(Extensions of Remarks - February 26, 2003)

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[Extensions of Remarks]
[Page E294]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []

                      TRIBUTE TO LUIS MUNOZ MARIN


                        HON. ANIBAL ACEVEDO-VILA

                             of puerto rico

                    in the house of representatives

                       Tuesday, February 25, 2003

  Mr. ACEVEDO-VILA. Mr. Speaker, last week Puerto Ricans celebrated the 
birthday of one of our greatest and most beloved leaders: Luis Munoz 
Marin. Today I want to honor Munoz Marin's memory and recognize his 
contribution to democracy and progress in Puerto Rico and the Americas.
  Munoz was the architect of Puerto Rico's commonwealth status and the 
promoter of an economic revolution that transformed Puerto Rican 
society. Munoz was a true champion of liberalism and democracy and had 
absolute confidence in the capacity of Puerto Ricans to govern 
themselves. Munoz dedicated his life to strengthen our democracy and to 
promote the best of our culture. His vision translated into the 
``Estado Libre Asociado'' (or Commonwealth), which allowed Puerto 
Ricans to approve their own constitution and achieve a high degree of 
self-government in association with the United States.
  Munoz understood that social justice was the basis of true prosperity 
and thus he made social justice the cornerstone of the Popular 
Democratic Party, which he founded in 1938.
  Munoz worked closely with several Presidents, including Presidents 
Roosevelt, Eisenhower and Kennedy, and was a key player in the 
implementation of U.S. foreign policy in Latin America. He was a proud 
United States citizen, but was also very proud of his Puerto Rican 
  Twice in about a decade, Time Magazine graced its cover with Munoz 
Marin's portrait. Munoz Marin will always be remembered for his 
contributions to promote democracy and social justice in the Americas. 
Munoz died in 1980, but his legacy is very much alive. Today, as a new 
generation of leaders lays the foundations for a further enhancement of 
the commonwealth status, let's all remember and honor Luis Munoz Marin.