2000 CPEO Military List Archive

From: CPEO Moderator <cpeo@cpeo.org>
Date: Wed, 31 May 2000 10:11:20 -0700 (PDT)
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] Vieques Report
[This was posted to the list by Robert Rabin - Nilda Medina, 

Report from Vieques 28 May, 2000

Friends in Solidarity with the People of Vieques.

Warm greetings of solidarity from Vieques. Our community continues its 
actions to denounce the military presence. Besides the incursions into 
military lands on 13 May, in which 54 people were arrested, every day 
there are incidents on the civilian roads here involving military 
vehicles our people yell at them, honk their horns, and in some cases 
temporarily stop convoys. Here, in front of the Navy base, Camp García 
we maintain a 24 hour presence keeping track of Navy vehicles, personnel 
and equipment and carrying out constant protest activity.

On Saturday, 27 May, over 250 Viequenses and a couple dozen friends from 
the main island, particpated in the Saturday Night Vigil we have held in 
front of the gate to Camp Garcia. This particular vigil was dedicated to 
the 58 people recently arrested the 54 on 13 May; Ruben Berríos and 
Jorge Fernandez of the Puerto Rico Independence Party; and the Zenon 
brothers Cacimar and Pedro. Several of those arrested participated spoke 
at last nights vigil of their commitment to be arrested again if 
necesarry. Several mentioned they were in Vieques in open violation of 
the court imposed restriction on their returning to Vieques.

Radames Tirado, past mayor of Vieques (1976-80), offered a strong 
criticismo of the Government of Puerto Rico´s decision to assign Puerto 
Rico police to help the Navy repress our struggle the same Navy, Tirado 
said, that is the real criminal who violates the rights of the people of 

Vieques art teacher, Glorimar Ojeda together with a group of Vieques 
children, handed to the approximately 30 Riot Police stationed in front 
of the gates to Camp Garcia copies of here students drawings from an 
exhit titled, THE CHILDREN WANT PEACE with the expressed hope the 
policemen and women would give the drawings to their children so they 
might know why we are protesting. The police agents also received 
flowers as a symbol of our position that the struggle of Vieques is 
directed at the US Navy, and not these Puerto Ricans who have been 
ordered to fulfill an inmoral mission by their superiors.

During the vigil it was mentioned that the Navy had announced a few days 
earlier they would soon be carrying out dangerous activity in Vieques 
waters. In a warning to fishermen, dated 24 May, the Navy informed that 
from 29 May until 2 June and from 2 to 4 in the afternoon, their 
activities would be dangerous for fishermen, their boats and equipment.

In a separate document from the Planning Board dated 9 May and received 
by the Committee for the Rescue and Development of Vieques (CRDV) this 
past Thursday, we learned the Navy is requesting Certification of 
Federal Compatibility with the Coastal Zone Management Program of Puerto 
Rico. The Navy´s project, for which it asks certification, is described 
as follows: recertification of a ship and a few Navy aircraft. Navy 
action will include the shooting of less than 50 rounds of 5 inch shells 
from a shipo and the firing of 50 inert bombs from jets.

On Sunday, 28 May we held a Caravan for Peace and Health to denounce the 
Navy´s intention to carry out these exercises. More than 200 cars passed 
through all the barrios of Vieques, ending in a concentration at Peace 
and Justice Camp in front of the entrance to Camp Garcia. Ismael 
Guadalupe, principle spokesman for the CRDV, explained the need to 
increase pressure through continued civil disobedience actions, entering 
into Navy lands in larger and larger groups.

The struggle continues. We urge all those individuals and organiztions 
in solidarity with the people of Vieques to continue your protest 
actions in your communities. It´s important to continue to flood the 
telephone lines at the White House and in Congress with calls, faxes and 
emails in support of Peace in Vieques, which is only attainable with the 
immediate and permanent end to all military activity here.

Robert L. Rabin Siegal
Comite Pro Rescate y Desarrollo de Vieques
Apartado 1424   Vieques, PR  00765
(787) 741-0716   cel. 375-0525
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