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Bill Filed For Community Exchange

McClintock: Burgos Must Change

NPP Doesn’t Welcome De Castro Font

Vivoni Will Continue Police Vigilance In Vieques

'There's Life After PDP'

Black And Hispanic Politicians Back Ferrer

Sharpton Released, Criticizes Bush

House Leaders File Bill For Community Exchange

By Proviana Colon Diaz of PuertoRicoWOW News Service

AUGUST 21, 2001

House Speaker Carlos Vizcarrondo and House Vice President Ferdinand Perez filed a bill Tuesday to create a permanent commission to handle issues between the Puerto Rican communities in the United States and those on the island.

The commission would serve as an encounter and discussion center among the Puerto Rican civic and professional organizations. It would promote consensus among communities and help strengthen business in Puerto Rico and the United States.

The commission will have a total 16 members, including both civic and business leaders in the U.S. and Puerto Rico. Five of its members will be appointed by Gov. Sila Calderon, and five by the Puerto Rican communities in the U.S.

The island's Resident Commissioner, secretary of State, secretary of Commerce, executive director of the Puerto Rico Affairs Office in Washington, D.C., and the leaders of the island's Senate and House would also be members of the commission, Perez said.

McClintock: Burgos Must Change To Be Readmitted To Senate Caucus

August 20, 2001
Copyright © 2001 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

PONCE (AP) - Sen. Norma Burgos won't be readmitted to the New Progressive Party (NPP) minority Senate caucus until she reconciles herself with party positions, said Minority Leader Kenneth McClintock on Monday.

"The decision to readmit Norma Burgos to the Senate caucus will be made by the party and not the caucus," McClintock said. "Her problems are with the party and she has to close the gap she has created."

Burgos, a first vice president in the NPP, has clashed with fellow party leaders over the Vieques controversy because she advocates the U.S. Navy's immediate exit from the island municipality, while the party supports an accord between the Puerto Rico government and the U.S. that would have the Navy leave in 2003.

Fajardo Mayor: De Castro Font Not Welcomed In The NPP

August 19, 2001
Copyright © 2001 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

PONCE (AP) - One of the most influential mayors in the New Progressive Party (NPP) said Rep. Jorge De Castro Font doesn't have a place in the NPP because he doesn't believe in statehood for Puerto Rico.

"Personally, I believe that at the moment, De Castro Font doesn't have a chance to aspire for any position within the NPP because the first requirement for being an active member of the party is to be a statehooder," said NPP Fajardo Mayor Anibal Melendez.

"De Castro Font has said 1,500 times that he isn't a statehooder, that he is a pro commonwealth follower of [Popular Democratic Party (PDP) founder and former Gov. Luis Muñoz Marin]," he added in radio a interview.

For their part, other NPP members such as former Senate President Charlie Rodriguez and Sen. Kenneth McClintock said Sunday De Castro Font must declare himself a pro statehood follower before being admitted into the party.

Vivoni Will Continue With High Police Vigilance In Vieques

August 18, 2001
Copyright © 2001 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

SAN JUAN (AP) - Police Superintendent Pierre Vivoni admitted that he will again authorize the dispatch of 250 police to guard the nearby perimeter of 14 miles from the fence at Camp Garcia during the next round of U.S. Navy exercises in Vieques.

Vivoni said in published reports that thanks to the increased presence of police, the "security operation" in Vieques was a success.

However, that was one of the greatest criticisms of Gov. Sila Calderon's administration since the constant guard makes civil disobedience activities more difficult.

Vivoni argued that his interest is to avoid criminal acts that could represent danger to the lives and safety of those in the area.

De Castro Font: `There's Life After PDP'

August 18, 2001
Copyright © 2001 Associated Press. All rights reserved.

SAN JUAN (AP) - "There's life after the Popular Democratic Party (PDP)."

Those were the words from Rep. Jorge de Castro Font when he heard of his expulsion Friday from the PDP, a party to which he belonged for more than 20 years and by which he was elected to the House four times.

"The decision makes me sad. It shows a governor drunk with power and alienated from the reality of the people," the now independent legislator said in a radio interview.

The decision to expel De Castro Font was taken by Gov. and PDP President Sila Calderon and was announced Friday by the PDP General Secretary Carlos Lopez.

"The expulsion does not surprise me. These people have lost direction. Every day they stick their foot in the mouth more, and it's a disappointing situation for the island," De Castro Font said.

De Castro Font was summarily suspended from the PDP because of his dissident position and constant criticism of the Calderon administration.

Black And Hispanic Politicians Make Pledge To Back Ferrer


August 18, 2001
Copyright © 2001 THE NEW YORK TIMES. All rights reserved.

[PHOTO: G. Paul Burnett/The New York Times]

Fernando Ferrer got endorsements from C. Virginia Fields, the Manhattan borough president, and from Representative Charles B. Rangel as he tried to gather the city's largest minority groups behind his candidacy.

Trying to unite the city's largest minority groups behind a single candidate, a group of mostly black and Latino politicians threw their support yesterday to one Democratic mayoral candidate, Fernando Ferrer, who is of Puerto Rican heritage.

The endorsement, announced at the building in Harlem where Representative Charles B. Rangel has his office, included some of New York's most prominent current and former Democratic officials. While most of the dozen politicians were black and Latino, the group standing at the podium with Mr. Ferrer also included Ruth W. Messinger, the former Manhattan borough president.

At the news conference, Mr. Rangel said the group had decided that Mr. Ferrer was the most qualified candidate in a crowded field.

Sharpton Released, Criticizes Bush


August 17, 2001
Copyright © 2001 THE NEW YORK TIMES. All rights reserved.

Rev. Al Sharpton addresses supporters and the media after being released from the Metropolitan Detention Center, Friday, in Brooklyn, N.Y.

A lighter and bearded Rev. Al Sharpton was released from a federal prison in Brooklyn today after serving 90 days for trespassing on Navy property in protests over bombing exercises on Vieques, Puerto Rico.

With a flag of Vieques draped over his shoulders he made his way through a crowd of several hundred supporters and television cameras, mounted a podium and said he would continue to fight what he called racial profiling against the people of Vieques.

"We'll come again if we have to, to stop the bombing," he said. "We went in this jail struggling and we're going to come out struggling."

He made a point of criticizing President Bush's decision not to halt the bombing of the island before 2003.

"You can't just talk in Spanish, President Bush, and say nothing to the Hispanic people," he said.

"We need to talk straight to the people of Puerto Rico. We need to talk straight to the people of Vieques."

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