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Posts Tagged ‘Luis Gutiérrez’


So, we must be doing right about our distaste for the silly name of the Tequila Party, since it appears that Dee-Dee García Blasé —the founder of the 2,000-member Tequila Party and the self-proclaimed Voice of All Latinos— is starting to share her thoughts about this blog and our positions.

In a message we received today, Dee-Dee’s true colors show in her criticism of this blog and LatinoRebels.com. Here is what she wrote:

For the record, the owner of the Latino Rebels who is against the name of the Tequila Party is Puerto Rican (Julio) , and we all know PR’s get automatic citizenship. I don’t think that Latino Rebels really feel what people of Mexican descent are going through right now and we have to be creative and controversial in a good way to get people to think about the importance of the latino vote to promote for pro immigration politicians. It’s too bad Latino Rebels wasn’t more like Rep. Luis Gutierrez for Illinois. Julio (Latino Rebels) asked me why we didn’t name the movement “rum party”, and I think it has something to do with PR’s and Cubanos liking ‘rum’ more so than the ‘tequila’.

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Washington is a strange place, especially the last few weeks as absurdity rules the air. But this post is not about debt talks. This post is about Illinois Congressman Luis Gutiérrez, the leader the Latino Rebels have called EL GALLITO REBELDE.

Congressman Luis Gutiérrez

Yesterday, Congressman Gutiérrez was arrested near the White House during a demonstration that protested President Obama’s non-committal response to the Dream Act. While the President spoke La Raza, Gutiérrez and others protested. And then they were arrested.

For those who think that this is just some publicity stunt by Gutiérrez, you’re wrong. This congressman of Puerto Rican descent is one to not think about poll numbers, pundits, tracking trends or re-election. Instead, Congressman Gutiérrez LEADS. He ACTS. Whether it is calling more attention to the Dream Act or exposing the civil rights abuses by the current administration of Puerto Rican pro-statehood and Republican darling Luis Fortuño, the Gallito Rebelde will fight the good fight.

Gutiérrez also released a statement regarding how poorly he feels the White House is handling immigration:

Today, Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez (D-IL) reacted to President Obama’s address to the national annual conference of the National Council of La Raza in Washington.  At one point in the President’s speech, referring to his ability to exercise discretion in immigration enforcement, the President said, “Now, I know some people want me to bypass Congress and change the laws on my own.”  At that point, many in the crowd chanted “Si Se Puede” and “Yes You Can,” interrupting his speech momentarily.  The following is a statement by Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez:

I agree with those in the audience who said “Si Se Puede” and “Yes You Can” when the President said he could not do anything about deportations.  I have been traveling the country the past three months asking him not to take the law into his own hands, but to exercise the broad discretionary powers he has under current law that allows him to prioritize individual deportations.

Indeed the President acknowledged that his Administration is trying to prioritize deportations for serious criminals and threats, and I have encouraged him to do more to put non-criminals, young people, and the spouses and parents of U.S. citizens at the back of the line.  Twenty-three Democratic Senators, two former INS General Counsels, and his own Homeland Security staff agree he has this power under current law.  Republicans like Judiciary Chairman Lamar Smith and Senator David Vitter have filed bills to take that power away from this President, so I think they agree with me and the audience that he has powers under current law.  So far, according to the Obama Administration, they are using this discretionary power in fewer cases than the previous President and they are deporting more people than any previous President.

We need the President to fight for us and to make it clear he is doing — and not just saying — everything possible to help.  The question is whether the President will exercise the powers he has under current law to give DREAM Act students and other immigrants relief from deportation when it is in the national interest of the United States.  But he has to expend the political capital to do it, which he has been reluctant to do.  The Latino and immigrant voters I talk to — and those at NCLR conference — seem to think that his personal investment in helping immigrant families is lacking.

This White House is proud of their deportation and increases in border security, but it is simply not the case that the President’s hands are tied when it comes to enforcement and people, like those in the audience, know it.

We applaud the Congressman and all the other DREAMERS who will not give up this fight.

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One of the biggest complaints from anyone who follows the topsy-turvy political world of Puerto Rico—the oldest colony in the Western Hemisphere—is that very little news about the island regularly appears in the mainstream media.

That is beginning to change.

With student strikes at the University of Puerto Rico that led to a Department of Justice investigation into serious allegations of police abuse, a White House report that calls for a two-step plebiscite to finally resolve the island’s colonial relationship with the United States, and a natural gas pipeline construction proposal by Republican and pro-statehood governor Luis Fortuño, Puerto Rico is in the news more and more.

Puerto Ricans protesting the proposed GASODUCTO pipeline

Today, The Washington Post ran a rather lengthy Associated Press article about Fortuño’s controversial natural gas pet project—known locally as the GASODUCTO—and how the pipeline has found strong opposition on the island, both for its environmental issues as well as charges of political favoritism and corruption.

As the article states:

Puerto Rico’s governor is proposing to solve soaring energy prices on this oil-dependent U.S. island with a massive natural gas pipeline that would cross some of the territory’s most fragile ecosystems and archaeological sites.

Gov. Luis Fortuño has made the $450 million project a central goal of his administration and he insists it is a safe, environment-friendly way to lower utility bills. Critics say the 92-mile (148-kilometer) pipeline will tear up lush green mountains and expose people living near it to deadly explosions.

The pipeline proposal, which Fortuño has dubbed “The Green Way,” also has sparked corruption allegations. The largest contract so far has gone to an engineering firm with no pipeline construction experience that is owned by a childhood friend of the governor. Fortuño has denied any conflicts of interest.

The irony of this current project is that when Fortuño’s predecessor and pro-Commonwealth governor Aníbal Acevedo Vilá proposed a shorter pipeline, the Fortuño administration helped stopped the project in mid-2009.

Puerto Rican Governor Luis Fortuño

The article further explains that Fortuño is playing typical politics, including the award of a bid without any public RFP process:

This time around, Fortuño is promoting an even larger pipeline proposal, despite similar resistance from activists. Even before he announced the project last August, his administration had awarded about $27 million in contracts — without public bids — for preliminary studies, according to documents filed with Puerto Rico’s Comptroller’s Office.

The documents show the largest contract, worth $9.6 million, went to Ray Engineers PSC, owned by a childhood friend of the governor, Pedro Ray Chacón. Fortuño took a ski trip with Chacón before he became governor, said Ray spokesman Jose Cruz.

While Fortuño has said contracts for preliminary research didn’t require an open bid, senators from the island’s main opposition party are demanding an investigation into how the contracts were awarded.

“This entire process raises serious concerns that lacerate the confidence that people have in their institutions,” Puerto Rico Sen. Cirilo Tirado said in a statement.

Support for the GASODUCTO has also occurred. As the articles states:

At least a dozen municipalities have approved resolutions supporting the project in concept, and it has also been touted by the National Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce and the local Association of Engineers and Surveyors.

“The failure to diversify energy sources has been the kiss of death for Puerto Rico,” said the engineers’ association president, Miguel Torres.

Despite all the political debates, the pipeline only needs final approval from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which has been awaiting studies from the island’s energy authority and analysis from other federal agencies before making a ruling.

According to government officials, island residents—who currently pay 21 cents per kilowatt hour as opposed to US mainland residents who pay just 10 cents per kilowatt hours—will save 30% in their electric bills if the GASODUCTO were to be completed.

The details of the GASODUCTO plan are as follow:

  • The pipeline would start in the southern part of the island, where, according to the AP, “where billions of cubic feet of liquefied natural gas would be imported and regasified.”
  • The pipeline would cut through the island and head eastward towards the capital of San Juan.
  • The pipeline would also run through hundreds of rivers and wetlands, as well as some of the island’s archaeological sites. As the AP article describes:

It would traverse 235 rivers and wetlands, cut through more than 60 miles (100 kilometers) of the island’s northern Karst region and possibly affect up to 32 endangered species, including the Puerto Rican parrot, crested toad and boa, according to the Corps of Engineers.

The pipeline also would cross 51 communities, placing as many as 23,000 families in danger of possible explosions, according to the nonprofit environmental organization Casa Pueblo de Adjuntas, which is leading the charge against the pipeline.

Archaeologists say the pipeline would run through historic sugar mill ruins and across petroglyphs carved centuries ago by Taíno Indians.

Opponents of the GASODUCTO held a May 1 demonstration that brought out 30,000 demonstrators. In addition Casa Pueblo has also launched an online petition, which has generated over 8,000 signatures so far. The petitions can be viewed online on this link.

US Congressman Luis Guitérrez

The final twist is all this is the ongoing political battle between Repulican Fortuño, seen as one of the new Latino darlings of the FOX NEWS circuit, and Illinois Democrat Luis Gutiérrez, a Puerto Rican who has been a public critic of the Fortuño administration, having lambasted Fortuño on the floor of Congress a few times this year.

As the article states:

[Gutiérrez] has called the governor’s publicity push for the pipeline, which includes “Green Way” billboards erected around the island, an “Orwellian ad campaign.”

Gutierrez noted that as a gubernatorial candidate, Fortuño had said it would be a “grave mistake” to depend on natural gas.

“Now, he enthusiastically supports not just gas pipelines, but a much bigger, more environmentally disruptive and more expensive pipeline,” Gutierrez said.

Fortuño responded by reminding the congressman that natural gas kept him warm during the bitter East Coast winter.

“I hope he’s not pretending,” Fortuño said, “that he and the people who are in Congress have more rights than those of us who live in Puerto Rico.”

EDITOR’S NOTE: The Asssociated Press article made several typographical errors in the spellings of Fortuño, Vilá, and other Spanish surnames with accents and tildes. We edited those corrections in our blog post.

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US Congressman Luis Gutiérrez

In response to his public comments on the floor of the United States House of Representatives denouncing the plans for a natural gas pipeline being slated by the Republican and pro-statehood administration of Governor Luis Fortuño, Illinois Democrat Luis Gutiérrez, who is of Puerto Rican descent, has begun to feel the heat from the Puerto Rican press about his ties to Chicago’s natural gas industry.

Puerto Ricans protesting the proposed GASODUCTO pipeline

The Vocero, one of the many newspapers on the island, reported last week that Gutiérrez regularly receives campaign donations from companies with ties to natural gas and energy. As the newspaper states in its article “The Two Faces of Congressman Gutiérrez”:

According to the website, www.opensecrets.org, as recently as 2010, the Congressman received $ 7,500 from Exelon Corp., the U.S.’ largest nuclear operator, which is dedicated to the distribution of electricity and natural gas.

Also in 2008 Integrys Energy Group (a natural gas consulting company), donated $ 1,000 to his campaign.

According to the website, Gutierrez also received $ 10 000 from the Operating Engineers Union, an organization that supported the policies of George W. Bush to open the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge in Alaska to increase oil production, which received strong opposition from environmentalists.

Gutiérrez’s opposition to a pipeline is apparently limited to only Puerto Rico, as the Democratic Congressman from Illinois has not shown resistance to pipelines running through the city of Chicago, where he lives. He also showed no resistance when the administration of [former Puerto Rican Governor] Aníbal Acevedo Vilá began to build a pipeline to the south of the country and aimed to build another route to the north.

The cost of electricity in Illinois is less than half that of Puerto Rico. According to the Federal Energy Information Administration, the cost of the residential tariff is 10.63 cents per kilowatt hour (kWh) 7.98 cents commercial, industrial and 6.5 cents per kWh.

Currently, there are about six natural gas companies operating in Chicago and at least 26 interstate pipelines and eight intrastate natural gas companies across the state.

The companies include: People’s Gas, Interstate Gas Supply of Illinois, Inc., Santanna Energy Services, U.S. Energy Savings Corp., Spark Energy, LP, and Ambit Energy.

Vía Verde (Green Way) is the project introduced by Governor Luis Fortuño to reduce the cost of electricity in Puerto Rico and, in turn, reduce dependence on oil. The government expects savings of $1 billion per year on fuel purchases.

Gutierrez took part [on May 1] in an anti-Green Way demonstration organized by Casa Pueblo in Adjuntas.

In his speech he said: “I am here with you because I think we should stand up and make ourselves heard and I am convinced that we must stop this pipeline.”

He said it is not the use of natural gas “but to stop what, to all appearances, seems to be a ‘mega-con’, the ‘money-pipeline’, the pipeline that leads directly from the treasury bills of the People of Puerto Rico to line the pockets of the [Fortuño] administration’s friends. ”

For his part, Secretary of the Interior, Marcos Rodriguez-Ema, told El Vocero that “Gutiérrez did not object in 2008 when Aníbal Acevedo Vilá wanted to make the southern gas pipeline, because he was receiving money from gas distribution companies. Now he opposes a pipeline because he is paying back the favors of his donors, who are members of the Popular Party.”

As you can see, there is never a dull moment in Puerto Rican politics.

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Los Angeles radio talk show host Fernando Espuelas

Dear Congressman Gutiérrez,

Are you a secret Republican? Are you now actively engaged in making sure that Obama is a one-term President? Are you trying to destroy any chance for comprehensive immigration reform for the next 10 years?

Based on your words and actions over the last two years, it sure seems that the answer to all three questions is “yes.”

You have become a familiar face in the media, purporting to speak for all 52 million American Latinos. You tell the world of our collective pain, our supposed victimization at the hands of the unjust U.S. immigration system.

You remind us, over and over again, that Obama “broke his promise” to push for immigration reform in the first year of his Administration – a political absurdity when the country was undergoing the most devastating economic crisis in 70 years.

You decry the President’s enforcement of existing immigration law – never acknowledging that under our Constitution that is exactly what the President must do.

You leave out of your drama-queen performances the inconvenient truth – President George Bush was lambasted by his own party for his supposed lackadaisical enforcement of immigration law. The party eventually forced Bush to abandon immigration reform, leaving him humiliated by his own party and frustrating Karl Rove’s plan to capture the Latino vote for the GOP.

And now, Congressman, you tour the country giving histrionic speeches and making emotional statements to the media. “Obama broke his promise,” you tell people ad naseum – as if the President of the United States can enact laws without Congress actually passing them.

But that’s not how it works, right? Congress passes laws and the President signs them. You know that. So why the fiction that Obama is fully and uniquely responsible for our joke of an immigration “system”? In fact, you lay all the blame on the President.

US Congressman Luis Guitérrez

And in an act of pure political nihilism – and strategic folly – you have even advised that Latinos not vote in elections if immigration reform is not passed. You’ve hinted that you want to create a new “movement” outside of the Democratic Party.

Do you actually believe all this nonsense? Or has this absurd message merely become a handy platform from which to launch your media vanity tour, now taking you to 20 cities across the country in which you blameyour lack of success in passing immigration reform in the Democratic Party controlled House of Representatives in 2008 and 2009 on Obama?

If memory serves, you never passed a bill. Yet you were the point person in Congress for immigration reform – you were even made the Chair of the Democratic Caucus Immigration Task Force.

Why were you unable to convince your own House Democratic colleagues to, at the very least, approve a bill in the House and put pressure on the Senate to do the same? President Obama has said over and over that he will sign an immigration reform bill – why didn’t you send him one?

In the Latino community we all speak about the need to come together, to “unify.” But unify around what? Your bizarre idea that we can reform America’s laws by not voting?

You seem enthralled by the transcendence of Martin Luther King Jr.’s accomplishments – yet you ignore the fact that Dr. King was principally fighting for the right of people of color to vote. Get it? Dr. King believed in America, he believed in the values of our country – and the institutions that, once reformed, would serve all Americans.

He never advocated not voting. He never advocated “sitting it out” – Dr. King spurred a whole nation into action. And opened the door for millions of people – including Latinos in the South – to vote and be able to participate in the democratic system.

And here’s the irony: you were born in America. You are not an immigrant. You were educated in our schools. Surely you must know how our system works – how it has worked for every immigrant group in this country.

You vote, you have power. If you sit home on election day, you let others chose your leaders and therefore the laws that govern our nation. The Arizona anti-Latino laws, now ruled un-Constitutional by a Federal judge, are proof of what happens when Latinos fail to show up at the voting booth.

Recently you told the media – your new constituency, I suppose – that you had not decided whether to support Obama for reelection. Does that mean that you will support a GOP candidate? With the exceptions of Newt Gingrich and former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson, all other presumptive GOP candidates have come out squarely against immigration reform.

So let’s see, you encourage Latinos to blame Obama for your own legislative failure – and then you encourage Hispanics not to vote, even though a critical part of the Obama coalition is Latino voters. Meanwhile, the Republican Party stands firmly against immigration reform. Effectively you attack the supporters of reform while strengthening its opponents. If there’s a strategy here for achieving immigration reform it is as opaque as it is risible.

But you, sir, are the Nativists’ best asset. With your high-profile campaign suggesting that Latinos not participate in the mainstream political process, encouraging our community to abandon the ballot box for more useless, even counter-productive marches, you retard immigration reform with every speech you give.

If there ever is a successful reform of immigration policies you will have nothing to talk about. Your burgeoning career as the Latino-whiner-in-Chief will be over and you will have to go back to the mundane job of actually getting laws passed.

As you well know, and as the new Census proves, Latinos have the numbers to be the king makers in 2012. We will be the determinate voting block for both the Presidency and control of Congress.

But unless we get our act together and register millions of citizens who are now hypnotized by your dis-empowering message of non-participation in the democratic process, there is a very real possibility that the next Administration and the next Congress elected in 2012 will be in complete opposition to immigration reform – pushing it back years, if not decades.

So unless you are in fact a double-agent, a tool of the Nativist extremist who are feverishly working to duplicate Arizona’s experiment in institutionalized racism across the nation, go back to Congress, roll-up your sleeves and get back work on building an effective coalition to pass comprehensive immigration reform.

Your emotional speeches must give you a huge adrenalin rush – but America needs less of your made-for-TV drama and and more of a real focus on a smart, strategic reform of our immigration laws so that we can effectively compete in the 21st century.

Your MLK fantasies aside, that means passing new laws. And guess what – that’s your job.

Sincerely,

Fernando Espuelas

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Here are the latest remarks about Puerto Rico by US Congressman Luis Gutiérrez against the energy policies of Governor Luis Fortuño:

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In his budget speech to the Puerto Rican Congress this week, Republican and pro-statehood Governor Luis Fortuño closed his remarks with his most detailed public remarks about the colony’s political status question and the recent White House Report that presents the island’s options for a status plebiscite. What follows is an English translation of Fortuño’s remarks.

Puerto Rican Governor Luis Fortuño

Governor Luis Fortuño’s Budget Address to Puerto Rican Congress, April 12, 2011

Status
The White House report contains another issue of great importance, and even though it is not something that we think about every day, it affects ALL aspects of our lives… the issue of our status, or the issue of our relationship with the United States, a nation of which we are citizens.

For the first time in more than 112 years, the United States, through its President, has placed the route we must follow in black and white, and they are willing to accept, to resolve, once and for all, the issue of our political status. It is a HISTORIC opportunity we cannot miss.

In Puerto Rico we have already achieved a consensus that the status issue must be resolved soon. Every day we see more clearly that the status issue—which has so divided us as a people—is the main obstacle to move forward TOGETHER. For example, in recent days a group of non-partisan economic experts said that Puerto Rico has been in decline for the past 50 years. Forget about if our current status brought or not brought us benefits in the past, the fact is that today, during these time even those who have historically defended the Commonwealth, say it no longer serves us and must be changed. This is what they presented in their election platform during the last elections.

Those who want independence, obviously do not agree with our current status. And those who believe in getting all the rights and powers that we would have as American citizens under statehood, don’t either. In short, EVERYONE, including all political parties, agrees that we must change our status NOW. And you also know.

The main reason why our current status does not work is because we do not have the tools and powers that we need to move forward. On that we all agree. The White House report clearly states, on page 26 that our present political status is a United States territory, subject to the territorial clause of the federal Constitution. That means that we do not have the necessary powers to progress, or we would have if we were a state, nor that we would if we were a republic, either fully independent or in a relationship of free association.

These three alternatives—statehood, independence and free association—are the three alternatives that all nations of the world accept, and that the same White House Report recognizes as non-colonial and non-territorial. The report clearly says that only these three alternatives, and NO OTHERS, are those that would be available to us, and they would be granted, if we change what we have now. In fact, the report rejects outright the notion of an “improved” Commonwealth that has no place in the American constitutional system.

The report also says, however, that the people must be given the opportunity to vote for NO CHANGE. Also the report says that although our present Commonwealth status is that of a territory under the powers of the federal Congress, if that’s what the People of Puerto Rico want, they have the option to maintain it.

Many people in my party disagree with this. The Independence Party leadership also disagrees. They say that if the Commonwealth IS THE PROBLEM, it cannot be the solution and therefore should not be among the options that are submitted to the people. But like it or not, the White House report says clearly that the people of Puerto Rico have the right to choose “no change”, so let’s ensure that people can choose the Commonwealth as it is: a territory within the territorial clause of the federal Constitution, as the report states.

The report presents a series of options on how to consult with the people regarding this status issue status in a fair and transparent way.

One option, the report details in page 28, offers two consultations. In the first, you would have the opportunity to choose between three options for change of status that the White House report and international law recognize as non-colonial and non-territorial alternatives: statehood, independence and free association. Then in the second consultation, you can decide whether to change or to not change. In other words, you can choose the option to change status to win in the first consultation and the alternative of staying as we are, without any change, in the second consultation.

In summary, there are two consultations: the first would choose between three options for change of non-territorial and non-colonial status that United States would be willing to grant (statehood, independence or free association) and the second would choose if we want to change or remain as is.

After analyzing this and other options set out in the report, I have decided that this alternative is the fairest for everyone in Puerto Rico to express their will directly and transparently.

First, as recommended by the report, the two consultations will give the people the opportunity to exercise their right to vote directly and secretly, as we do during elections in Puerto Rico. The resolution of our status is a decision that should take you directly to the power of the vote not and not to and assembly composed of politicians meeting in dark rooms.

Second, as recommended by the report, consultations all eligible voters in Puerto Rico may vote. We are united by close ties with our Puerto Rican brothers living in the rest of the U.S. and other countries, but the report acknowledges that the decision on the future status of Puerto Rico is the responsibility of those living on the island.

Third, EVERYONE in Puerto Rico can vote for their preferred alternative: those who want statehood, those who want independence, those who want free association, and those who want that we stay as we are. ALL have the opportunity to choose the option they prefer.

Fourth, as recommended by the report, give enough time for towns to receive all information you need to make an informed and thoughtful decision. For this, we proposed that the first consultation to take place in November of this year and the second consultation by early 2013.

In recent days, leaders of the Popular Party and the Independence Party have spoken out against this proposal of consulting with the people on this important issue of status. This is not surprising. This is what some political leaders have done in the past: talk and talk that we resolve this issue, but find an excuse to pull back when the time comes to present a real opportunity to resolve it. As they think they cannot prevail, they prefer to procrastinate. Popular Party leaders complain that the Commonwealth will not be on the ballot. THAT’S NOT TRUE. In fact, the Commonwealth AS IT IS NOW, without changes” will be on the second consultation. But more importantly, free association or the associated free state (commonwealth)—as they themselves called it in the status proposal the submitted on their platform for the past elections—will be UNDER THE FIRST CONSULTATION. So both those who want a “free associated state “as the Commonwealth is right now will have the opportunity to vote for their preferred option.

Popular Party leaders wants us to run the consultation in a way that does not represent independence or free association. That would not be fair because you are not giving the opportunity for people who prefer these alternatives to vote for these options.

For its part, Independence Party leaders want the first consultation to not be an option on status, but on how we will resolve the status: as a direct vote in a referendum or in an assembly status. The reason is obvious: they hope to win the assembly status to try to achieve something in a dark room which obviously cannot be accomplished at the polls. That is not an option: it would be a mockery of democracy.

Finally, leaders of both the Popular Party and the Independence Party have complained that the alternatives that we present to the people is too much time between the first and second consultations. Although it is desirable that the two consultations occur closer to each other, the truth is that 2012 is an election year in which we have three electoral events: local political primaries, presidential primaries and national general elections next November.

Despite these disagreements, we must make every effort to achieve consensus among political parties on the process to be followed so this fundamental status issue is resolved. Just as we did recently on the issue of electoral reform, which enables a dialogue process that resulted in consensus among the parties about the issues that were most in dispute, I am confident that a similar dialogue can result in a consensus that encourages greater voter participation possible in the consultations that we will have to decide our political status.

To do this, I am asking political parties to nominate one representative to a Dialogue Committee so that together—within 30 days—consensus through dialogue is reached. I make this call to dialogue with the utmost good faith, and confident that consensus is possible. However, it is clear, that if within 30 days of the formation of the Dialogue Committee, a consensus is not reached, I will have to submit the necessary legislation so that before the end of my four years here, we hold the first referendum for a definitive and permanent solution to the status problem.

Puerto Rico has waited too long, and we will not allow those who prefer inertia and breeching to deprive an entire people of their right to reach a final decision, non-colonial and non-territorial, to ensure our children a future of progress and wellness.

To this end, we are allocating the necessary resources in the budget for the next fiscal year to conduct such consultation BEFORE THE END OF THIS TERM. We promised the people and we are going to do it because we will continue to BE WITH PUERTO RICO.

Puerto Rican brother and sister, the time has come. Our country deserves that their daughters and children respond to the call. Puerto Rico has been more than patient. The island has waited decades for us, but it can not wait any longer. I ask that you evaluate the reliable and responsible patriotic opportunity presented to us in the White House proposal that I presented to you to resolve the status issue. For that we can finally see the day free from the obstacle that divides us. Let us walk together, like a united family, to the glory that the Creator has reserved for Puerto Rico.

God bless you… and God bless Puerto Rico!

Thank you very much.

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