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Clinton Signs $40 Million Allocation For Vieques

Puerto Rico Protesters Say Federal Courts Delaying Cases

Party Politics Affect Who Pays For What

First Load Of FBI Files On Puerto Ricans Will Arrive Soon

Clinton Signs $40 Million Allocation For Vieques

July 15, 2000
Copyright © 2000 ASSOCIATED PRESS. All Rights Reserved.

SAN JUAN (AP) - President Bill Clinton signed into law the allocation of $40 million for Vieques and announced that Congress will begin discussion Friday of the most controversial part of the presidential directives - the transfer of 8,000 acres of land in the western side of the island municipality.

Upon signing H.R. 4425 Clinton said, "I am pleased that the bill provides $40 million included in our agreement with the Government of Puerto Rico related to the Navy training facility on the island of Vieques . This will be used for projects that will meet the health, environmental, and economic concerns of the residents as well as fund the referendum to determine the range's future."

The U.S. Senate approved Thursday by a majority the bill that authorizes defense funds for the next fiscal year, leaving out the presidential directives for the transfer of the lands in Vieques to the Puerto Rico government.

The House version of that bill includes the land transfer. The differences will be ironed out in a conference committee between the Senate and House.

Puerto Rico Protesters Say Federal Courts Delaying Cases


July 16, 2000
Copyright © 2000 ASSOCIATED PRESS. All Rights Reserved.

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) - The federal courts are purposefully delaying the cases of 120 protesters arrested for allegedly trespassing on Navy land on the island of Vieques , Fernando Martin, vice president of the Puerto Rican Independence Party charged Sunday.

"The judge found a way to keep us in prison longer than the law allows him," Martin said.

The pro-independence protesters remain in jail awaiting trial because they refuse to post bond, saying they do not recognize the federal court's jurisdiction.

Meanwhile, resident commissioner Carlos Romero Barcelo said that continued protests would delay the transfer of $40 million from the federal government to the island of Vieques.

The money would be used to remediate environmental damage and promote economic development and jobs on the island and address other social and environmental ills blamed on the Navy presence.

Congress specified that the money could not be transferred until the Navy certifies that illegal protests on Navy land have ceased and that training can be resumed as normal.

Party Politics Affect Who Pays For What

By Iván Román

July 16, 2000
Copyright © 2000 THE ORLANDO SENTINEL. All Rights Reserved.

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- July is the month both major political parties here usually have big parties and rallies. But this election year, many are asking if taxpayers should foot the bills.

July 25, the anniversary of the current commonwealth status, is a favorite of the Popular Democratic Party, while the New Progressive Party rallies two days later on the birthday of Jose Celso Barbosa, considered the father of the statehood movement.

Puerto Rico Comptroller Manuel Diaz Saldana criticized Bayamon Mayor Ramon Luis Rivera for paying for this annual NPP rally with public money. So his son, who is running to succeed him, announced that the NPP, not the city, will pay this year.

Not so with the PDP, and it is catching heat for it. The city of San Juan, private sources and PDP-controlled municipalities -- some of which even report deficits -- plan to cough up $350,000 to $400,000 needed to hold the rally in the northern oceanside town of Barceloneta.

"They shouldn`t go ahead with this because municipalities are supposed to be giving direct services to the people," Diaz Saldana said.

San Juan Mayor Sila Calderon, the PDP`s gubernatorial candidate, called the celebration an "official" event.

But NPP leaders weren`t buying it. They accused Calderon of wanting an event she could control and use to project her image during an election year.

"Any intellectually honest person knows that that is going to be a politically partisan event," NPP General Secretary Jorge Davila said.

First Load Of FBI Files On Puerto Ricans Will Arrive Soon

By Proviana Colon Diaz of PuertoRicoWOW News Service

July 17, 2000
Copyright © 2000 PuertoRicoWOW News Service. All Rights Reserved.

SAN JUAN - The first truck-load of FBI political dossiers on so-called "subversives" in Puerto Rico, which total up to 2 million documents, are expected to arrive in Puerto Rico by month's end, New Progressive Party (NPP) Sen. Kenneth McClintock said.

McClintock, who chairs the Senate Government and Federal Affairs Committee, is in charge of handling the documents once they arrive in Puerto Rico. Former Assistant District Attorney Rafael Cordero Rodriguez has been hired to handle the investigation into the participation of federal officials in the political persecution of Puerto Ricans since the 1930's.

Last May, FBI Director Louis B. Freeh announced that the agency would hand over 8,000 dossiers, or political files, kept on Puerto Ricans for their pro-independence or nationalist ideologies. This includes Puerto Rico Nationalist Party leader Pedro Albizu Campos and former Popular Democratic Party (PDP) founder Luis Muñoz Marin.

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