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Sat Jan 12, 2013, 04:43 PM

A Voice in the Wilderness: Liberation Priest Calls for the U.S. to Stop the Repression

January 08, 2013
Liberation Priest Calls for the U.S. to Stop the Repression

A Voice in the Wilderness

On February 17, 1980, Archbishop Oscar Romero of San Salvador sent a letter to U.S. President Jimmy Carter, the self-dubbed “human rights president,” in which he implored Carter not to support the repressive forces in El Salvador with lethal aid. Romero — once a conservative but then radicalized by the murder of his friend and fellow priest, Father Rutilio Grande — implored President Carter “to forbid that military aid be given to the Salvadoran government” and “to guarantee that your government will not intervene directly or indirectly . . . in determining the destiny of the Salvadoran people.” (1) Romero explained that

It would be unjust and deplorable for foreign powers to intervene and frustrate the Salvadoran people, to repress them and keep them from deciding autonomously the economic and political course that our nation should follow. It would be wrong to violate a right that the Latin American bishops, meeting at Puebla, recognized publicly when we spoke of ‘the legitimate self-determination of our peoples, which allows them to organize according to their own spirit and the course of their history and to cooperate in a new international order.”

I hope that your religious sentiments and your feelings for the defense of human rights will move you to accept my petition, thus avoiding greater bloodshed in this suffering country.

Sadly, Carter did not heed the good Archbishop’s pleas, and, on March 20, 1980, U.S.-backed assailants shot and killed Oscar Romero while he was saying mass.

Since that time, scores of priests have been killed throughout Latin America by U.S.-backed forces. In Colombia alone, 79 Catholic priests have been killed since 1984. This type of violence and repression has virtually wiped out the liberation Church which Romero described to Carter in his letter. And indeed, as Noam Chomsky has pointed out time and time again, the U.S. School of the Americas has bragged about how it helped “destroy liberation theology” which emphasizes the “preferential treatment of the poor.”


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Reply A Voice in the Wilderness: Liberation Priest Calls for the U.S. to Stop the Repression (Original post)
Judi Lynn Jan 2013 OP
Rozlee Jan 2013 #1

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sat Jan 12, 2013, 11:44 PM

1. My greatest personal hero has always been Archbishop Oscar Romero.

Which is saying a lot considering I'm an atheist. As a Latina, his drive for freedom from the oppression of the right-wing and it's supporters outside the country fired my admiration for him. Here in Texas, it's disgusting that school textbooks have wiped his name and works from their pages. But, the elders in my family know his name and his works and great sacrifice. We'll make sure his story continues to be told.

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