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In: Gardini, G. Koschut and A. Ayuso, Anna; Gardini, Gian Luca. Interregionalism across the Atlantic Space. Springer International Publishing, , pp.
Ayuso, Anna. Beerderberg Magazine. Istituto per gli studi di poitica internazionale ISPI. Foreign Affairs Latinoamerica. Contemporary Spanish Foreign Policy. Reino Unido: Routledge, En: Pi Llorens, M. Madrid: Marcial Pons, Ayuso, Anna ; Villar, Santiago.
Integration Processes in Latin America. Near the Caribbean islands of Hispaniola and Cuba lies another, smaller island, the inhabitants of which have never experienced sovereignty. Four centuries later, the decadence of the Spanish royalty had significantly weakened the once-formidable imperial structure. The Spanish-American War of became the capstone of the demise of the Spanish empire and the Treaty of Paris ceded control of several Spanish-held islands to the United States. Of the territorial possessions to change hands in , Puerto Rico is the only one that persists in a state of colonialism to this day.
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Malavet, a law professor at the University of Florida who has studied the subject extensively. Puerto Rican cultural nationalism has persisted through various stages of history, through drives for independence and efforts at assimilation. In fact, some of the strongest cultural nationalism is exhibited by Puerto Ricans living in the United States.
Far from promoting the democratic republican ideals associated with the U. According to writer, lawyer and political analyst Juan M. In De Lima v Bidwell , the Court determined that Puerto Rico was not a foreign country — at least for the purpose of import taxes. But in Downes v Bidwell , it held that the island was not part of the U. The decision was neither undisputed nor unqualified. Despite these warnings, however, Congress with the assent of the Supreme Court continued to construct Puerto Rico as a dependent colonial possession, a status from which, more than a century later, the island has yet to escape.
The civilian government introduced under the Foraker Act was appointed primarily by the president of the United States. The Jones Act can be said to have bestowed or imposed U. But this citizenship does not include the full rights guaranteed to citizens in the fifty states. Americanization, although focused primarily on English language instruction to facilitate assimilation, included persecution of the independence movement. Significantly, Puerto Ricans, who had developed a national identity under Spanish rule, rejected the efforts at forced cultural substitution.
Not only was the U. One of the most fateful decisions the government made was to promote sugarcane as a single crop. The dominance of sugarcane production undermined the coffee and tobacco economies in the mountain areas, allowed sugar corporations to monopolize the land and subjected workers to the cane growing cycle, forcing them into debt in the dead season and exacerbating the problems of poverty and inequality already present on the island.
The economic policy of the early 20th century was a disaster for Puerto Rico. Its accomplishments were limited to widening the gap in Puerto Rican society, intensifying poverty on the island and creating the conditions of dependency on the United States from which it has yet to escape. The American indifference to Puerto Rican cultural objectives, political demands and economic needs led to an initially determined drive for independence.
One of the most prominent figures of the independence movement was Pedro Albizu Campos. The strike was a response to the wage cuts imposed by U. Faced with a reduction of already marginal incomes, the workers organized a nationwide strike that paralyzed the sugar industry. Albizu Campos based his argument for independence on the fact that Spain had granted Puerto Rico autonomy in , before the Spanish-American War and before the Treaty of Paris.
Therefore, he contended that Spain had no right to hand over Puerto Rico to the United States as war plunder. Unfortunately for Puerto Rico, autonomy does not equate to sovereignty. Sovereignty is not a condition that Puerto Rico has ever experienced. But there has been a significant push for an independent Puerto Rico. Nevertheless, this movement has been consistently and violently repressed. In , a peaceful protest in support of Puerto Rican independence was organized in Ponce. Shortly before the demonstration was to begin, then Governor General Blanton Winship revoked the previously issued permits.
Police surrounded the march and, as it began, opened fire on the activists, leaving 21 dead and wounded. The Ponce Massacre is one of the better known examples of the use of violence to silence the independence movement, but by no means was it an isolated event. The United States, despite its disregard for the Puerto Rican people, placed a high premium on the use of the island for military purposes.
This was highlighted by the location of both the Caribbean and South Atlantic U. Naval Commands in the 37, acre naval base Roosevelt Roads, which closed in The obvious alternative to independence is statehood, an option which entails a certain degree of assimilation. In , President Gerald Ford declared that it was time for Puerto Rico to become fully assimilated as the 51st state. But there was strong opposition, not only from island independentistas, but from American politicians, some of whom were determined to refuse Puerto Rico admission to the union without instituting English as the official language of the island.
In the s, there was lingering xenophobic objection to Puerto Rican statehood as well as echoes of the linguistic intolerance exhibited in the s. They catered to the U. Congress as much as possible in order to try to direct the future of the island toward full incorporation into the United States. However, this assimilationist push for statehood, embodied by the proposed education reforms was flatly rejected by the population. Puerto Ricans favor neither independence nor assimilation in crushing numbers. They are reluctant to forego the benefits of U. This cultural nationhood emerged in the 17th and 18th centuries.
As more Spaniards were born in Puerto Rico, they developed a distinct criollo cultural identity, inextricably linked to the island. Towards the end of the 19th century, the criollos began to push for greater independence from the distant fatherland. In March , the first autonomous government was established under Spanish rule. Despite its imperfections, the autonomous charter indicated the growing nationalist sentiment on the island. Unfortunately, the United States invaded the island before it was ever granted independence. Nevertheless, this criollo culture was sufficiently strong and entrenched to withstand the onslaught of the Americanization effort.
Rather than simply creating a unique Puerto Rican identity, early nationalists defined Puerto Ricanness strictly in contrast to Americanness. To a large extent, this accounts for the rejection of English or even bilingualism in favor of Spanish, which is perceived as an important part of contemporary Puerto Rican identity. Michelangelo was no less Italian than Mussolini. This is not a political act, but a cultural fact.
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It must lead to either independence or incorporation. Additionally, Puerto Ricans self-identify as a nation. There appears to be no reason for Puerto Rico to continue as anything other than an independent nation-state. In this vein, then Governor of Puerto Rico, Anibal Acevedo Vila, spoke before the UN General Assembly last year, accusing the Bush administration of denying the island its right to chart its own course and demonstrating a sense of frustration with the aimless direction in which the United States has dragged Puerto Rico.
This seems to imply preference for autonomy, if not sovereignty. But while Puerto Ricans certainly insist upon their autonomy, there is no such consensus on independence — that option has never garnered more than five percent of the vote in any of the status plebiscites. Puerto Ricans are not ready to give up their ability to hop across the blue pond on a whim.
Despite the fact that the United States continuously exploits the island — its resources and its people — , most Puerto Ricans perceive the benefits of their relationship to the United States as outweighing the costs. The greatest opposition to Puerto Rican statehood would come from xenophobic American politicians arguing that Puerto Ricans are inassimilable. This combination of factors could tilt the balance in favor of statehood over independence. Because Puerto Ricans perceive their economic interests as being tied to their connection to the mainland, they are likely to opt for a status that allows them to maintain the current relationship virtually unaltered.
While the majority of island intellectuals may advocate independence, it is important to note that the majority of islanders are not intellectuals. House of Representatives, seeking authorization from Congress to allow Puerto Rico to conduct a series of plebiscites to determine the preferred future status of the island.
However, the bill does not commit Congress to act on the results of the plebiscites and, although it presents Puerto Ricans with and opportunity to choose a reasonable permanent status, it also allows them to perpetuate themselves in an unacceptable state of colonialism indefinitely. Under this tragic construct, Puerto Ricans believe that they lack the economic power to succeed as an independent nation — that they lack the intellectual and moral capacity for government.
They have consistently expressed no desire whatsoever to be categorized as a sovereign state. Although this is not necessarily the ideal status for the island, it is undeniably preferable to its current second-class existence. What is most important is that the island ceases to be a territorial possession. Puerto Rico cannot — will not — be the exception to this rule. In spite of the strong cultural nationalism that permeates contemporary Puerto Rican society, the economic benefits of statehood are likely to be the most influential factor in a status vote.
Statehood entails a certain degree of assimilation. For instance, Puerto Rican athletes will now have to compete for spots on the U. Olympic team before heading to the international event. This absorption into the United States certainly erodes the sense of Puerto Rican nationhood as Puerto Rico is no longer able to represent itself as a specific entity on a world stage.
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However, this should not hugely effect the continuation of a thriving Puerto Rican culture distinct from American culture. Moreover, there are definite advantages to becoming a state, not least the expansion of Medicare and the ability to vote. If the territory joins the Union, it will be nearly impossible for the U. And if the population decides that the economic benefits of statehood do not outweigh the cultural costs, perhaps the shock of losing their Olympic team will spark a widespread Puerto Rican independence movement.
The following is the text of the Judge Mario G. Judge Reynoso, thank you for that lovely introduction. I am humbled to be speaking behind a man who has contributed so much to the Hispanic community. I am also grateful to have such kind words said about me. I am delighted to be here. It is nice to escape my hometown for just a little bit. It is also nice to say hello to old friends who are in the audience, to rekindle contact with old acquaintances and to make new friends among those of you in the audience.
It is particularly heart warming to me to be attending a conference to which I was invited by a Latina law school friend, Rachel Moran, who is now an accomplished and widely respected legal scholar. I warn Latinos in this room: Latinas are making a lot of progress in the old-boy network.
I am also deeply honored to have been asked to deliver the annual Judge Mario G. Olmos lecture. I am joining a remarkable group of prior speakers who have given this lecture. I hope what I speak about today continues to promote the legacy of that man whose commitment to public service and abiding dedication to promoting equality and justice for all people inspired this memorial lecture and the conference that will follow. And for the privilege you have bestowed on me in honoring the memory of a very special person. If I and the many people of this conference can accomplish a fraction of what Judge Olmos did in his short but extraordinary life we and our respective communities will be infinitely better.
I intend tonight to touch upon the themes that this conference will be discussing this weekend and to talk to you about my Latina identity, where it came from, and the influence I perceive it has on my presence on the bench. Who am I? Like many other immigrants to this great land, my parents came because of poverty and to attempt to find and secure a better life for themselves and the family that they hoped to have. They largely succeeded. For that, my brother and I are very grateful. The story of that success is what made me and what makes me the Latina that I am.
The Latina side of my identity was forged and closely nurtured by my family through our shared experiences and traditions. For me, a very special part of my being Latina is the mucho platos de arroz, gandules y pernil — rice, beans and pork — that I have eaten at countless family holidays and special events. I bet the Mexican-Americans in this room are thinking that Puerto Ricans have unusual food tastes.
Some of us, like me, do. Part of my Latina identity is the sound of merengue at all our family parties and the heart wrenching Spanish love songs that we enjoy. It is the memory of Saturday afternoon at the movies with my aunt and cousins watching Cantinflas, who is not Puerto Rican, but who was an icon Spanish comedian on par with Abbot and Costello of my generation. They were my friends as I grew up. Being a Latina child was watching the adults playing dominos on Saturday night and us kids playing loteria, bingo, with my grandmother calling out the numbers which we marked on our cards with chick peas.
Now, does any one of these things make me a Latina? Obviously not because each of our Carribean and Latin American communities has their own unique food and different traditions at the holidays. I only learned about tacos in college from my Mexican-American roommate. Being a Latina in America also does not mean speaking Spanish.
I happen to speak it fairly well. But my brother, only three years younger, like too many of us educated here, barely speaks it. Most of us born and bred here, speak it very poorly. If I had pursued my career in my undergraduate history major, I would likely provide you with a very academic description of what being a Latino or Latina means. For example, I could define Latinos as those peoples and cultures populated or colonized by Spain who maintained or adopted Spanish or Spanish Creole as their language of communication.
You can tell that I have been very well educated. It does not provide an adequate explanation of why individuals like us, many of whom are born in this completely different American culture, still identify so strongly with those communities in which our parents were born and raised. America has a deeply confused image of itself that is in perpetual tension. We are a nation that takes pride in our ethnic diversity, recognizing its importance in shaping our society and in adding richness to its existence.
Yet, we simultaneously insist that we can and must function and live in a race and color-blind way that ignore these very differences that in other contexts we laud. Many of us struggle with this tension and attempt to maintain and promote our cultural and ethnic identities in a society that is often ambivalent about how to deal with its differences. In this time of great debate we must remember that it is not political struggles that create a Latino or Latina identity.
I became a Latina by the way I love and the way I live my life. My family showed me by their example how wonderful and vibrant life is and how wonderful and magical it is to have a Latina soul. But achieving success here is no easy accomplishment for Latinos or Latinas, and although that struggle did not and does not create a Latina identity, it does inspire how I live my life. I was born in the year That year was the fateful year in which Brown v. Board of Education was decided. When I was eight, in , the first Latino, the wonderful Judge Reynaldo Garza, was appointed to the federal bench, an event we are celebrating at this conference.
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When I finished law school in , there were no women judges on the Supreme Court or on the highest court of my home state, New York. Now in the last twenty plus years of my professional life, I have seen a quantum leap in the representation of women and Latinos in the legal profession and particularly in the judiciary.
In addition to the appointment of the first female United States Attorney General, Janet Reno, we have seen the appointment of two female justices to the Supreme Court and two female justices to the New York Court of Appeals, the highest court of my home state. As of today, women sit on the highest courts of almost all of the states and of the territories, including Puerto Rico. One Supreme Court, that of Minnesota, had a majority of women justices for a period of time.
Now, the growth of Latino representation is somewhat less favorable. As of today we have, as I noted earlier, no Supreme Court justices, and we have only 10 out of active Circuit Court judges and 30 out of active district court judges. Those numbers are grossly below our proportion of the population. As recently as , however, the federal bench had only three women serving and only one Latino judge.
So changes are happening, although in some areas, very slowly. These figures and appointments are heartwarming. Nevertheless, much still remains to happen. Almost nine years later, we are waiting for a third appointment of a woman to both the Supreme Court and the New York Court of Appeals and of a second minority, male or female, preferably Hispanic, to the Supreme Court. In when I joined the bench, there were still two out of 13 circuit courts and about 53 out of 92 district courts in which no women sat.
At the beginning of September of , there are women sitting in all 13 circuit courts. The First, Fifth, Eighth and Federal Circuits each have only one female judge, however, out of a combined total number of 48 judges. There are still nearly 37 district courts with no women judges at all. For women of color the statistics are more sobering.
As of September 20, , of the then circuit court judges only two were African-American women and two Hispanic women. Of the district court judges only twelve were African-American women and eleven Hispanic women. African-American women comprise only 1. No African-American, male or female, sits today on the Fourth or Federal circuits.
This is the year We have a long way to go. Unfortunately, there are some very deep storm warnings we must keep in mind. In at least the last five years the majority of nominated judges the Senate delayed more than one year before confirming or never confirming were women or minorities. I need not remind this audience that Judge Paez of your home Circuit, the Ninth Circuit, has had the dubious distinction of having had his confirmation delayed the longest in Senate history.
These figures demonstrate that there is a real and continuing need for Latino and Latina organizations and community groups throughout the country to exist and to continue their efforts of promoting women and men of all colors in their pursuit for equality in the judicial system. The focus of my speech tonight, however, is not about the struggle to get us where we are and where we need to go but instead to discuss with you what it all will mean to have more women and people of color on the bench. The statistics I have been talking about provide a base from which to discuss a question which one of my former colleagues on the Southern District bench, Judge Miriam Cederbaum, raised when speaking about women on the federal bench.
Her question was: What do the history and statistics mean?
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In her speech, Judge Cederbaum expressed her belief that the number of women and by direct inference people of color on the bench, was still statistically insignificant and that therefore we could not draw valid scientific conclusions from the acts of so few people over such a short period of time. Yet, we do have women and people of color in more significant numbers on the bench and no one can or should ignore pondering what that will mean or not mean in the development of the law.
Now, I cannot and do not claim this issue as personally my own. In recent years there has been an explosion of research and writing in this area. Ayuso, Anna. Beerderberg Magazine. Istituto per gli studi di poitica internazionale ISPI. Foreign Affairs Latinoamerica. Contemporary Spanish Foreign Policy. Reino Unido: Routledge, En: Pi Llorens, M. Madrid: Marcial Pons, Ayuso, Anna ; Villar, Santiago. Integration Processes in Latin America. Compromiso global por un desarrollo incluyente y sostenible: consideraciones sobre la Agenda Post Delpino, M.
Oportunidades para uma agenda renovada. En : Jacob, Olaf ed. Rio de Janeiro: Konrad Adenauer Stiftung.