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Statehood for Puerto Rico By Councilman Rev. Ruben Diaz

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You should know, for many years I thought that the only (2) two elected officials, in New York, who favored statehood for Puerto Rico, were my son Ruben Diaz Jr., the Bronx Borough President and I member of the NYC Council.

But life surprisingly, hands you surprises, and surprise, surprise. Did you know that the Hon. Richie Torres, since having been elected to Congress, has been an outspoken supporter taking a fervent position on behalf of Statehood for Puerto Rico! Congratulations Congressman!

You should know, that this has been my position for decades. My struggle for Puerto Rico’s Statehood goes way back to (1986). Back then I joined the struggle for statehood with the Hon.  Ramón Luis Rivera Sr., Mayor of Bayamon, Puerto Rico, and the late Senator for Bayamon, the Hon. Senator Anibal Marrero Perez. We collaborated together to help bring an end to the colonization of Puerto Rico and we did so by organizing an event we called “Abrazo Boricua in New York.” During this auspicious event we would sponsor a delegation of Puerto Rican leaders from the New Progressive Party of Puerto Rico (El Partido Nuevo Progresista P.N.P.) Said event would honorthese leaders for their arduous struggle for Statehood. The intent was to bring the issue of Statehood to the forefront.

Since then in the trajectory of a span of 30 years, The “Abrazo Boricua In New York”has dedicated and honored Puerto Rican Statehood leaders such as the Hon. Don Luis A. Ferrer, (known as the father of Statehood) the Hon. Ramon Luis Rivera Sr., Hon. Don Carlos Romero Barceló, Hon. Ramon Luis Rivera Jr., Hon. Pedro Roselló,; Mayors Pilar Rodriguez, Manuela Santiago, Edna Figueroa, Hon.Roberto Rexach, Benitez, Hon. Charlie Rodriguez, Hon. Edison Misla Aldarondo, Hon. Carlos I. Pesquera, Hon. Hector O'Neill, Hon. Luis Fortuño, Hon. Antonio (Toñito) Silva, Hon. Edwin Rivera Sierra, Hon. Victor Soto, Hon. Peggy Hernandez Anastos, Hon. Leo Diaz, Hon. Anibal Vega,-Borges, Hon. Edwin (El Amolao) Sierra, Hon. Angel Cabrera (Buzo) and Hon. Ricardo (Ricky) Roselló and many others.

My dedication to Puerto Rico’s statehood has been evident for many years, not only for my arduous support on behalf of our Pro-Statehood pioneers, but by the many years I have proudly worn the statehood symbol on my jackets lapel. That symbol is a star, which represents the 51st  star that we, pro-statehooders dream that one day that star will be added as the 51st star on to the Flag of the United States of America. This star was created, by the then Gov. the Hon. Don Pedro Roselló, that's why it is called "The Star of Rosselló.”, and all statehooders proudly wear it.

I never leave my house without the 51st Star on my Lapel. 

It is important that you know that one of the main reasons why I was compelled to runfor Congress was to fight on behalf of statehood for Puerto Rico. I was defeated by Richie Torres at the time. However, I am extremely pleased, surprised yes, thatCongressman Torres has come out on behalf of statehood for Puerto Rico.  It gives me a sense that my efforts and struggles throughout the years have not been in vain. 

So, on behalf of all us the pioneers, and statehooders for Puerto Rico, I thank you Congressman Torres.  Please never be swayed or abandon this most noble and just cause for our people on the island.

I am Councilman Rev. Ruben Diaz, and this is what you should know.

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