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Puerto Rican Attorney, Historian & Analyst Juan Manuel García-Passalacqua, 73, Dies

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The well-known Puerto Rican attorney, political analyst and historian Juan Manuel García-Passalacqua has died at the age of seventy-three. After his death on Friday, Puerto Rican Governor Luis Fortuño declared three days of mourning. Passalacqua was a regular guest on Democracy Now! We last spoke to him in 2009 after President Obama nominated Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court. [includes rush transcript]

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This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: And finally, Juan Manuel García-Passalacqua has died at the age of seventy-three. He was a well-known Puerto Rican attorney, political analyst, historian. After his death on Friday, the Puerto Rican Governor Luis Fortuño declared three days of mourning.

Today we go back to a conversation we had with Passalacqua just after Sonia Sotomayor was [nominated] Supreme Court justice.

    JUAN MANUEL GARCÍA-PASSALACQUA: Hi. My hair stands. My hair stands, because I have been, as you know, attentive to the relationship between Puerto Rico and the United States for years — fifty years, to be exact — and I never expected — never expected — that the diaspora would produce the first Hispanic Puerto Rican judge in the Supreme Court of the United States.

    What to me is the crucial element of what we are today celebrating is that, for the first time, the census issued last summer said that there were more Puerto Ricans in the United States than in Puerto Rico. Now, the diaspora has produced a Supreme Court judge of the United States of America. And now, a bill has been filed in Congress by ninety members of the House of Representatives, finally solving the relationship between Puerto Rico and the United States and providing the opportunity of rejecting colonialism in the ballot next year.

    So, again, I must confess that it is one of those days in one of those years in which the whole relationship between Puerto Rico and the United States is being transformed before our own eyes.

AMY GOODMAN: That was Juan Manuel García-Passalacqua. He died at the age of seventy-three on Friday.

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