The President of the Regional Government of the Azores, José Manuel Bolieiro, and the Executive Vice-President, Artur Lima, will be visiting Massachusetts and Rhode Island on December 4 and 5, to participate in the celebration of the 30 years of the Casa dos Açores of New England (CANI).
The official visit includes a program of social events and contacts with local community representatives.
On Saturday, President Bolieiro will be meeting with cultural and social association leaders, including business and political leaders in Rhode Island and Massachusetts.
On Sunday, after meeting with representatives of the Portuguese community media, the rest of the day will be dedicated to the celebrations of the 30 years of Casa dos Açores of New England.
The program includes the launching of the book Azorean Emigration to the United States of America, published by the Azorean Emigrants Association, presented by Professor Onésimo Teotónio Almeida, followed by the opening of an exhibition dedicated to the Azorean emigration to the United States.
CANI was officially founded as the “Rhode Island State House of the Azores” on June 8, 1982, having as its first president former State Senator John Correia.
The institution was created with the aim of providing educational, cultural, and social services to the Azorean immigrant community, as well as strengthening the cultural ties between the community and the Azores.
In 1991, after an eight-year break, Leonardo Oliveira reopened the institution, under the name of Casa dos Açores of New England (CANI). Paulo Bettencourt (1991), became president, followed by José Soares (1993), Mariano Alves (2004) and João Luís Morgado Pacheco (1995 and 2006). Mário Ventura became president in 2010, followed by Nélia Alves-Guimarães, the first woman president of the institution. Francisco Viveiros, the current CANI president, took the leadership in 2018.
President José Manuel Bolieiro was elected President of the Government of the Azores, on November 2020, replacing President Vasco Cordeiro (2012-2020). A career politician, he served as the Mayor of Ponta Delgada city from 2012 to 2020. A graduated in Law from the University of Coimbra, he was assistant to the Regional Under-Secretary for Social Communication (1989-1995); legal advisor to the President of the Regional Government of the Azores (1996); deputy to the Legislative Assembly of the Autonomous Region of the Azores (1998-2009), exercising the functions of President of the Parliamentary Group PSD and chairman of the Permanent Commission for General Policy. He was also president of the Municipal Assembly of Povoação form 2002 to 2009.
The Azores (population 250,000) is a region of Portugal composed of nine islands. The archipelago discovered by Portuguese explorers in the 15th century, became an Autonomous Region of Portugal in 1976. The government of the Autonomous Region of the Azores includes the Legislative Assembly, composed of 57 elected deputies, elected by universal suffrage for a four-year term; the Regional Government and Presidency, with parliamentary legitimacy, composed of a President, a Vice-President and seven Regional Secretaries responsible for the Regional Government executive operations. The Autonomous Region of the Azores is represented in the Council of Ministers of the Central Government by a representative appointed by the President of Portugal. According to the latest US census over 1.3 million individuals of Portuguese descent live in the United States, the majority with roots in the Azores. It is estimated that over 20,000 US citizens live in Portugal.