Vieques vs. the U.S. Navy

Island struggle rekindled

Vieques Island, Puerto Rico

The shoes of the fisherman, in Carlos Ventura's case, bear an historic obligation. Carlos's father, Severo, wore them for years during protests against the U.S. Navy, which in 1941 took over two-thirds of the island of Vieques, located just off the east coast of Puerto Rico. Before Severo Ventura died, he passed on the shoes and the responsibility that accompanies them. "The old man made us promise him that when he was no longer here, his children and grandchildren would continue the struggle," says Carlos.

Since April, Carlos Ventura has been wearing his father's shoes often. The struggle to free Vieques from the navy heated up again following the April 19 death of David Sanes, a civilian security guard killed when a navy F-18 fighter dropped two 500-pound bombs more than a mile off target.


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