AMERICA/PUERTO RICO - Mgr. González Nieves: "Necessity to re-build Puerto Rico, but we must be united"

Tuesday, 3 May 2016 politics   economy   bishops   poverty  

San Juan (Agenzia Fides) - "Today, the country asks us not to remain silent. Silence means to resign. And we Puerto Ricans are men of peace, but we are not resigned": with these words the Archbishop of San Juan of Puerto Rico, the Franciscan Mgr. Roberto González Nieves, spoke in New York, during the forum held at the Center for Puerto Rican Studies at Hunter College, on 22 and 23 April, entitled "Refundemos a Puerto Rico."
In his speech, Mgr. González primarily addressed the Puerto Rican immigrants in New York and the children of immigrants born in the North American country, stressing that "any reflection on the Puerto Rican people that excludes Puerto Ricans of the diaspora would be incomplete". He continued: "We Puerto Ricans are divided and polarized, we are not united. Our unity is necessary if we want to progress, if we eliminate the inequalities among us and we manage to live with our different points of view in a spirit of mutual respect, with love and mercy. In this sense, the effort to rebuild our Country can become a project to create that unity which is so necessary and desired by all Puerto Ricans".
The Forum in New York also dealt with the economic and political situation related to the serious crisis affecting Puerto Rico (see Fides 18/3/2016, 12/4/2016, 21/4/2016). At the end of 2015 there were about 3 and a half million inhabitants in the country, while there were about 5 million abroad (mainly in the USA). Only in recent months about 500 thousand residents left the country in an official way.
The government of Puerto Rico has been unable to pay their debts. Governor Alejandro García Padilla announced missed payments on May 1, in a televised speech, and implored the US Congress to give Puerto Rico the legal tools needed to restructure its debt. (CE) (Agenzia Fides, 03/05/2016)