Viequenses support Barack Obama

Vieques is an exquisite white-sand-trimmed island, a jewel in the blue Caribbean, where the 10,000 Viequenses fight valiantly for cleanup of massive contamination left by the U.S. Navy, just as the people of Hunters Point fight for full cleanup of the massively contaminated Hunters Point Naval Shipyard.

by Nilda Medina and Robert Rabin, CRDV

The Committee for the Rescue and Development of Vieques (CRDV), one of the leading community organizations in the historic struggle that stopped the bombing and got the U.S. Navy out of that Puerto Rican Island in 2003, endorsed Sen. Barack Obama as president of the United States

Sen. Obama made specific written commitments on Vieques early in the electoral process, on the health crisis and contamination on the island. In April, he sent a delegation to meet with civic leaders and hear testimonies about the exaggeratedly high cancer case rate, lack of medical facilities and other social-economic problems related to the 60-year U.S. Navy presence and bombing activities there.

Obama’s close association with genuine allies of Vieques, such as Rep. Luis Gutiérrez, bodes well for Vieques, compared to other candidates.

Spokespersons for the CRDV also mentioned their concern with the Clinton camp due to the decision of President Clinton to allow the Navy to continue bombing for several years despite overwhelming unified opposition on Vieques and Puerto Rico. During that period – 1999-2003 – Viequenses declared ‘persona non grata’ Jeffrey Farrow, one of Sen. Hillary Clinton’s close advisors on Puerto Rico and Vieques.

Members of the CRDV believe that for Vieques, Puerto Rico, the United States and the world, Sen. Obama represents the best alternative to bring hope, understanding and meaningful change. For these reasons, the Committee for the Rescue and Development of Vieques endorses Barack Obama for president.

Nilda Medina and Robert Rabin can be reached at (787) 375-0525 or Robert.rabin@cprdv.org.