Last week, Puerto Rican officials marked Presidents Day by unveiling bronze statues of U.S. President Barack Obama and former President Lyndon B. Johnson, along the so-called “Avenue of Heroes” outside the Capitol building, in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Every sitting U.S. president who has ever visited Puerto Rico is honored with a statue, dating back to Theodore Roosevelt. Obama became the ninth when he visited in June, said Kenneth McClintock, Puerto Rico’s secretary of state.
Resident Commissioner Pedro Pierluisi, who represents Puerto Rico in the U.S. Congress but has limited voting powers, said the Obama administration has been helpful to Puerto Rico, including it in economic stimulus funding and health reform, among other initiatives. But he and other officials who spoke at the ceremony complained about a lack of other basic rights, including representation in the U.S. Senate and the right to vote in the general presidential election.
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