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Vieques Decision Is Near, Clinton Says; Poll Suggests
Lukewarm Support for Ending Navy Presence
THE WHITE HOUSE
VIEQUES DECISION IS NEAR,
Office of the Press Secretary
For Immediate Release
November 24, 1999
REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT AT ANNUAL THANKSGIVING
The Rose Garden
Q Mr. President, on Vieques, how are
you going with reaching a compromise with Governor Rossello with
regard to Vieques?
THE PRESIDENT: Well, we're working very hard on it,
and the Defense Department and the government of Puerto Rico have
been working together. And here's a case where I believe there
are two legitimate issues here. There's the legitimate concerns
of the people of Puerto Rico, which I think are quite real, particularly
the people on the island. And then there's the absolutely legitimate
concern of sending all of our units out combat-ready. So we're
working hard through that.
I have spent a lot of time on it myself, and I hope that in the
next few days we'll have something to say about it. We're getting
Q Mr. President, how soon will you hear
from Secretary Cohen on Vieques? Today or Friday?
THE PRESIDENT: I don't know. We've worked hard on this.
I think largely the timing will be determined by the facts --
that is all the issues that are out there that we're still working
through. Because I feel very strongly that the people of Puerto
Rico have some legitimate concerns, not only just on the facts
here, but on the whole relationship since 1983 with the military.
I think that Secretary Cohen and Secretary Danzig were very concerned
about it. They've been extremely responsive, and I think everyone
has worked hard in good faith here.
I must say, I've been very impressed by the work of -- and the
approach that Governor Rossello and Congressman Romero-Barcelo
have had, and also the people at Defense. We've really worked
hard on this in a good spirit. And like I said, I've spent an
awful lot of time on it myself. And I hope we can get it worked
out. I'm not sure -- I can't say for sure we will, but we're making
real headway and we're working hard.
Q Thank you.
POLL SUGGESTS LUKEWARM SUPPORT FOR ENDING NAVY
PRESENCE; 56% WANT NAVY TO LEAVE
November 19, 1999
ASSOCIATED PRESS NEWSWIRES
Copyright © 1999 THE ASSOCIATED PRESS. All Rights Reserved.
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) - Puerto Rico's politicians insist
there is unanimous opposition to U.S. Navy exercises here, but
a poll published Friday suggested there is lukewarm public support
for a Navy withdrawal.
Fifty-six percent of those surveyed said they want the Navy
to abandon its bombing range on Vieques island, according to the
poll sponsored by El Nuevo Dia newspaper.
Nineteen percent favored keeping Navy facilities on Vieques
but without any bombing, while 18 percent said they'd support
continued maneuvers without live munitions. Only 2 percent said
they favored unrestricted resumption of bombing.
The poll, conducted by The Research Office, a San Juan firm,
had a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points.