Longtime Vieques Activist Robert Rabin Dies in Puerto Rico

Early this week, we received news that activist Robert Rabin had passed away. Our most heartfelt condolences go to his family and to the immense group of friends and admirers that he had gathered in over four decades of living in Puerto Rico. He was director of the Fort Conde de Mirasol Museum and the Museum of the Historical Memory of Vieques. Rabin died on Monday, February 28, from cancer.

According to Gloria Ruiz Kuilan (El Nuevo Día) Rabin went to Vieques, Puerto Rico, from Boston in 1980, with the idea of spending only three weeks on the island municipality, but he never returned to the United States again.

Rabin was a founding member of the Committee for the Rescue and Development of Vieques. As Democracy Now! writes, he spent six months in prison for participating in the mass civil disobedience campaign that helped pressure the U.S. Navy to end its bombing exercises in Vieques, a separate island eight miles east of Puerto Rico and a municipality of the commonwealth.

Rabin spoke to Democracy Now! in 2013: “The people of Vieques and the Puerto Rican nation, in the archipelago and in the diaspora, with help from thousands of people throughout the world, peace-loving people, without firing a single shot, defeated the most powerful military force in history. But 10 years later, we continue to suffer the effects of the toxic legacy — highest cancer case rates in all of Puerto Rico.”

In December 2020, the University of Massachusetts, his alma mater, conferred to him an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree.

For news in English, see https://www.democracynow.org/2022/3/30/headlines/longtime_vieques_activist_robert_rabin_dies_in_puerto_rico For news in Spanish, see https://www.elnuevodia.com/noticias/locales/notas/muere-robert-rabin-lider-y-activista-viequense/, https://www.noticel.com/ahora/top-stories/20220328/fallece-el-activista-y-lider-de-vieques-robert-rabin/, and https://www.wapa.tv/noticias/locales/muere-robert-rabin–activista-contra-la-marina-en-vieques_20131122527927.html

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