42 thoughts on “Should the U.S. Navy compensate Puerto Rico and the people of Vieques?

  1. A BIG YES
    The Navy’s recent admission to using depleted uranium shells at the Vieques firing range this past February is greater cause for concern, considering the high cancer rates there. The Navy also violated the settlement it agreed to the last time the Puerto Rican people rallied against it. I believe there is sufficient cause for demanding both that the U.S. Navy close its operation down now and that a major allocation of resources be devoted to restoring the environment, re-establishing the fisheries and compensating the Viequenses the economic, physical and psychological trauma they have endured over the past fifty years. How we will guarantee that justice is served and rewarded is another question we must address. But I would declare a big YES for having the Navy pay for its disregard of people and nature.

  2. RE: A BIG YES
    Yea right the Navy did so much wrong,, now that would explain a lot of the problems in Vieques,, How many of have been to Vieques??? I saw a recent story in the San Juan Star that stated how heavy metals from the bombing seeped into ground water and this was the reason for the high cancer rate in Vieques,,, This puzzels me because I know for a fact that Vieques and Culebra get water from Humacao…please someone explain this to me..thanks

  3. Reparations…
    Stokely Charmichael was talking about reparations for black people in the USA since the 60s. He was right then, an the Jewish community has proven he is right now, with their claims against Swiss banks, and their American collaborators, which are being honored.

    The great fear in the USA is that a movement for reparations crystalize and make formal demands. The fear is based on the extent of bookkeeping records available on the slave economy, well into the 19th century; all of which can be factored into an accurate formulation to determine the value of slave labor to the American economy.

    Reparations for Puerto Rico should include not only repayment for damages due to military presence, but to what has been done to the economy native to Puerto Rico in the name of bolstering North American trade.

    A demand for reparations should be programmatic; perhaps broken in sections. For example, the negative costs to the island, in terms of health issues, tourism…; the negative costs to the island of abolishing an agrarian economic base which coerced labor to migrate to North America.

    We have enough Ph.Ds in economics studying and researching in North American universities to do the needed research and arithmetic to develop the fundamental argument which would serve as a basis for demanding reparations for Puerto Rico.

  4. The U.S. bombeded, now they have to pay
    For 58 years the U.S. Navy has used Vieques as a bombing range, contaminating our land, sea and air. This constituted an abuse of power intimately linked to U.S. hegemony over Puerto Rico and past governor’s compliance. The U.S. Government has the moral responsibility to pay for the dagage they inflicted to our national territory. But we should not forget that the U.S. Government is not the only responsible for the bombing of our land. We, Puerto Ricans, have denied ourselves the right to govern ourselves. Vieques’ plight must become the metaphor of the ougly side of colonialism, and thus, Puerto Ricans who continue to support colonial systems such as statehood and ELA (commonwealth) are no less than traitors. We must understand that continued suport for colonial systems such as ELA and statehood are condusive to acts of opression like the bombardment of Vieques. We must unite against the bombardment of Vieques, without regard to political views about status, but we also need to understand that the true enemy here is the colonial system, because it is that system which has left us at the mercy of U.S. military occupation and bombardment. The time to affirm our independence is now. That is the lesson we have to learn from the struggle in Vieques. This struggle will be in vain if we don’t learn from it. It is our responsibility to declare our independence so that never again foreign powers bombard our national territory. If the U.S. was inhumane enough to bomb us for 58 years why should we continue being a part of this country. It is in our best eeconmic and political interest to become a free nation, free and sovereign from the United State’s bombardment. Sincerely,

    Hans Perl-Matanzo

  5. RE: RE: Sin lugar a dudas!
    Indudablemente la marina debe de pagar por los daños ocasionados en Vieques.Sin embargo, la cuestión es cómo y cuánto. Digo esto porque, en primer lugar pienso que ninguna cantidad de dinero va a curar las heridas de Vieques.Y en segundo lugar pienso que no se trata de agarrar un puñado de dinero y madárselo a las autoridades de gobierno en Puertorrico y olvidarnos del asunto.
    Pienso que debería hacerse un plan de reconstrucción de Vieques, partiendo de una evaluación exhaustiva de los daños ocacionados por la marina norteamericana.
    Creo también, que el pueblo puertorriqueño en su conjunto, debe de tener una participación activa en una nueva etapa, la de recuperación de Vieques como habitat.
    Por ahora, la tarea urgente es: FUERA LA MARINA DE VIEQUES!

  6. compensation???
    One thing is to ask whether the people of Vieques should be compensated and quite another is to ask if the Navy will compensate Puerto Rico. The former seems rather obvious. They should compensate the whole world for the atrocities they’ve committed in the name of democracy and freedom. Now, will they do it? Can we get the international support that’s needed to get the U.S. to act on our behalf? Look at the Nation of Hawai’i, for instance. The U.S. governement has admitted its leading role in the cultural genocide of Hawaiians, among many other crimes. (Please, don’t say Native Hawaiians; that’s redundant. There are Hawaiians and Locals, maybe.) But what’s happened, they have taken their case now to the Permanent Court of Arbitration in the Netherlands hoping that their claims gain more credibility and international attention. It’s not easy to get mass-murderer imperialists to voluntarily pay for the wrongs they’ve committed. They well know they’d go broke. Let’s fight until we see the Empire crumble but let’s be realistic in our struggle.

    En la lucha,


  7. RE: compensation???
    I should’ve said the Kingdom of Hawai’i as opposed to the the Nation of Hawai’i. My apologies to Hawaiians.

    La mejor tipo de compensación que nos puede brindar el gobierno de Estados Unidos es remover todas sus instalaciones militares de Puerto Rico. Luego de remover todas las instituciones coloniales y militares que los Estados Unidos nos impuso a la fuerza, entonces debería comenzar un proceso verdadero de descolonización a través de una consulta al pueblo puertorriqueño. Debemos pedir la descolonización primero y luego el dinero. La colonia, apoyada por los que creen en la defensa común, es el cómplice de la situación que existe en Vieques ahora mismo. El dinero es de importancia secundaria y hasta que no seamos un estado independiente la cuestión de compensación económica debe quedar a un segundo plano. Puertorriqueños, nos debemos unir, no para rogar por más desembolsos coloniales, sino para exigir la independencia y retribución por 101 años de dominio colonial. Estar en contra del bombardeo en Vieques y apoyar al sistema colonial de los populares y nuevo progresistas, son posiciones incongruentes. La única manera efectiva de combatir el atropello impuesto por Estados Unidos a Puerto Rico es exigir la independencia. Ya es hora de ser libres!

    Hans Perl-Matanzo

    Estimado Ángel:

    Me alegra saber que estás de acuerdo con lo que escribí en el mensaje anterior. De dónde eres? Yo estudio en Cambridge, Massachusetts y estoy en tercer año de bachillerato. Un abrazo solidario, Hans Perl-Matanzo
    P.D. Me gustaría que más personas participen en el foro.

  10. U.S. Marine accused of rape attempt in Okinawa
    The U.S. Armed Forces should compensate the victims of rape, assault and murder which have resulted as a consequence of their military occupation of our land.

    Cases like this one in Okinawa have occured in Puerto Rico too.

    TOKYO (AP) – A U.S. Marine has been

    arrested and accused of trying to rape a

    Japanese woman at a disco on the

    Japanese island of Okinawa, police said.

    Lance Cpl. Oswald McDonald, 29, dragged

    the woman into a corner of the disco

    Friday and attempted to sexually assault

    her, a spokesman for the Okinawa

    Prefectural police said.

    The woman resisted and the soldier

    backed off without physically injuring

    her, said the spokesman, who only

    identified himself by his last name,

    Shimada. The U.S. Marines confirmed the

    arrest on Friday, but gave no further

    details. Officials could not immediately

    provide McDonald’s hometown.

  11. RE: U.S. Marine accused of rape attempt in Okinawa
    Hans, could you tell us of any specific cases that occurred in Puerto Rico. It’s quite shocking to hear of this occurring anywhere. But having it happen at home is very painful and angering.

    The incident you describe is also typical in the Third World. To think of what U.S. soldiers did to Vietnamese women/girls and what they also did to Filipino and Thai women (and girls) is terribly upsetting and angering.

  12. RE: RE: U.S. Marine accused of rape attempt in Okinawa
    Dear Kiwi,

    There was a big U.S. Navy base situated in Miramar, Santurce. Going through newspaper archives in the University of Puerto Rico one can read about reports of different cases similar to this rape attempt that occured in Okinawa.

    Also, it is my understanding that several Vieques residents have been killed or seriously injured as a consequence of fights provoked by members of the U.S. Navy stationed in Vieques.

    Regards, Hans Perl-Matanzo

  13. RE: RE: RE: Sin lugar a dudas!
    Yo creo que la marina debe pagar por todos los daños que ha ocasionado, no solo en Vieques pero en todo Puerto Rico . Pero no creo que deba ser una recompesnas monetaria, si el dinero se puede utilizar para desarrollar la isla y otras necesidades. El Navy deberia reforestar el area de pratica. Yo tuve la oportunidad de visitar esa area y da pana ver que no haya ni un arbusto verde. Ademas deberia limpiar todo el ecosistema, ya que toda el area esta contaminada, inclusive la isla posee dos bahias bioluminicentes, las cuales son las mas brillantes del mundo, pero nosotros como puertorriqueños no podemos disfrutar de sus bellezas por que estan adentro del Campoamento Garcia.

    Luego que haya restaurado la belleza natural de la isla, o al mismo tiempo, restaure la salud de mis hermanos viequenses, ya que la isla tiene el mayor numero de casos de cancer. Se que recientemente un grupo de viequenses demandaron al Navy por una cantidad de 2 millones por persona por daños a su salud y propiedades.

    La Marina deberia tambien pagar por todo el usa de agua potable usada por la Base Naval Roosevelt Roads en Cieba.

    Cuando haya terminado con todo esto entonces deberian pagar al pueblo de puertorrico por todas su fechorias y luego ser expulsados de BORIKE junto a las otras agencias federales que estan controlando a este sistema de marioneta a que llamamos Estado Libre Asociado. Ya basta de ser conejillo de indias, desde su llegada a Borike, los EU solo ha experimentado con nuestra gente, nustra manera de vivir, y especial con nuestras mujeres, ya que ellos experimentaron con las pildoras anticonceptivas y las operaciones con mujeres puertorriqueñas.

    La unica forma de reembolsar al pueblo puertorriqueño es que nos den nuestra idenpendencia, dejarnos ser libres y soberanos. Me despido con un pedazo la cancion de Andres Jimenes, la estrella de mi BANDERA no cabe en la americana.

  14. !Qué se devuelva la dignidad a Vieques!

    Como es de conocimiento general ante toda la comunidad hispana e Internacional,el gobierno de la nación más poderesa del mundo;y que en virtud de ello,se autodenomina defensora de los derechos humanos,ha tomado la nefasta desición de permanecer un tiempo indefinido(auque se diga lo contrario,en la Isla Nena)Como puertorriqueña,y como mujer servidora de Dios alzo mi voz de protesta e indignación ante este deshumnizante gesto del presidente Clinton y la Marina Norteamericana.No puedo entender cómo ,nuestros hermanos y hermanas en Vieques sufren el atropello más terrible al derecho inalienable que debe gozar todo ser humano de vivir en paz;de disfrutar del don de la vida,de que se le haga justicia depués de tantos años de dolor y sufrimiento.Ya no se trata sólo de una componenda polìtica

    del gobierno que se adjudica el derecho de sojuzgar a casi 9,000ciudadanos norteamericanos residentes es dicha Isla,sometiéndoles a toda clase de abusos.! Es asunto de respeto;de dignidad,de reconocer que Vieques merece

    vivir mejor! Que nuestros hermanos y nuestras hermanas en la Isla puedan dormir en paz;que los niños y niñas que allì están creciendo puedan hacerlo en un ambiente digno,en armonìa con una naturaleza libre de contaminación y sin tener como reloj despertador bombas que

    amenacen sus vidas ni su esperanza por un mañana mejor.

    !Es hora ya de que la Marina se vaya de Vieques! Su salida definitiva es reclamada por todos los sectores de nuestra dolida patria.No queremos que el futuro siga siendo sombrìo;queremos un futuro lleno de luz ,lleno de esperanza.La patria asì lo reclama.Si en verdad los Estados Unidos de América se consideran una nación justa y democrática comenzarán por reinvindicarse ante el mundo dejando a Vieques libre y limpio de toda contaminación.Como ministro del evangelio predicado por Jesucristo,como haermana de todos y todas los y las Viequenses que viven allá y aún los que están en la diáspora, les reitero mi compromiso de seguir luchando por la dignidad de Vieques y por la dignidad de

    todo Puerto Rico.A todos los boricuas que se encuentran en cualquier lugar del mundo les digo:!Adelante;no tengan miedo!Sólo cuando matemos al dios del miedo llegaremos a ser libres!Caminemos con los que caminan;no permanezcamos inmóviles junto al camino contemplando la procesión.Como dijera Khalil Gibran:”SEREIS EN VERDAD LIBRES,NO CUANDO VUESTROS DIASD ESTEN LIBRES DE CUIDADO NI VURESTRAS NOCHES DE NECESIDAD Y PENA.SINO,MAS BIEN,CUANDO ESAS COSAS RODEEN VUESTRA VIDA Y SIN EMBARGO,OS ELEVEIS SOBRE ELLAS DESNUDOS Y SIN ATADURAS!!DEVOLVAMOSLE LA DIGNIDAD A VIEQUES;DEVOLVAMOSLE LA DIGNIDAD A PUERTO RICO.!


    Rda.Noemì González Rivera

    Ministro Ordenada Iglesia Metodista

    de Puerto rico

  15. Que viva Vieques y Puerto Rico, libres de opresión
    Estimada Noemí:

    Te felicito por tu mensaje de paz y de libertad. El gran reto de nuestra generación es atrevernos a ser libres y cosechar los esfuerzos de los héroes puertorriqueños que durante el Siglo XX defendieron nuestro derecho a la soberanía plena: la independencia. Estoy confiado que los puertorriqueños que amamos la libertad enfretaremos ese reto con valentía y con compromiso patriótico para que nunca más un gobierno extrangero mande en nuestro país. Que Viva Puerto Rico Libre,
    Hans Perl-Matanzo, Harvard Students for Peace in Vieques, Now!

    Dear Compatriots and friends,

    The military occupation of our country is an abuse of power which helps reflect why our colonial status is not a valid option and is adverse to our national interest. The U.S. Armed Forces should compensate the victims of rape, assault and murder

    which have resulted as a consequence of

    their military occupation of our land.

    Cases like this one in Okinawa have

    occured in Puerto Rico too.

    TOKYO (AP) – A U.S. Marine has been

    arrested and accused of trying to rape a

    Japanese woman at a disco on the

    Japanese island of Okinawa, police said.

    Lance Cpl. Oswald McDonald, 29, dragged

    the woman into a corner of the disco

    Friday and attempted to sexually assault

    her, a spokesman for the Okinawa

    Prefectural police said.

    The woman resisted and the soldier

    backed off without physically injuring

    her, said the spokesman, who only

    identified himself by his last name,

    Shimada. The U.S. Marines confirmed the

    arrest on Friday, but gave no further

    details. Officials could not immediately

    provide McDonald’s hometown.

  17. RE: Que viva Vieques y Puerto Rico, libres de opresión
    Estimado Hans:

    !Saludos boricuas para ti y los tuyos!

    Agradezco en todo lo que vale la solidaridad que muestras con mis palabras que recogen el sentir de nuestra patria tan dolida y maltratada por el Imperialismo Yankee.Pienso que la lucha y el sueño de Betances,Hostos ,Allbizu y tantos héroes olvidados de nuestra patria debe ser perseguido hasta que finalmente seamos libres de la tiranìa del gobierno norteamericano.La democracia no es democracia cuando se atropella a mansalva a tantos seres humanos como es el caso de Vieques.Y repito que no es asunto de “limpiar” o indemnizar económicamente a los hermanos y hermanas Viequenses.¿Qué compensación puede pagar el sufrimiento de la familia

    de David Sanes o de las personas enfermas de cáncer y otras enfermedades que sufren muchos hermanos en Vieques? ¿Con qué moral se atreve el gobierno americano proponer siquiera que los puertoriqueños pensamos en términos de dólares pagando asi,el dolor que por sesenta años han causado a Vieques?

    !No! Nuestro pueblo es digno;es pacìfico pero no se arrodilla.Nuestra conciencia no se alquila ni se vende al mejor postor.Queremos que se nos trate con respeto y dignidad! Queremos a Puerto Rico libre y soberano!Es lo menos que puedo desear como mujer de Dios y como ciuadadana consciente de lo que significa la libertad y la soberania!!

    !Viva Puerto Rico Libre y Fuera la Marina de Vieques,…!!Yaa!!

  18. Nuestro Sueño: República de Puerto Rico
    Estimada Noemi:

    La felicito por su mensaje sobre la situación en Vieques y en Puerto Rico. Creo que como puertorriqueños conscientes del estatus colonial de Puerto Rico debemos trabajar arduamente por convencer a nuestros compatriotas que no tienen por qué temer la libertad de nuestro país. Ese es el gran reto a que se enfrenta nuestra generación: demonstrar que la libertad es algo bueno que beneficiará nuestra economía y calidad de vida. Si luchamos arduamente por conseguir la libertad de nuestra nación, cada día la independencia estará más cerca. Para eso necesitamos que nuestros jóvenes se comprometan con trabajar por nuestra causa pues necesitamos personas trabajadoras y disciplinadas que perseveren y nunca se rindan. Esta lucha es un maratón y en la meta está la libertad de nuestro país. Algún día en el futuro cercano lograremos la independencia. Nunca más un país extrangero mandará en nuestra propia nación. Un abrazo solidario, Que Viva Puerto Rico Libre, Hans Perl-Matanzo

  19. RE: RE: RE: U.S. Marine accused of rape attempt in Okinawa
    When soldier where allowed to freely roam in the civilian sectors in Vieques harrasment and sexual assault were common. This is a living memory among Viequense women who always recall how they had to hide inside their houses and how when they got drunk the soldier broke the cardboard or wooden doors to get inside. “Buscando Señoritas” is the frase Viequenses use when narrating this events. This lead to many fights.

  20. Puerto Rico Libre
    Estimada Noemi:

    Gracias por tus palabras tan acertadas.
    Que Viva Puerto Rico Libre! Un abrazo,

  21. Toxic Waste and Bombs in Vieques’ Sea
    From: “Vieques Libre”

    Subject: Toxic Waste and Bombs in Vieques’ Sea

    SOURCE: The University of Georgia,

    University Communications, News Bureau

    WRITER: Phil Williams, 706/542-8501, philwpio@uga.edu

    CONTACT: James Porter, 706/542-3410, jporter@uga.edu



    ATHENS, Ga. — James Porter, a professor of ecology and marine sciences at

    the University of Georgia, was the coral reef expert who, with two other

    divers, discovered that live bombs and two sunken ships lay in the waters

    off the Puerto Rican island of Vieques.

    Existence of the bombs and possible toxic waste in dozens of corroding

    drums still on the two vessels was made public today.

    “My view is the long view,” said Porter, a top coral reef expert who for

    many years has studied the decline of coral reefs around the world. “The

    question is my mind is simply this: How can we promote conservation in one

    of the most beautiful places on earth?”

    The island, which is within sight of the main island of Puerto Rico on its

    western end, has been the subject of controversy for years but intensely

    so since a Marine pilot dropped an errant bomb that killed a civilian

    security guard on the range which has been used for 58 years to prepare

    U.S. Navy and Marine forces for combat. Months of top-level negotiations

    with the U.S. government followed, during which President Clinton agreed

    not to reopen the site to live-fire training missions but proposed to

    reserve the right, over a phase-out period, to use it 90 days a year for

    use with “inert” bombs filled with concrete so that pilots could practice

    bombing techniques.

    Puerto Rico’s government and religious leaders subsequently rejected the

    compromise, and protests began on behalf of the island and its civilian

    population of more than 9,000. Protesters have been occupying parts of the

    Vieques range since April.

    Porter’s involvement began in July when the Puerto Rican government,

    seeking legal advice in dealing with the U.S. Navy, retained the Atlanta

    firm of King & Spalding, which hired Porter and two other men: James

    Barton of Underwater Ordnance Removal, Inc., a Virginia firm, and Fred

    Hoverkamp of Explosive and Reactive Materials, Inc., which is located in

    New Jersey. Together, at the request of the Puerto Rican government,

    Porter and Barton first visited Vieques on July 31 to examine the coral


    “The Puerto Ricans said they were told the holes in the reefs came from

    hurricanes and that there were no bombs in the waters off the islands,”

    said Porter. “We examined the area carefully and found that the holes were

    not from hurricanes, and there were a large number of live bombs in the

    waters as much as 400 yards offshore hundreds of live artillery shells and


    While negotiations continued between governor Pedro Rossello of Puerto

    Rico and U.S. officials in Washington, Puerto Rican officials asked the

    team to return once more to look for other evidence of damage to the coral

    reef. It was on this trip on Nov. 26, when the team discovered the

    wreckage of two ships loaded with barrels, some of which appeared to

    contain liquid while others appeared to be loaded with solid material. The

    ships lay in only 15-20 feet of water, and Porter estimated they had sunk

    about 10 to 12 years ago, based on the size of the corals which had grown

    on their hulls.

    The barrels were clearly leaking material into the water, and Hoverkamp

    took samples to determine if they held toxic materials. In addition,

    Porter said there was at least one compressed gas cylinders clearly

    visible, though what was inside the cylinders–if anything–was unknown.

    The team also used a device called a magnetometer to study the craters

    thought to have been created by hurricanes and found that all sectors of

    the crater walls had “metallic objects” or shrapnel in them, which, Porter

    said, confirm that bombs or explosives caused the craters.

    The team named the off-island shipwreck sites the “Reef of Barrels” and

    the “Barge of Barrels.” The Reef of Barrels consists of a ship at least

    100 feet long and 35 feet wide with between 150 and 200 barrels showing

    from a partially breached hull. Porter said this site is extremely

    dangerous because of an abundance of live artillery shells and bombs.

    The Barge of Barrels site includes a barge whose hull is broken in two,

    with a stern section 105 feet long and a disintegrating bow section at

    least 15 feet long. Porter said the team’s best estimate is that there are

    perhaps 900-1000 barrels at this site, which is also littered with

    unexploded ordnance.

    “There were two types of 55-gallon drums at both sites,” said Porter.

    “They had either screw-on bung-hole stoppers or strap-down lids. The

    former are designed for liquids and the latter for solids.”

    Porter has been widely quoted in the past few years as an expert on the

    decline of coral reefs, especially in south Florida, and his work has led

    to new knowledge about how corals grow and thrive.



  22. Open Letter to President Clinton
    January 30, 2000

    William Jefferson Clinton

    President of the United States of America

    As the Director of Harvard University Students and Professors for Peace

    in Vieques, Now!, an organization which counts with the support of over 60

    Harvard Professors and 500 students, we formally request that you order

    the immediate withdrawal of all U.S. Military personnel from the island of

    Vieques. As Commander in Chief of the U.S. Armed Forces, you have

    Constitutional power to order this withdrawal immediately.

    The people of Vieques have suffered far too much, for far too long, it is

    time to put an end to the suffering caused by the U.S. Navy in Vieques.

    Our request is simple: not a single more shot fired in Vieques, not with

    live bombs, not with dummy bombs, not with any type of bombs. If you give

    the go-ahead for a continuation of military maneuvers in Vieques,

    thousands of Puerto Ricans will swarm the beaches of Vieques to serve as

    human shields against the scheduled U.S. Navy bombardment.

    If you insist on ordering the U.S. Navy to bombard Vieques, you will have

    to arrest thousands of Puerto Ricans who will await the U.S. Navy ships

    and the U.S. Federal Marshalls. You will also have to deal with the

    world-wide condemnation of the International Socialist, since its

    Honorary President, Ruben Berrios has been living inside the U.S. Navy

    firing range in Vieques for the past eight month. Ruben Berrios will

    not leave until the U.S. Government agrees to close down its military

    instalations in Vieques.

    You can either decide to stop the Navy’s plan to bombard Vieques in March,

    or confront the responsability of ordering the arrest of the President of

    the Puerto Rican Independence Party and the Honorary President of the

    International Socialist. I do not recommend that you jeopardize your

    international prestige and the legacy of your Presidency by performing the

    cowardly act of arresting Ruben Berrios. To do so would force you to pay

    a price which is far too high: accept the resoponsability of robbing a

    man of his liberty for the crime of defending the freedom of his nation.

    To order the incarceration of Ruben Berrios will not silence his

    condemnation of U.S. colonial rule over Puerto Rico, it shall only

    strengthen his condemnation by a thousandfold. From Timbuctu to Beijing,

    you are on the verge of being remembered as a two-faced President who on one hand celebrated the legacy of Marin Luther King and on the other hand

    imprisoned a man for peacefully defending his country from

    U.S. Navy bombardment. Is this how you want to be remembered around the


    If that is not the legacy you seek, we request your immediate action:

    remove all U.S. Military personnel from Vieques.

    We hope you will avoid having to arrest thousands of brave Puerto Ricans

    who are defending their homeland. I am sure that if you were confronted with a foreign nation attempting to bombard the

    United States, you would also choose defend your country. We are doing

    what you would do if your country were threatened by similar circumstances. Since your country is threatened by the Armed Forces you head, we believe it is necessary to inform you of our pledge to defend our nation with all our might.

    Now you know our pledge, now you know the irrpearable cost of arresting

    Ruben Berrios and his brave countrymen, we hope you understand it clearly

    before you take a decision.


    Hans Perl-Matanzo / Harvard University Students and Professors for Peace

    in Vieques, Now!

  23. RE: Open Letter to President Clinton
    With great dismay and disgust, I read in the online edition of the NY Times that Puerto Rico (read Gov. Rosello) agreed “to permit the U.S. Navy to resume limited training on the island of Vieques and said it would help clear the bombing range of protestors who want the Navy to leave.” How could Rosello betray his own people this way? This hurts more than I can describe. The worst part of this U.S. Navy-Puerto Rico “agreement” is Rosello’s willingness to remove those Puerto Ricans actively protesting the Naval occupation on Vieques. How could he do this?????? What does Rosello stand to gain from this absurd accord?

    I implore you to reply Hans Perl-Matanzo. You’re one of only a handful of “voices of reason” in this forum.


  24. The Treason of Rosselló
    Dear JBáez,

    Rosselló is looking out for the interests of the cause of statehood, not for the interest of Puerto Rico’s self-determination. He supports statehood and he is willing to abandon the cause of peace for Vieques in favor of a settlement with the pro-statehood President Clinton. The Puerto Rican Independence Party and the people who support the cause of permanent peace in Vieques will respond with civil disobedience. Please answer with any comments or questions. Regards,
    Hans Perl-Matanzo

  25. RE: The Treason of Rosselló
    Dear Hans Perl-Matanzo,

    What can I do in New York? Should I appeal to my U.S. Senator? Or, head to the U.N. and plead for its assistance in reviewing such treacherous decisions? (I’m uncertain how I can enlist the U.N. in this effort.)

    The only sign of hope in this whole debacle that I foresee is the irrevocable damage Rosello has inflicted upon his own pro-statehood party in Puerto Rico. I’m confident that the citizens of Puerto Rico and those of Puerto Rican descent will see this mess for what it is: BETRAYAL!!!


  26. f_marrero@micronetix.net
    Please contact the representative of the Global Student Movement for Peace in Vieques, Now! in New York: Freddie Marrero. His e-mail is f_marrero@micronetix.net
    Freddie will organize a protest to condemn the deal between Governor Rosselló and President Clinton. Freddie is a great leader of the Peace for Vieques cause, and he will be of great assistance. Also, please visit the web-site Freddie has constructed: http://www.viequeslibre.org
    In solidarity, Hans Perl-Matanzo

  27. Y Sila Calderón, Dónde Está?

    La propuesta del plebiscito es absolutamente antidemocrática.

    Como Rosselló tiene la fuerza de cara de decir que ahora los viequenses son quienes van a poder decidir el futuro de su municipio?

    Primero: la propuesta deja que los viequenses decidan entre GUATEMALA o GUATEPEOR. Si el propuesto plebiscito fuese democrático le permitiría a los viequenses expresarse inmediatamente sobre su posición real: el cese inmediato de toda actividad militar en Vieques. La Marina sabe que los viequenses quieren que la Marina se vaya inmediatamente de Vieques. Por lo tanto, la Marina no se atreve permitir que esta opción aparezca en la papeleta.

    Segundo: la Marina no se tiene que ir de Vieques en tres años. Si el próximo Presidente decide que no está de acuerdo con la orden ejecutiva de Clinton, puede desautorizar la orden de Clinton y ordenar que la Marina se quede en Vieques indefinidamente. Que clase de acuerdo es ese? Si el próximo Presidente es el que va a decidir, entonces el acuerdo con Clinton no tiene fuerza de ley. Clinton prometió lo que no puede cumplir. En tres años Clinton no va a ser el Presidente de los Estados Unidos y por lo tanto no va a poder cumplir lo que prometió ayer.

    Su orden caduca el 15 de enero del año 2001. Luego de esa fecha habrá un nuevo Presidente que puede optar por desactivar la orden ejecutiva de Clinton.

    En fin, este acuerdo significa que Rosselló permitió que continúe el bombardeo en Vieques indefinidamente, sin ninguna garantía real de que la Marina se vaya de Vieques en tres años.

    Dónde en el acuerdo dice que la Marina acatará la volutntad de los Viequenses? Dónde en el acuerdo dice que el próximo Presidente estará obligado a aceptar la voluntad de los viequenses?

    Rosselló nos traicionó. Ahora la gran interrogante es: Qué hará Sila Calderón? La Alcaldesa de San Juan cumplirá su palabra de recurrir a la desobediencia civil ahora que los bombardeos en Vieques son inminentes?

    Espero que el Partido Popular cumpla su deber patriótico de establecer un campamento de desobediencia civil en Vieques. En solidaridad con Vieques,

    Hans Perl-Matanzo

  28. what is to be done?
    What is the long-term strategy as well as the short-term tactics to be taken?

    The plebiscite is obviously a manipulation that potentially divides the Viequenses from the mass supporters outside the island. It sets their interest apart from other Puerto Ricans. There is too the potential seduction of $50 million which is being disingenously dangled before the people of Vieques as if they were personally going to pocket it. Has anyone estimated costs for restoring the island. And how is the Navy going to both restore the island and its fisheries while returning to its full time war maneuvers? This referendum scheduled for May serves three purposes: to divide, to show the U.S. plays fair to an international public and national public, to protect the naval bases the U.S. obviously wants to keep in Vieques and in Roosevelt Roads. What is to be done?

    Boycott the referendum. Shut it down. The people of Puerto Rico should stop being Washington’s puppet. Rosello, of course, has clearly emerged as one. It is important to realize that “La patria no se vende.” Those that would treat Puerto Rico as a piece of real estate should realize that Puerto Rico is a nation and that a nation has by reason of state the authority to preserve itself. Raise the stakes, now! Call for the closing of Vieques and the Roosevelt Roads Naval base. This is no time to shrink back but push forward in a bigger way. Appeal to both the American and International public for support. Most importantly, keep the bodies coming into Vieques. Do not, by any means, allow any type of war games to proceed. Keep the arrests going. Appeal to the Puerto Rican soldiers in American uniform to break ranks. Make it hard on the Americans to want to stay. Make it a bigger liability, not worth the public image blotch or the headache of trying to maintain the bases there. Find other ways of pressuring. Never give up!

  29. Voice your Condemnation to Clinton’s Order to Bomb

    !Not one More Bomb in Vieques!

    The VIEQUES SOLIDARITY NETWORK is calling an Emergency Demonstration
    tomorrow, Wednesday, February 2, 2000 in front of the Puerto Rico Federal
    Affairs Offices in New York to protest Governor Rosselló’s betrayal of the
    will of the people of Puerto Rico that the Navy stop bombing Vieques.

    Governor Rosselló consented to the continuation of Navy bombing in
    Vieques. Protest against the actions of the governor and demonstrate your
    support for the people of Vieques, Puerto Rico!

    PLACE: 33rd Street and Park Avenue
    TIME: Starts at 5:00 PM



    !Not one More Bomb in Vieques!

    The VIEQUES SOLIDARITY NETWORK is calling an Emergency Demonstration
    tomorrow, Wednesday, February 2, 2000 in front of the Puerto Rico Federal
    Affairs Offices in New York to protest Governor Rosselló’s betrayal of the
    will of the people of Puerto Rico that the Navy stop bombing Vieques.

    Governor Rosselló consented to the continuation of Navy bombing in
    Vieques. Protest against the actions of the governor and demonstrate your
    support for the people of Vieques, Puerto Rico!

    PLACE: 33rd Street and Park Avenue
    TIME: Starts at 5:00 PM

  31. Letter to Aníbal Acevedo Vilá
    Anibal Acevedo Vila


    Partido Popular Democratico


    Te conoci hace catorce an~os y he seguido tu carrera politica

    desde sus inicios. Hoy, 2 de febrero del 2000, se define tu carrera como

    politico y servidor publico. No solo esta en juego tu credibilidad

    personal sino la credibilidad del partido al cual perteneces.

    Durante los ultimos meses la Presidenta del Partido Popular, Sila

    Calderon, ha afirmado que el PPD acudira’ a la desobediencia civil como

    “ultima alternativa” para defender a Vieques de futuro bombardeo. Tu

    tambien afirmaste que acudirias a la desobediencia civil en el “momento


    Todavia existe esperanza de que no caiga una bomba mas sobre el suelo

    viequense. No existe razon para que el PPD se rinda ante el acuerdo

    anti-democratico de Pedro Rossello y Bill Clinton. La esperanza de que

    no se dispare una bomba mas en Vieques depende de ti.

    Ambos sabemos que si tu cumples con tu palabra y con tu deber patriotico,

    sera’ extremadamente dificil que continuen los planes de bombardeo en

    Vieques. Te exhorto a que no le falles a Puerto Rico y que no le falles a

    tu palabra.

    Anibal, si tu’ y Sila Calderon toman la decision de acudir a Vieques

    existe una posibilidad altisima de que no ocurra el bombardeo pautado para

    comenzar en marzo. Es imperativo que ambos cumplan con su palabra de

    acudir a la desobediencia civil, no solo para conservar su credibilidad

    ante el pueblo de Puerto Rico, sino para defender a nuestra nacion del

    bombardeo inminente.

    Si no cumples con tu deber por principios morales, te exhorto a que

    cumplas por pragmatismo. Si es honesto tu planteamiento de que quieres que

    “no haya un solo bombardeo” en Vieques, entonces te pido que no

    permanezcas en las gradas criticando el bombardeo. Anibal, no sigas

    racionalizando la negativa del PPD a acudir a la desobediencia civil.

    Todos la mayoria de los puertorriquen~os, incluyendo los miembros del PNP,

    saben que la desobediencia civil es el recurso mas poderoso para lograr el

    cese permanente de los bombardeos.

    Te pido que hagas lo unico que puedes hacer para evitar que caigan mas

    bombas en Vieques: acude a Vieques a servir de escudo humano.

    No existe una manera mas contundente de proteger la paz en Vieques que

    cumplir tu promesa y hacer desobediencia civil como “ultimo recurso”.

    Si permaneces en las gradas criticando a Rossello’, ocurrira’ el

    bombardeo y el PPD se convertira’ en complice de la ausencia de paz en

    Vieqeues. El futuro de Vieques esta’ en tus manos. Como Vice-Presidente

    del Partido Popular es tu responsabilidad acudir a la desobediencia civil. Anibal, tu bien sabes que este acto valiente no solo es tu deber, sino que tambien es la manera mas efectiva de parar el bombardeo.

    Anibal, cuento contigo, cuento con tu palabra. Llego’ el momento de

    cumplir tu promesa.

    Puerto Rico espera tu presencia en Vieques,

    Hans Perl-Matanzo

  32. Ricky Martin condemns U.S. Navy Bombing

    SAN JUAN (AP) – El cantante Ricky Martin reiteró hoy que está en contra de la realización de ejercicios militares en cualquier parte del mundo donde se puedan ver afectados civiles y la naturaleza, especialmente en Vieques.

    “La Marina debe salir de Vieques lo más pronto posible´´, dijo el cantante
    en un comunicado de prensa.

    Sobre las órdenes ejecutivas del presidente Bill Clinton respecto a Vieques, mediante su representante artístico Angelo Medina, Martin dijo que “no es la alternativa ideal, ni quizás la esperada´´.

  33. Ricky Martin Condemns U.S. Navy Bombing

    SAN JUAN (AP) – El cantante Ricky Martin reiteró hoy que está en contra de la realización de ejercicios militares en cualquier parte del mundo donde se puedan ver afectados civiles y la naturaleza, especialmente en Vieques.

    “La Marina debe salir de Vieques lo más pronto posible´´, dijo el cantante
    en un comunicado de prensa.

    Sobre las órdenes ejecutivas del presidente Bill Clinton respecto a Vieques, mediante su representante artístico Angelo Medina, Martin dijo que “no es la alternativa ideal, ni quizás la esperada´´.

    Soy un puertorriqueno de la isla y me encuentro por este semestre trabajando como interno en el National Community for Latino Leadership en Washington DC. Escuche de la protesta de ayer y me entere de que hay una aqui en DC el 16 de febrero a la cual voy a asistir pero en terminos generales estoy desconectado de la situacion y apreciaria q. me informaran de cualquier cosa que haya en calendario particularmente aqui. Porfavor comuniquense a mi e-mail para ponernos en contacto. Gracias por su militancia y QUE VIVA VIEQUES LIBRE.
    Oscar Miranda


    La afirmacion del compatriota Hans de q. incidentes de violencia sexual similares al de Okinawa (y mucho peores) es totalmente cierta. Durante las primeras decadas de la abusiva ocupacion de la isla municipio de Vieques por parte de la Marina de Guerra de E.U. era usual que en determinados momentos hubiesen miles de soldados en la base y q. se les dieran pases masivos. En muchas ocaciones varios cientos de soldados “bajaban” al pueblo en donde hostigaban y agredian sexualmente a las mujeres q. no se hubiesen podido refugiar a tiempo. Pero ni siquiera dentro de sus residencias los viequenses estaban seguros, en muchas ocasiones marinos borrachos forzaban su entrada a las casas, se orinaban en los pisos y preguntaban, o mas bien exigian, “where are the senoritas?”. En muchisimas ocasiones se formaron peleas masivas porque la poblacion masculina viequense no tenia otra alternativa que defender a sus madres, hermanas y amigas por la fuerza. Los resultados; violaciones, agresiones fisicas y emocionales, muchisimos heridos y hasta alguno que otro marino muerto (no me consta que tambien algun viequense pero no seria raro).

    Esta informacion la he obtenido en mis visitas (no tan frecuentes como quisiera) al casco urbano de Vieques y al campamento de Monte David, el cual les puedo asegurar que sera la ultima trinchera.

    Gracias por su tiempo y PAZ PARA VIEQUES AHORA!!!

  36. Navy says “inert bombs” are very dangerous
    The leaders of Puerto Rico have the

    moral responsibility to condemn

    President Clinton’s order to continue

    bombing in Vieques with “intert bombs”.

    Herein I include the result of a U.S.

    Navy investigation which concluded that

    inert bombs” are so dangerous that they

    decided to increase the use of “live

    bombs” as a substitute for “inert bombs”

    “In 1992 the Navy shifted to more inert

    and fewer live rounds for

    NSFS [Naval Surface Fire Support]

    training in an effort to reduce the

    overall amount of live ordnance expended

    at Vieques. This was achieved,

    but safety margins in other areas were

    adversely impacted. First, Navy

    recognized the tendency of inert NSFS

    ordnance to skip on impact because

    of trajectory angle, often coming to

    rest far from the intended aimpoint.

    This skipping could endanger fisherman

    and pleasure boaters who enter the

    restricted area around the LIA during

    range operations. Second, the

    process of having the ship/Marine team

    exercise live weapon handling,

    loading, and delivery, as well as damage

    assessment was not fully

    exercised. The net result of the

    missing dynamics was increased risk to

    the Marines ashore in combat. As a

    consequence, a shift was made back to

    more live NSFS and fewer inert.”

  37. A Hans Perl Matanzo
    Hans: ¡Felicitaciones por tu trabajo en lograr la resolución de Cambridge!

  38. EL PIP COBRA FUERZA, es la alternativa MORAL

    El único partido político que ha

    defendido a Vieques con palabra y acción

    ha sido el Partido Independentista

    Puertorriqueño (PIP).

    Por eso los exhorto a que apoyen a este

    partido que ha sido un eje fundamental

    en la lucha por la independencia de

    nuestro país. Además, ha sido un

    instrumento de fiscalización de

    administraciones corruptas. Por estas

    dos razones, y muchas otras más, el PIP

    merece tu voto.

    El Partido Independentista Puertorriqueño cuenta con mi apoyo y espero que cuente con el voto de todos aquellos que queremos ver a Puerto Rico libre de ocupación militar estadounidense.

    Para más información sobre el PIP en

    Nueva York, contacten a Juan Rodríguez

    en pipny1@aol.com

    Saludos desde Cambridge, Massachusetts,

    Hans Perl-Matanzo

    Harvard Students for Peace in Vieques,


  39. Poll
    This poll of 600 adults residents of Puerto Rico was conducted by American

    Viewpoint, Inc., from June 9-11, 1997, with a margin of error of 4.1%.


    1. Do you consider yourself to be only Puerto Rican, only American or BOTH?

    65% Puerto Rican

    18% Both

    16% American

    1% Refused/No answer

    2. Can you recite the Pledge of Allegiance to the United States?

    63% No

    11% I don’t know what that is

    26% Yes

    3. Do you know the words of “The Star Spangled Banner”?

    66% No

    5% I don’t know what that is

    28% Yes

    1% Refused to answer/no answer

    4. In general, do you support Commonwealth, Statehood, or Independence for Puerto Rico?

    42% Commonwealth (ELA-Colonial Status)

    40% Statehood

    7% Independence

    8% Unsure

    4% Refused/No Answer

    5. (Asked of those who responded “Commonwealth” in Question 4.)

    Would you support statehood if a new Commonwealth does not guarantee

    American citizenship for the children of Puerto Ricans in the future?

    43% Yes

    40% No

    8% Maybe (Answer was volunteered)

    7% I don’t Know

    3% Refused/No Answer

    6. (Asked to only those who responded “Statehood” in Question 4.)

    Which one of the following is your principal reason for supporting


    16% Because we would not lose welfare, food stamps and social benefits from Congress and may receive increased benefits.

    23% Because I feel American and the United States is my country.

    37% Because of the civil rights we will have as American citizens.

    16% Because I do not want Independence.

    8% Other/I don’t know

    7. (Asked of those who responded “Statehood” in Question 4.)

    If adoption of English as the only official language of Puerto Rico was a

    requirement to Puerto Rico being granted Statehood, would you still favor

    Puerto Rico becoming a state?

    77% Yes

    16% No

    5% I don’t Know

    2% Refused/No Answer

    8. Do you believe that a super-majority of 75% of the vote, rather than a simple plurality of the vote, should be required for the approval of statehood?

    57% Yes

    29% No

    12% I don’t Know

    2% Refused/No Answer

    9. Have you ever lived in the mainland United States?

    53% Yes

    46% No

    1% Refused/No Answer

    Note: The 1990 U.S. Census found that 98.2% of the Puerto Rican population

    over the age of five spoke Spanish. Of those that spoke Spanish, 52.3%

    spoke no English, 24.1% spoke English with difficulty, and ONLY 23.6%

    spoke English well.

    This poll of 600 adults residents of Puerto Rico was conducted by American

    Viewpoint, Inc., from June 9-11, 1997, with a margin of error of 4.1%.

    Copyright (c) 1997 by U.S.ENGLISH, Inc.

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