Letter to President Clinton by
New Mayor of Vieques
Carta del Nuevo Alcalde de Vieques a Clinton

by Vieques Libre

Vieques Libre -

Dámaso Serrano López
Municipality of Vieques
P.O. Box 312
Vieques, Puerto Rico 00765

November 10, 2000

The Honorable William J. Clinton
President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W.
Washington, DC 20500

Dear President Clinton:

My name is Dámaso Serrano López and I am the Mayor-elect of Vieques, Puerto Rico.  I won Tuesday's election with 63.8% of the votes, for a four-year term as Mayor of Vieques.  My campaign focused on achieving the immediate and permanent cease and desist of all military activities in Vieques, which is the primary goal and demand of our people.  

At the same time, the candidates in the general election in Puerto Rico who support that same goal and demand, won in Tuesday's elections, among them the Honorable Sila Calderón, Governor-elect of Puerto Rico, and the Honorable Aníbal Acevedo Vilá, elected as Resident Commissioner to the U.S. Congress.

Another look at the weapons. Note the airplane that 
is just behind the tall steel structure.
The demand that the U.S. Navy must leave Vieques without dropping one more bomb, of any kind, has been the popular will of the people of Puerto Rico in general, and of Vieques in particular, before you issued your Directives on Vieques, and after you issued those Directives.  

President Clinton, now the will of the elected representatives of Puerto Rico, in the Mayoralty of Vieques, in the Governorship of Puerto Rico, in our Representative in the U.S. Congress, in the Puerto Rico Senate and House of Representatives, and in the majority of the mayoralties in Puerto Rico, concerning Vieques is the same as the will of the people of Puerto Rico in general and of Vieques in particular: That the U.S. Navy must be ordered out of Vieques now, without dropping one more bomb, of any kind.

We are calling on you to respect that demand and that, before you leave office ten weeks from now, that you issue an Executive Order implementing that demand.  

It was foreseeable that your Directives on Vieques would be changed by a Republican U.S. Congress, especially in an election year.  That is why we insisted that you issue the Executive Order that we are demanding once again.  You still have some time to do what's right, and the urgency of our plight is accentuated by the fact that the Republicans will control Congress once again.  

If you don't issue this Executive Order, your Directives (drastically modified by this Congress and with no guarantee that they will be respected by the next Congress) will be used to say that there is no alternative site to Vieques, that Vieques is indispensable and that the Navy hasn't found another site.  Meanwhile, bombing will continue in our island of close to 10,000 people.  The only incentive for the Navy to seriously find an alternative site is if they are ordered to stop bombing in Vieques.

Mr. President, on Election Day, during a radio interview with reporter Amy Goodman, you urged the American people to vote for the Gore Lieberman ticket, for First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton as Senator from New York, and for John Corzine as Senator from New Jersey.  In so doing, you told the American public the following:

"Now, the Republicans in Congress broke the agreement, and instead of giving the Western part of the island to Puerto Rico, gave it to the Interior Department to manage.  If I can't find a way to give that island, the western part of the island back to the people of Puerto Rico, and to honor the agreement that the government of Puerto Rico itself made with the support of the local leaders, including the mayor of Vieques, then the people of Puerto Rico I think have a right to say the Federal Government broke its word, and the training has to stop right now.

That encouraging statement, Mr. President, gives us hope that you will not once again let our people fend for ourselves once again before a Republican Congress, especially since you will leave office shortly.  It is easy to blame the Republican Congress for what they have done, and may foreseeable do, regarding Vieques.  But the constitutional authority to "stop the training right now lies with you, President Clinton.  If you fail to do so, the responsibility for the continuing suffering of our people and the disrespect towards the will of our people and our elected representatives, is solely yours.

I respectfully and emphatically call on you, President Clinton, to heed the will of our people and our elected representatives and issue an Executive Order ordering the immediate and permanent cease and desist of all military activities in Vieques.  Please call me in Vieques at (787)741-8065, or call Flavio Cumpiano in Washington, DC at (202)721-4688, to set up a meeting or a conference call in order to provide you with whatever information or assistance we can give, or answer whichever questions you may have, in order to resolve this critical situation and accomplish this essential demand.


Dámaso Serrano López

Editor's note: The bombing continues. That speaks volumes for the actions of the previous president who was a Democrat.


TRUE DEMOCRACY     FALL 2001     Copyright © 2001 by News Sourse, Inc.