The Miami Herald
January 2, 2001

Puerto Rico changes leaders

 Associated Press

 SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- Puerto Rico's new anti-statehood governor said
 Monday she will hold true to pledges to oust the U.S. Navy from a bombing range
 and resolve the island's conflicted relationship with Washington.

 ``It's not a collision course, it's not a confrontation. It's about working within the
 respect that we must have for each other,'' Sila Calderón said as she prepared to
 take the reins of government today.

 Calderón, 58, spoke as grandstands were being constructed and celebrities
 arrived for her inauguration.

 Calderón is opposed to statehood, which was championed by outgoing Gov.
 Pedro Rosselló.

 Her victory in November and her Popular Democratic Party's success in winning
 the majority of seats in both houses of the local legislature were seen as a
 collective ``No'' to making Puerto Rico the 51st U.S. state.

 It was also viewed as a popular rejection of an agreement between Rosselló, the
 White House and the Navy that would delay any withdrawal of the Navy from its
 bombing range on the island of Vieques until 2003 -- even if islanders vote against
 the Navy's presence in a referendum next year.

 ``Unfortunately this agreement is not in accord with the general consensus in
 Puerto Rico,'' Calderón said. ``We have to bring this message to Washington, and
 I want to do it in a way that is open and honest and democratic.''

 On Sunday, Navy Secretary Richard Danzig informed Rosselló that the Navy
 would not transfer 8,000 acres of Vieques land to the government, planned for
 Dec. 31, until Calderón promised to stand by the agreement.

 The presidents of Venezuela, Haiti, Dominican Republic and Panama will
 participate in her inauguration, an indication of the respect commanded in the
 region by the woman who helped make Puerto Rico a tax haven for U.S.
 companies and used funds from the project to provide some $1.2 billion in aid to
 Caribbean Basin countries.

 Calderón, a former vice president of Citibank in Puerto Rico, was an architect of
 the plan while she was Puerto Rico's secretary of state in the last Popular
 Democratic administration in the 1980s.