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Puerto Rican Is Oldest Living Woman… Prats Attempts To Revive Section 956… PIP: Return Of Machado Donation Illegal, Acevedo Vila To Reveal How Money Was Spent…Rossello Tax Investigation Denounced…700 Arrested In Island Wide Raid…Mari Bras Visits Chavez…Tourist Season "Successful"…Top Dem Coming On Fundraising Trip…

Guinness: Puerto Rican Becomes Oldest Living Woman

April 22, 2004
Copyright © 2004 ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) - A Puerto Rican became the oldest living woman at age 114, replacing an Ohio woman who is more than two months younger, Guinness World Records said Thursday.

Ramona Trinidad Iglesias Jordan earned the distinction earlier this month, Guinness official Laurie Hughes said. She was born on either Aug. 31 or Sept. 1, 1889 in the mountain town of Utuado, according to documents submitted to the London-based group.

A baptismal certificate shows Iglesias was born Aug. 31, 1889 while a birth certificate issued in 1948 shows her birth date as Sept. 1, 1889.

She was born near the end of the Spanish Crown's rule of Puerto Rico, which was ceded to the United States in 1898 after the Spanish-American War.

Iglesias, who lives in a San Juan nursing home, replaces Charlotte Benkner of North Lima, Ohio. Benkner, also 114, was born in Germany on Nov. 16, 1889.

Prats Attempts To Revive Section 956

April 22, 2004
Copyright © 2004 ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

SAN JUAN (AP) – Popular Democratic Party (PDP) resident commissioner candidate, Roberto Prats, is promoting an amendment to section 956 of federal Internal Revenue Code among the boards of directors of eight US pharmaceutical companies.

He acknowledged that the proposal’s survival in Washington relies on a report due to be released some time this summer.

Senator Prats also met with representatives from Johnson & Johnson, Wyeth, Amgden, Bristol Myers y Hewlett Packard.

"It was my initiative," said Prats, when he acknowledged that the companies support the amendment sponsored by Puerto Rico’s government to section 956, to increase federal tax benefits to Controlled Foreign Corporations (CFC).

The initiative did not get support in Congress and was defeated by the Senate Finance Committee with the help of John Kerry, democratic presidential candidate.

Kerry, on the other hand, has indicated that he will eliminate the tax loophole that allows CFC companies to keep earnings in foreign banks, without paying taxes to the U.S.

"The burden of proof, to convince Kerry of the importance of the amendments made to section 956 of federal Internal Revenue Code, lies on us," stated Prats.

PIP: Return Of $20,000 Machado Donation Illegal

April 22, 2004
Copyright © 2004 ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

SAN JUAN (AP)- Puerto Rican Independence Party (PIP) elections commissioner, Juan Dalmau, said the reimbursement of a controversial $20,000 donation to Richard Machado by the Popular Democratic Party (PDP) is illegal.

Dalmau said that the Campaign Finance Law dictates that during an election year political parties can only make two types of disbursement: for campaign expenses or to pay debts previously reviewed by the State Elections Commission (SEC). He pointed out that the check for $20,000 sent by the PDP to Marchado does not fall under any of these two categories.

"In this case, we have the PDP returning money to a political contributor who made an illegal contribution…that is clearly illegal," stated Dalmau to the press.

He added that the new Electoral Law considers the candidate and his party as one entity.

AAV Will Reveal, Next Week How He Spent The $20,000

By WOW Staff

April 22, 2004
Copyright © 2004 WOW NEWS. All rights reserved. 

Affirming that the matter of a 1999, $20,000 donation by doctor Richard Machado will not affect his political campaign, Popular Democratic Party Anibal Acevedo Vila said Thursday that no later than next week he will reveal how the money was used.

"The documents exist, they are not at hand but we have ordered that they be found and they will be revealed no later than next week," said Acevedo Vila.

Once again Acevedo Vila defended the legality of the donation but acknowledged that the reimbursement of the donation with funds from the PDP could be questioned

"Our advisors told us that the funds could come from the Popular Democratic Party, if the State Elections Commission now tell us that we can use funds from the party reimburse the funds then I am sure that in 15 minutes the funds will appear," said Acevedo Vila.

Acevedo Vila made his statements on Thursday following press conference at a book store in Rio Piedras. Outside the bookstore a group of NPP supporters held huge copies of $20,000 check and demanded the Resident Commissioner quit in his aspirations to run for governor for accepting the illegal donation.

Treasury Department Investigation Of Rossello Denounced

By WOW Staff and wire reports

April 22, 2004
Copyright © 2004 WOW NEWS. All rights reserved. 

New Progressive Party (NPP), General Secretary Maria Milagros Charbonier, on Thursday accused the Treasury Department of persecuting former governor Pedro Rossello by initiating an investigation into his tax paying history.

Charbonier said that on Thursday morning two Treasury Dept. agents presented themselves at the NPP headquarters to personally hand Rossello a letter requesting he summit to them documents pertaining to the investigation.

She classified the investigation as a act of vengeance for the scandal involving Popular Democratic Party gubernatorial candidate Anibal Acevedo Vila who took an illegal $20,000 campaign contribution from Dr. Richard Machado in 1999.

This type of investigation is illegal, corrupt, and violates his civil rights," said the NPP official in a press conference at NPP headquarters.

Treasury Dept. secretary, Juan Flores Galarza had announced in March that he would investigate Pedro Rossello’s tax files on the request of several legislators.

Rossello’s tax forms were in the middle of a controversy, because he declared himself a non resident of Puerto Rico and because in his 1991 file he could have failed to report up to $64,887 in income, alleged PPD representative Francisco Zayas Seijo.

700 People Arrested In Island Wide Raid

April 22, 2004
Copyright © 2004 ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

SAN JUAN (AP)- Police Superintendent Agustin Cartagena announced on Thursday the arrest and indictment of 665 adults and the detention of 119 minors for varying offence in an island wide operation.

Bail for all 665 detainees exceeds 25 million dollars. The charges range from murder, aggravated assault, theft, possession and sale of controlled substances, and gun law violations, among others.

The raid began on Tuesday and concluded early Thursday morning.

Cartagena stated that 64 drug sale points had been put out of business, which netted 1 pound and 471 bags of marihuana; 109 kilos and 1,297 bags of cocaine; 1, 335 bags of heroin; and 905 crack capsules.

Police also confiscated 30 firearms, and $40,277 in cash, 56 vehicles were confiscated and 19 stolen vehicles were recovered.

Mari Bras Visits Hugo Chavez

April 21, 2004
Copyright © 2004 ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

MAYAGÜEZ (AP)- Puerto Rican independence activist Juan Mari Bras announced on Wednesday that he would travel to Venezuela, on the invitation of president Hugo Chavez, to discuss the Islands case with the United Nations (UN) De-colonization Committee.

Traditionally, Venezuela has supported the discussion of Puerto Rico’s political status in the UN.

"I have been invited by President Chavez and I hope to travel to Venezuela to discuss the case before the UN committee, which will meet on the 14th and 15th of June," stated Mari Bras as he returned from a trip to Cuba with the same ends.

Past Tourist Season Dubbed "Successful"

April 21, 2004
Copyright © 2004 ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

SAN JUAN (AP)— The Puerto Rico Tourism Company announced on Wednesday that tourism’s high season ended last April 15th with a 82.8 occupation rate.

The Tourism Company Executive Director Jose M. Suarez said the occupation rate is up 5.2% from last year’s numbers.

"We are very happy with the excellent performance of our tourism industry this past season. We are also seeing a worldwide improvement of industry standards, there is no doubt that we are bring in the rewards of the efforts we have put forth to stabilize the industry," stated Suarez in press release.

According to Suarez, during high season, which extends from December 16 to April 15th, metropolitan area hotels reported an 86.6% occupation rate with an increase of 4.6% from last year.

Hotels from outside the metro area reported a 75% occupancy rate with a 5.9% increase from the previous year.

The increase in tourist traffic was attributed to Easter Week celebrations, athletic competitions in Ponce, and the NBL Expos games.

Top Democrat Will Visit Island On Fundraising Trip

April 21, 2004
Copyright © 2004 ASSOCIATED PRESS. All rights reserved. 

SAN JUAN (AP)- United States Democratic Party president, Terry McAuliffe, will host an event on May 7th to raise funds for the democratic electoral campaigns, informed on Wednesday Roberto Prats, president of Puerto Rico’s democratic party.

Prats and former US ambassador to Chile, Gabriel Guerra Mondragon, organized the event, according to news sources.

"We hope to raise $100,000 for the National Democratic Party," said Prats. Both the resident commissioner in Washington, Anibal Acevedo Vila, and local Democratic Party executive director, Eliseo Roques, will co-host the event, which will be held at the Embassy Suites Hotel.

Prats stated that the event will put a face on the Democratic government program, which will be unveiled nationally in July, before the national convention. Those democrats within the Popular Democratic Party (PDP) will be charged with pushing an "all inclusive agenda."

"We are not looking for favoritism, just an even playing field", said Prats.

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