Washington, DC.–(HISPANIC PR WIRE – U.S. Newswire)–March 8, 2004–Herbert W. Brown III, president of the Citizens’ Educational Foundation-US today expressed his great appreciation for the action taken by New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson in issuing a Proclamation, on Monday, March 1, 2004, supporting the four million U.S. citizens of Puerto Rico to exercise their right to self-determination. In his Proclamation, Gov. Richardson declared that:
The government of New Mexico fully supports the call of the U.S. citizens in Puerto Rico for federal legislation that will define the non-territorial status options available to them, authorize a referendum in Puerto Rico that will enable them to decide on a permanent status, and assure that their status decision will be implemented by the federal government. Furthermore, I join the Legislature of New Mexico in requesting the New Mexico congressional delegation to actively promote and support timely action by the President and Congress of the United States on this important national issue.
“Governor Bill Richardson has taken a principled and statesmanlike position on this important national manner,” stated Brown. He described the Puerto Rico status issue as no longer being a “state secret” on the mainland because “It is now a major concern of the Hispanic community, the national veterans community, and Hispanic elected officials in key electoral states.” He added that, “As more people learn about this issue and the disenfranchisement of four million American citizens living on the island, they ask, ‘How can this situation be allowed to continue by the federal government? It should be corrected as soon as possible.'”
Brown stated that, “President Bush and Senator Kerry are now on notice that this issue can no longer be covered up and excluded from the national agenda.” Furthermore, he stated that, “there are more than 4,000 Puerto Ricans serving in Iraq and Afghanistan, fighting and dying to promote and protect the right of self-determination for the people of those nations and to respond to their aspirations for representative democracy. It is ironic that those same Puerto Ricans have not been allowed to exercise that same right of self-determination back in Puerto Rico.” Brown asserted, “The President and the Congress should enact legislation immediately that will provide Puerto Ricans with a fair and transparent process that will enable them to make an informed decision on a permanent political status.”
In addition to New Mexico, numerous resolutions and memorials have also been adopted by the Legislatures of the California and Wisconsin; the Texas House of Representatives; and the Florida State Senate, and by national veterans organizations including the American Legion; The Vietnam Veterans of America; the American Veterans of Foreign Wars; and the American GI Forum, as well as by the overwhelming majority of national Hispanic organizations.
A copy of the Proclamation can be found on http://www.cefus.net
CEFUS, a non-profit non-partisan organization, promotes the right of the U.S. citizens of Puerto Rico to a process of Self-Determination.
Citizens’ Educational Foundation-US
Sandy Acosta, 202-546-3060