A judge has ruled that all Florida counties must provide Spanish-language ballots and voter registration cards in time for the 2020 primary elections.The ruling came in favor of Latino advocacy and civic engagement groups who filed a lawsuit against the state in 2018 for only providing voting materials in English.The groups reported that a majority of the Spanish-language speakers in Florida where left disenfranchised because 32 counties in Florida only provided voting materials in one language.The group also pointed to the federal Voting Rights Act which states that if a student is taught in an American school where the primary language is not English, as it is in Puerto Rico, the student can’t be denied the right to vote just because they cannot understand English.Over 30,000 Puerto Rican’s who are not proficient in English have moved to Florida between 2011 and 2015 the US Census Bureau’s American Community Survey found.Many more Puerto Rican’s came to Florida after the devastation of Hurricane Maria.US District Court Chief Judge Mark Walker sided with the groups on Friday stating, that the English-only elections are in violation of the Voting Rights Act.Florida’s governor and secretary of state have started to process for the change which was applauded by Judge Walker, however, the judge believes the change needs to be made in time for the 2020 primary elections so all legal Florida residents have a fair opportunity to vote.
As the European Union celebrates 2018 as the European Year of Cultural Heritage, the EU Ambassador to Guyana, Jernej Videti? lauded the bloc’s historic cultural ties with Guyana.EU’s Ambassador to Guyana, Jernej VidetičAmbassador Videtič noted that Europeans across the world were celebrating their customs, traditions, and cultural aspects that they contributed to the world.At the celebration at Duke Lodge, the diplomat praised the historic ties between his continent and Guyana as he oversaw a two-day workshop that formulated a plan for the restoration of City Hall – a Gothic Revival-style building that is widely accepted as European in origin.Ambassador Videtič told the gathering that European historic cities and literary works would be highlighted during the many festivities that would make up the year-long observance.“The heritage of the EU is a rich and diverse mosaic of rich creative expressions inherited from previous generations of Europeans and our legacy for those to come. It includes natural and archaeological sites and museums, monuments, artworks, historic cities, and literary works, and the knowledge and practical works of European citizens,” the Head of the EU delegation here noted.European architecture can still be seen across Guyana to this day in City Hall, Parliament Building, the High Court and many other buildings across Georgetown, New Amsterdam, and elsewhere. The Portuguese, Dutch, and English were some of the European cultures that contributed to what Guyana is today, mainly through the movement of other peoples, both forcibly and voluntarily.The EU notes that this year a series of initiatives and events across Europe will be held to enable people to become closer to and more involved with their cultural heritage. Guyana Times learnt that even digital achievements such as animation will be showcased. Ambassador Videtič noted that he launched a book on European-Guyanese heritage in 2017.“The European Union and Guyana share a rich cultural history. Last year, I was pleased to launch with President David Granger the book aspects of the European-Guyanese heritage,” he noted.Established in 1993, the EU currently has 28 Member States with an estimated population of over 511 million. However, that number is set to reduce with the March 2019 departure of Guyana’s former ruler, the United Kingdom after that country voted to leave the bloc after a nation-wide referendum in 2017. (Shemuel Fanfair)