Modal close

Hi there,

You turn to Democracy Now! for ad-free news you can trust. Maybe you come for our daily headlines. Maybe you come for in-depth stories that expose government and corporate abuses of power. This month, Democracy Now! is celebrating our 23rd birthday. For over two decades, we've produced our daily news hour without ads, government funding or corporate underwriting. How is this possible? Only with your support. Right now, in honor of Democracy Now!'s birthday, every donation we receive will be doubled by a generous supporter. This means if you give $30 today, Democracy Now! will get $60 to support our daily news hour. Please do your part. It takes just a couple of minutes to make sure that Democracy Now! is there for you and everybody else. Thank you! -Amy Goodman

Non-commercial news needs your support.

We rely on contributions from you, our viewers and listeners to do our work. If you visit us daily or weekly or even just once a month, now is a great time to make your monthly contribution.

Please do your part today.

Donate

Navy Resumes Bombing of Vieques

Default content image
Listen
Media Options
Listen

Related

Activists are gearing up for the resumption of U.S. Navy bombing exercises today on the Puerto Rican island ofVieques. They say that about 40 protesters are still on the bombing range. The Navy plans to resume bombingpractice that began on Friday but was halted yesterday for a religious ceremony.

The bombing of Vieques began in 1941 and has enraged many Puerto Ricans for years. The fury intensified after acivilian was killed in April 1999 by an errant shell that wounded four others. Since then, more than 600 people havebeen arrested for breaching the fence which surrounds the area, including 200 people who spent months camped out inthe restricted area.

The Pentagon claims that the bombing range is essential to military readiness. But many Puerto Ricans are angry thatthe Pentagon seems more concerned with military readiness than the health of the island’s 9,400 residents. PuertoRican officials say that Vieques has the commonwealth’s highest rate of cancer. And one government study found alarge number of people with symptoms of a rare heart disease that has been associated with exposure to loud noises.

The governor of Puerto Rico, Sila Calderon, won election last November after taking a strong stance against theexercises.

Hundreds of Puerto Ricans protested the bombing over the weekend. Many of them entered through holes cut in parts ofthe fence surrounding the bombing range, forcing the Navy briefly to call off the maneuvers. A total of 136protesters have been arrested since Thursday night.

Among those protesting are environmental lawyer Robert Kennedy, powerful labor leader Dennis Rivera, head of the150,000 member National Health and Human Service Employees Union (local 1199), and Congressman Luis Gutierrez (D-IL).According to reports, Gutierrez was beaten by police while in their custody.

Guests:

  • Roberto Rabin, Committee for the Rescue and Development of Vieques
  • Manuel Rodriguez Orellana, advisor on North American Affairs to the Puerto Rican Independence Party,former senator.
  • Carlos Rovira, co-coordinator of the Vieques support campaign in New York.

Related link:

Related Story

Video squareStoryFeb 06, 2019Puerto Rico: Vulture Funds to Make a Killing as Judge Approves Deal to Restructure Island’s Debt
The original content of this program is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License. Please attribute legal copies of this work to democracynow.org. Some of the work(s) that this program incorporates, however, may be separately licensed. For further information or additional permissions, contact us.

Non-commercial news needs your support

We rely on contributions from our viewers and listeners to do our work.
Please do your part today.
Make a donation
Up arrowTop