From death row:
Mumia in solidarity with Vieques
To many in America, the word "Vieques" is virtually
meaningless. To Puerto Ricans, both on the island and on the
U.S. mainland, the word "Vieques" is a reason for rage, and a
stimulus to anger.
Why? Because the history of the island of Vieques, a small
island that is part of Puerto Rico, proves clearly that Puerto
Rico and her territories are merely prettified colonies of the
Vieques, a municipality of Puerto Rico, was
expropriated--taken--by the U.S. Navy in 1941. And
three-quarters of Vieques became a military bombing ground, and
tens of thousands of island residents were forced off their
farms and lands, some settling on the "big island" (Puerto
Rico), and others taking up life in the Virgin Islands, leaving
the land of their birth.
Acclaimed Puerto Rican nationalist Pedro Albizu Campos would
aptly accuse the U.S. Navy of carrying out a campaign of
genocide against the people of Vieques, noting that "Vieques'
society is dying ... due to a cold, deliberate and intentional
attack by the U.S. government."
The proud nationalist would also lambaste the Puerto Rican
colonial government for "collaborating with Yanqui despotism on
the island by maintaining silence regarding the cold-hearted
destruction perpetrated by the U.S. in Vieques."
Albizu Campos was right when he wrote these words in 1948;
he remains right. An empire doesn't ask; it takes. A colony has
no choice in the matter; it gets taken.
The fate of Vieques is indissolubly linked to that of the
big island (Puerto Rico) and lies at the very heart of the
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