Puerto Rico

Dominican Exodus Forces U.S. Deployments

February 10, 2004
ABOARD THE U.S. COAST GUARD CUTTER KEY BISCAYNE · Slicing through whitecapped swells between the Dominican Republic and Puerto Rico, a U.S. Coast Guard cutter patrolled last week for Dominicans trying to reach U.S. shores.

Authorities caught about as many Dominican boat people in January as they did in all of last year, signaling a new desperation in a nation struggling through its worst economic crisis in decades.

The surge has prompted the United States to deploy more ships and aircraft in the Caribbean, where short-staffed agencies are expected to do search-and- rescue missions, hunt for drug traffickers, protect fisheries and guard against terrorist threats to cruise ships and oil refineries.

“We’re seeing something like we’ve never seen before,” said Coast Guard Lt. John Morkan, 35, aboard the St. Petersburg based Key Biscayne cutter, which arrived last month with its 18-member crew on a 35-day deployment in the Mona Passage. Read more >>

Waxing and manicures: marks of the new male appear in lands where machismo still is king

November 18, 2003
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico–Smearing hot wax on Harvey Soto’s back and unruly eyebrows, a black-clad aesthetician presses down on Soto’s skin and with a quick tug delivers him into the world of the metrosexual man.

The pain, puffiness and red patches are small prices to pay for being beautiful, says Soto, a 42-year-old graphic artist from San Juan.

“When you think of men here, you think about machismo or being rough,” says the burly Soto. “But that image is changing.”

In a region where images of unshaven men once ruled the billboards, machismo remains king, but the markings of manliness are changing. … Read more >>

Bombing exercises ‘must stop’

June 6, 2001
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico–Since the United States seized Puerto Rico more than 100 years ago, the island has fought the federal government to fly its own flag, protect the Spanish language and stop Navy bombing exercises on the outlying islands of Culebra and Vieques.

All but one of those battles have been won, with the Navy warning it plans a fresh round of bombing on its Vieques firing range next week.

A referendum set for November would allow voters the option of ending the military maneuvers, but only in 2003 – a delay that angers many opponents. Read more >>

Mob Attacks Marines

April 23, 2002
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) – A mob armed with bats and pipes attacked 10 U.S. Navy (news – web sites) Marines, leaving one with a cranial fracture and others with injuries from broken bones to minor scrapes, the Navy said Tuesday.

All 10 were released from the hospital Tuesday after a brawl that erupted Monday night in the colonial section of San Juan, capital of this U.S. Caribbean territory, said Lt. Corey Barker, a Navy spokesman.

The Marines — more than 60 wearing civilian clothes at the time — had just finished work as a security detachment for contested military exercises on the outlying island of Vieques.

Two Marines were arguing between themselves outside at about 11 p.m. when a mob armed with lead pipes and bats started beating them, Barker said. He did not say what the fight was about. Read more >>

Puerto Rico: Navy Violated Law

May 25, 2001
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico –– Puerto Rico’s government said Friday that the Navy violated federal law by lobbying members of Congress on the controversial subject of Navy maneuvers on the island of Vieques.

In its latest effort to stop the maneuvers, Puerto Rico said it has requested documents that it said can prove the Navy broke the law.

Using the Freedom of Information Act, Puerto Rico on April 17 requested records detailing the Navy’s relationship with three Vieques residents who went to Washington to present pro-Navy petitions to Congress, said James H. Burnley, an attorney representing Puerto Rico. Read more >>

Puerto Rico Holding Trans-Am Tour Event

October 24, 2003
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) _ With their right foot pressed to the metal and engines roaring down the road, some Puerto Ricans treat every day as if it were a Grand Prix.

That will become a reality Sunday.

Cashing in on racing’s growing popularity across the Caribbean and Latin America, promoters of the Trans-Am Tour season series are holding their first Grand Prix finale outside North America.

The race has attracted 23 world-class drivers from the United States and the Caribbean.
Unlike the open-wheel cars that race in the Indianapolis 500 or on the Formula One circuit, these are V-8 powered sedans _ Jaguars, Corvettes and Mustangs. They cost as much as $500,000 and can reach speeds of 180 mph.

“There’s the romance of fast cars with the reality of crashes,” said veteran driver Scott Pruett. “In Puerto Rico, it’s going to be big.” Read more >>