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6 Puerto Rican activists barred from US Capitol

6 Puerto Rican activists barred from US Capitol

Six Puerto Rican independence activists arrested last month for demonstrating inside the U.S. House chamber are barred from the Capitol for nine months unless invited in writing by a lawmaker or the White House.
The penalty for the six _ Jose Rivera, 60; Ramon Rivera, 72; Luis Rivera, 67; Luis Romero, 55; Maria Rodriguez, 31; and Eugenia Perez, 59 _ was imposed Monday by the Superior Court of the District of Columbia.
Early in May, the activists asked Pedro Pierluisi, Puerto Rico's nonvoting delegate to Congress, for passes that allow visitors to watch House proceedings from seats looking down on the floor of the chamber.
Once in the seating area, the group held up signs supporting independence for the U.S. island. One sign read: "Let's break the chains that keep us under colonialism."
Benjamin Friedman, of the U.S. Attorney's Office in Washington, said the cases will be dismissed if the six follow the terms of the agreement.
Puerto Rico's status has long defined politics on the Caribbean island of nearly 4 million inhabitants. Most voters are split between the governing party, which wants Puerto Rico to become the 51st U.S. state, and the main opposition party, which favors keeping its commonwealth status established in 1952. A small number support a pro-independence party.


Updated : 2021-06-16 15:45 GMT+08:00