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  • Writer's pictureThe San Juan Daily Star

NPP lawmakers head to Washington to lobby for statehood

Rep. José Aponte Hernández

By The Star Staff

As part of his agenda to advance statehood in the U.S. capital, Rep. José Aponte Hernández was to leave Monday afternoon for Washington, D.C. for a series of meetings with members of Congress.

Fellow New Progressive Party (NPP) Reps. Ángel Morey Noble and José “Che” Pérez Cordero were to travel with the former speaker of the island House of Representatives.

“Continuing our efforts in favor of equal rights for the residents of Puerto Rico, today we will be leaving for the federal capital, where we will hold a series of meetings with members of Congress, as well as officials, both from the Senate and the U.S. House of Representatives, to emphasize the urgency of completing the process that began in 1917 with the signing of the federal Jones-Shafroth (Jones) Act,” Aponte said.

“This is a new Congress, divided, as the Senate is controlled by Democrats and the House of Representatives by Republicans,” he added. “In both bodies, the majority is only a handful of votes. Puerto Rico, being a colony, the oldest in the world, does not have the right to vote; that is what we want to change. Both Republicans and Democrats need to understand that the time has come to give us the equal rights that can only be achieved with statehood.”

“Our message will be one: the issue of Puerto Rico has to be one of the priorities of the congressional leadership from both national parties,” said Aponte Hernández, who also serves as the NPP’s assistant secretary for ideological affairs. “It is time to conclude the path that began on March 2, 1917; it is time to grant us statehood.”

The trip comes during the week that commemorates American Citizenship Day. The two-time NPP secretary general will be back on the island to participate in Thursday’s events celebrating American citizenship.

As part of the activities, the NPP’s Statehood Mission Institute will be making a radio broadcast between 4 and 6 p.m. on Borinquen Radio 680 AM, as well as on the social network Facebook.

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