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Sila María Calderón: 1942—: Governor of Puerto Rico

Worked To Improve Puerto Rico

Calderón continued to work toward a better Puerto Rico. On April 11, 2002, she spoke at Rutgers University about her plans to register Puerto Rican voters in New Jersey to empower mainland Latinos. When she addressed a full house at Princeton University on the subject of commonwealth history, she declared, according to the Daily Princetonian: "The rules of commonwealth are both ideological and imminently practical. … [allowing] us to affirm our own identity while cherishing our citizenship." She affirmed that a special relationship with the United States had elevated housing, education, life span, and quality of life, but she balanced her praise with a warning that the United States had broken promises to Puerto Rico. Among her complaints with commonwealth status were detrimental tax laws and lax immigration rules. The crux of her speech returned to the exploitation of Vieques, which she characterized as "a violation of human rights."

As the Vieques question clouded island politics, Calderón held out hope to Puerto Ricans for a better life. On March 16, 2002, she announced plans to spend $102 million on water and sewer plants and an aqueduct extension in western Puerto Rico. A week later she pledged $165.5 million in urban renewal for 18 municipalities, and the generation of 2,591 jobs.



Caribbean Business, December 3, 1998.

Daily Princetonian, April 12, 2002.

Hispanic, January-February 1989, pp. 10-13; January-February 2001.

Insight on the News, February 26, 2001, p. 47.

Institutional Investor, March 2002.

NACLA Report on the Americas, January 2001, p. 1.

Navy News & Undersea Technology, April 16, 2001, p. 1.

New York Times, November 12, 2000, p. 26; January 6, 2001, p. A7; January 14, 2001, p. 16; November 28, 2001, p. D3; January 3, 2002, p. A16; February 21, 2002, p. A23.

Washington Post, January 20, 2001, p. A2; June 28, 2001, p. A31; July 29, 2001, p. A07; October 11, 2001, p. A31; October 18, 2001, p. A32.

—Mary Ellen Snodgrass

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Brief BiographiesBiographies: Katie Burke (1953–) Biography - Personal to Galeazzo Ciano (1903–1944) BiographySila María Calderón: 1942—: Governor of Puerto Rico Biography - Elected Mayor Of San Juan, Fought Government Corruption As Governor, Faced Off Against United States