Today was announced the death of the historic fighter for the peace of Vieques and against the war exercises of the United States Navy and the bombing of Vieques beaches, Carlos “Taso” Zenón.
The legendary leader of the Viequense fishermen was 84 years old and had suffered a stroke three weeks ago.
Zenón will be remembered in the annals of Puerto Rican history, among other things, when on February 6, 1978, he led the first organized raid by Viequense fishermen against the United States Navy in the Vieques Sea.
The decision was made by the fishermen after the announcement by the Navy that they would carry out exercises for 28 consecutive days and that, therefore, they would close all the waters of Vieques except the entry and exit of the passenger boat.
Then the fishermen — whose only sustenance was the sea — came out determined to battle.
For ten hours, the fishermen – in their small boats – faced the Navy warships. They risked, fought, defeated and managed to paralyze the Navy. After that victory, between 1978 and 1983, the fishermen stopped 38 military exercises.
Carlos Zenón, who led the Vieques Fishermen’s Association, was the one who contacted other fishermen requesting their support to implement the fighting strategy conceived by Lino Lanzó.
Years later, Zenón expressed that “the Vieques struggle, in which the Puerto Rican people have participated intensely, has shown that the arrogant and implacable Goliath can be defeated. When the people unite in a cause for survival, they can defeat the adversary and his vultures,
“In Vieques, the Navy has been defeated on all fronts: in the courts, in the waters, on the dock, in the sand, he added.