March 19, 2019

Luso-American partnership keeps RI-Portugal ties strong


I recently had the wonderful, educational and productive opportunity to join several of my fellow legislators on a good-will trip to Portugal sponsored by the Luso-American Foundation. The purpose of the trip was to keep the strong bonds between Portugal and Rhode Island healthy and vibrant, while we explored the economic, scientific, and developmental partnership that Rhode Island and Portugal have long profited from and shared.
As we met with numerous Portuguese officials, including the United States Ambassador to Portugal, George Glass, we discussed several important topics that affect both the people of Portugal and Rhode Island. One topic that everyone in attendance was particularly excited about was the continuing inter-exchange of students between our state and the country of Portugal. Students from both countries are afforded invaluable life experiences by choosing to study abroad and we as a group discussed how we can not only continue this program, but also how to expand and strengthen this incredible educational opportunity for our young students.
We also discussed how our respective governments can support and help our Portuguese communities on either side of the Atlantic Ocean. Portuguese people are strong and industrious, but like every community, we need support as well, and this open-line of communication with our Portuguese counterparts will serve our communities well for many generations into the future.
It is no secret that Rhode Island’s Portuguese community has a rich and historical tradition and the contributions Portuguese Rhode Islanders have made to our state over generations are vital and too numerous to list. This is why trips like this are so important to people of Portuguese descent, whether they live in Rhode Island or Portugal. Strong relationships between our two countries are crucial to the continued success and prosperity of Portuguese-Americans and I am grateful to have had the opportunity to contribute to the special relationship that our two countries share with each other.
Representative Cunha is a Democrat who represents District 64 in East Providence


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