The ADVERTISER cartoon (July 19) begs for a review of history.
“Forget Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador, just say your name is Elian and you’re from Cuba.”
*Guatemala: The elected government of Jacobo Arbenz was overthrown in 1954 by the US/CIA (called “La CIA”) among people to the south who have lived in fear of us. Arbenz intended to nationalize thousands of acres of land controlled by US corporations. There has been a trail of violence and poverty ever since, leading to continual flight from such hunger, violence and suffering.
*Honduras: The previous elected government in Honduras was overthrown in the last decade by forces that feared “deprivation” of the wealthy ruling classes. US agents again supported the aristocracy.
*El Salvador: Throughout the 1980’s fourteen powerful families dominated the tiny Central American nation. During a lengthy internal war (no wars are “civil”) Washington supported the powerful families and trained the police in the School of the Americas (SOA) based in Ft. Benning, GA. The soldiers who murdered six Jesuit priests teaching in the university in November 1989 were also trained in the SOA. The woman and her daughter who worked in the university returned to the Jesuit compound to escape violence in the streets of San Salvador. They were also killed.
Archbishop Oscar Romero was murdered at the altar by SOA graduates while celebrating mass in a cancer hospital chapel.
President Reagan supported “contras” with money and weapons to overthrow an elected government in Nicaragua. Refugees from Nicaragua also seek security elsewhere.
Most have forgotten Elian, the young boy from Cuba who was torn between a life of luxury in Miami or returning to his family in Cuba. What is his situation like now? He lives in a poor nation that still provides free education and health care to all citizens.
Cubans may know more history than we do. They remember the Ostend Manifesto of 1854 when pro slavery US representatives met in Ostend, Belgium where they would propose buying Cuba from Spain. If Spain would not sell, the US would simply take Cuba by force to transpose a system of slavery that was about to end on the continent. The plot was discovered and publicly rejected in the FREE SOIL PRESS by Secretary of State Marcy in Washington.
Not least, people of Chile recall the first “9/11” occurred in Santiago, Chile where the elected government of Salvador Allende was overthrown by “La CIA” and a large US corporation in a bloody 9/11/73 coup. General Augusto Pinochet then ruled for 17 years. My university classmate who spent thirty years in Chile still carries buckshot in his back after being fired upon for peacefully objecting to torture in a Santiago building by the Pinochet regime supported in Washington.
Thousands will continue fleeing violence to the south as our diplomats and officials in Washington do not perceive violent seeds planted over painful years. Knowledge of history, language, culture might be subjects of interest for all soldiers and US elected officials. Thousands are fleeing turmoil that is linked to faulty foreign policies.