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Inhofe Supports Referendum

Bush Receptive On Vieques

Hansen Seeks Deal To Resume Live Fire

Rumsfeld Not Fully Briefed

Pataki Against Bombing

White House Halts Clinton's Orders

Vieques Alternatives Sought


Inhofe Supports Vieques Referendum

January 25, 2001
Copyright © 2001 ASSOCIATED PRESS. All Rights Reserved.

SAN JUAN (AP) - Despite former President Bill Clinton's statement that the U.S. Navy is likely to lose the Vieques referendum, both the Navy and Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla.., still support the scheduled Nov. 6 referendum and the rest of the agreement reached last year, officials said.

"Our position remains the same: the agreement should go through, and the referendum should be held," according to spokesman Gary Hoitsma.


Bush Receptive On Vieques

January 24, 2001
Copyright © 2001 U.S. Newswire. All Rights Reserved.

Transcript of Jan. 24 Press Briefing by Ari Fleischer

WASHINGTON -- The following is a transcript of remarks of today's press briefing by Ari Fleischer (2/ 4):

Q As you know, the new Governor of Puerto Rico has for all intensive purposes abridged the agreement worked out between her predecessor and President Clinton on Vieques , the island off the coast, which the Navy says it must have for live-fire training. Has the President decided a position on that?

MR. FLEISCHER: Okay, on the question of Vieques , the President is very well aware of the sensitivities on that issue, in Puerto Rico , and I think he's going to want to talk with officials of the DOD about that before proceeding.


U.S. Congressman Seeks Deal To Resume Live Fire In Vieques

January 24, 2001
Copyright © 2001 ASSOCIATED PRESS. All Rights Reserved.

SAN JUAN (AP) - Rep. James Hansen, R-Utah, who chairs the U.S. House committee with jurisdiction over Puerto Rico, will ask the Pentagon to renegotiate the Vieques agreement to allow the U.S. Navy to resume live fire exercises while an alternative site is found.

"We need to renegotiate a deal with Puerto Rico based on whether or not another place for exercises exists," Hansen spokesman Bill Johnson said in published reports.

He added that if another site is not found, "then we need to have a permanent relationship for realistic Navy training on Vieques," which would include live fire.

Hansen hopes to meet soon with Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and whoever is appointed the new Navy secretary to present his proposal.


Rumsfeld Not Fully Briefed On Vieques

January 23, 2001
Copyright © 2001 Federal Document Clearing House, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Defense Department Regular News Briefing Speaker: Rear Admiral Craig Quigley, Deputy Assistant

QUIGLEY: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen.

QUIGLEY: Yes, ma'am?

QUESTION: Yes, has Secretary Rumsfeld been briefed about the increasing violence and vandalism on the range in Vieques ?

QUIGLEY: I think that he has not been briefed in total yet on the history of Vieques, what brought us to where we are today, the current agreement in force between the government of Puerto Rico and the federal government. But on a daily basis, if there's something that the service chiefs or the chairman thinks that needs to be brought to his attention, they certainly would feel free to do that. I don't know if they have done that, but there's no bounds on what they feel is appropriate to brief him on.

QUESTION: Would Secretary Rumsfeld hold the governor of Puerto Rico responsible for the protection of the range or forces?

QUIGLEY: He has not made his views known on that yet.

QUESTION: And are there going to be any dialogue soon in light of the...

QUIGLEY: Can't put a timetable on it. I don't know. Thank you.

QUESTION: One more on Vieques, did the outgoing administration take any action at all vis-a-vis Vieques? There were a lot of rumors, as you know, they might.

QUIGLEY: Not that I'm aware of, Chris, no.


Pataki Speaks Against Bombing In Vieques

January 22, 2001
Copyright © 2001 ASSOCIATED PRESS. All Rights Reserved.

NIAGARA FALLS, N.Y. (AP) - Gov. George Pataki on Monday denounced U.S. Navy bombing practice on Vieques island and said he had pledged his support to the Puerto Rican governor's campaign against it.

"I think we should do everything in our power to end the live bombing and bombarding of Vieques ," the New York Republican said.

"I do share the governor of Puerto Rico 's desire to see the shelling of Vieques stopped and I intend to make that opinion known to the new administration," he said during a stop in Niagara Falls. "There are residents who live on Vieques and certainly their health, not to mention the environmental consequences of this, has been very, very significant."

Pataki said he had spoken with Puerto Rican Gov. Sila Calderon about the issue while at inaugural events in Washington, D.C., on Saturday.

"I spoke a lot with Governor Pataki," Calderon had told members of Puerto Rico 's news media. "He wants to help Vieques , he's going to help."


White House Halts Clinton's Orders On Vieques

January 22, 2001
Copyright © 2001 ASSOCIATED PRESS. All Rights Reserved.

SAN JUAN (AP) - White House Chief of Staff Andrew Card ordered a halt to all executive orders, regulations and instructions issued by former President Bill Clinton during his last days in office until a study is performed about their consequences.

"For the moment, I've given instructions so that the orders and regulations are not included in the Federal Register until the secretaries and chiefs of the different agencies have a chance to review them. It's a question of prudence," he said.

One of Clinton's last executive orders had to do with the presence of the U.S. Navy in Vieques.


Vieques Alternatives Sought


January 20, 2001
Copyright © 2001 ASSOCIATED PRESS. All Rights Reserved.

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Clinton instructed Pentagon officials Friday to develop alternatives to training exercises on Vieques, in case Puerto Rico's voters decide the Navy should leave the island before a previously agreed 2003 departure.

"A new governor, legislative majority and mayor have recently taken office on a platform of obtaining an immediate end to training," Clinton said. "They have also pledged to take actions that would be inconsistent with the resolution of these issues previously reached."

Clinton asked officials to report by March 9 on how Navy and Marine Corps training needs through May 2003 could be accomplished without exercises on Vieques. He also sought recommendations for long-term alternatives to live-fire training by Nov. 6.

In San Juan, Gov. Sila Calderon said Clinton's letter is "a step in the right direction," but "we would have liked him to stop the bombing permanently."

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