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Acknowledging African Descendants of the Transatlantic Slave Trade in all of the Americas

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Location: Washington, DC


ACKNOWLEDGING AFRICAN DESCENDANTS OF THE TRANSATLANTIC SLAVE TRADE IN ALL OF THE AMERICAS -- (House of Representatives - July 18, 2005)

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Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members may have 5 legislative days within which to revise and extend their remarks and include extraneous material on the concurrent resolution under consideration.

The SPEAKER pro tempore. Is there objection to the request of the gentlewoman from Florida?

There was no objection.

Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

Mr. Speaker, progress for some of the Afro-Latino communities in the Western Hemisphere has been disturbingly low. Estimates show that almost one-third of the population in Latin America is made up of descendants of West African slaves brought to the Americas by European slave traders during the colonial period.

Afro-Latinos comprise either a majority or a large minority in a number of Latin American nations, including the Dominican Republic, Brazil, Colombia, Panama, Venezuela, Ecuador, and Nicaragua. Yet reports indicate that most Afro-Latinos are among the poorest, most marginalized groups in that region.

Thus, as we press for democratic progress, for prosperity, and for security in our hemisphere, and we focus to maximize our efforts to reduce poverty, part of a comprehensive strategy must also include efforts to address the needs and provide for the rights of the Afro-Latino community in the region.

The resolution before us urges us to take a thoughtful, proactive approach to achieve such goals.

I thank the gentleman from New York (Mr. Rangel) for bringing this issue to our attention and for introducing this important measure. I also wish to thank the gentleman from Illinois (Chairman Hyde); the gentleman from California (Ranking Member Lantos); the gentleman from Indiana (Chairman Burton), the chairman of the Subcommittee on the Western Hemisphere; and the gentleman from New Jersey (Ranking Member Menendez) for their efforts to expeditiously bring this resolution before the House today.

Mr. Speaker, I reserve the balance of my time.

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Ms. ROS-LEHTINEN. Mr. Speaker, I yield myself such time as I may consume.

I want to thank the gentleman from New York (Mr. Rangel) for his kind words, and this generation of Americans has a wonderful role model to look up to and model themselves after in the gentleman from New York.

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