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Puerto Rican Diaspora asks for Inclusion in Status Solution Efforts

By on January 18, 2016

SAN JUAN – Puerto Ricans United in Action (PUA by its Spanish acronym) has asked to include Puerto Ricans living abroad in the proposal by Puerto Rican Independence Party President (PIP) Rubén Berríos to address Puerto Rico political status issue.

Manuel Rivera, spokesperson for the Washington, D.C.-based group, lauded Berríos’ proposal, which has also been supported, with some modifications, by New Progressive Party President Pedro Pierluisi.
Rivera warned that Berríos’ proposal would be incomplete without the participation of the Puerto Rican community in the mainland U.S.

Rivera, who has worked as lobbyist for sovereignty and independence groups, said that “now, more than ever, the call made to political parties by PIP President Rubén Berríos to unite efforts in a joint action plan to demand that President Obama formally express himself on a decolonization policy for Puerto Rico, becomes more relevant.”

He added that “civil society in the diaspora has been actively marching in protest before the Congress and other forums to claim our inalienable rights to self-determination, and we will continue this work in the future.”

Rivera also warned that the U.S. Department of Justice, in its arguments in the case of Puerto Rico v. Sánchez Valle, “has not sent a clear signal or made expression on its intentions to alter the current political status.”

The diaspora spokesman said that Adjunct Solicitor General Nicole Saharsky warned in the hearing before the U.S. Supreme Court last Wednesday that while Puerto Rico is still subject to the plenary powers of the U.S. Congress, the federal government has no intention to alter the island’s political status.

Puerto Ricans interested in these matters, Rivera said, have to accept that “we have to take the initiative ourselves to resolve our internal differences as a people, and be able to go to Washington with a national proposal and carry out a negotiation of equals that allows us to solve the issue once and for all with justice and respect for all parties involved.”

He added that due to this situation, “the participation of representatives from the Puerto Rican diaspora civil society is necessary in this call to bring together efforts.”

By Ismael Torres

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