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PUERTO RICO HERALD
Vieques Has Been The One Thing That P.R. Has Contributed To The U.S.
By Pat Alan
February 19, 2004
TO: Puerto Rico Herald
RE: Vieques Has Been The One Thing That P.R. Has Contributed To The U.S.
February 19, 2004
I wish that Puerto Ricans could see their position from an outside perspective. I know that Vieques has been an issue for several years and that the speculative cancer causes, 50% unemployment, and 72% poverty level is a major concern.
Fortunately, Vieques has been the one thing that Puerto Rico has contributed to the United States. It provided invaluable training experiences for countless pilots and ships. Since Puerto Rico does not contribute to the defense budget by being exempt from paying [federal] taxes, Vieques served as their settlement.
Year after year the US Government pours millions upon millions of taxpayer dollars into the Puerto Rican economy. The only thing that was asked was for training in Vieques. Training, by the way, that directly and indirectly provided substantial employment for thousands of Puerto Ricans, unlike their peers who work at Wal-Marts and Pueblo Xtra.
Would it be such a stretch of the imagination to suggest that not everyone can afford to live on a private luxury island in the Caribbean? Vieques is a wonderful island, not doubt. But can people continue to live there in the face of toxins, unemployment, and poverty and then claim that the answer is US taxpayer's dollars? Taxpayers who may save for their entire life to enjoy the island paradise that Viequens live in.
The US Government has made significant financial contributions to Puerto Rico, has provided them with military protection free of charge, and has allowed for the issue of statehood vs. independence to be decided by the people. How long can Puerto Rico's "give me, give me, give me" mindset last?
None of the above!
We as tax paying US Citizens know exactly why this was your vote. You would have to pay taxes to be a state yet you wouldn't get our tax money if you were independent! Puerto Ricans hate the US Government but every city corner from San Juan to Ponce is within view of a WIC office, giving free formula, milk, and necessities.
Puerto Rico is like the teenager who thinks that they know everything yet is too immature to actually step up and take on any responsibilities. I say you break from the US now, while you know everything! Give up countless more government jobs so that a few people can enjoy the delicate island life which is Vieques. On the bright side, money will trickle into the economy each time they take the ferry from Vieques to Fajardo!