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Town Hall Meeting at ASPIRA HS, Fri. March 4, 2016
The Puerto Rican Fiscal Crisis, 
Freeing Oscar López Rivera and the 
2016 Democratic National Convention
by The Puerto Rican Agenda
The Puerto Rican Agenda invites you to join a Town Hall meeting on issues affecting the Puerto Rican Diaspora at ASPIRA Business and Finance High School, 2989 N. Milwaukee, at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, March 4, 2016. Congressman Luis Gutiérrez will be leading the discussion on three salient issues:
  • Economic crisis facing the island of Puerto Rico;
  • Campaign to release the longest standing political Prisoner, Oscar Lopez Rivera; and
  • Formation of a National Puerto Rican Agenda and its role in the National Democratic Convention in July 2016 
Your presence and participation in this dialogue is crucial for advancing the next steps related to the topics above. Please confirm your attendance no later than Monday, February 22, 2016 through submitting your registration here .
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"Planting Flags on Division Street" NOW ON SALE!
Profits on every copy sold to benefit the Campaign to Free Oscar

National Puerto Rican Agenda
A Newsletter documenting the Puerto Rican Stateside Response to the Fiscal and Humanitarian Crisis
Inside the Billion-Dollar Battle for Puerto Rico's Future
The impoverished island turned to hedge funds to stave off collapse. Now someone has to pay.
The money poured in by the millions, then by the hundreds of millions, and finally by the billions. Over weak coffee in a conference room in Midtown Manhattan last year, a half-dozen Puerto Rican officials exhaled: Their cash-starved island had persuaded some of the country's biggest hedge funds to lend them more than $3 billion to keep the government afloat.
There were plenty of reasons for the hedge funds to like the deal: They would be earning, in effect, a 20 percent return. And under the island's Constitution, Puerto Rico was required to pay back its debt before almost any other bills, whether for retirees' health care or teachers' salaries.
But within months, Puerto Rico was saying it had run out of money, and the relationship between the impoverished United States territory and its unlikely saviors fell apart, setting up an extraordinary political and financial fight over Puerto Rico's future.
On the surface, it is a battle over whether Puerto Rico should be granted bankruptcy protections, putting at risk tens of billions of dollars from investors around the country. But it is also testing the power of an ascendant class of ultrarich Americans to steer the fate of a territory that is home to more than three million fellow citizens.

Visit us at for an updated list of articles on the Puerto Rican fiscal crisis

From Puerto Rican Cultural Center & Programs

On Sale Now

November Chicago Magazine "Why José López Stands Between Gentrification and Humboldt Park"

Be sure to pick up the November issue of Chicago Magazine, which features an interview by Puerto Rican Cultural Center ED José E. López conducted by Elly Fishman.

Los Tequis
Share Individual Tabs In Google Sheets
Ask The Gooru
Sometimes you want to share one tab of a spreadsheet while keeping the other tabs private. Protecting the cells prevents collaborators from editing particular tabs but they can still view the contents, so it is not a valid solution. The ImportRange function in Google Sheets allows you to create a dynamic copy of particular tabs in a spreadsheet that you can share without worrying about collaborators viewing information in the other tabs.

From Our Community Partners

Albizu Campos Senior Amber Velasquez Speaks to Youth Unemployment in Chicago
By Danette Sokacich, Principal, Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos Puerto Rican High School
Senior Amber Velasquez represented Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos Puerto Rican High School at the Alternative Schools Network and the Chicago Urban League press conference on Monday, Jan. 25 to present the findings from the UIC Great Cities Institute that 85% and 88% rates of underemployment for Latin@ and Black youth in Chicago, respectively. 

Because of this important issue, Ms. Velasquez, along with 3 other youth Alternative Schools Network, were featured on the WLS-TV local morning program, Windy City LIVE, on Wednesday, Jan. 26.  Host Val Warner engaged the youth on the importance of access to jobs for young people to build their abilities for career development.

With the excitement and response for newspapers, The Chicago Tribune Editorial Board, including Editorial Page Editor, R. Bruce Dold and Report Alexia Elejalde-Ruiz, invited the students to the Tribune Tower to discuss the issue further.  This closed meeting with leadership from ASN, Chicago Urban League, UIC Great Cities Institute, and The Chicago Tribune, engaged the parties present to discuss policies and create solutions to build the capacity for youth career readiness in Chicago.

Please visi to read the report.
Por Univision

Vease el video.
UTC's 10th Anniversary Season
Adoration of the Old Woman opens Feb 12!
In this searing, magical-realist, coming-of-age drama from two-time Obie Award-winner and Academy Award-nominee José Rivera (References to Salvador Dali Make Me Hot; Marisol; The Motorcycle Diaries), a rebellious New Jersey teenager encounters family secrets, political turmoil, an alluring ghost, a haunted bed and a love triangle of her own when she is sent to rural Puerto Rico to live with the elderly great-grandmother she's never met-and whose language she doesn't know how to speak.Adoration of the Old Woman marks UrbanTheater Company's third production of Rivera's work, following Brainpeople in 2010 and the Joseph Jefferson Award-nominated Sonnets for an Old Century in 2011.

More information/tickets:
Basketball Quadratic
by Roberto Clemente Community Academy
This week in College Algebra at Roberto Clemente Community Academy, students used their knowledge of parabolas to predict the movement of a ball through a hoop. Students watched a Dan Meyer video on how throwing a basketball into a hoop relates to the graph of a parabola. Next, students analyzed the different parts of a trajectory of a basketball to predict if the ball would make it into the hoop, analyzed the maximum and zeros of a graph, and then proved through graphs that the ball either did or did not make it through the hoop.
Students then put their learning into action by creating their own Dan Meyer-inspired videos. Students worked in groups of three with roles as recorder, thrower, and hoop-holder. Students then recorded video of a shot where they either made it or did not make it into the hoop. For this experiment, it did not matter whether the ball made into the hoop; another group would be making a prediction by analyzing the video using the properties of parabolas. Students learned how to scroll through the videos to choose a screenshot of the image they wanted another group to analyze. Students then swapped iPads with another group.
Using the website, students put the other group's picture onto a grid in a graph. They adjusted the size of the graph and placement to be along the x and y axis for what would make sense in real life. Students then input the standard form of a quadratic, which created an overlay of a graph on the image. Students also created sliders and adjusted them to fit the path of a ball. From there, students got to see if the path of the ball actually made it into the hoop or not. Students were then able to determine how far the group stood away from each other, how high the ball was thrown, and when the ball hit the ground. Finally, students compared their answers with the original group to see if they were correct. Using hands-on, interactive learning is just one of the many ways our IB Diploma Programme students are learning about the ways in which Math Studies permeates throughout their everyday lives!
Become an Abayarde Scholar!
By Danette Sokacich, Principal, Dr. Pedro Albizu Campos Puerto Rican HS
Since 1972, we have provided students from the Humboldt Park, Logan Square, West Town, Hermosa, and Belmont-Cragin communities an alternative educational settings like no other. We work with students to change their perspective on education. We want every student that walks through our doors to know that they deserve a high school diploma. We want every student to value education. We want every student to know that they are in control of their destiny.
We are accepting applications for the second semester which begins February 8. We hold Informational Sessions every Tuesday at 8:45AM. If you believe that our school is a good fit for you, apply today at or call us at 773.342.8022.
Apply today at
The Campaign to Free Oscar López Rivera has its own 
e-newsletter: The Water's Edge/La Orilla del Mar
Published approximately every two weeks
View past issues here.

Write to Oscar:
Oscar López Rivera, #87651
FCI Terre Haute
PO Box 33
Terre Haute, IN 47808
Supremo reclamo por la excarcelación de Oscar López
por Agustín Criollo Oquero
Como parte de su mensaje de despedida a la presidenta del Tribunal Supremo de Puerto Rico, la jueza Liana Fiol Matta, luego de que esta anunciara su retiro, el juez asociado Luis F. Estrella Martínez no perdió tiempo en llevar un reclamo para la excarcelación del prisionero político Oscar López Rivera, quien extingue una sentencia de 70 años por conspiración contra el gobierno de los Estados Unidos.
Estrella Martínez fue contundente en su reclamo, que levantó el interés de los presentes, entre ellos el gobernador de Puerto Rico, Alejandro García Padilla y el secretario de Justicia, César Miranda.
"Aprovecho la última sesión de la Corte Fiol Matta para compartir con ustedes que recientemente he abordado en un artículo de revista el tema del restablecimiento de las relaciones diplomáticas entre los Estados Unidos y Cuba, y cómo el reclamo del  respeto a los derechos humano tiene que fluir en ambas vías", comenzó a exponer el Juez Asociado.
"En lo pertinente a la exhortación formulada en la pasada juramentación de la compañera, planteé en ese artículo que las exigencias del Derecho Internacional requieren que los Estados Unidos realice una seria introspección de sus acciones y omisiones en el ámbito de los derechos humanos. En consecuencia, considero que el reclamo dirigido a Cuba no puede ser unilateral y visualizarse como una problemática aislada... los derechos humanos son necesarios en Cuba pero también debieron reconocerse hace mucho tiempo en la base de Guantánamo y en el propio sistema correccional federal, cuyas consecuencias también tocan de cerca vidas puertorriqueñas y seres humanos de otras nacionalidades", continuó el juez.
Entonces, Estrella Martínez esbozó un reclamo directo por la liberación del preso político con más antigüedad en las cárceles estadounidenses.
"...y hoy añado que una de esas vidas es la del puertorriqueño Oscar López Rivera, quien ha unido a este pueblo en un reclamo solidario de humanidad", concluyó para darle paso a un estruendo de aplausos que inundó la Sala de Sesiones del edificio del Tribunal Supremo en Puerta de Tierra.
¿Por qué no liberan a Oscar López Rivera?

La pregunta resurge de cada cierto tiempo, sobre todo, tras el indulto a Jeremy Ruiz

La lucha por la excarcelación del preso político, Oscar López Rivera, lleva más de una década y pese a los múltiples reclamos -nacionales e internacionales- en pos de su liberación su salida de la cárcel estadounidense en la que se encuentra no se ha producido.
Un indulto del presidente Barack Obama permitiría la excarcelación de López Rivera. Luego de que el lunes el gobernador Alejandro García Padilla le concediera un indulto al joven Jeremy Ruiz Tomassini, la pregunta vuelve a surgir: ¿por qué Oscar López no ha sido liberado?
"Se trata de un caso complejo. Es un caso que tiene repercusiones internacionales y están involucradas las relaciones entre Puerto Rico y Estados Unidos. El presidente escoge el momento más preciso para él, su país y su partido. El caso de Oscar es un caso complejo", dijo el portavoz del Comité Pro Derechos Humanos de Puerto Rico, Eduardo "Tuto" Villanueva.
"Seguimos sumando esfuerzos. Haciendo gestiones con diversos países, amigos. (Pero) Obama es el que sabe cuándo es el momento (para liberar a López Rivera) porque tiene el poder del indulto", agregó.
Indicó que hay personas que piensan que la liberación del preso político, que ya tiene 72 años, recae meramente en el apoyo masivo que reciba una petición de esa naturaleza.
"Y no es así. No miran que él (Obama) actúa cuando sea conveniente", indicó Villanueva, quien fuera presidente del Colegio de Abogados.
"Cuba lleva años consiguiendo en Naciones Unidas que se vote contra el bloqueo 189 a 3 y sigue Obama con el bloqueo. Solo ha reestablecido las relaciones diplomáticas. De eso se trata", afirmó el abogado, El embargo comercial impuesto a Cuba comenzó en 1962,
Villanueva reconoció que la no excarcelación de López Rivera genera algún tipo de desánimo entre quienes impulsan su excarcelación. Incluso, reconoció que hay quienes piensan que la excarcelación no se ha producido porque no se ha hecho lo suficiente.
"Me duele mucho que se piense eso", dijo.
Desde 2011, López Rivera sometió su petición de clemencia a Obama, después de que la Comisión de Libertad Bajo Palabra le denegara la posibilidad de ser excarcelado a corto plazo. Bajo los procesos rutinarios, la liberación de López Rivera no ocurriría hasta junio de 2023, cuando tendría 80 años.
López Rivera lleva 34 años en una cárcel federal, más que ningún otro prisionero político en la historia de Puerto Rico. Durante su encierro, López Rivera ha estado 12 años en aislamiento total. Fue sentenciado a 70 años de cárcel por cargos de conspiración sediciosa debido a sus vínculos con las Fuerzas Armadas de Liberación Nacional, grupo clandestino de lucha por la independencia de la Isla. Por años, organizaciones comunitarias como el Comité Pro Derechos Humanos de Puerto Rico y figuras públicas han clamado por la libertad de López Rivera.
"Si no fuera porque Oscar tiene una conciencia clara de los ideales que representa, a él mismo se le haría extremadamente difícil (estar en prisión). Lo alienta saber que tiene el apoyo de su pueblo y saber que está luchando por un ideal justo", puntualizó Villanueva.
A Gift for Oscar and a Gift for You
By the National Boricua Human Rights Network
This holiday season, make a donation of $25 or more, NBHRN will provide you with the music CD "La Lucha es Vida Toda", which was put together by Puerto Rico's most famous musical legends, Lucecita, Andy Montañez, Roy Brown, El Topo, Zoraida Santiago and many more. A musical classic and well as a historical milestone, the other campaign to free Oscar.

Give a gift to Oscar and you will receive a gift.
For more information:

This the Second Limited Edition
AGUEYBANA - Roy Brown y Zoraida Santiago
MI PEPINO EN EL RECUERDO - Trío Taboas-Scharrón
EN CÍRCULOS - Mickie Rivera, Chabela, Antonio Cabán Vale "El Topo"
SEÑOR FEDERADO - Lucecita Benítez
LA CELDA - Walter Morciglio, Fofé, Eduardo Alegría
UN ABUELO Y SU NIETA  - (poema) Alicia Rodríguez
NIÑA - Danny Rivera
NO ME ARREPIENTO - (poema) Rafael Cancel Miranda
LA FIESTA DE OSCAR - Haciendo Punto en otro Son

Puerto Rican Cultural Center
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