Resolution on Puerto Rico
Meeting of the Socialist International Committee for Latin America and the Caribbean, Bogotá, Colombia, 4-5 October 1999
The Socialist International Committee for Latin America and the Caribbean, SICLAC, meeting in Bogotá on 4-5 October 1999,
Within the context of the regime of political subordination in Puerto Rico, the government of the United States unilaterally retains and exercises military authority in this Caribbean country;
The intense bombing exercises carried out by the US Navy on the Puerto Rican island of Vieques and its occupation of two thirds of the territory of this island is detrimental to the peace, health and development of its almost ten thousand inhabitants, in violation of their human rights;
The government of Puerto Rico, with the support of all the political parties and of the highest hierarchy of the Church and the trade unions, has formally asked the President of the United States to immediately and permanently cease all military manoeuvres in Vieques and return the land currently occupied by the Navy to the people of Puerto Rico;
In its report on Puerto Rico of 10 July 1999, the UN Special Committee on Decolonisation, urged the Government of the United States to cease its military manoeuvres and its occupation of the island of Vieques;
As from 8 May 1999, Senator Rubén Berríos Martínez, President of the Puerto Rican Independence Party and Co-Chair of the SI Committee for Latin America and the Caribbean, entered the restricted areas of the Navy's shooting range in Vieques, set up camp and has remained there uninterruptedly in an act of civil disobedience and peaceful resistance which has become a symbol of the Puerto Rican people's resolve and has succeeded in preventing the resumption of bombing;
The President of the United States will be taking a final decision on the demands made by the people of Puerto Rico in the next few days, which, if rejected, will lead to the arrest and imprisonment of Senator Berríos Martínez and of those who take part in acts of civil disobedience, including the presidents of the other political parties, as well as religious and union leaders who have already publicly stated their position.
To urge the President of the United States to respect the will of the Puerto Rican people - who have so far been unable to fully exercise their rights to free determination and independence -and to order the immediate cessation of all military manoeuvres and the return of the land occupied by the Navy in Vieques to the Puerto Rican people.
To express its solidarity and support for Senator Rubén Berríos Martínez for his action and leadership in this cause, which is that of all the people of Puerto Rico.