Cape Verdean lead­ers visit city Satur­day

Pawtucket Times - - FRONT PAGE - By JONATHAN BIS­SON­NETTE jbis­son­nette@paw­tuck­et­times.com

PAW­TUCKET – Of­fi­cials on Satur­day will play host to the pres­i­dent and prime min­is­ter of Cape Verde as they cel­e­brate the ded­i­ca­tion of a sec­tion of Main Street as “Cabo Verde Way,” in the city with the sec­ond-largest Cape Verdean pop­u­la­tion in the na­tion.

Pres­i­dent Jorge Car­los Fon­seca and Prime Min­is­ter José Ulisses Cor­reia e Silva will be on hand Satur­day morn­ing for the ded­i­ca­tion of “Cabo Verde Way” at 9:30 am at Ten Rocks Tapas Bar and Res­tau­rant, 1091 Main St. in Paw­tucket.

Jorge Car­los Fon­seca has been pres­i­dent of Cape Verde since be­ing elected in 2011. A mem­ber of the lib­eral “Move­ment for Democ­racy” party, Fon­seca is Cape Verde’s fourth pres­i­dent since

the na­tion be­came in­de­pen­dent in 1975. Prior to be­ing elected, Fon­seca was Cape Verde’s Min­is­ter of For­eign Af­fairs from 1991 to 1993 and he also un­suc­cess­fully ran for pres­i­dent in 2001.

José Ulisses Cor­reia e Silva has been Cape Verde’s Prime Min­is­ter since April 2016, when the Move­ment for Democ­racy party won the pre­vi­ous month’s par­lia­men­tary elec­tion. Prior to be­com­ing prime min­is­ter, Silva was Sec­re­tary of State for Fi­nance from 1995 to 1998 and Min­is­ter of Fi­nance from 1999 to 2000. He was ad­di­tion­ally his party’s Vice Pres­i­dent for two years and party pres­i­dent in 2013.

Birthed on July 5, 1975, the 42nd birth­day of Cape Verde was com­mem­o­rated at City Hall in Paw­tucket ear­lier this sum­mer, with a flag rais­ing cer­e­mony wherein the blue, red, and white flag with yel­low stars of Cape Verde flew high above Roo­sevelt Av­enue.

The ori­gins of Cape Verde dates back to the 15th cen­tury, when Por­tuguese set­tlers landed and soon trans­formed the is­land into a slave trade out­post as part of the At­lantic slave trade. Fol­low­ing the de­cline of the slave trade in the 1800s, Cape Verde fell into eco­nomic cri­sis. The na­tion gained in­de­pen­dence fol­low­ing a 1970s rev­o­lu­tion in Por­tu­gal.

The first Cape Verdeans set­tled in the United States just across the state line in New Bed­ford, Mass., but over time they branched out to the Prov­i­dence and Bos­ton areas. Now, 42 years af­ter the na­tion gained in­de­pen­dence, Paw­tucket is home to the sec­ond-largest Cape Verdean pop­u­la­tion in the coun­try, with 13.3 per­cent of its res­i­dents be­ing of Cape Verdean de­scent. That trails be­hind only Brock­ton, Mass., with 15.1 per­cent.

Paw­tucket Mayor Don­ald R. Gre­bien said: “I am pleased to wel­come the Pres­i­dent and Prime Min­is­ter to the great city of Paw­tucket this week­end. This is an un­prece­dented op­por­tu­nity to have them both visit­ing with our com­mu­nity. At the same time, we will also be ded­i­cat­ing Main Street as Cabo Verde Way.”

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