Tiny Culebra Island, some 55 miles (90 kilometres) off the coast of Puerto Rico--has once again been the scene of protests by its inhabitants against the United States Navy, which has been using certain Culebra beaches as targets during international naval manoeuvres in the Caribbean.
LV Bay on Culebra Island.
LV U.S. Navy ships at sea
SV American Navy observation post on sea coast.
SV Sign on tree "Propiedad de Dios" PULL OUT TO U.S. personnel clearing remains of demolished chapel.
SV U.S. troops repairing wire fence (3 shots)
SV Group of islanders watching (4 shots)
LV U.S. Navy ships firing at island (3 shots)
Initials BB/2141 LD/AS/BB/2215
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Background: Tiny Culebra Island, some 55 miles (90 kilometres) off the coast of Puerto Rico--has once again been the scene of protests by its inhabitants against the United States Navy, which has been using certain Culebra beaches as targets during international naval manoeuvres in the Caribbean. Similar protests took place in July last year when the people of Culebra staged a sit-down on the target area, forcing the Navy to cancel a number of exercises. The U.S. Navy owns about a third of the Island and uses many marked off beaches for regular aircraft and warship target practice. These scenes were filmed on Wednesday, February 10th.
SYNOPSIS: Culebra is a tiny Island in the Caribbean some 55 miles (99 kilometres) off the coast of Puerto Rico. One third of the island is owned by the U.S. Navy which uses certain beaches for firing practice. Last week U.S. and Canadian ships on manoeuvres in the Caribbean used these beaches as targets--causing the wrath of Culebrans who staged a battle with Navy personnel on shore. Ostensibly they were protesting the taking down of a Chapel built on one of the beaches against Naval orders, but the battle raged with Molotov cocktails the tear gas and the protest grew to include all Culebrans dissatisfactions with the situation in general.
Fences were torn down along the marked-off beaches, and Seabees were at work on repairing them on Thursday, as unrest continued to grow throughout the island.
This is not the first time that Culebrans have protested against the use of their beaches by the U.S. Navy--in July last year some five-hundred of them--about two-thirds of the population--stated a sit-down on one of the beaches destined for target practice, forcing the Navy to cancel several exercises. They maintained their positions for three days and nights-- and said they would continue such protests as long as the Navy remained on the island.