Original: Spanish

The Socialist International Committee for Latin America and the Caribbean, SICLAC, meeting in Managua, Nicaragua, on 20-21 October 2001, associates itself with the demands of the people of Vieques, Puerto Rico, who voted in a referendum held on 29 July this year, by a majority of 70 per cent, for an immediate and permanent end to military exercises and return of occupied land by the US Navy.

SICLAC warns against the use of any pretext for ignoring the popular mandate of the people of Vieques, which strengthens the demand already issued by the Legislative Assembly of Puerto in the name of all Puerto Ricans.

Furthermore, SICLAC warmly welcomes the release from prison of Rubén Berríos Martínez, President of the Puerto Rican Independence Party, PIP, and Honorary President of the Socialist International, following the completion of his four-month sentence to Federal prison for acts of peaceful civil disobedience on the land occupied by the US Navy in Vieques — acts with which the Socialist International expressed at the time its full solidarity.

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