Statement on Puerto Rico and the island of Vieques

1 May 2001

The Socialist International expresses its deepest concern regarding the renewal this week of bombing exercises by US Navy forces on the Puerto Rican island of Vieques and the arrest of Rubén Berríos Martinez, leader of the Puerto Rican Independence Party and an Honorary President of the International, and more than a hundred and forty people who are protesting through peaceful means the utilisation of Vieques for military purposes.

As it did during its last Congress and reiterated in its statement of May 2000, the Socialist International continues to endorse the report on Puerto Rico issue by the UN Special Committee on Decolonisation, which urged the Government of the United States to cease completely military exercises in Vieques and to return all land occupied by the Navy to the people of Puerto Rico.

The Socialist International also reaffirms its full solidarity with Rubén Berríos Martínez and all those peacefully resisting on Vieques, as well as those throughout Puerto Rico, the U.S. and elsewhere who are adding their voices to the call for an end to military exercises on Vieques.