Calderon To N.Y., Ch. & D.C.
Congress Postpones Referendum Decision
Governor: Navy Exit `More Difficult'
Inhofe Withdraws Live Fire Amendment
U.S. House: Navys Stay Could Be Extended, Vieques Residents Disagree
Calderon Headed To New York, Chicago, And Washington
September 27, 2001
SAN JUAN (AP) - Gov. Sila M. Calderon will travel again to the United States mainland to continue her efforts for the economic development of the island, La Fortaleza informed Thursday in a press release.
On Friday the governor will be the guest speaker before the Municipal Council.
The municipal forum is integrated by New York investors and bankers. Among the topics to be discussed there are the measures taken by the Calderon administration after the terrorist acts perpetrated on Sept. 11 in New York and Washington D.C.
La Fortaleza informed that on Saturday the governor will be traveling to Chicago, Illinois, where she will be the main speaker before the United States Hispanic Leaders Conference.
On Monday and Tuesday, Calderon will be meeting with congressional leaders in Washington as part of her efforts to promote Section 956 of the Internal Revenue Code amendments.
Asked whether she thought the proper environment was available for the approval of the code, Calderon said it was or else she would not be conducting these efforts.
"If I'm doing this, it is because I think it is reachable," said Calderon, declining to set a time limit for her efforts.
Romero Barcelo Alleges He Is Being Persecuted By Pesquera
September 27, 2001
SAN JUAN (AP) - Former Gov. Carlos Romero Barcelo said he felt he is being persecuted by New Progressive Party (NPP) President Carlos Pesquera, a claim that has been denied by the NPP president himself.
Romero Barcelo said in published reports that was the main reason for not showing up Tuesday, when Pesquera was certified as the new president.
Pesquera had said Romero Barcelo shouldn't run again for any elective post, but after a meeting with him, Pesquera said it was up to the NPP voters to decide.
U.S. Congress Postpones Decision On Vieques Referendum
September 27, 2001
SAN JUAN (AP) - The U.S. Senate postponed until next week the vote on the bill authorizing the expenses for the nation's defense, which would finally decide the future of the federal referendum regarding the military practices on Vieques, legislative sources said in published reports.
The decision was made for reasons that have nothing to do with the Vieques controversy, hours after the House passed its version of the bill that authorizes the expenses of the Pentagon for fiscal year 2002.
The House version of the bill, as expected, proposes the cancellation of the November federal referendum and orders the chief of Naval Operations of the U.S. Navy, as well as the Navy commander, to certify that they have found a site that is "equal to" Vieques before allowing the halt of the military training on the island municipality.
Governor: Demanding Navy Exit From Vieques `More Difficult' Now
By Proviana Colon Diaz
September 26, 2001
Gov. Sila Calderon said Wednesday that since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks to the United States, to demand the departure of the U.S. Navy from the small island municipality is now a "more difficult" issue.
"This is a very sensitive issue. It is our conviction, and we will continue to work within the reality that exists and within the solidarity that we have to have with the common defense we have with the Untied States . but certainly the circumstances make it more difficult, but one doesn't change convictions for difficulty," Calderon said.
Calderon first brought up the subject to express her satisfaction with the fact that Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) withdrew a proposal to leave the Navy's exit from the municipality of Vieques hanging, and to allow the maneuvers to be conducted with live ammunition.
Acknowledging that the circumstances of the world had changed and sustaining her unconditional support for President George W. Bush in his quest for justice, Calderon said her administration could in no way accept an amendment like the one presented by Inhofe.
Still, Calderon declined to say if her unconditional support would extend to changing her position and accepting the stay of the Navy in Vieques if Bush were to request her to do so.
The governor also took the opportunity to congratulate the leaders of Vieques in their decision to declare a halt in civil disobedience during the current round of military exercises, in light of the circumstances following the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.
Inhofe Withdraws Amendment To Halt Navy Ousting From Vieques
September 26, 2001
SAN JUAN (AP) - Democrats in Congress were able to halt Tuesday an initiative proposed by Sen. James Inhofe (R-OK) to leave the U.S. Navy exit from the municipality of Vieques hanging, and to allow the maneuvers to be conducted with live ammunition.
Inhofe's decision assumes that, as approved by the Armed Forces Committee, the Senate bill that authorizes Pentagon spending for fiscal year 2002 will not include any reference to the controversial military exercises in Vieques.
Vieques Protesters Say Navy Got Its Way In House Vote Against Referendum
By SANDRA IVELISSE VILLERRAEL
September 26, 2001
VIEQUES , Puerto Rico (AP) - Activists leading a campaign for the U.S. Navy's withdrawal from Vieques fear a move to cancel a referendum could extend the Navy's stay on the outlying Puerto Rican island.
The House on Tuesday voted to cancel the referendum and to allow the Navy to train on Vieques until an alternate site was found. The Senate must agree to the language in the bill before a decision is final.
"The state of hysteria in the United States with relation to the terrorist attacks has let the Navy have its way," protest leader Nilda Medina said. The Navy "has been lobbying so that the Senate and the House will let them stay in Vieques , ignoring the demand by the people."
Vieques Residents Disagree Over War Preparations
September 25, 2001
VIEQUES (AP) - The American flags flying across the United States are largely absent in Vieques, where the terrorist attacks have left an awkward tension over how islanders who have lived unhappily with decades of bombing exercises should respond.
While the guided missile cruiser USS Vicksburg fired non-explosive 5-inch shells at the Navy's firing range on the island Tuesday, Miguel Perez sold newspapers at the roadside with headlines of the imminent war against terrorism.
During past Navy training, Perez sang protest songs. This time, it just doesn't seem right.
"The exercises began, and I don't even feel upset," he said. "Everything has its time."
Most protest groups agreed not to invade Navy lands as they have during past exercises, when hundreds have been arrested for trespassing, prosecuted and jailed, in a show of solidarity with the victims of the attacks on New York's World Trade Center and the Pentagon in Washington.
Instead, small groups prayed for world peace outside Navy fences.
A few disagreed on scaling back protests.
"I don't understand why one act of terrorism justifies another," Miguel Gonzalez Rodriguez said.
"I think they're absolutely wrong saying 'Navy get out' now that there is a worldwide emergency," said Navy supporter Charlotte Ballard, a South African-born U.S. citizen who lives on Vieques.
While the majority still seem to stand against the Navy, it has become a more precarious position, said boxer Michael Sosa Velazquez, 18.
"People feel like if they start protesting and stuff, people outside will see them like terrorists," he said.