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Voice for continued and improved relationship between Puerto Rico and USA.
P.O. Box 19371 San Juan, Puerto Rico 00910-1371
Telephone: 787+758-4586 Fax: 787+725-1859 e-mail: PRUSA @puertoricousa.com
October 30, 2001
President George W. Bush
Dear President Bush,
The controversy surrounding the issue of the military practice range in Vieques, Puerto Rico, has apparently raised a question in some peoples mind of the loyalty of the people of Puerto Rico to our relations with the United States.
Recently, our Secretary of Defense was quoted stating the possibility of the closing of all military bases in Puerto Rico on account that "if they do not want us there, we will leave".
While it is true that some leaders in our present administration have not given the necessary support or have expressed an objection for our Navy to permanently conduct troop training in the Vieques facility, the truth is that the overwhelming majority of our population treasures our American citizenship and our relations with the United States.
Consistently over 94% of our populations confirm this relationship during each and every electoral event. Over 48% of electors favor permanent relations as a State of the Union, while another 48% of our population favors a permanent Puerto Rico-USA relation through a Commonwealth affiliation. Only about 3% of our electors favor an independent relation, with a good number of these voters still wanting permanent U.S. Citizenship.
Puerto Rico is a territory of the United States by virtue of the Treaty of Paris of 1898. People born in Puerto Rico are American citizens as granted by the Jones Act in 1917. Puerto Rican are not allies or friends of the United States. Puerto Ricans are American citizens. Our land is American. Puerto Rico, as a Commonwealth of the United States functions similar to a state of the union, with some differences; mainly integration in federal taxes and popular representation, that need to be corrected in the near future.
Puerto Rico has historically been very loyal to the American form of government and way of life. Since Puerto Rico became a territory of the United States in 1898. More than 200,000 Puerto Ricans have served in the U.S. Armed Forces in conflicts worldwide. Nearly 2,000 American citizens from Puerto Rico have paid with their lives the ultimate price for defending our country. In Korea alone, one of every 42 Americans who died in that conflict was Puerto Rican.
During the last week, two mayor claims of potential dangerous conditions in Vieques were found to be NOT TRUE; the Vibro-Acoustic Disease, and the toxic metal deposits claim. These two totally unfounded claims are evidence of the frivolous allegations make by several island and mainland groups to advance their political agendas. Another claim, a study of higher cancer rates remains unpublished and unproven.
I trust Congress will eliminate the proposed referendum and eliminate the Clinton-Rossello Accord and allow the Navy, and Armed Forces to continue their presence on our island.
Puerto Ricans are proud American citizens. We proudly want to continue, strengthen, improve and make permanent the good relations we have enjoyed during the last one hundred and three years.
GOD BLESS AMERICA!
Very truly yours,
John A. Regis Jr
Cc:Vice-President Richard B. Cheney
Secretary Donald Rumsfeld
Secretary Richard Danzig
Honorable Ruben Barrales