Carter disappoints Puerto Ricans
San Juan, Puerto Rico
There is lingering bitterness and disappointment on this Caribbean Is land over the low-level delegation that President Carter sent to the funeral May 2 for the former Gov. Luis Munoz Marin, Monitor Latin America correspondent James Nelson Goodsell reports.
The official United States delegation was headed by Hugh Carter, the President's Cousin and one of his special assistants.
"It was nothing short of an insult," said a radio commentator in San Juan. "Who is Hugh Carter anyway? It almost seems as if the White House sent this surrogate and hoped that we would be stupid enough to think it was [President] Carter himself."
Other comment was less critical, but there is no mistaking the disappointment felt by members of Governor Munoz Marin's Popular Democratic Party over the failure of the White House to give more recognition to the late governor, who was the architect of Puerto Rico's present commonwealth status. Although many islanders now would opt for statehood and a few want independence, commonwealth has linked Puerto Rico in a unique relationship with the US.
The Puerto Rican criticism of the White House comes on the heels of Yugoslav disappointment over President Carter's decision not to attend President Tito's funeral in Belgrade May 8.