Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

together with pride.” The self-determination process must be honest.

Finally, Mr. Chairman, as you and Chairmen Burton, Gallegly, and Gilman wrote in 1996 in response to the results of the plebiscite, there is a need in Congress to define the real options for change and the true legal and political nature of the status quo, so that the people can know what the actual choices will be in the future. This you have accomplished in this bill. All the status options as defined in the bill are capable of constitutional implementation.

The statehood definition is a good example. Puerto Rico will know that statehood will mean first class United States citizenship, a vote for President and Members of Congress, guaranteed United States citizenship for, full funding of Federal programs, and the continuation of both English and Spanish as the official languages of Puerto Rico.

Thus, initiative to rewrite this definition must be resisted, particularly efforts in Congress to really define statehood—redefine the statehood definition by establishing English as the official language or requiring English in Puerto Rico as the official language must be viewed as an attempt to compromise the self-determination process by forcing voters to choose, regardless of constitutionality, between retaining Spanish and voting for statehood.

The Constitution aside, we should recognize in this shrinking world that building linguistic bridges will enrich this Nation. In this respect, the bill wisely seeks to promote understanding and use of English in Puerto Rico, a skill not only necessary to participate fully in American society, but equally important as a tool for commercial success.

In conclusion, I encourage the Committee to have this bill passed by the full House as it now stands. Puerto Rico stands as an anomaly to the rest of the free world: The most populous colony, disenfranchized, administered by the foremost champion of democracy and self-determination.

Puerto Rico has endured half a millenium of its colonial rule. Puerto Rico must enter the new millenium in full control of its destiny, as either a State or as an independent nation. Passage of the United States-Puerto Rico Political Status Act will serve America and Puerto Rico well at home and abroad.

May God bless us all. And just a few words in Spanish.

Permítanme decirles estos... A estos miles de republicanos y demócratas estadistas, que estén conscientes de estos puntos. Puerto Rico tiene que defender y asegurar su ciudadanía Americana, obtener el voto presidencial, obtener el derecho a dos senadores y siete representantes en el Congreso de los Estados Unidos y obtener iguales derechos en fondos Federales que otros estados de la nación Americana. Puerto Rico tiene que defender su cultura y sus tradiciones y sus dos idiomas, Español e Inglés. Queremos ser el próximo estado de la unión. Ahora, no de aquí a quinientos años.

(Applause.)

El ideal de la estadidad de Barboza y Martinez Nadal vive en nuestros corazones y vivirá hasta que consigamos ser el próximo estado de la unión Americana.

Que Dios nos bendiga a todos y a toda esta juventud que será el futuro de nuestro Puerto Rico.

[Applause.]
[The prepared statement of Ms. Fonalledas follows:)

TESTIMONY

OF

ZORAIDA FONALLEDAS,

REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEEWOMAN

FOR

PUERTO RICO,

BEFORE

THE

HOUSE RESOURCES COMMITTEE

ON H.R. 856

"UNITED STATES-PUERTO RICO POLITICAL STATUS ACT”

SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO

APRIL 19, 1997

Submitted 4-17-97

[blocks in formation]

MY NAME IS ZORAIDA FONALLEDÀS. ON BEHALF OF THE REPUBLICAN

PARTY OF PUERTO RICO IWELCOME YOU TO OUR BEAUTIFUL ISLAND.

I ONLY WISH THAT MY GRANDFATHER, SENATE PRESIDENT RAFAEL

MARTINEZ-NADAL, COULD HAVE LIVED TO SHARE THIS HISTORICAL

DAY WITH ME. HE JOINED THE REPUBLICAN PARTY IN 1904, JUST FIVE

YEARS AFTER ITS FOUNDING, AND DEVOTED HIS ENTIRE PUBLIC LIFE

TO SEE HIS DREAM OF THE STARS AND STRIPES, FIRST BROUGHT

ASHORE BY UNITED STATES MARINES IN 1898, RAISED OVER PUERTO

RICO NOT WITH THE FORTY-FIVE STARS OF HIS YOUTH BUT WITH THE

FIFTY-ONE THAT WOULD UNITE FOREVER OUR TWO GREAT PEOPLES.

I APPLAUD THE COMMITTEE’S ON-GOING EFFORTS TO PROVIDE A

CONGRESSIONAL PROCESS THAT WILL FINALLY GIVE OUR 3.7 MILLION

UNITED STATES CITIZENS THE RIGHT TO FREELY DETERMINE THEIR

POLITICAL STATUS AND TO RESOLVE THE CENTURY OLD POLITICAL

RELATIONSHIP WITH THE UNITED STATES.

AS THE REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEEWOMAN FOR PUERTO

RICO, I AM PROUD THAT OUR PARTY'S PLATFORM AND PRESIDENT'S

NIXON, FORD, REAGAN AND BUSH HAVE ENDORSED PUERTO RICO

SELF-DETERMINATION IN GENERAL AND PUERTO RICO STATEHOOD IN

[blocks in formation]

COMMITMENT TO THESE GOALS. GOALS WHICH, I AM HAPPY TO SAY,

HAVE BEEN EMBRACED BY HOUSE MEMBERS FROM BOTH SIDES OF

THE AISLE AS EVIDENCED BY THE BILL'S BROAD BIPARTISAN

SPONSORSHIP. CLEAR EVIDENCE

POINTING TO THE

ULTIMATE

PASSAGE OF HR 856.

TODAY I WOULD LIKE TO MAKE THREE POINTS ABOUT HR 856.

[blocks in formation]

AFTER 400 YEARS OF SPANISH RULE AND A CENTURY OF AMERICAN

ADMINISTRATION WE IN PUERTO RICO HAVE EARNED OUR RIGHT TO

FIRST CLASS CITIZENSHIP. HR 856 PROVIDES A PROCESS BY WHICH

THAT GOAL MAY BE ACHIEVED.

« ZurückWeiter »