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Acevedo Vila Says He Wants Puerto Rico To Stay A Commonwealth Rossello Confident Of Primary Victory
Acevedo Vila Says He Wants Puerto Rico To Stay A Commonwealth
By Sandra Hernandez
August 23, 2003
Miami · If Puerto Rico's representative in Washington is elected governor, he'd like to strengthen trade relations with the mainland and other countries in the region but see the island continue as a commonwealth, he said Friday.
"We have advantages no one else has when it comes to the Caribbean and the U.S," Anibel Acevedo Vila said on a campaign stop in Miami. ?
Acevedo Vila said he backed a proposal in Congress that would "give American companies a tax incentive to invest in the manufacturing industry in Puerto Rico."
The lawyer, 41, is running as the Popular Democratic Party's candidate, after Gov. Sila Calderón announced she would not seek a second term.
Acevedo Vila is the second gubernatorial candidate to stump through Florida. In July, former Gov. Pedro Rosselló came to the area. He is one of two candidates with the New Progressive Party ticket in the 2004 election.
Under commonwealth status, Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens subject to federal laws and most federal benefits. But they don't pay federal taxes and cannot vote for president. In addition, they do not have voting representation in Congress, which has caused widespread frustration, especially on economic and military issues.
Although a staunch supporter of the island's current status, Acevedo Vila acknowledged the push for statehood must be addressed.
"I think there is a misconception that Puerto Ricans want statehood," he said during an interview. "But I realize this is an issue that needs to be resolved and am committed to that, but the decision needs to be made by the people and not be controlled by the political parties that bring it up every four years when they campaign."
The question of statehood was on the minds of those who came to hear him speak.
"I came because I really wanted to hear his views on statehood ..." said Del Perichi, of Miami Lakes.
But for other Puerto Ricans living in South Florida, the economic message was the most important. Acevedo Vila came to Miami following a trade summit in Jacksonville, whose port is the primary gateway for trade with the island.
"I'm very interested in a candidate who has an economic plan because regardless of who is in office, I feel the economic impact," said Minerva Simon, president of the Puerto Rican Democratic Club of Broward and a member of board of the county's Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce. "If my family on the island is hurting economically then I feel it too, even though I am here."
Analysts said Acevedo Vila's message might help him win support and money among local groups.
Rossello Is Confident He Will Prevail In The Primary
August 25, 2003
SAN JUAN (AP) Former Gov. Pedro Rossello disagreed with his primary contender, Carlos Pesquera, who said that the gap between them was closing.
Rossello said he was confident he will prevail in the Nov. 9 primary against Pesquera, and that he will win the 2004 general elections.
"I am confident that we will prevail in the primary, and we wont have to wait very long. In a few months, we will know the results," Rossello said.
"I am more confident than ever that we are going to win the primary according to the figures we have, and although the elections are more than 14 months away, we are going to prevail," said Rossello after a seminar on his status plan held at his committee rooms.
Pesquera had previously said that the controversy caused by the corruption campaign launched by the former governor against the president of the Popular Democratic Party had resulted in more followers.