Posts Tagged ‘Washington’

Sale una Juez al Supremo gracias a la lucha de los Young Lords

Monday, August 10th, 2009

por Wilfredo Rojas
Community Focus/Enfoque Comunal (23 de julio 2009)

Segun informacion recibida de la capital de Washington, DC, la juez Sonia Sotomayor, va en camino a convertirse en el primer miembro latino de la Corte Suprema de Estados Unidos. La juez gano el apoyo del Comite Judicial del senado este pasado lunes con un voto de 13 a 6 para enviar su recomendacion al senado competo, que se espera que confirme su nombramiento al alto tribunal.

En otros aconcientimientos, este domingo 23 de agosto a las 12 de medio dia muchos de los jovenes que compusieron el movimiento de lo que fue el partido los Young Lords estaran celebrando un encuentro en la Primera Iglesia Metodista Hispana en las calle 111 y avenida Lexington en la ciudad de Nueva York. Miembros de esta organizacion que lucho por los derechos de los latinos en los anos 60′s y 70′s tomaron posesion de esta casa de adoracion dos veces para establecer programas de ayuda para los pobres del barrio de Spanish Harlem. El encuentro contara con la participacion del pastor Santos, la congregacion y los ahora maduro miembros de los Young Lords.

Ya hacen cuarenta andos desde que la presencia de los Young Lords tomo la delantera en la lucha por los derechos de los puertorriquenos en particular, los latinos en general y las minorias de este pais en total. Un grupo que empezo como una ganga callerjera en la ciudad de Chicago se convertio en una fuerza politica popular en la ciudad de Nueva York y se movio a establecer capitolos atraves de las mayores ciudades de Estados Unidos con grandes concentraciones de boricuas. La organizacion nacionalista revolucionaria puertorriquena lucho para la igualdad, las reindivicaciones inmediatas, asi como la definicion del estatus de Puerto Rico. La rama de Filadelfia era una de las mas activas en la nacion y produjo muchos logros para una comunidad que abiertamente era subjecta a ataques raciales y la discriminacion abierto en aquellos anos.

Aunque los Young Lords ya no existen en los Estados Unidos, muchos de sus miembros si siguen la lucha para mejorar las condiciones para un pueblo puertorriqueno/latino que aun sigue segun podemos ver en la batalla para defender lo suyo y echar a sus hijos palante en una sociedad que cuenta con mas caras latinas segun pasan los anos. Estos jovenes que sacrificaron tanto para que hoy se respete un poco mas al latino establecieron un movimiento que encendio el orgullo de la herencia hispana en la juventud de hoy dia.

El Cuarenta Aniversario de la fundacion de los Young Young Lords contara con varias actividad que se estaran llevando a cabo tanto en Nueva York como aqui en Filadelfia y otras ciudades. Se invitan a esas personas que fueron miembros o simpatizantes de los Young Lords en sus anos a que se comuniquen conmigo al 267-718-3266 si les interesa viajar al encuentro en Nueva York o tiene interes en participar en alguna de las actividades organizada para marca este perodio historico en la vida de la comunidad latina de la nacion.

Si hoy estamos cerca de lograr la primera jueza hispana a la Corte Suprema se debe a grupos como los Young Lords que nunca bajaron la guardia y empujaron para lograr mas oportunidades y igualdad para los hispanos en este pais norteamericano.
Wilfredo P. Rojas es columnista del semanario bilingüe Community Focus/Enfoque Comunal de Filadelfia. Es fundador y fue parte del liderato de la rama de Filadefia de los Young Lords. Hoy es director de la Oficina de Justicia y Ayuda Communal de los Sistemas de Prisones de Filadelfia.

Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion, Jr., Re-Elected as NALEO President

Monday, July 7th, 2008

Adolfo Carrion Jr.

NALEO Board Officers Re-Elected, Hon. Ana Rivas Logan of Miami Dade County Public Schools Elected to NALEO Board

WASHINGTON, DC -The Board of Directors of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) today re-elected Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion, Jr., as president of the organization for a second one-year term. President Carrion is the first person of Puerto Rican descent to lead the organization.

A former urban planner, teacher and community organizer, President Carrion was elected to the New York City Council in 1997. He served one term before running for the Borough Presidency of the Bronx and winning in 2001. He was elected to his first term as NALEO president in 2007.

“I want to thank my colleagues on the NALEO board for their continued support of my leadership of this important national organization,” stated NALEO President Carrion. “With more Latinos in the history of the nation voting in the 2008 presidential election, NALEO has a tremendous opportunity to raise the issues and concerns for Latinos to the forefront for discussion at a national level,” he continued. “I look forward to working with the NALEO board to usher in a new era of Latino political empowerment.”

At its meeting, the Board re-elected its officers, including New Mexico Secretary of State Marry Herrera as Vice-President; East Chicago School Board Member Fernando Trevino as Secretary; and Texas State Representative Pete P. Gallego as Treasurer. The Board also re-elected its members to another term. In addition, Board Member Ana Rivas Logan of the Miami-Dade County Public Schools was elected to serve a three-year term on the organization’s Board of Directors.

“The future success of this nation will be determined by the increased participation and continued growth of the nation’s second largest population group,” said Arturo Vargas, Executive Director for NALEO. “I am confident the NALEO Board is up to task in pursuing the organization’s mission of Latino empowerment.”

The President, Officers and Directors were selected at the Annual Meeting of the NALEO Board of Directors, the culmination of NALEO’s 25th Annual Conference, the nation’s preeminent Latino Political Convention.

Puerto Rico’s Moment in the Sun

Friday, May 23rd, 2008

By MICHAEL JANEWAY
New York Times (May 22, 2008)

PUERTO RICO, an afterthought trophy for the United States 110 years ago at the end of the Spanish-American War and an island in limbo since, has become an improbable player in the contest between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Its primary on June 1 could bolster Mrs. Clinton’s claim to a majority of the popular vote — the combined tally for all the Democratic primaries and caucuses held across the country over the past six months.

Puerto Rico’s formal role in the process is indeed weighty. Its 63 voting delegates — 55 elected ones and eight superdelegates — at the Democratic National Convention in Denver this summer will outnumber delegations from more than half the states (including Kentucky and Oregon) and the District of Columbia. Yet Puerto Rico does not have a vote in the Electoral College, nor will its 2.5 million registered voters cast ballots for president in November.

How in the world did this happen? From the beginning, the question of Puerto Rico has perplexed the United States. The island was essential to the defense of the Panama Canal, so we did not make it independent, in contrast to two other Spanish possessions we gained in the war, Cuba (which become independent in 1902) and the Philippines (1946). And we judged it foreign in language and culture — and worse, overpopulated — so New Mexico-style Americanization leading to statehood was out of the question.

Similarly, Puerto Ricans have never resolved their relationship with the United States. For almost 50 years after the Spanish-American War, Puerto Rican sentiment was divided between dreams of statehood and of independence. This ambivalence deterred the island from ever petitioning Congress for one or the other. And until mid-century, sporadic outbursts of violent nationalism haunted the scene.

Partly to put such extremism out of business, Congress in 1948 allowed Puerto Rico to elect its own governor and then in 1950 gave it an intricately designed, semi-autonomous “commonwealth” status short of statehood. Two years later, the island adopted its own Constitution, and Congress quickly ratified it.

Puerto Ricans elect their own Legislature, along with the governor. They enjoy entitlements like Social Security, but they do not pay federal income taxes. They retain their own cultural identity (Spanish is the prevailing tongue) but live under the umbrella of the American trade system and the American military. They have been citizens since 1917, but they have no vote in Congress or for the presidency.

The man who brought forth this unique arrangement, which has come to seem permanent, was Luis Muñoz Marín, who dominated Puerto Rico’s politics beginning in 1940. In 1948 he became the island’s first elected governor. He won three more terms and could easily have been “president for life.” A stretch of 116th Street in Manhattan’s Spanish Harlem is named Luis Muñoz Marín Boulevard in his honor.

Muñoz was an eloquent advocate of independence until, faced with daunting statistics at the end of World War II, he concluded that Puerto Rico’s impoverished economy could not support nationhood. So he began packaging his third-way brainchild.

When pitching commonwealth on the mainland, Muñoz — an artist of words and imagery who also enjoyed a drink or two — would observe that Puerto Rico is the olive in the American martini. The phrase went down well in Washington, but Muñoz used different language at home. Neither Congress nor the American courts have ever embraced Muñoz’s Spanish-language phrase for “commonwealth,” universally recognized in Puerto Rico: “estado libre asociado,” or free associated state. Those three words suggested an autonomy (or even statehood or independence) beyond what came to pass. But Muñoz was too popular on the island for that to cause him trouble.

Still, Muñoz always intended to bring “enhanced autonomy” in trade, self-governance, taxation and entitlements to Puerto Rico. But Fidel Castro’s seizure of power in Cuba in 1959 moved Washington’s attention away from the commonwealth.

Muñoz left office in 1965. His dreams faded. The economy he jump-started went flat. Today, the government accounts for 30 percent of Puerto Rico’s work force (compared with 16 percent on the mainland).

Then in 1974, the Democratic National Committee and some shrewd local political strategists came up with an idea for how to play to lingering discontent over the island’s status: Why not make nice with Puerto Rico (and, as important, with the Puerto Rican vote in American cities) by awarding it the number of delegates to the Democratic presidential nominating convention that its population would yield as a state? But not until this year has a presidential race been close enough, long enough, to yield Puerto Rico a role in the endgame.

On the island, politics is focused on the longstanding deadlock between the two dominant parties, whose identities — one is for statehood and one is for enhanced autonomy — today bear no relation to those of the Republicans and Democrats in the 50 states. Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Obama are, gingerly, bidding for support from both of them.

But the mainland population of Puerto Ricans (like the island’s, almost four million) is watching, too. That fully enfranchised constituency is up for grabs in November. Republicans have fished in these waters, too.

Presidential candidates usually offer Puerto Ricans hazy promises that are sure to be unfulfilled. First on the list: We’ll do whatever you want about the island’s status if you deliver us an overwhelming majority for one or another option. That’s not going to happen.

Since 1967, public support on the island has seesawed inconclusively between statehood and enhanced autonomy — a better version of the deal they already have. Muñoz’s commonwealth helped eclipse independence; that course enjoys only limited support today. An overwhelming majority of Puerto Ricans wants, one way or another, to be American.

The next president could just appoint another commission, more high-level and forceful than past ones, to reopen the dormant question of Puerto Rico’s status. But there is an additional option.

Fidel Castro is gone from office, Hugo Chávez’s influence is growing, Brazil is becoming an oil power, and the United States has no Latin American policy to speak of. John F. Kennedy wisely turned to Puerto Rican leaders to help him frame a new policy for the region in 1961. Similarly, the next president could ask Puerto Rico, with its democratic tradition and its past success with economic development, to help us plan for the post-Castro Caribbean.

The United States is overdue in re-engaging with this special place, which landed in our lap as a stepchild of imperialism in 1898, and which we have never seen clearly.

Michael Janeway, a former editor of The Boston Globe and a professor of journalism and arts at Columbia, is writing a history of the United States and Puerto Rico in the 20th century.

Puerto Rico’s Moment in the Sun

Friday, May 23rd, 2008

By MICHAEL JANEWAY
New York Times (May 22, 2008)

PUERTO RICO, an afterthought trophy for the United States 110 years ago at the end of the Spanish-American War and an island in limbo since, has become an improbable player in the contest between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. Its primary on June 1 could bolster Mrs. Clinton’s claim to a majority of the popular vote — the combined tally for all the Democratic primaries and caucuses held across the country over the past six months.

Puerto Rico’s formal role in the process is indeed weighty. Its 63 voting delegates — 55 elected ones and eight superdelegates — at the Democratic National Convention in Denver this summer will outnumber delegations from more than half the states (including Kentucky and Oregon) and the District of Columbia. Yet Puerto Rico does not have a vote in the Electoral College, nor will its 2.5 million registered voters cast ballots for president in November.

How in the world did this happen? From the beginning, the question of Puerto Rico has perplexed the United States. The island was essential to the defense of the Panama Canal, so we did not make it independent, in contrast to two other Spanish possessions we gained in the war, Cuba (which become independent in 1902) and the Philippines (1946). And we judged it foreign in language and culture — and worse, overpopulated — so New Mexico-style Americanization leading to statehood was out of the question.

Similarly, Puerto Ricans have never resolved their relationship with the United States. For almost 50 years after the Spanish-American War, Puerto Rican sentiment was divided between dreams of statehood and of independence. This ambivalence deterred the island from ever petitioning Congress for one or the other. And until mid-century, sporadic outbursts of violent nationalism haunted the scene.

Partly to put such extremism out of business, Congress in 1948 allowed Puerto Rico to elect its own governor and then in 1950 gave it an intricately designed, semi-autonomous “commonwealth” status short of statehood. Two years later, the island adopted its own Constitution, and Congress quickly ratified it.

Puerto Ricans elect their own Legislature, along with the governor. They enjoy entitlements like Social Security, but they do not pay federal income taxes. They retain their own cultural identity (Spanish is the prevailing tongue) but live under the umbrella of the American trade system and the American military. They have been citizens since 1917, but they have no vote in Congress or for the presidency.

The man who brought forth this unique arrangement, which has come to seem permanent, was Luis Muñoz Marín, who dominated Puerto Rico’s politics beginning in 1940. In 1948 he became the island’s first elected governor. He won three more terms and could easily have been “president for life.” A stretch of 116th Street in Manhattan’s Spanish Harlem is named Luis Muñoz Marín Boulevard in his honor.

Muñoz was an eloquent advocate of independence until, faced with daunting statistics at the end of World War II, he concluded that Puerto Rico’s impoverished economy could not support nationhood. So he began packaging his third-way brainchild.

When pitching commonwealth on the mainland, Muñoz — an artist of words and imagery who also enjoyed a drink or two — would observe that Puerto Rico is the olive in the American martini. The phrase went down well in Washington, but Muñoz used different language at home. Neither Congress nor the American courts have ever embraced Muñoz’s Spanish-language phrase for “commonwealth,” universally recognized in Puerto Rico: “estado libre asociado,” or free associated state. Those three words suggested an autonomy (or even statehood or independence) beyond what came to pass. But Muñoz was too popular on the island for that to cause him trouble.

Still, Muñoz always intended to bring “enhanced autonomy” in trade, self-governance, taxation and entitlements to Puerto Rico. But Fidel Castro’s seizure of power in Cuba in 1959 moved Washington’s attention away from the commonwealth.

Muñoz left office in 1965. His dreams faded. The economy he jump-started went flat. Today, the government accounts for 30 percent of Puerto Rico’s work force (compared with 16 percent on the mainland).

Then in 1974, the Democratic National Committee and some shrewd local political strategists came up with an idea for how to play to lingering discontent over the island’s status: Why not make nice with Puerto Rico (and, as important, with the Puerto Rican vote in American cities) by awarding it the number of delegates to the Democratic presidential nominating convention that its population would yield as a state? But not until this year has a presidential race been close enough, long enough, to yield Puerto Rico a role in the endgame.

On the island, politics is focused on the longstanding deadlock between the two dominant parties, whose identities — one is for statehood and one is for enhanced autonomy — today bear no relation to those of the Republicans and Democrats in the 50 states. Mrs. Clinton and Mr. Obama are, gingerly, bidding for support from both of them.

But the mainland population of Puerto Ricans (like the island’s, almost four million) is watching, too. That fully enfranchised constituency is up for grabs in November. Republicans have fished in these waters, too.

Presidential candidates usually offer Puerto Ricans hazy promises that are sure to be unfulfilled. First on the list: We’ll do whatever you want about the island’s status if you deliver us an overwhelming majority for one or another option. That’s not going to happen.

Since 1967, public support on the island has seesawed inconclusively between statehood and enhanced autonomy — a better version of the deal they already have. Muñoz’s commonwealth helped eclipse independence; that course enjoys only limited support today. An overwhelming majority of Puerto Ricans wants, one way or another, to be American.

The next president could just appoint another commission, more high-level and forceful than past ones, to reopen the dormant question of Puerto Rico’s status. But there is an additional option.

Fidel Castro is gone from office, Hugo Chávez’s influence is growing, Brazil is becoming an oil power, and the United States has no Latin American policy to speak of. John F. Kennedy wisely turned to Puerto Rican leaders to help him frame a new policy for the region in 1961. Similarly, the next president could ask Puerto Rico, with its democratic tradition and its past success with economic development, to help us plan for the post-Castro Caribbean.

The United States is overdue in re-engaging with this special place, which landed in our lap as a stepchild of imperialism in 1898, and which we have never seen clearly.

Michael Janeway, a former editor of The Boston Globe and a professor of journalism and arts at Columbia, is writing a history of the United States and Puerto Rico in the 20th century.

SERRANO-FORTUNO PUERTO RICO STATUS BILL ADVANCES:

Monday, May 5th, 2008

HOUSE COMMITTEE ON NATURAL RESOURCES ISSUES FAVORABLE REPORT ON RESIDENT COMMISSIONER’S LEGISLATION
States News Service (April 22, 2008)

WASHINGTON — The following information was released by the office of Puerto Rico Rep. Luis G. Fortuno:

The Puerto Rico Democracy Act of 2007, co-sponsored by Congressman Jose Serrano and Resident Commissioner Luis Fortuno, advanced another step today in the U.S. Congress when the Committee on Natural Resources in the House of Representatives issued the official Committee Report for the bill (H.R. 900), which authorizes a self-determination process for Puerto Rico. The Report, which follows in the wake of the bill’s approval by the Committee on October 23, 2007, states that the legislation will enable Puerto Ricans to vote in a Congressionally-authorized plebiscite on the Island within a year of the bill’ enactment.

With this Committee Report, we have taken another step towards our goal of providing the U.S. citizens of Puerto Rico with a just, representative and constitutionally-viable process to put an end to the ambiguous political environment in which we currently live, said Fortuño, who praised the facts and conclusions contained in the Report.

In the Report, the members of the Committee observed that after 110 years, Puerto Rico’ 3.9 million U.S. citizens still have an unsettled political status. The Committee Report reiterated the fact that although Congress has the authority to manage the self-determination process for Puerto Rico based on constitutionally-viable options, a Congressionally-sponsored vote in Puerto Rico has never taken place in more than a century under U.S. sovereignty.

This Report proves wrong those who have insisted that Congress does not want to attend to the issue of Puerto Rico’ status, said the Resident Commissioner, who noted that in the last three years Congress held four hearings regarding this legislation which culminated in the Committee’s approval of the legislation in October, and that all of this was accomplished despite the open opposition of Governor Aníbal Acevedo Vila. The Report reiterates that all peoples are entitled to a form of government that provides for equal voting representation in the making and implementation of their laws.

I will continue working with my colleagues in Congress to ensure that my constituents enjoy a just self-determination process and that we achieve our goal of a political system that guarantees us equal rights, said Fortuño, who thanked his colleagues on the Committee for the work they did in preparing the Report.

TORTURE OF MACHETERO — ORDERED TO BE EXTRADITED

Monday, March 31st, 2008

Avelino was ordered extradited to Connecticut today to stand trial for the legendary Wells Fargo heist of 1983, an act that the Macheteros took credit for. FBI Criminal & Division Head Luis Fraticelli says that the FBI’s arrests against the organizations’ leaders will continue, so let us be prepared to continue supporting our freedom fighters, who are fighting for the freedom of a colony, even as the White House admits & officially adopts the position that Puerto Rico is a colony…JO

Ordenan extradicion de Gonzalez Claudio
Prensa Asociada
11 Feb 2008

Pese a que el presunto machetero Avelino González Claudio pidió que se le juzgue en Puerto Rico y se describió como un “prisionero político”, el magistrado federal Marcos López ordenó hoy, lunes, su extradición a Hartford, Connecticut, en un procedimiento judicial generalmente automático.

La defensa de González Claudio también denunció ante el togado que su cliente está recibiendo “trato inhumano” en la cárcel federal porque se le mantiene en una celda en la que se le selló la única ventana con una plancha de metal para impedirle ver la luz del día.

La portavoz del Centro Metropolitano de Detenciones en Guaynabo, Migdalia Torres, aseguró en una carta remitida a Prensa Asociada que, en el penal, se están reparando algunas de las celdas y que esos trabajos pueden requerir que se tapen sus ventanas temporalmente.

Y negó que González Claudio reciba un trato especial o diferente al de los demás reclusos.

“El tratamiento al reo González Claudio no es diferente al que recibe cualquier otro recluso en espera de juicio y con las mismas necesidades de seguridad”, aseguró Torres en la misiva.

El acusado fue arrestado la semana pasada por supuestamente participar en el robo de 7 millones de dólares de un camión blindado de la compañía de transporte de valores Wells Fargo en Hartford, Connecticut, el 12 de septiembre de 1983.

González Claudio aceptó el lunes que responde a ese nombre, aunque a través de su representación legal dejó establecido que no reconoce la autoridad de la corte estadounidense en la Isla para extraditarlo.

“Avelino González Claudio no niega su identidad. Este ciudadano puertorriqueño frente a usted es Avelino González Claudio”, dijo el licenciado Juan Ramón Acevedo Cruz, principal abogado de defensa del supuesto miembro del Ejército Popular Boricua-Los Macheteros, al magistrado López.

“En cuanto al asunto de la extradición, nosotros vigorosamente objetamos cualquier intento del gobierno de Estados Unidos de remover a González Claudio de su isla de Puerto Rico”, agregó el letrado en la vista de identificación del acusado.

El fiscal federal José Ruiz indicó a la AP que la extradición podría tardar más de 20 días y que generalmente si en Puerto Rico no se impone una fianza en la jurisdicción donde será trasladado permanecería encarcelado.

“Si se impone fianza aquí, allá generalmente lo honran”, indicó Ruiz. Según Acevedo, como “prisionero político”, González Claudio reclama su potestad, al amparo del derecho internacional, de permanecer en su tierra natal.

El abogado reclamó, además, que el gobierno estadounidense cumpla con la Resolución 1514 de la Asamblea General de la Organización de las Naciones Unidas (ONU), que declara el colonialismo como “la negación de un derecho humano fundamental”.

“Desde 1972, el Comité Especial de Descolonización de las Naciones Unidas ha reconocido el derecho inalienable de los puertorriqueños a la autodeterminación y la independencia de acuerdo con la Resolución 1514″, agregó el abogado citando la resolución.

La defensa también solicitó una vista de fianza, que fue señalada por el magistrado para el 21 de febrero a la 1:30 de la tarde.

La fiscalía federal, representada por Ruiz y Carlos Cardona, no objetó que se le garantice la vista de fianza al sospechoso.

Pidió con éxito que González Claudio permanezca encarcelado en la institución federal de Guaynabo por considerarlo un “riesgo de fuga” y “un peligro para la comunidad” porque usó nombres falsos por 22 años y por la naturaleza de los delitos que se le imputan.

Sobre la denuncia de trato inhumano, el magistrado dijo que eso no sería jurisdicción de la corte.

Ante los reclamos del abogado para poder ver a González Claudio en un cuarto de visitas de la cárcel y no en un salón de conferencias donde no tiene privacidad, y para que se le quiten las esposas y pueda firmar documentos, el magistrado le respondió que hiciera los arreglos pertinentes con el Negociado federal de Prisiones.

Le indicó que si la situación persiste entonces el tribunal podría intervenir.

Mientras la vista se llevaba a cabo, frente al edificio federal en Hato Rey hubo una protesta de organizaciones independentistas.

“Esta corte representa los intereses del imperio y van a seguir fielmente la orden de Washington, pero vamos a dar todas la batallas legales para que se quede aquí”, expresó Osvaldo González Claudio, hermano del acusado.

Agregó que abriga la esperanza de que su pariente sea juzgado “por sus pares” y no en Connecticut.

Subject: TORTURE/TORTURA OF/DE MACHETERO
To: panamaglobaljustice@lists.riseup.net

Coordinated protests were held today in New York and San Juan to protest the Gestapo FBI’s kidnapping of this freedom fighter…

Torture of Machetero denounced
MINH alleges that the “different treatment” González Claudio is receiving is intended to “soften” him.

By The Associated Press
February 11, 2008 El Nuevo Día

SAN JUAN – The co-chair of the National Hostos Independence Movement, (MINH), Héctor Pesquera, denounced today the fact that federal prisoner Avelino González Claudio, linked to the clandestine group The Macheteros, is supposedly being tortured in the federal detention center in Guaynabo where he has been confined since he was arrested on Wednesday [sic].

“We have information that they have already started to torture him, covering up the windows so he cannot know whether it’s day or night,” said Pesquera in a radio interview (WSKN).

Pesquera, a doctor by profession, said that the supposed “different treatment” González Claudio is receiving in the jail is meant to “soften him, preparing to break his will.”

Asking about the matter, governor Aníbal Acevedo Vilá said that any allegation of mistreatment must be “immediately” taken to the highest levels of federal jurisdiction by González Claudio’s attorneys.

However, he said that in Puerto Rico, “let’s not fool ourselves. Here, historically, federal and state authorities… the way they treated independentists was very different from the way they treated other citizens.”

Immediately, Migdalia Torres, public information officer at the federal jail in Guaynabo, said she had no information about Pesquera’s allegations, but promised to investigate and get back to the Associated Press.

“I’ve just arrived; I don’t have any information,” said Torres.

Pesquera pointed out that González Claudio, while clandestine for 22 years, was a teacher of computer science for the musician and comedian Silverio Pérez and a president of the Supreme Court who could not be identified.

“We know that Avelino González Claudio, during the life he lived under another name, was a very productive person for the Country,” said Pesquera.

As for the judicial process which is to continue this afternoon, Pesquera said that González Claudio will not recognize the jurisdiction of the federal court to extradite him.

“He is going to ask that he be judged here, in Puerto Rico,” said Pesquera.

“That he be judged in his own land… anything else would be kidnap,” he added.

González Claudio has an identification hearing today before being extradited to Hartford, Connecticut, where he will face charges of bank robbery, among others, related to the robbery of $7 million of a Wells Fargo deposit in that city in September of 1982 [sic].

The clandestine organization The Macheteros claimed responsibility for this robbery.

On August 30, 1985, the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), arrested 11 of 17 people related the clandestine organization which claimed responsibility for the deaths of two sailors from the Sabana Seca Navy Base and for the death of a police officer, in addition to the destruction of nine Puerto Rico National Guard airplanes.

Translation of letter from Avelino Gonzalez Claudio’s Defense Committee

We extend to you our cordial greetings from Mayaguez: As we have already denounced, Comrade Avelino Gonzalez Claudio was arrested by the F.B.I. today, and will be confronting charges which will be leveled against him outside of Puerto Rico.

Avelino was one of the comrades that the F.B.I. had been unable to capture during its repressive onslaught against our movement in 1985. That period saw the imprisonment of comrades like Papo Segarra Palmer, who spent 19 years of his life in U.S. prisons.

We should not lose sight of the fact that the colonial police of Puerto Rico took part in the surveilance that was maintained against Avelino Gonzalez, and his eventual arrest. This is after all an election year, and our colonial governor is susceptible to the pressures of the F.B.I. and a Republican Party in the U.S. which despairs over the failures of its undemocratic efforts against “terrorism,” the very thing that they’re guilty of inflicting on the world.

Avelino Gonzalez Claudio is a militant who has pursued the decolonization of Puerto Rico. He is not unlike those who continued the struggle of Filiberto Ojeda, those who confronted the
U.S. navy in Vieques, or those of us who today resist the abuses of the F.B.I. in our country.

The comrades of the Frente Socialista, (Socialist Front,) the Committee for Human Rights and La Nueva Escuela, (The New School,) call for a demonstration in support of Avelino Gonzalez Claudio, on Monday February 11 2008 at 3:00PM. At that time, a hearing will be taking place at the colonial “federal” court in San Juan to discuss the extradition of the comrade to the United States. We must demand that the comrade remain in Puerto Rico.

Denuncian tortura a machetero
MINH alega que el “trato distinto” que recibe González Claudio tiene el propósito de “ablandarlo”.

Por The Associated Press
11 febrero 2008 El Nuevo Día

SAN JUAN – El copresidente del Movimiento Independentista Nacional Hostosiano (MINH), Héctor Pesquera, denunció hoy que el preso federal Avelino González Claudio, vinculado con el grupo clandestino los Macheteros, supuestamente está siendo torturado en el centro de detención federal en Guaynabo donde está confinado desde que fue arrestado el miércoles.

“Tenemos información de que ya comenzaron a torturarlo tapiándole las ventanas para que no sepa cuándo es de día o cuándo es de noche”, dijo Pesquera en entrevista radial (WSKN).

Pesquera, médico de profesión, dijo que el supuesto “trato distinto” que recibe González Claudio en la cárcel tendría el propósito de “ablandarlo, irle quebrando la voluntad”.

Cuestionado sobre el asunto, el gobernador Aníbal Acevedo Vilá dijo que cualquier alegación de maltrato debe ser elevada a los más altos niveles de la jurisdicción federal por los abogados de González Claudio “inmediatamente”.

No obstante, dijo que en Puerto Rico “nadie puede tapar el cielo con la mano, aquà históricamente las autoridades federales y estatales… la forma en que trataban a los independentistas era muy diferente a la que trataban a otros ciudadanos”.

De inmediato, Migdalia Torres, oficial de información pública de la cárcel federal en Guaynabo dijo que no tenía información sobre las alegaciones de Pesquera, pero prometió indagar y comunicarse nuevamente con Prensa Asociada.

“Acabo de llegar, no tengo información”, dijo Torres.

Pesquera, por su parte, destacó que González Claudio, mientras estuvo clandestino durante 22 años, fue maestro de ciencias de computadoras del músico y comediante Silverio Pérez y de un presidente del Tribunal Supremo a quien no pudo identificar.

“Sabemos que Avelino González Claudio, durante su vida bajo otro nombre, fue una persona muy productiva para el País”, dijo Pesquera.

Sobre el proceso judicial que continúa esta tarde, Pesquera dijo que González Claudio no reconocerá la jurisdicción del tribunal federal para extraditarlo.

“Va a solicitar que se le juzgue aquí, en Puerto Rico”, dijo Pesquera.

“Que se le juzgue en su tierra, cualquier otra cosa sería secuestro”, agregó.

González Claudio tiene hoy una vista de identificación antes de ser extraditado a Hartford, Connecticut en donde enfrenta cargos de robo a banco, entre otros relacionados con el robo de $7 millones de un depósito de la Wells Fargo en esa ciudad en septiembre de 1982.

Por ese robo se responsabilizó la organización clandestina los Macheteros.

El 30 de agosto de 1985 el Negociado Federal de Investigaciones (FBI, por sus siglas en inglés) arrestó a 11 de 17 personas relacionadas con la organización clandestina que se responsabiliza por las muertes de dos marinos de la Base Naval de Sabana Seca y la de un policía, además de la destrucción de nueve aviones de la Guardia Nacional de Puerto Rico.


Pesquera denuncia tortura a Machetero

Lunes, 11 de febrero de 2008

El copresidente del Movimiento Independentista Nacional Hostosiano (MINH) Héctor Pesquera denunció hoy que el preso federal Avelino González Claudio, vinculado con el grupo clandestino los Macheteros, supuestamente esta siendo torturado en el centro de detención federal en Guaynabo donde está confinado desde que fue arrestado miércoles.

“Tenemos información de que ya comenzaron a torturarlo tapiándole las ventanas para que no sepa cuando es de día o cuando es de noche”, dijo Pesquera en entrevista radial (WSKN).

Pesquera, médico de profesión, dijo que el supuesto “trato distinto” que recibe González Claudio en la cárcel tendría el propósito de “ablandarlo, irle quebrando la voluntad”.

Cuestionado sobre el asunto, el gobernador Aníbal Acevedo Vilá dijo que cualquier alegación de maltrato debe ser elevada a los más altos niveles de la jurisdicción federal por los abogados de González Claudio “inmediatamente”.

No obstante, dijo que en Puerto Rico “nadie puede tapar el cielo con la mano, aquí históricamente las autoridades federales y estatales… la forma en que trataban a los independentistas era muy diferente a la que trataban a otros ciudadanos”.

De inmediato, Migdalia Torres, oficial de información pública de la cárcel federal en Guaynabo dijo que no tenía información sobre las alegaciones de Pesquera pero prometió indagar y comunicarse nuevamente con prensa Asociada.

“Acabo de llegar, no tengo información”, dijo Torres.

Pesquera por su parte destacó que González Claudio mientras estuvo clandestino durante 22 años, fue maestro de ciencias de computadoras del músico y comediante Silverio Pérez y de un presidente del Tribunal Supremo a quien no pudo identificar.

“Sabemos que Avelino González Claudio, durante su vida bajo otro nombre, fue una persona muy productiva para el país”, dijo Pesquera.

Sobre el proceso judicial que continúa en la tarde del lunes, Pesquera dijo que González Claudio no reconocerá la jurisdicción del tribunal federal para extraditarlo.

“Va a solicitar que se le juzgue aquí en Puerto Rico”, dijo Pesquera.

“Que se le juzgue en su tierra, cualquier otra cosa sería secuestro.

González Claudio enfrenta el lunes una vista de identificación antes de ser extraditado a Hartford Connecticut en donde enfrenta cargos d robo a banco entre otros relacionados con el robo de siete millones de dólares de un depósito de la Wells Fargo en esa ciudad en septiembre de 1982.

Por ese robo se responsabilizó la organización clandestina los Macheteros.

El 30 de agosto de 1985 el Negociado federal de Investigaciones (FBI en inglés) arresto a 11 de 17 personas relacionadas con la organización clandestina que se responsabiliza por las muertes de dos marinos de la Base Naval de sabana seca y la de un policía, además de la destrucción de nueve aviones de la Guardia Nacional de Puerto Rico.

Vicente “Panama” Alba
panamaalba2@yahoo.com
(917) 626-5847

“if you tremble with indignation at every injustice then you are comrade of mine.”

“Let’s be realistic, let’s do the impossible”
Ernesto “Che” Guevara

Governor of Puerto Rico and Twelve Others Indicted for Election Related Crimes

Friday, March 28th, 2008

Note: Below is the news release from the Department of Justice that outlines the charges against Puerto Rico Governor Anibal Acevedo Vila and his associates.

—Angelo Falcon

U.S. Newswire (March 27, 2008)

WASHINGTON, March 27 – Puerto Rico Governor Anibal Acevedo Vila and 12 associates in Puerto Rico, Washington D.C., and the Philadelphia-area have been charged in a 27-count indictment unsealed today and returned by a grand jury in San Juan, Puerto Rico on March 24, 2008, Assistant Attorney General Alice S. Fisher of the Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Rosa Emilia Rodriguez-Velez of the District of Puerto Rico announced today.

The defendants face charges ranging from conspiracy, false statements, wire fraud, federal program fraud and tax crimes related to campaign financing for the governor’s 1999-2000 and 2001-2002 campaign for Resident Commissioner of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and subsequent 2004 gubernatorial campaign.

According to the indictment, the defendants conspired to defraud the United States and violate various Federal Election Campaign Act provisions by having Puerto Rico businessmen make illegal and unreported contributions to pay off large and unreported debts stemming from Acevedo Vila’s 1999-2000 and 2001-2002 campaigns for Resident Commissioner of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico. Payments were made principally to the public relations and media company for the campaigns. The illegal actions continued into 2003, due to the significant debt accumulated by the campaigns, some of which was also concealed from the FEC and the public.

Acevedo Vila and legal advisor, defendant Inclan Bird, solicited, accepted, and then reimbursed illegal conduit contributions from Acevedo Vila’s family members and staff. Conduit contributions are illegal campaign contributions made by one person in the name of another person. In addition, a group of Philadelphia-area businessmen solicited, accepted, and then reimbursed illegal conduit contributions from their own Philadelphia-area family members and staff for defendant Acevedo Vila. Acevedo Vila, in his official capacity, then personally assisted the businessmen in their attempts to obtain contracts from Puerto Rico government agencies for themselves or their clients.

The indictment also alleges a scheme to defraud the Puerto Rico Treasury Department of $7 million by fraudulently pledging to abide by a voluntary public funding law in defendant Acevedo Vila’s 2004 successful campaign for governor of Puerto Rico. The funding law required a cap on campaign spending and required full reporting of all contributions and expenditures. In exchange, the Treasury Department provided up to $7 million of public funds to the candidate’s campaign.

The indictment alleges that defendant Acevedo Vila and his associates conducted unreported fund-raising and made unrecorded vendor payments for the 2004 campaign in order to raise and spend far more than the limited amount to which they had agreed. According to the indictment, one significant aspect of this fraud was to have Puerto Rico businessmen (described as collaborators) use large amounts of money from their personal or corporate funds to pay for large and unreported debts to the campaign’s public relations and media company. Large sums of cash were also used to keep contributions and vendor payments concealed from the Treasury Department and the public.

As further alleged in the indictment, for many of the collaborator payments the media company created fake invoices to make the payments appear to be legitimate business expenses of the contributors’ companies. The indictment charges Jose Gonzalez Freyre, one of these contributors, with falsely claiming that a $50,000 invoice was real and that bona fide services had been provided to his company in exchange for the payment, when in fact, the invoice was fake and the $50,000 payment was part of the unrecorded fundraising and expenditure scheme.

In related illegal actions alleged in the indictment, Acevedo Vila, aided by Inclan Bird, accepted numerous forms of personal income from funds related to his campaigns or official position, which he failed to report as required on his income tax returns.

“This indictment demonstrates the commitment of the Department of Justice and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Puerto Rico to ensure the integrity of the electoral process. Candidates for office and elected officials will be held accountable for corrupting the electoral process by disregarding campaign financing laws. Electoral fraud undermines the essence of our representative form of government, and operates to the detriment of every Puerto Rican,” said U.S. Attorney Rosa Emilia Rodriguez-Velez.

“The Department of Justice will continue to enforce public corruption laws which are designed to protect citizens’ right to honest and fair government representation,” said Assistant Attorney General Alice S. Fisher.

“Our democratic system cannot function when public officials act as though they are above the law. Public officials must comply with the law and those who do not comply will be held accountable,” said Luis Fraticelli, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s San Juan Field Office.

“Today’s indictment is a reminder that the tax laws apply equally to everyone. No one is above the law. It is the responsibility of every taxpayer to file correct and accurate income tax returns,” said Michael E. Yasofsky, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Miami Field Office.

The defendants and their individual charges are as follows:

(1) Anibal Acevedo Vila, 48, of San Juan, Puerto Rico, is charged with conspiracy, false statements, wire fraud, federal program fraud, and tax crimes. Defendant Acevedo Vila was Puerto Rico’s Resident Commissioner in the U.S. House of Representatives from 2001 through 2005, and has been the Governor of Puerto Rico since 2005;

(2) Candido Negron Mella, 41, of Glenn Mills, Penn., is charged with conspiracy and false statements. Negron Mella is a Philadelphia businessman and was designated by defendant Acevedo Vila as his U.S. deputy campaign finance chairman (Resident Commissioner campaign) in 2002;

(3) Salvatore Avanzato, 69, of Boothwyn, Penn., is charged with conspiracy. Avanzato is a Philadelphia-area businessman;

(4) Jorge Velasco Mella, 38, of San Juan, Puerto Rico, is charged with conspiracy and false statements. Velasco Mella, a cousin of Negron Mella, received a job in defendant Acevedo Vila’s San Juan Resident Commissioner office and assisted in the handling of campaign contributions;

(5) Robert M. Feldman, 60, of Gladwyne, Penn., is charged with conspiracy. Feldman is a Philadelphia-area political and business consultant and was designated by defendant Acevedo Vila as his U.S. campaign finance chairman (Resident Commissioner campaign) in 2002;

(6) Marvin I. Block, 74, of Philadelphia is charged with conspiracy. Block is a Philadelphia-area businessman and lawyer;

(7) Ramon Velasco Escardille, 49, of San Juan, Puerto Rico, is charged with conspiracy, false statements and wire fraud. Velasco Escardille was defendant Acevedo Vila’s Resident Commissioner campaign treasurer;

(8) Edwin Colon Rodriguez, 35, of Arecibo, Puerto Rico, is charged with conspiracy and false statements. He is also charged with embezzlement in a separate indictment unsealed today. Colon Rodriguez was defendant Acevedo Vila’s Resident Commissioner campaign assistant treasurer;

(9) Eneidy Coreano Salgado, 40, of Rockville, Md., is charged with conspiracy. Coreano Salgado was defendant Acevedo Vila’s administrative director in his Washington, D.C. Resident Commissioner office;

(10) Luisa Inclan Bird, 47, of Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, is charged with conspiracy, wire fraud and federal program fraud. Inclan Bird was a legal advisor for defendant Acevedo Vila’s San Juan office and volunteered in his 2004 gubernatorial campaign’s finance department. Currently, she is a senior advisor for Governor Acevedo Vila;

(11) Miguel Nazario Franco, 60, of San Juan, Puerto Rico, is charged with wire fraud and federal program fraud. Nazario Franco volunteered in defendant Acevedo Vila’s 2004 gubernatorial campaign finance department, and is currently a businessman in Puerto Rico.

(12) Ricardo Colon Padilla, 39, of Rio Piedras, Puerto Rico, is charged with wire fraud, federal program fraud and false statements. Colon Padilla was the finance director for defendant Acevedo Vila’s political party during his 2004 gubernatorial campaign.

(13) Jose Gonzalez Freyre, 56, of Guaynabo, Puerto Rico, is charged with wire fraud and false statements. Gonzalez Freyre is the owner of Pan American Grain, a Puerto Rico agricultural company, which contributed at least $50,000 to defendant Acevedo Vila’s 2004 gubernatorial campaign.

Each count carries the following maximum prison terms and fines, along with terms of supervised release:

Count one (conspiracy): five years in prison and a $250,000 fine;

Counts two through nine (false statements to the FEC and federal agents): five years in prison and a $250,000 fine;

Counts 10 through 21 (wire fraud): 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine;

Count 22 (program fraud – obtaining money by fraud): 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine;

Counts 23 and 24 (false statements to the FBI and IRS: five years in prison and a $250,000 fine;

Count 25 (conspiracy to defraud the IRS): five years in prison and a $250,000 fine;

Counts 26 and 27 (filing false tax return): three years in prison and a $100,000 fine;

This case is being prosecuted by First Assistant U.S. Attorney Maria A. Dominguez of the District of Puerto Rico and Trial Attorney Daniel A. Schwager of the Criminal Division’s Public Integrity Section. The Public Integrity Section is headed by Chief William M. Welch, II. The case is being investigated by the FBI and IRS, with assistance and cooperation from the Office of the Comptroller of Puerto Rico.

The investigation into related corruption and other crimes is ongoing in the District of Puerto Rico. An indictment is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until convicted through due process of law.

SOURCE U.S. Department of Justice

Contact: U.S. Department of Justice Office of Public Affairs, +1-202-514-2007, or TDD, +1-202-514-1888

Puerto Rican Governor Faces 19 Counts

Thursday, March 27th, 2008

By MANUEL ERNESTO RIVERA
Associated Press (March 27, 2008)

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — Gov. Anibal Acevedo Vila was charged Thursday with 19 counts in a campaign finance probe, including conspiracy to violate U.S. federal campaign laws and giving false testimony to the FBI.

The indictment also charged 12 others associated with Acevedo’s Popular Democratic Party as a result of a two-year grand jury investigation, acting U.S. Attorney Rosa Emilia Rodriguez said.

The 13 are accused of conspiring to illegally raise money to pay off Acevedo’s campaign debts from his 2000 campaign to be the U.S. island territory’s nonvoting member of Congress.

Acevedo, now running for re-election as governor, will not be arrested, Rodriguez said. But at least five others named in the indictment were led in handcuffs into the U.S. federal building in San Juan early Thursday morning.

“The governor will be permitted to turn himself in deference to his position,” she said.

Acevedo has called the campaign finance probe a case of political persecution by federal officials, partly for his criticism of a September 2005 FBI raid in which a fugitive militant Puerto Rican independence leader was killed.

His allegation has support in Puerto Rico, where many feel a deep-rooted nationalism and hostility toward the U.S. federal government.

A Harvard-educated attorney and career politician, Acevedo, 45, served in Washington as the island’s nonvoting delegate to Congress, and was elected governor in 2004 after campaigning on an anti-corruption platform.

Acevedo’s party favors maintaining the island’s semiautonomous relationship with the U.S. mainland. His leading opponent in this year’s governor’s race favors making Puerto Rico the 51st state.

Las elecciones y la agenda inconclusa de Vieques*

Sunday, March 16th, 2008

El periodo actual de elecciones, tanto en Puerto Rico con en EU, nos abre una ventana para reubicar el tema de Vieques en la agenda de los candidatos y los partidos políticos. Tenemos que aprovechar hasta el máximo este momento para lograr acción concreta a favor de la justicia y la paz en la Isla Nena.

Varios acontecimientos en enero y febrero apuntaron al interés que todavía genera en Washington el tema de Vieques. El 12 de febrero, el Senador Barack Obama, candidato presidencial del Partido Demócrata de EU, señaló lo siguiente en carta enviada al Gobernador de Puerto Rico:

“Mi administración trabajará (…) para lograr una limpieza ambiental aceptable en las ex tierras militares de Vieques. Monitorearemos la salud de los viequenses y promoveremos soluciones para las condiciones de salud causadas por las actividades militares y trabajaremos por un desarrollo sustentable en Vieques.”

Además de Obama, dos importantes congresistas demócratas hicieron declaraciones significativas sobre Vieques recientemente.

El 25 de enero, el Congresista Joseph Crowley (D-NY), miembro de la Comisión de Medios y Arbitrios y de la Comisión de Asuntos Exteriores de la Cámara de Representantes de los Estados Unidos, envió una carta al Contralor General de los Estados Unidos y jefe de la Oficina de Contabilidad Gubernamental (“GAO” o “Government Accountability Office”), David Walker, sobre el proceso de limpieza y descontaminación en Vieques.

El congresista manifestó, entre otras cosas, “(…) la presencia de la Marina todavía se siente en Vieques a través de la grave contaminación en tierra y agua (…) y las agencias responsables por la limpieza no han trabajado adecuadamente (…).”

Crowley, fue parte del movimiento para sacar de Vieques a la Marina de Guerra de los Estados Unidos, visitó las tierras contaminadas en Vieques poco después de la salida de la Marina de Vieques en el 2003 y ha expresado, en varias ocasiones, su preocupación con el proceso de limpieza y descontaminación en Vieques.

Por su parte, la congresista demócrata Hilda Solis, presidente del grupo legislativo hispano sobre salud y medio ambiente, según artículo en el preriódico, El Paso Times, “ (…) puso en duda la veracidad de las versiones del gobierno estadounidense de que las maniobras navales realizadas en Vieques durante 60 años no dejaron rastros nocivos para la salud en esa isla municipio puertorriqueña.” Solis, le pide atender las contradicciones entre
los estudios federales y de grupos independientes, y asegurarse de que se estuviera protegiendo la salud pública durante la actual limpieza y descontaminación.

Aprendimos hace tiempo a no confiar en los políticos – porque la historia no lo permite. Sin embargo, aprendimos también a aprovechar del poder de los políticos cuando fuese posible, para adelantar los procesos en la lucha por la justicia y la paz. Así que, si Obama y Hillary quieren los votos boricuas y latinos en EU, tendrán que pronunciar sobre Vieques en varias ocasiones adicionales de aquí a noviembre. Y para nosotros, esa atención es importante para presionar por la descontaminación, la devolución de las tierras y a favor de la salud de nuestra gente.

Otro hecho político positivo para Vieques fue el nombramiento en febrero del Lcdo. Flavio Cumpiano para dirigir la Oficina de Asuntos Federales de Puerto Rico en Washington, DC (PRFFA). Entre 1999 y 2003 Cumpiano representó, pro bono, al Comité Pro Rescate y Desarrollo de Vieques, en Washington, D.C. y logró, entre otras cosas, que decenas de congresistas escribieran cartas a favor de la salida de la Marina de Vieques. Referente a las expresiones de la congresista Solís, señaló el nuevo director de PRFFA:

“Pero esta carta (de Solis) nos dice que no se puede dejar de lado el sufrimiento diario de los viequenses por la contaminación dejada por la Marina y debe ser un impulso para renovar la atención de Washington en que éste es un caso todavía pendiente con Puerto Rico”.

Las expresiones de los congresistas y de Obama, y el nombramiento de Flavio Cumpiano en PRFFA nos ofrecen una nueva oportunidad de colocar el tema de Vieques en espacios decisionales que pudiera aportar a los procesos de reconstrucción de un Vieques liberado de la Marina. Tenemos ante nosotros un gran reto: convertir estas oportunidades en pasos concretos que contribuyan a la descontaminación, la salud de nuestras familias, la
devolución de nuestras tierras y una economía realmente viequense.

Próximamente, el CPRDV se reunirá con miembros de la Coordinadora Todo Puerto Rico con Vieques para dialogar sobre estrategias dirigidas a insertar en los procesos eleccionarios la agenda incompleta de la lucha por la justicia y la paz en Vieques. Entre otras exigencias de esta lucha que continua se incluyen:

1. asignación de fondos suficientes y recurrentes del Gobierno Federal para lograr la descontaminación más profunda posible, con la participación genuina de la comunidad; una limpieza cónsona con los deseos de la comunidad de recuperar su patrimonio territorial para la creación de espacios de vivienda, recreación, desarrollo de turismo, conservación y preservación, entre otros usos articulados en el Plan Maestro para el Desarrollo Sustentable de Vieques;

2. fondos para contratar a los asesores científicos comunitarios tan necesarios para ‘traducir’ a lenguaje entendible la gran cantidad de documentos técnicos producido por la Marina, las compañías privadas contradas para la limpieza ambiental y las agencias de gobierno;

3. fondos necesarios para establecer un proceso de diálogo y trabajo comunitario sobre la descontaminación, más allá del Restoration Advisory Board (entidad creada según las leyes federales que rigen la limpieza en bases militares) que se reune solamente cuatro veces al año y que no ha querido incluir la participación comunitaria crítica;

4. el fin de las detonaciones abiertas y la implantación de nuevas metodologías sanas para eliminar el peligro de las bombas sin detonar en la ex zona de tiro de la Marina;

5. un proceso de diálogo y trabajo en Vieques, Puerto Rico y Washington, conducente a la transferencia de los terrenos todavía en manos federales – el 90% de las tierras antes controladas por la Marina, actualmente se encuentran bajo la jurisdicción del Servicio de Pesca y Vida Silvestre del Departamento del Interior de EU;

6. los recursos económicos y otras ayudas necesarias para levantar un centro de salud moderno, con todas las facilidades y personal para ofrecerle a nuestra comunidad los tratamientos para el cáncer y otras enfermedades catastróficas; además de un centro para el estudio e investigación sobre los efectos de los tóxicos militares en la salud;

7. un proyecto con implicaciones internacionales para el estudio de los procesos de la descontaminación y lo relacionado con la salud para compartir información, estrategias, tecnologías, etc. entre pueblos en diversos lugares afectados por los destrozos del militarismo;

8. compensación justa para las familias viequenses expropiadas en los años cuarenta y para las víctimas de daños a la salud y/o propiedad del bombardeo y otras actividades bélicas en Vieques.

Esta corta lista, sugerimos, debe formar parte de la plataforma de los políticos tanto en Vieques como en la Isla Grande y en Estados Unidos. Es menester insertar, de nuevo, el tema de Vieques en el pensar de los líderes y grupos comunitarios, culturales, laborales, políticos y religiosos puertorriqueños y latinos en Estados Unidos para que los políticos que buscan sus votos sepan que Vieques todavía ocupa un espacio vital en la mentalidad colectiva de los votantes hispanos en las grandes ciudades estadounidenses.

R. Rabin, CPRDV
Marzo 08

*buscamos ayuda con la traducción de este texto al inglés

HIV/AIDS Advocates Protest to end the HIV/AIDS Crisis in Puerto Rico, 12/13/07

Thursday, December 13th, 2007

U2 Lead signer, Nobel Peace Prize nominee and Time Magazine Person of the Year Bono seems aghast as Michael Kink, Housing Works, Legislative Council describes the HIV/AIDS Crisis in Puerto Rico during last nights protest in front of the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs annual Christmas Party. For months now the islands’ HIV/AIDS advocates have been calling out for US supporters to help in their efforts to bring some sensibility to the perpetual misuse, mismanagement and possible corruption of Federal HIV/AIDS designated funds by the San Juan EMA and the Puerto Rico Department of Health.

Bono seems intrigued by Michael as he details the situation outlined in the Puerto Rico HIV/AIDS crisis leaflet.

Supporters of the HIV/AIDS advocates in Puerto Rico traveled from Philadelphia and New York (and elsewhere) to protest in front of the annual Puerto Rico government sponsored party that draws many of Washington, DC’s elite. While inside, party revelers danced to salsa music and ate Caribbean delicacies outside the advocates poured out bottles of Bacardi Rum, a Puerto Rico based product, and called for a national boycott of Puerto Rico Rums.

The advocates campaigned for the US Federal Government to take action to gain responsible control of the HIV/AIDS dollars that are currently either being mismanaged or underutilized while so many patients are going without life sustaining services. According to numerous federal investigations, the island is among the top 10 jurisdiction that returns funds to the Federal government because it not manage them.

Both the San Juan EMA and the Puerto Rico Department of Health are under HRSA imposed restricted draw down, an administrative condition imposed by the Health Resources and Services Administration when grantees are not compliant. Little more however has been done to remedy the situation.

Yours in the struggle,
James Albino
National Minority AIDS Council
www.nmac.org
Assistant Director, Government Relations and Public Policy
1624 U St, NW Suite 200
Washington, DC 20009-4432
Tel: 202-234-5120 ext. 303 Fax: 202-234-6404
email: jalbino@nmac.org -or- jalbino@caribe.net

“No war on the face of the Earth is more destructive than the AIDS pandemic. I was a soldier. But I know of no enemy in war more insidious or vicious than AIDS. Will history record a fateful moment in our time, on our watch, when action came too late?”

US Secretary of State Colin Powell
Address to the UN General Assembly Special Session on HIV/AIDS
June 25, 2001