Day.

He said he will campaign for Ferrer in mostly black and Latino neighborhoods; plans to do radio ads, some in Spanish; and expects to make voice-mail pitches.

Sharpton contends that it will take a coalition of black and Latino voters, plus progressive whites, to elect Ferrer.

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