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Resident Commissioner to campaign for statehood this weekend

By on March 21, 2017

SAN JUAN – Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González will spend this weekend in Puerto Rico to join the New Progressive Party’s (NPP) campaign for statehood ahead of the June 11 political-status plebiscite.

The NPP vice president informed from her office in Congress that she will begin pro-statehood gatherings this weekend in which the entire party leadership participate.

Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González will join her party's campaign to promote statehood ahead of the June 11 political-status plebiscite, in which voters must choose between "statehood" and "free association/independence." (Juan J. Rodríguez, File Photo/CB)

Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González will join her party’s campaign to promote statehood ahead of the June 11 political-status plebiscite, in which voters will choose between “statehood” and “free association/independence.” (Juan J. Rodríguez, File Photo/CB)

“The June 11 referendum for Puerto Rico’s immediate decolonization isn’t just another referendum; circumstances changed and the consequences are irreversible,” the resident commissioner said in a written statement released by her office.

She assured that Congress unveiled the commonwealth’s colonial reality and allocated funds toward a decisive plebiscite. “There is no going back with the June referendum: We either defend our citizenship or declare ourselves a republic,” said González, who is also president of the Puerto Rico Republican Party.

The Immediate Decolonization Act, which establishes the plebiscite, states that if “free association/independence” is voted for over statehood in the referendum there will be a second referendum on Oct. 8 in which Puerto Ricans must decide which independence option they prefer: independence separate of the United States with a “free association” treaty or complete independence.

In 2012 González created the Academia Estadista platform when she led the NPP’s institutional pro-statehood campaign and will use it to carry out an educational campaign this weekend.

Puerto Rico House approves $5.3 million for status plebiscite

On Friday, Academia Estadista will go to Maricao, where the resident commissioner and the municipality’s mayor, Gilberto Pérez Valentín, will lead the activity; while Republican Party National Committeewoman Zoraida Fonalledas will be in charge during the Coamo event. Fonalledas will also visit Barceloneta.

On Saturday, González will be joined in Las Piedras by Sen. Itzamar Peña, and Mayor Ángelo Cruz in Ceiba. By Sunday, the resident commissioner will be in Aguada alongside Mayor Manuel “Gabina” Santiago and former House Speaker Zaida Hernández.

On Monday, Fonalledas, who begins her tour Thursday in Barceloneta alongside Neil Balseiro, will also visit the Florida municipality. On April 6, Arecibo’s Club de Leones will host the campaign event, headed by the resident commissioner and Mayor Carlos Molina.

The Puerto Rico Republican Party president said she “will take the opportunity to talk plainly to the people about the impact [Puerto Rico’s political status] on every citizen’s day-to-day, on family budgets, on federal funds, the economy, opportunities, on safety, on culture, and on the quality of life of Puerto Rico.”

While González arrives in San Juan to join the NPP’s campaign, Popular Democratic Party (PDP) President Héctor Ferrer expects to increase party efforts in Washington, D.C. to question the plebiscite’s constitutionality, arguing it is rigged in favor of statehood.

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