Puerto Rican Guerrilla Warns U.S.
By The Associated Press
SAN JUAN, Puerto
Rico (AP) -- A fugitive Puerto Rican guerrilla
leader warned Tuesday that his group would take action if the U.S. Navy
renews its military training exercises on Vieques island.
Rios, head of the Macheteros, or Cane Cutters, refused
to say what the group might do. But it has been blamed for a series of
attacks on civilian and U.S. military targets in Puerto Rico, including a
1979 shooting at a Navy bus that killed two people and wounded nine
``They know that
we speak seriously,'' Ojeda Rios said in an interview
broadcast on radio station WIAC.
occupied a Navy bombing range on Vieques since a
civilian guard was killed on April 19 in an accidental bombing. U.S. Navy
operations on the island have been the target of protests and legal actions
since the 1960s.
On Friday, President
Clinton announced that limited exercises would
resume next spring but that the range will close in five years. Puerto Rican
officials want an immediate closure.
In his interview,
Ojeda Rios said the Macheteros ``will be paying very
close attention to Vieques.''
Ojeda Rios was
sentenced in absentia to 55 years in prison for the 1983
robbery of $7.2 million from a Wells Fargo armored truck in West
Hartford, Conn. He was arrested in 1985 but disappeared while on bail
in 1990. In January, the FBI increased its reward for his capture from
$150,000 to $500,000.
10 people were arrested outside the United Nations
headquarters in New York for carrying out a protest against U.S. military
training on Vieques, a U.N. spokesman said.
caused delays at the main U.N. visitors' entrance and
brought a temporary halt to U.N. tours to ensure that none of the
protesters joined the tour groups, spokesman Fred Eckhard said. He
said the 10 demonstrators were charged with disorderly conduct.