This year we celebrate the 10th anniversary of the closing of the U.S. Navy bombing range in Vieques, Puerto Rico. For six decades prior to 2003, approximately one trillion pounds of explosives were dropped by the U.S. military, NATO and other military allies in practice exercises.
After decades of protest and a campaign of non-violent civil resistance that began in 1999 and included the arrests of over 1,500 people, the Navy was forced to close the bombing range on May 1, 2003. Peace-loving people had defeated the most powerful military force in history without firing a single shot.
Presidential candidate Obama wrote to the Governor of Puerto Rico in 2008: “We will closely monitor the health of the people of Vieques and promote appropriate remedies to health conditions caused by military activities conducted by the U.S. Navy on Vieques.”
But that promise remains unfulfilled. The Navy’s presence and the environmental disaster it created continue to afflict Vieques.
For more on this story, visit: Provide adequate resources to address the health crisis in Vieques and fully clean up the island.