Sanders Campaign Aide to Speak in Puerto Rico on Saturday
Puerto Rico-born Betsy Franceschini, a regional director in the campaign of Democratic presidential pre-candidate Bernie Sanders, will visit the island for a Saturday speaking engagement about Sanders’ campaign.
The event will take place April 2 at the Taller de Fotoperiodismo building, in San Juan’s Puerta de Tierra district, at 7:00 pm.
Franceschini, a former director of the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration office in Florida, now heads efforts to spur the Latino vote in favor of Sanders.
“I am a daughter of working-class families,” Franceschini said. “My father moved to Chicago in the 1950s and since I was little, I knew the meaning of starting at the bottom and working to the top. I grew up with those principles and values, and Sen. Sanders represents them as well.”
Sanders, a self-declared socialist democrat, has been a consistent defender of Puerto Rico during its ongoing fiscal crisis. During a recent debate hosted by Univision and The Washington Post, Sanders said that “Puerto Rico has a public debt of [more then $70] billion and its government pays interest rates of up to 11%. Many of the bonds that [the commonwealth] pays were bought by capitalist vultures at 30 cents on the dollar.”
He added that, “I’ve told Puerto Rico’s leaders that we have to get the people together. It is not the Puerto Rican people, not the children or the schools, but the capitalist vultures who could stand to lose a little money in this process.”
The senator for Vermont won caucuses in Alaska and Washington last Saturday, which brings him further into closing the 300-delegate lead held by his primary rival for the Democratic ticket, Hillary Clinton. Since then, Sanders also won Hawaii.
In Puerto Rico, the democratic primaries will be held June 5, the same day as the New Progressive Party and Popular Democratic Party primaries, by disposition of the local Democratic committee, which still awaits the Democratic National Committee’s approval on the matter.
“Holding the primaries in this manner will allow for a more cost-effective process combined with Puerto Rico best democratic tradition, because the same voting stations will be used for all of the primary votes,” said Roberto Prats, president of the Democrats’ Puerto Rico chapter.