2.17.2008

Puerto Rico's Anibal Acevedo-Vila Endorses Barack Obama

Well I'll be. Puerto Rico Governor Anibal Acevedo-Vila has endorsed Barack Obama for president (See statement below). Another blow to the Clintonistas which assumed that the NY Junior Senator had the island's 63 delegates in the bag, too.

It's a little surprising to me because the governor is so chummy with big Hillary booster, and ethics nightmare, U.S. Senator Robert Menendez. I guess U.S. Rep. Luis Gutierrez and Dennis Rivera of the SEIU had something to do in persuading Anibal to act boldly. Of course, it could also be that Ms Hillary is not all that popular among La Isla del Encanto's voters.

Very cool!

Today I announce my endorsement of Senator Barack Obama for President of the United States. Not only is he the right leader for Puerto Ricans, but he is the right leader for the Hispanic community and the right leader to unite all Americans. He has the determination to make our collective future great.

Senator Obama demonstrates the strongest commitment to Puerto Rico that we have seen in recent times in U.S. politics. Most importantly, he has pledged to me that as President he will work to advance job creation and economic development in Puerto Rico-my highest priorities as Governor.

Puerto Rico's Commonwealth relationship with the United States is a treasured part of our identity and a critical tool for achieving our economic development goals. Senator Obama respects and supports Puerto Ricans' right to an unbiased, transparent self-determination process, which may include a constitutional convention or plebiscite, should Puerto Ricans reevaluate our status with the United States. He rejects the recent assertions made by a controversial Presidential Task Force on Puerto Rico which falsely declared our Commonwealth status as unconstitutional and which would force Puerto Ricans to choose between only statehood and full independence from the United States. Senator Obama believes that our fate as U.S. citizens should remain in our own hands.

Senator Obama shares my goals for improving access to affordable healthcare through Medicaid and other federal health care assistance programs, and providing quality education for all Puerto Ricans. Additionally, he has pledged his commitment to ensure the proper clean-up of the U.S. Navy site on Vieques, the health of Vieques' people and the successful use of this land.

Senator Clinton has been a valued friend to Puerto Ricans on the island and U.S. mainland, including many in New York. Her support cannot go unrecognized and on behalf of all Puerto Ricans, I thank her for her leadership.

Great leaders like Senator Obama are defined by their visionary leadership - but also by their willingness to listen to, and learn from, the voices of citizens. The four million Puerto Ricans on the Island, along with the four million across the U.S. mainland, are seeking such a leader as President. Senator Obama has answered our call, by hearing Puerto Ricans' desire to advance our economic, social and political aspirations. I am proud to endorse Barack Obama for President.