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Puerto Rican Governor Says the Bombing of Vieques Cannot Go On for Another 2 Years, Afterpresident Bush Says the Navy Will Pull Out in 2003

June 15, 2001

The Puerto Rican governor says the bombing of Vieques cannot go on for another two years after President Bush saysthe Navy will pull out in 2003. Puerto Ricans were less than optimistic yesterday after President George W. Bushannounced the US Navy would stop its bombing of the Puerto Rican island of Vieques by 2003.

Speaking in Sweden, Bush said the Navy should find somewhere else to train "within a reasonable period of time"because people had been harmed by the exercises in the past and Puerto Ricans "are our friends and neighbors, andthey don’t want us there."

Most of Puerto Rico’s political leaders say they want the Navy out now, and viewed news of the eventual pulloutcautiously.

Meanwhile, a federal appeals court upheld the convictions and sentences of the Reverend Al Sharpton and threeprominent New York politicians who were arrested during a demonstration against the bombing. Sharpton was given a90-day sentence while the other three were each sentenced to 40 days in jail.


  • Mario Murillo, long-time WBAI radio producer and author of ??Islands of Resistance: Puerto Rico, Vieques,and U.S. Policy, just released by Seven Stories Press.
  • Rev. Luis Barrios, Professor of Latin American Studies at John Jay College of Criminal Justice.