2000 CPEO Military List Archive

From: CPEO Moderator <cpeo@cpeo.org>
Date: Fri, 4 Feb 2000 15:42:32 -0800 (PST)
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] "Puerto Rico Reaches Navy Range Pact"

For the complete article go to:

Tuesday February 1 3:57 AM ET 
Puerto Rico Reaches Navy Range Pact

By ROBERT BURNS AP Military Writer 

 WASHINGTON (AP) - After months of battle, the Navy apparently won the
go-ahead to resume training on Vieques, the tiny Puerto Rican island that
Navy leaders consider the crown jewel of Atlantic training sites.

 Still to be seen, however, is how and when the government will remove the
protesters who have been camped out among unexploded ordnance on the
Vieques bombing range since last spring. After hearing Monday that Puerto
Rico had agreed to President Clinton's plan for resuming training on
Vieques, one of the groups leading opposition to the Navy's presence on the
island announced it will oppose the deal.

``We will continue with our civil disobedience,'' said Fernando Martin,
vice president of the Puerto Rican Independence Party. ``For us, any
proposal that supposes the renewal of bombing is unacceptable.''

 Opponents of Navy training on Vieques argue the bombings place undue
environmental and economic burdens on the island.

 Clinton's plan would hold a referendum laying out two options for
islanders: Let the Navy resume use of the range on its own terms, including
the use of live bombs, in exchange for new federal financial aid; or
require the Navy to cease all training by May 1, 2003. That is two years
earlier than the Navy has indicated it was willing to give up the range.
The Navy insists there are no acceptable alternatives to Vieques as an
Atlantic training site.



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