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"Puerto Rico in Search of Full Democracy," an academic forum at American University

15 April 2005
Copyright © 2005. All rights reserved.

With an outstanding roster of speakers from Puerto Rico and the U.S. mainland, the School of Public Affairs at American University in Washington, D.C., is sponsoring an academic forum on Puerto Rico’s political status on Wednesday, April 20, 2005, 1:30-3:30pm., in the Ward Circle Building, Auditorium 1.

This forum, which will analyze the political situation of Puerto Rico and the national impact of the status issue, occurs at an historic time when an agreement between the President, the U.S. Congress, and the Island’s leadership must develop in order to achieve a fully democratic solution for over 3.8 million U.S. citizens living on the Island.

It also takes place at a critical moment as the Puerto Rico Legislature is in the final stages of confirming a referendum for July 10, 2005, when the people of Puerto Rico, for the first time, will have the opportunity to request an expression of commitment from the President and the US Congress to resolve the Island’s political status among fully democratic options of a non-colonial and non-territorial nature.

In addition, the President’s Task Force on Puerto Rico’s status is expected to present a comprehensive report about their findings in the summer of 2005.

The discussion at the forum will revolve around economic development, as well as the constitutional/juridical, nationalism/nationality matters within this U.S. territory’s political scenario.

José Luis Fernández, who is coordinating the event, revealed that "recent developments are creating great expectations in Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico, making this historic forum an extraordinary opportunity for Congress, the White House, federal agencies, associations, embassies, international organizations and Washington’s academic community to come together and learn about the political status situation of the Island in an academic setting".

The event will feature the following distinguished speakers:

Alex Odishelidze, Author of the book Pay to the Order of Puerto Rico; Founding Member of the Citizens’ Educational Foundation.

Jeffrey Farrow, Co-Chair of the President’s Interagency Group on Puerto Rico during the Clinton Administration (1994-2001).

Presenting the Institutional Position of the U.S.

Carlos Chardón, Former Secretary of Education of Puerto Rico.

Presenting the case for Statehood

Pedro Ortíz Alvarez, Former Dean of the School of Law at the Catholic University of Ponce, Puerto Rico.

Presenting the case for Commonwealth

Manuel Rodríguez Orellana, Secretary of North America Relations, Puerto Rican Independence Party.

Presenting the case for independence

* * * * *

Puerto Rico In Search of Full Democracy

Date: Wednesday, April 20, 2005

Time: 1:30pm – 3:30pm

Location: American University – Ward Circle Building- Auditorium 1

4400 Massachusetts Ave, NW; Washington, DC 20016

For further information or reservations, call or email José Luis Fernández, 787-525-5341 or


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