Sunday, September 14, 2008

Obama, McCain and Boricuas

National Congress for Puerto Rican Rights Challenges Presidential Candidates to Address Critical Issues Affecting Puerto Ricans

The National Congress for Puerto Rican Rights (NCPRR), a civil rights organization that addresses issues of racial equality, environmental justice and economic parity, has written to presidential candidates John McCain and Barack Obama seeking a dialogue with the Puerto Rican community on the candidates’ positions and ideas for Puerto Ricans in the United States.

The letter reads in part, “(t)he Puerto Rican community,…has struggled to unite and set a course that will define our people in terms of respect, dignity and prosperity. Despite the evidence of our condition, Puerto Ricans continue to lack equal voting rights, adequate economic opportunities or equal protection of the law.”

In the letter, the NCPRR asks candidates their strategies to advance the living standards and civil rights of Puerto Ricans both in the United States and in Puerto Rico.

“Our community votes and we should know the intentions of candidates whose policies and perspectives will impact the well-being of Puerto Ricans,” said Victor Vazquez-Hernandez, president of the NCPRR. “We want the candidates to provide answers to our community on questions affecting their well-being, and to let us know if either will finally lead the change that will cause the 8,000,000 Puerto Ricans who are citizens of the United States to finally realize equal treatment before the law.”

The letter invites the candidates to collaborate with the NCPRR to develop a means for communication with the Puerto Rican community.

“We are willing to work with the candidates to creatively set up a discussion that will allow our community to understand the candidates’ positions," said Vazquez-Hernandez, a professor of history at Miami Dade College, who is a Vietnam Era veteran and a lifetime member of the Disabled American Veterans (DAV). "Our children are also dying in Iraq and Afghanistan, and we should know what the future will bring from these candidates.”

source: press release from the NCPRR
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