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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

Aponte Hernández slams suggestion that stateside Puerto Ricans should have a rep in cabinet

Rep. José Aponte Hernández

By The Star Staff

As next year’s elections draw closer, it’s no surprise to see opposing parties throwing shade at each other. While the Popular Democratic Party and the New Progressive Party (NPP) have been trading shots during the past few weeks, especially after Resident Commissioner Jenniffer González Colón’s and Gov. Pedro Pierluisi Urrutia’s announcements to run for governor, one particular party has mostly stayed out of the bickering.

Now it seems the NPP is not having it with any party, as they seem to be after the third of the island’s traditional political parties, the Puerto Rican Independence Party.

NPP Rep. José Aponte Hernández on Monday denounced a proposal by PIP Secretary General Juan Dalmau Ramírez for Puerto Ricans who live in the mainland United States to have representation in the governor’s cabinet.

“This proposal is so wrong on so many fronts that it almost does not merit comment,” said Aponte Hernández, a former speaker of the island House of Representatives. “First of all, American citizens who were born in Puerto Rico and now live in the States …, they are not a diaspora and they did it seeking a better quality of life for themselves and their families, a quality of life that in Puerto Rico, because it is a colony, they cannot have and that the PIP denies them.”

“Meanwhile, Dalmau supports autocratic and dictatorial regimes in Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua, North Korea and the Russian Federation,” the at-large lawmaker said in a writtens statement. “These regimes oppress their citizens, eliminate free expression and force the exile of hundreds of thousands of their citizens. Dalmau supports and applauds them. The question is simple: Why doesn’t Dalmau propose that exiles from Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua, North Korea and the Federation Russians who live freely in the United States have a seat in the cabinet of their governments?”

Aponte Hernández made his statements after Dalmau Ramírez said at a meeting in Chicago that a group of American citizens born on the island “should have a vote in the politics of the government [of Puerto Rico],” and for this purpose he proposed that they have representation in the governor’s cabinet.

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