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Toronto ,  September 13, 2017

"New era" in the Diaspora to boost the Azores in the world, says Rui Bettencourt

The Regional Secretary Assistant of the Presidency for External Relations stated in Toronto that we are seeing the emergence of a "new era" in the Diaspora. It will bring new challenges for the Houses of the Azores as well as for the Regional Government in the affirmation of the Azorean spirit and the presence of the archipelago in the world.
Rui Bettencourt spoke at the opening session of the 20th General Assembly of the World Council of Houses of the Azores. At the occasion, he stressed the importance to reflect on the progress made so far, but it is "imperative to design and build the future together." The future should be "harmonious and ambitious, where everyone should be included."
"Do not ask about what the Azores can do for you. Ask yourself, yes, what you can do for the Azores," the government official said, recalling Kennedy's words to challenge Azoreans from around the world and the archipelago to do" everything for the Azores."
According to Rui Bettencourt, "responding to challenges with relevance" requires everyone to "have a great responsibility." This responsibility involves the awareness that the construction of the Azores and their Diaspora requires the "unity of the Azorean people" and "the utmost need to raise the interest of Azorean young people in the development of an Azorean project" inside and outside the Azores.
"It is important that the Azoreans residing in the archipelago take pride in the Azoreans living in the Diaspora just as the Azoreans living in the world are proud of the Azores of today," Rui Bettencourt stressed, recalling the development of the Region. In some cases, it is even "at the forefront of progress," said the government official.
In his speech, the government also took the opportunity to acknowledge and thank the work of the founders of the World Council of the Houses of the Azores. Its dynamics has been enhanced "through a broader scope, both in its geographic reality and in its area of intervention, always with the support and partnership of the Regional Government.
At the occasion, the Regional Secretary offered Suzanne Cunha, president of the House of the Azores of Ontario and current president of the World Council of Houses of the Azores, a reproduction of the painting titled “Os Regressantes” (The Returnees) by Azorean painter Tomaz Borba Vieira, a work that complements "Os Emigrantes" (The Emigrants) by Domingos Rebelo.
Highlighting the message of the works, "full of symbolism," Rui Bettencourt took the opportunity to invite everyone to return to the Region. "Return to the Azores. Revisit the Azores today," said the government official. He launched the challenge to disseminate the archipelago, but above all to share this "love for the Azores "with young people so that they may become enthusiastic about the land of their parents and grandparents and actively participate in Azorean affairs, "enduring the Diaspora," said the government official.
The Regional Secretary also proposed to the General Assembly of CMCA a greeting and tribute to Tomaz Borba Vieira - "a major Azorean personality and man of culture" - whose painting represents "the desire to return" for Azorean emigration.
The 20th General Assembly of the World Council of Houses of the Azores is running in Toronto from September 13 to 16 with the participation of 14 Houses of the Azores from Canada, United States, Bermuda, Brazil, Uruguay and Mainland Portugal. During these days, they are meeting in several working sessions to assess their activities and analyse the main problems and challenges that the Azorean communities in the Diaspora are currently facing.


Official government press-releases presented in all foreign languages interfaces of the Azorean Government Portal (Portal do Governo dos Açores) are a sub-set of the government's official press-releases daily output and are chosen for translation and publication on the foreign language interfaces based on audience segmentation criteria. The entire collection of the Azorean government press-releases is available in portuguese, here, from the GACS Press Office site.

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