Open letter ref. the Rosia Montana mine proposal to the American vice president Biden

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Open letter ref. the Rosia Montana mine proposal to the American vice president Biden

22. October 2013 - The Rosia Montana Washington DC group sent on October 22nd an open letter to the American vice president Joe Biden reffering to the Rosia Montana mining project. The Romanian prime minister met Biden during Ponta's official visit to the United States. During the meeting, several protestars against cynide gold-mining demonstrated in front of the White House.

Dear Vice President Biden,

As we begin writing, we feel overwhelmed by this endeavor. But we proceed with confidence, because you often spoke throughout your unparalleled service in the US Senate and the Vice Presidency about the ‘need to rekindle the fire of idealism in our society’.

We are citizens, young and old - living, working or studying in the United States of America, all sharing one identity: that of being Romanian, children of a country we love and call our own, next to these great States. We follow and care about everything that happens in Romania, this most tumultuous of places on the European continent.

As your administration is preparing to receive the Prime Minister of Romania Mr Victor Viorel Ponta on Tuesday, we ask you kindly to consider our struggle in defense of environment, property and tradition in the case of Romania’s Roșia Montană. 

This township carries most of Europe's gold and silver, as well as important quantities of rare metals. This mineral wealth is under siege from a project set to endanger two thousand year old historic sites, damage the environment and imperil the livelihoods of generations to come, through the massive use of dangerous cyanide technology. Landmark institutions, such as the Romanian Academy, the Geological Institute or the Academy of Economic Studies have expressed clear points of view, underpinning a scientific argument against mining in the proposed form at Roșia Montană. 

Driven by reasons beyond our comprehension, the Romanian Government decided to go forward with the project. Government initiated legislation grants the project a go-ahead and empowers the lease owner with extraordinary powers for property expropriation. This blatantly ignores the voice of the people, civil society, academia, home owners from the project area who have taken to the streets in the tens of thousands every week since Sep 1. 

You will hear this is in the interest of job creation. You will hear it is in the interest of investments, also American. You will hear that the people on the streets are nothing more than left-leaning activists, ecologists and general good-for-nothings.

Mr Vice-President, what you see on the streets is Romania’s best, young, most dynamic and educated people, many working in international companies, academia and small businesses. They work think and act for Roșia Montană, out of no other interest than their concern for the future of country and environment. 

They are a people welcoming investment and proud of Romania’s place in the world, a member of the EU and NATO. They are people who love America for what it has given to the world, the dream that rights and freedoms belong to man and are to be upheld by society. It is in the name of these values that they speak out for Roșia Montană.

Mr Vice President, we are encouraged by your words: ‘For too long in this society, we have celebrated unrestrained individualism over common community’. We write you in the spirit of community, as Romanian Americans careful for preservation of our individual and common rights in the present, and with responsibility to generations in the future. 

As you lead a worthy fight in America and the world on the protection of the environment, conservation and climate change, we ask you, Mr Vice-President, to support our cause.

Romanians for Roșia Montană, United States of America

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