Thursday, June 20, 2013

UN Panel Notes Plebiscite Vote, Calls for Statehood or Nationhood by Contributing Editor - Puerto Rico Report

The Note: Run For The Border - ABC News

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ABC News

The Note: Run For The Border
ABC News
The report looked at demographic data collected from the 2011 American Community Survey. The report also examined U.S. citizenship, education levels and median income among U.S.Hispanics. Puerto Ricans make up the second largest group,... 

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RUSSIA and THE WEST - РОССИЯ и ЗАПАД: Russia's Eurasian Union Could Endanger The Neighbo...

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RUSSIA and THE WEST - РОССИЯ и ЗАПАД: Russia's Eurasian Union Could Endanger The Neighbo...: »   Russia's Eurasian Union Could Endanger The Neighborhood And ... 15/06/13 01:22 from  russia's and china's interests in puert...

The United States Is Still Pretty Popular In Russia - Forbes

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The United States Is Still Pretty Popular In Russia
While Russian state-owned media does traffic in more than its fair share of anti-American and anti-Western conspiracy theories, you don't need to look very far to find Russian TV spouting some pretty strange ideas on, well, almost anything, I've always ...

UN Panel Notes Plebiscite Vote, Calls for Statehood or Nationhood 

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The United Nations committee on ‘decolonization’ Monday unanimously called upon the United States for a process to replace Puerto Rico’s territory status with U.S. statehood or nationhood, whichever may be chosen by the people of the islands.
The committee, which is charged with helping to implement a 1960 U.N. resolution on self-determination and independence, has been discussing Puerto Rico’s status since 1967 and passing annual resolutions on it since 1972.
Despite committee efforts, however, the resolutions have not advanced in the U.N.  The failure is due to U.S. opposition.
The U.S. does not recognize committee jurisdiction over Puerto Rico and does not cooperate with the committee. The U.S. considers Puerto Rico’s status to be an internal matter and does not want to answer to a committee that on Puerto Rico questions has been dominated by governments unfriendly to the U.S. and less democratic than the U.S., such as Cuba and Venezuela.
The U.S. was relieved of the responsibility of reporting to the U.N. on Puerto Rico in 1953 after the territory’s constitution was approved.  Countries generally have to report annually to the U.N. on their Non-Self-Governing Territories.
Although the constitution substantially completed the U.S. process of permitting Puerto Rico to exercise self-government on local affairs, Puerto Rico did not — and still does not — enjoy self-government at the national government level.  And its local governing authority remained — and remains — subject to the authority of Congress for the governing of the territory.
This lack of democracy was recognized by a majority of U.N. General Assembly members when the U.S. was absolved of the responsibility to report on Puerto Rico.  A majority refused to vote for a U.S. resolution — made at the request of the “commonwealth” party-dominated Government of Puerto Rico — on ending U.S. reporting. Thirty-four countries either voted against the resolution or did not vote compared with 26 that voted in favor.  U.S. officials did everything that they could to pass the resolution, even obtaining a statement from President Eisenhower and overstating the territory’s autonomy.
‘Commonwealthers’ have claimed that the end of U.S. reporting meant that Puerto Rico is no longer a territory.  And the “commonwealth” party president, Governor Alejandro Garcia Padilla, suggested that in reaction to the committee action Monday.
But U.S. officials did not agree that Puerto Rico was not a territory even when acting to discontinue reporting to the U.N. on the islands.
And perhaps Puerto Rico’s leading official on obtaining an end to U.S. reporting, later Chief Justice Jose Trias Monge, wrote, “There was little sense of triumph among” the party leadership “after the United Nations vote and even second thoughts as to whether it had been wise.”
The decolonization committee resolution noted that the people of Puerto Rico “mostly rejected” the territory’s “current status of political subordination “ in a plebiscite held along the general elections for office last November. The vote was 54% against the current status often misleadingly called “commonwealth” and 61.2% for U.S. statehood among the alternatives, with nationhood in a non-binding association with the U.S. obtaining 33.34% and independence 5.49%.
The committee also considered Puerto Rico to be a “nation” and expressed concern about unspecified alleged “actions carried out against Puerto Rican independence fighters.” This seems to have been a reference to insular and U.S. government actions a half a century ago and earlier.
The resolution similarly called for the U.S. Government to release from prison two Puerto Rican “political prisoners.”  The two committed other crimes in the name of Puerto Rican independence.
The Committee also stated that the U.S. Government should “return … occupied land” that it acquired from owners on the Puerto Rican islands of Vieques and Culebra and clean the land.  The properties were formerly  used for military training, and a major cleanup effort has been underway for years.
The Cuba-written resolution was passed immediately after the committee heard from dozens of petitioners.
Puerto Rico’s representative to the Federal government, Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi, was the most prominent, appearing on behalf of the territory’s statehood party.  He said that Puerto Rico was still a non-self-governing territory, Puerto Ricans had voted for statehood and “the will of the people” should be “respected”. But he also said that there should be a process for obtaining statehood or nationhood.
A statement on behalf of 14 “commonwealth” party leaders was at odds with their party’s leadership.  Puerto Rico House of Representatives Member Luis Vega Ramos delivered the statement.  The group acknowledged that Puerto Rico remains a territory and called for a local status assembly if President Obama’s proposal for another referendum on the islands’ status does not become law by October 1st.
“Commonwealth” party president Governor Garcia generally — but not always — asserts that Puerto Rico is not a territory and has said that he will seek a status assembly sometime next year (vs. this October 1st) if Obama’s legislation does not pass.
Pro-statehood non-territory status choice activist Ricky Rossello and the group that represented nationhood in a non-binding association with the U.S. during the 2012 plebiscite campaign called for the U.N. General Assembly to require the U.S. to resume annual reporting on Puerto Rico.

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Weekly #USjobless aid applications rise to 354K . Read: #cari... 

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Weekly #USjobless aid applications rise to 354K . Read: #caribbeanbusiness

Immigration reform should protect families

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The immigration reform bill now being debated on the floor of the US Senate, while not perfect, would bring millions of undocumented immigrants and their families out of the shadows, and deserves to be passed into law.

Key sections recognize the harm caused to families by the current system -- especially "mixed status" families deeply rooted in the US but living day to day in fear of being split apart after a traffic stop or an immigration raid.
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Bipartisan Hemp Amendment Passes House Over DEA Objections - Huffington Post

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Bipartisan Hemp Amendment Passes House Over DEA Objections
Huffington Post
Other hemp advocates were bullish about House passage, having had a chance encounter with Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) at the Kentucky Derby in early May. The state'sagriculture commissioner, James Comer, bent the ear of Boehner and his chief of ...

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Puerto Rico authorities discover heroin and cocaine inside vehicles

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SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- US Customs and Border Protection officers discovered 7.3 kilograms of heroin concealed within a vehicle arriving from the Dominican Republic on the ferry on Monday.

National Guard turns out Champs

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The National Guard of the United States is a reserve military force composed of National Guard military members or units of each state and the territories of Guam and the Virgin Islands plus the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico and the District of Columbia under federally recognized active or inactive armed force service for the United States.

Immigration reform: Good for America and our economy

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For decades our county has largely ignored the 11 million illegal or undocumented immigrants living within the United States.  It is time for us to open our eyes and confront the problem staring us in the face.  By not addressing the issue, we place an unnecessary burden on American households and hinder our economy from growing to its full potential.  Members of Congress must now come together and allow immigration reform to go through an open and transparent process in order to create a bill that works best for all Americans.

US to send more federal agents to help fight drug trafficking in Puerto Rico

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SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico - Puerto Rico's representative in Congress says additional federal law enforcement agents will be deployed to the U.S. territory this summer to help fight a surge in drug-fueled violence.
Pedro Pierluisi said Thursday that the Department of Defence also will provide a report in the next three months on what actions it's taking to crack down on drug trafficking in the region.
His spokeswoman Dennise Perez says they do not yet know how many agents will be sent to Puerto Rico.
The House Appropriations Committee has said data seems to indicate that U.S. Caribbean territories have become a popular transshipment route for drug traffickers.
The island of 3.7 million people reported a record 1,117 killings in 2011, with police attributing the majority of slayings to drug trafficking.

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