Residents of the Puerto Rican island of Vieques celebrated at the weekend after a US agency dropped claims that no health hazards had been caused by decades of US military exercises on and around the island: here.
Clearing Out Without Cleaning Up: The US and Vieques Island. Josue Melendez, Council on Hemispheric Affairs: “The commonwealth of Puerto Rico historically has been subjected to abuse by foreign powers intent on exploiting its rich resources, including a small stretch of land off the island’s east coast called Vieques. The U.S. Navy made extensive use of Vieques for weapons testing up until 2003, when it abandoned the island without cleaning up the traces of years of gunnery practice and test bombings, which were capriciously left behind. The consequences of these bombings continue to surface as cancer rates and incidents of ecological damage begin to mount”: here.
Puerto Rican independence leader Juan Mari Bras dies at 82: here.
Calle rock Havana
Cuba: Puerto Rico’s Calle 13 brought their edgy mix of reggaeton and hip-hop to Havana on Tuesday, rocking thousands of screaming fans from an outdoor stage on the capital’s Anti-imperialist Plaza just a stone’s throw from the US Interests Section.
In between songs, lead singer Rene Perez condemned US military bases in Latin America and called for an end to the US blockade of Cuba.
The band played Querido FBI, or Dear FBI, a song dedicated to militant Puerto Rican nationalist Filiberto Ojeda Rios who was shot dead by FBI agents at a remote farmhouse in Puerto Rico in 2005.
Police attack austerity rally
Puerto Rico:Police attacked leftwingers and trade unionists on Wednesday when they attempted to enter the US territory’s legislature during a protest against Governor Luis Fortuno’s budget cuts.
Police used pepper spray and batons to beat back protesters as they charged up the steps of the Capitol.
Speaking to local media, police chief Jose Figueroa Sancha accused activists of vandalising several cars outside the legislature.
Puerto Rico probes 53 prison deaths
United States: Puerto Rico’s prisons department announced at the weekend that it it is investigating the deaths of 53 inmates detailed in a report by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU).
Corrections Secretary Carlos Molina Rodriguez said that the probe’s findings may be sent to the island’s Justice Department “if necessary.”
The ACLU released a report last week saying that some of the deaths that occurred between 2002 and 2008 could have been prevented with better medical care.
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