20 October, 2002  Committee for the Rescue and Development of Vieques

Press Release
Viequenses urge people not to lower the guard
Recent declarations by the Governor of Puerto Rico, Sila María Calderón and US Navy Admiral, Robert Natter, about the end of military practices in May and the transfer of Navy exercises the have been carried out in Vieques to Florida and other states on the East Coast of the US, promted the Committee for the Rescue and Development of Vieques (CRDV) to call for those who support the struggle for peace on Vieques to keep firm and not lower the guard and continue preparations for the next round of civil disobedience.
“The Navy’s calendar includes renewed bombing here in January or February and there’ll be absolutely no celebration until we have an executive order for the immediate and permanent cessation of all military activity,” expressed Robert Rabin, one of the spokesman for Vieques group.
The governor announced she received an official communication about the Navy leaving Vieques in May – without offering details – and used the ocassion to congratulate New York governor, Georgre Pataki – who seeks reelection in November -   describing him as one of the most important people responsible for this “victory”.   Nater, on the other hand, spoke in Florida, where President Bush’s brother – Jebb Bush – governor of that state, also looks to be reelected next month.   The Viequenses described as positive the prominent position that Vieques occupies in the congressional and gubernatorial elections for November.
“The intense struggle of our people and the wide solidarity toward Vieques among the Hispanic population in the US, forces politicians there to favor the Navy leaving Vieques,” according to Nilda Medina, also spokesperson for the CRDV.
Veteran activist and leader of the CRDV, Ismael Guadalupe, informed that the group created a special commission to coordinate with organizations in Vieques, in Puerto Rico and other countries, the massive protest and civil disobedience actions to take place in May of 2003 if the Navy insists on staying on the island.