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The Navy–Culebra protests is the name given by American media to a series of protests starting in 1971 on the island of Culebra, Puerto Rico against the United States Navy use of the island. The protests led to the U.S. Navy abandoning of its facilities on Culebra.
The Navy-Culebra protests, consisted of a series of protests starting in 1971 on the island of Culebra, Puerto Rico, against the United States Navy's use of the island. The historical backdrop was that in 1902, three years after the U.S. invasion of Puerto Rico, Culebra was integrated as a part of Vieques. But on June 26, 1903, US President Theodore Roosevelt established the Culebra Naval Reservation in Culebra, and in 1939, the U.S. Navy began to use the Culebra Archipelago as a gunnery and bombing practice site. In 1971 the people of Culebra began the protests for the removal of the U.S. Navy from Culebra. The protests were led by Rubén Berríos, President of the Puerto Rican Independence Party (PIP), a well-regarded attorney in international rights, President-Honorary of the Socialist International, and Law professor at the University of Puerto Rico. Berrios and other protesters squatted in Culebra for a few days. Some of them, including Berríos, were arrested and imprisoned for civil disobedience. The official charge was trespassing U.S. military territory. The protests led to the U.S. Navy discontinuing the use of Culebra as a gunnery range in 1975 and all of its operations were moved to Vieques.
Because of the efforts done by the protesters, the U.S. Navy abandoned its facilities on Culebra.
- "Puerto Ricans expel United States Navy from Culebra Island, 1970-1974". Swarthmore College. Retrieved February 9, 2013.