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February 4, 2000

Senator Eduardo Bhatia '86 of Puerto Rico on the U.S. Navy Bombing of Vieques

PRINCETON, NJ -- The Honorable Eduardo Bhatia, senator for the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, will give a lecture titled "Enough is Enough: Popular Opposition to the U.S. Navy Bombing of Vieques, Puerto Rico" at Princeton University's Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs on Thursday, February 24, at 4:30 p.m., Bowl 1.

Vieques, a small island off the coast of Puerto Rico, has been used by the U.S. Navy for ammunition storage and military training exercises since the 1940s, before Puerto Rico's autonomous commonwealth status was established. The U.S. government paid $1.6 million to the government of Puerto Rico in exchange for 26,000 acres of land; civilians live elsewhere on the island. The training exercises, which have included exploding napalm on the island, caused a fatal accident in April 1999 when one civilian was killed and four others were injured when a plane dropped two bombs a mile and a half from its intended target. "Getting the Navy out of Vieques has become perhaps the hottest issue for the Puerto Rican community in the last 50 years," Bhatia has said.

Bhatia holds an A.B. degree from Princeton, where he majored in the Woodrow Wilson School. He also studied economic and political development policies in Santiago, Chile, on a Fulbright Scholarship. He earned his J.D. from Stanford University in 1990, and subsequently served as a law clerk to Judge Levin Campbell in the Federal Court of Appeals for the First Circuit in Boston. In 1992, he acted as a legal counsel and director of the Office of the Puerto Rico Resident Commissioner in Washington.

Senator Bhatia is a member of several Senate committees, including government and federal affairs; banking, consumer affairs, and public corporations; tourism, commerce, industrial development and cooperativism; health and social welfare; and the judiciary committee.

The lecture is sponsored by the Woodrow Wilson School.