With over 350 participants and 30 elected officials from 17 states-The Face of the Puerto Rican Diaspora is manifested in Orlando Gathering

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    Demands include:

    • Hold US Gov’t Accountable for Island’s Fiscal and Environmental Crisis • Health equity for Puerto Rico • Freedom for Oscar López Rivera

    A contingent of Chicago Puerto Rican leaders joined over 350 members of the Puerto Rican diaspora in Orlando, Florida on October 13-14. After many months of planning and negotiation, this unprecedented event provided a unique and sorely needed space for discussion and debate on issues of great importance to the Puerto Rican nation. These issues included Puerto Rico’s current economic and fiscal crisis, healthcare reform, the environment, civil rights, and the campaign to free Oscar López-Rivera. More broadly, this gathering in Orlando signals a growing unity among members of the Puerto Rican diaspora and growing interest in the formation of a national Puerto Rican agenda. Indeed, among those present were 21 Puerto Rican elected officials, including Congress persons Nydia Velázquez (NY), Luis Gutiérrez (IL), and (via Skype) José Serrano (NY). Congresspersons Alan Grayson (FL) and Brendan Boyle (PA) were also present in solidarity. Participation by the local Puerto Rican population and leadership of Central Florida made its presence felt throughout the gathering. In the months to come, La Voz will continue to report on new developments set in motion by this historic event. La Voz del Paseo Boricua is proud to reproduce the following articles which include one of the opening statements of the gathering debut by José E. López, and an article reproduced from Claridad written by Enrique Fernández Toledo, former senior policy analyst for Congressman Luis V. Gutiérrez, as well as two other pieces on the topics covered in the Orlando event.

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