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Puerto Rico at UN, NAM's For Libre, or 51st State in Spanglish, Mavi & Malvinas

Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, June 18 -- Puerto Rico was discussed Monday at the UN, in the so-called Committee of 24, and it begged comparison to last week's session on the Malvinas or Falkland Islands.

  Then, it was Argentine president Kirchner speaking to much Latin applause, contested by the UK and a half dozen Falkland Islanders speaking of these generations on the island, sheep farming.

   On Puerto Rico, while the Non-Aligned Movement for example took a strong pro-independence line, there were actual Puerto Rican speakers, some in Spanglish, saying they want it to be the 51st US state, with two Senators.

   One of these speakers got cut off. A lady in a blue hat spoke about rice and beans, bemoaned the lack of respect for Puerto Rico's culture.

  There was a strong speaker for the "Movimiento de Afrimacion Viequense," whose acronum MAVI is also a Puerto Rican or even Taino drink.

  Afterward it was explained to Inner City Press that pro-independence Puerto Ricans have observer status in the Non-Aligned Movement; hence for example Egypt's speech, in which Iran joined.

  Earlier, a Puerto Rican speaker denounced Obama for not fulfilling a promise to resolve Puerto Rico's status in his "first" term.

  This drew applause, apparently from those cheering for independence. But that may not have been what the speaker meant. Strange issue. What does Ismael Rivera say? Or Cortijo? Watch this site.

Kirchner Calls Brits Hypocrites, UK Appears with Sheep Farmer, No Man Island

By Matthew Russell Lee

UNITED NATIONS, June 14 -- When Argentina's President Cristina Fernández de Kirchner took the floor in Conference Room 4 of the UN's North Lawn building Thursday afternoon, the crowd was Latin heavy and ready to applaud. The topic was the Islas Malvinas a/k/a the Falkland Islands and Kirchner was in fine form.

  She read from what she said was a "non-paper" or secret negotiating document from 1974. She accused the UK of hypocrisy, refusing dialogue about the Islands while claiming commitment to human rights.

  Her speech moved from Angela Merkel to Hiroshima; she asked how the US would like seeing its flag under that of Japan. When she finished there was a long applause, and she shook hands with, among others, Syria's Permanent Representative Bashar Ja'afari.

  Later up on the North Lawn building's second floor stakeout, Inner City Press asked UK Permanent Representative Mark Lyall Grant about the "non-paper," and more specifically for his response to a theory that with Secretary General Ban Ki-moon naming Argentines as chief of staff (Susana Malcorra) and head of Middle East (Oscar Fernandez Taranco), the UK has been losing traction.

  Lyall Grant said it is hard to respond to a 1974 document, but that the failed talks then showed that the Argentines wants to go over the heads of the residents and get the Islands returned to Argentina.

  He said that all UN officials are international civil servants. Inner City Press asked about consistent and well-sourced reports, which Inner City Press first exclusively published, that the Argentines have been conferring with "their" Assistant Secretary General Oscar Fernandez Taranco. Lyall Grant said, you'll have to ask them. We will.

Afterward Inner City Press spoke with a sixth generation Falksland Islander, James Marsh, before he went on the show "Five Live." He said he's raising 15,000 sheep, and that Islanders go to Chile for medical care.

  Inner City Press asked him, hablas espanol? He said, in English, enough to go to restaurants. Vaya.

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These reports are usually also available through Google News and on Lexis-Nexis.

Click here for a Reuters AlertNet piece by this correspondent about Uganda's Lord's Resistance Army. Click here for an earlier Reuters AlertNet piece about the Somali National Reconciliation Congress, and the UN's $200,000 contribution from an undefined trust fund.  Video Analysis here

Click here for Sept 26, 2011 New Yorker on Inner City Press at UN

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