December 15, 2018

UConn Professor Discusses ‘Puerto Rico: Wrecked by Storms and Politics’ at SECWAC This Evening

Professor Charles Venator-Santiago

The Southeast Connecticut World Affairs Council (SECWAC) will host Charles Venator-Santiago, Associate Professor of Public Law and Latino/a Politics at the University of Connecticut, to speak at 6 p.m. on Monday, March 5, at Crozier Student Center at Connecticut College in New London.

Venator-Santiago will discuss how Puerto Rico’s constitutional status informs the U.S. response to the devastation of the island’s infrastructure by Hurricanes Irma and Maria, which also caused a humanitarian crisis. This catastrophe has been exacerbated by both the federal and island government’s response to the crisis. This talk will provide an overview of Puerto Rico’s territorial status and examines the island’s future.
A reception will begin at 5:30 p.m., and the main event will begin at 6 p.m. The presentation is a part of the SECWAC Speaker Series. SECWAC meetings are free to members (half-year membership February-June is $37.50/year; $12.50/year for young professionals under 35).  Walk-ins are $20 for the general public (non-members; the $20 cost can subsequently be applied towards a SECWAC membership). SECWAC membership is free for area college and high school students.
Immediately following the presentation, SECWAC meeting attendees have the option for $35 to attend a dinner with the speaker at Connecticut College.  Reservations are required by Friday, March 2, at 860-912-5718.
Charles R. Venator-Santiago is a Associate Professor of Public Law and Latino/a Politics at the University of Connecticut with a joint appointment in the Department of Political Science and El Instituto. He has earned a Ph.D. in Political Science at University of Massachusetts at Amherst and has researched the history of U.S. territorial law and policy with a primary focus on Puerto Rico.
His most recent book is Puerto Rico and the Origins of U.S. Global Empire: The Disembodied Shade (Routledge 2015) (Reviewed and Recommended by CHOICE: He is also the author of Are Puerto Ricans Really American Citizens?March 2, 2017; The Conversation (reprinted in The Observer, TIME, U.S. News and World Report, Univision, Salon, AP and other venues) (280,000+ reads). Available at:
Professor Venator-Santiago has provided research and academic support to Puerto Rican and Latino/a organizations in Hartford and Connecticut during the past decade. He is currently working on a series of projects to provide support to Puerto Rico and Puerto Ricans migrating to Connecticut. He is the Secretariat of the Puerto Rican Studies Association (PRSA) at El Instituto, University of Connecticut.

SECWAC is a regional, nonprofit, membership organization affiliated with the World Affairs Councils of America (WACA). The organization dates back to 1999, and has continued to arrange 8-10 Speaker Series meetings annually, between September and June. The meetings range in foreign affairs topics, and are hosted at venues along the I-95 corridor, welcoming members and guests from Stonington to Old Saybrook, and beyond.

SECWAC’s mission is “to foster an understanding of issues of foreign policy and international affairs through study, debate, and educational programming.” It provides a forum for nonpartisan, non-advocacy dialogue between members and speakers, who can be U.S. policy makers, educators, authors, and other experts on foreign relations. Learn more at

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