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Rebuttal To: "Defending Democracy With Bombs And Guns"
(Puerto Rico Herald Vol. 5 No. 33)

August 19, 2001
Copyright © 2001 PUERTO RICO HERALD. All Rights Reserved.

Rebuttal To: "Defending Democracy With Bombs And Guns", (Vol. 5 No. 33):

Dr. Oscar Arias is the former president of Costa Rica and 1987 Nobel Peace laureate. His words to the Sun-Sentinel included:

"What I do know is this: the situation on Vieques should prompt some searching reflection on the part of Puerto Ricans about the nature of democracy, just as it should prompt the U.S. government to look in the mirror and recognize the hypocrisy of defending democracy with bombs and guns while the people it claims to be protecting suffer a slow and agonizing death, with the added humiliation of having no power over the forces that destroy their lives and livelihoods.

"The bombing should be stopped, and both parties should take a lesson from the suffering of this small, sad island in the blue waters of the Caribbean Sea."

If Dr. Arias’ words and allegations (above) were true, then most mainland Americans would be inclined to say to all Americans who happen to live in P.R.:

    1. Even though we do not find any certainty of truth in your conclusions about our actions hurting the people of Vieques or of P.R., we are happy to conclude that at last the people of P.R. are ready for independence. They obviously do not need help from the mainland anymore and do not choose to support our desire to be able to defend our land against those who want to hurt us.

    2. Although two of our presidents allowed the unprecedented idea of giving ordinary citizens of Vieques the authority to close our base- an action that would take an act of Congress for any of the many similar bases and firing ranges on the mainland- it has been shown by the importing of many others from P.R. and elsewhere that the people of Vieques are now driven by the noise of the rowdy ones and their campaign of civil disobedience. They have voted in a non-binding way to ask the Navy to leave now.

    3.Clearly it is now time to let the island of Vieques depend upon Gov. Calderón and her pledge to help the developers with a $50 million pledge from her budget. The ordinary quiet folks of Vieques may yet find out how different it will be when tourism replaces the Navy to support the local economy.

We doubt that she or her friends will make themselves better off as a result, but we will ask our Representatives to ask Congress to call a vote that lets the people decide now between statehood and independence. We are not interested in negotiating, under independence, some sort of special treaty aimed at sending money as we always have to P.R. Nor are we anxious to continue providing citizenship to those who accept what has been done to the U.S. by those who listen to propaganda and unproven allegations.

We can only pray that perhaps other citizens of P.R. will realize what a mistake they are being asked to make in time to stop the actions that play into the hands of not only mad men like Fidel Castro, but even leaders that call for perpetual commonwealth, an idea that is impossible in the U.S.

Good luck! You will need it in the global economy.

Mainland Americans for "Paz a P.R.-its bigger than Vieques"
Richard Tryon

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