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Sat Jan 12, 2013, 03:45 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
Peace Patriot Jan 2013 #1

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 04:01 AM

1. I think there were a lot of things Jimmy Carter had no control over. Same with JFK.

And ultimately neither had control over their presidencies. JFK lost his to assassination. Carter lost his by the Reagan treason (negotiating with Iranian hostage takers to keep U.S. hostages until the Carter vs. Reagan election was over).

I've observed this about the Obama presidency as well--that there are a lot of things he doesn't have control of, though I think this is more by choice (deals he made) than it was for JFK or Carter. James Douglass, in his recent book, "JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters," documents JFK's struggles with the CIA (in regard to Cuba, Russia, Vietnam and other matters)--with the CIA disobeying orders and acting completely on its own in many situations, and ultimately assassinating Kennedy who had vowed to "smash the CIA into a thousand pieces."

They did not get smashed into a thousand pieces--but of course grew even more powerful and unaccountable, along with their cohorts in the "military-industrial complex."

As for Jimmy Carter, given what he has done with his life as an ex-president, ousted in the Reagan coup, I would guess that he never received Romero's letter or, if he did, literally could do nothing about it--really and truly did not have the power; was hamstrung; came up against the same combination of forces that tried to control JFK (for instance, tried to force him to nuke Russia during the Cuban Missile Crisis), could not control him and murdered him because of it. Carter's lifelong passion for REAL democracy in Latin America--his totally awesome work via the Carter Center, in helping to establish honest, transparent election systems in LatAm--tells me that he WOULD HAVE done something about the CIA and the MIC in Latin America, IF HE COULD HAVE. The oil companies destroyed him (with deliberate shortages). The corporate press--rampant fascists by that time--destroyed him with various media techniques (remember the "giant rabbit" story?). And the Reaganites finished him off.

Counterpunch is sometimes too strident in painting everyone in our national political establishment with the same brush--all equally evil. Counterpunch is an excellent resource for leftist news and opinion but this is a flaw in some of its articles. It's just not so--it's not the truth--that every U.S. leader is evil. And Jimmy Carter is an excellent example. He's done more for economic and social justice, fairness and real democracy, in Latin America than just anybody you could name! It's an unfair paint brush that paints him as AGREEING to the U.S.-backed murders in El Salvador or anywhere else.

Oh, man, i just noticed who wrote this slander. Dan Kovalik! I should have known! I didn't see who the writer was at first--didn't look--just saw the Counterpunch url. Beware of this guy! He is a slime-bag of the first order, when it comes to the Latin American Left. He's clever. He knows how to disguise his anti-Left propaganda--unlike the Corporate Press.

The CIA must HATE Jimmy Carter by now with serious venom. His election system work has resulted in Chavez getting elected and re-elected in Venezuela, and in other socialist victories there, along with leftists getting elected all over the map! He even added, recently, that Venezuela has "the best election system in the world." Carter surely is a target to be discredited--smeared--associated with violence and fascist brutality.

My, my, my.

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