Viequenses and the Navy


The Committee for the Rescue and Development of Vieques (CRDV) called on the U.S. Navy not to hide the truth about its actions, its violations of laws and regulations, and its harm to the health of the people of Vieques by using the so-called “sovereign immunity” defense in the pending lawsuit by several thousand affected Viequenses against the Navy. The Navy has until this coming Monday, May 18, to answer the complaint -currently pending in the federal district court in Puerto Rico- and may attempt to avoid having the court hear the case on the merits by claiming “sovereign immunity.”


Nilda Medina, spokesperson for the CRDV, stated: “‘Sovereign Immunity’ is an antiquated legal defense that basically says that the state cannot commit a legal wrong and is immune from civil suit or criminal prosecution. In essence, the defense says that ‘The King can do no wrong’. For decades the Navy acted with impunity in Vieques, using the people of Vieques as guinea pigs for their toxics and chemicals, ranging from napalm to depleted uranium. But it must allow for the whole truth to come out and not shield its actions behind this defense. What does the Navy have to hide? Why can’t they own up to what they did and accept responsibility for their actions in Vieques?”

Medina added that, based on the recent congressional report and hearings further discrediting the ATSDR (Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry)’s public health assessments on Vieques, and the various independent studies showing a clear link between the Navy’s activities in Vieques and the health crisis among Viequenses, it would be highly irresponsible for the U.S. Government to not allow further discovery in the pending case.

[I would like to thank Robert Rabin for the information included here.]

For more information, contact:

Robert Rabin, Committee for the Rescue and Development of Vieques
P.O. Box 1424 Vieques, Puerto Rico 00765
Telephone: (787) 375-0525; Fax (787) 741-8787

Beach photo from*session*id*key*=*session*id*val*

For article by John Lindsay-Poland, “The Future of a Bombing Range,” and crater photo by by Jorge Fernández Porto, see

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