Exactly 2 months after taking the reins of the Puerto Rico Statehood Students Association, the new administration headed by Josue Rivera announced several appointments for positions in the organization’s cabinet and Advisory Board.
In a press release posted through the New Progressive Party facebook page, instead of the organization’s website, the new appointments were detailed. The appointees include Luis R. Fortuño from Georgetown University, son of former governor and former PRSSA President Luis Fortuño, as member of the Advisory Board which included former PRSSA President Kenneth McClintock, Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi, former Governor Luis Fortuño, former PRSSA Vice President Jose Rodriguez Suarez, and former PRSSA Presidents Jose Cabrera,
Raul Vidal, Eduardo Soto and Fernando Sepulveda ( the release excludes Vidal and Soto, who had been named to the board in previous administrations; showing an apparent grudge against them, Soto and Vidal appear to have been removed from the board breaking with the tradition of honoring former presidents. It is unclear on what authority this action was taken, since the original PRSSA Constitution ensured all former presidents formed part of the board, prior to it being unilaterally changed by former President Cabrera).
In addition to Fortuño, Julio Cabral from Cornell University, former Executive Director of the association also joins the Advisory Board. The Cabinet appointees are Carla Amundaray and Amy Williams from George Washington University as Political Co-Directors for the Republicans and Democrats respectively, Gustavo Bravo from University of Puerto Rico at Mayagüez as Executive Director, and Elisa Muñoz from the University of the Sacred Heart as Director of Communications.
Shift on HR 2000
The new restructuring is in conjunction with the efforts of the NPP to lobby for statehood before Congress. These individuals will work closely with the Office of the Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi, among other leaders, to help in the defense of the results of the November plebiscite and HR 2000. This announcement represents a shift in position for Rivera, who in the past had expressed his opposition to HR 2000.
Prior to the 2013 National Board Elections, Rivera had openly expressed his disagreement with the Puerto Rico Status Resolution Act. Once the elections process began, his position began to shift, and now appears to be completely changed, as of now supporting Pierluisi’s agenda before Congress.
The PRSSA is a student organization incorporated and recognized by the Department of State of Puerto Rico as a non-profit organization. The organization dedicates itself to promoting statehood for Puerto Rico in universities and through forums in the continental United States and Puerto Rico.
UPDATE: Updated to reflect removal of Raul Vidal and Eduardo Soto from Advisory Board.
UPDATE 2: Using logic reminiscent of Alejandro Garcia Padilla‘s argument for the commonwealth, Rivera claims the excluded former presidents weren’t excluded, just that the composition changed. We don’t know what the difference is.