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Madonna flag antics outrage Puerto Rico governor, chamber

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- Governor Pedro Rossello Gonzalez chided pop star Madonna Thursday for placing a Puerto Rico flag between her legs during a concert, and said the act deserved the disdain of the entire population.

Rosello said, however, that he would not demand an apology from the extravagant performer because it would be like asking for the moon -- or 'asking for pears from an elm tree,' as the Spanish phrase goes.

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Supporters of Madonna and her 'Girlie Show' argued that she meant no harm, and put the flag there because she couldn't find her pocket to put the flag in as she was dancing during Tuesday night's concert.

Rossello described the act as 'an unfortunate incident.'

'I personally repudiate it and I think we all repudiate it as a people,' he said.

Representative David Noriega said 'this vulgar and insensitive visitor' had abused the hospitality she received in Puerto Rico, and also criticized the promoter for bringing Madonna's world tour to Puerto Rico.

'This monumental lack of respect for our people on the part of Mrs. Ciccione (Madonna) and the producer responsible for her performance, Larry Stein, has no parallel in the history of Puerto Rico,' Noriega said.

In Mexico, where Madonna is scheduled to give three concerts in November, Interior Ministry officials rejected a call by the 'Pro Life' civil organization to refuse Madonna entry into the country.

'Definitely the ministry has no reason reason to deny her a visa because in Mexico there is freedom of expression and freedom of travel,' a ministry spokesman said.

Another ministry official said the government had not formally responded to the Pro Life request, but said authorities would act on the premise that 'whoever likes it can go (to the concert) and whoever doesn't, well don't go.'

Pro Life President Jorge Serrano Limon said Madonna was mocking the Catholic people, and that those who attend the concert 'do not have the right to publicly mock the moral and religious values of Catholics or the patriotic values of Mexicans.'

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