Vieques (vyā´kās), island (1990 pop. 8,602), 51 sq mi (132 sq km), off E Puerto Rico. It is hilly, with a dry, warm climate. The town of Vieques, commonly called Isabel Segunda, was founded in 1843 and is the main population center. The island has gained popularity as a resort. Most of Vieques was within U.S. military installations from the 1940s. The facilities included a live-ammunition training area for the U.S. navy, a use that was the subject of protests by many Puerto Ricans. In 2001 the federal government announced that it would halt all military exercises on the island by May, 2003, but in the meantime use of the island for training continued to spark protests. The former installations are now being converted to a wildlife refuge and cleared of unexploded munitions.
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Publication information: Article title: Vieques. Encyclopedia title: The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed.. © 2012 The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia © 2012, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. Used with the permission of Columbia University Press. All Rights Reserved. Publisher: The Columbia University Press. Place of publication: Not available. Publication year: 2013.
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