Wednesday, October 20, 1999 Published at 01:46 GMT 02:46 UK
Puerto Rico stands up to US
Local leaders say the the issue could damage relations with Washington
By Peter Greste
The Puerto Rican government has formally opposed the US presidential inquiry recommendation that the navy continue to use a Puerto Rican island to train its troops.
Mr Rossello is a close ally of President Clinton's and wants to turn his Caribbean island territory into the US's fifty-first State.
But the recommendation of the US presidential inquiry has sparked anti-US feeling throughout Puerto Rico.
The issue came to a head earlier this year when a navy pilot on a training run missed his target by almost three kilometres and killed a civilian guard.
That incident prompted President Clinton to appoint the Rush Commission to investigate the navy's presence on the island.
On Monday the commission recommended that the navy continue to use Vieques for five more years, but that it should use that time to find an alternative site.
The US Navy's top uniformed officer, Admiral J Johnson, said the Vieques training-ground was essential to keeping navy and Marine Corps forces ready to fight together on land, in the air and at sea.