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Calderon Thanks Bush, No Thanks To Berrios, Rossello & Clinton
By Proviana Colon Diaz
May 1, 2003
VIEQUES Gov. Sila Calderon issued a thank you letter to President George W. Bush on Wednesday on behalf of the people of Puerto Rico for fulfilling the promise to cease U.S. Navy military exercises by May 1.
She added that while key issues were still unsolved, she hoped that the presidents fair-minded policy would prevail.
"While fundamental issues remain pending particularly those related to environmental cleanup and land use I am confident that your fair-minded policy will continue to prevail and that together we will build a healthy, safe, and prosperous future for the people of Vieques," Calderon said.
During her afternoon press conference at the Vieques town hall, Calderon thanked many people who in her opinion should be recognized as responsible for the paths that led to the end of military practices.
As well as the residents of Vieques and their town mayor, Damaso Serrrano, Calderon particularly thanked Puerto Rican Independence Party President Ruben Berrios.
Ironically, she declined to give credit to Berrios decision and that of thousands of people to engage in civil disobedience as one of the key elements that lead to the closing of the target range that had been used by the Navy for 68 years.
She also declined to give any credit to former President Bill Clinton or former Gov. Pedro Rossello whose agreement led to Thursdays historic event.
"I have nothing to say about the second one and about Clinton, he never left a document with the strength of a law," Calderon said.
The governor arrived in Vieques nine hours short of midnight when the clock turns to May 1 and celebrations expected to last 24 hours will take place in Vieques.
Calderon noted that while she will be attending the ecumenical service at midnight, she will not be participating in any symbolic ceremony to tear down any fence in Vieques as organizers are planning to do.