I've been asked to sign a petition to the USA Congress to cancel or at least change the Plan Colombia, which gives Colombian government money to buy arms ( as we didn't have enough), to fight the guerrillas, which everybody in the US press call the leftist fighters, even that most of those fighters are children or illiterate peasants who had joined the armed groups out of poverty or intimidation, but don't have any political ideals.
They also ask me to talk with my friends and relatives, most of them Colombians, to reject the military intervention and the criminal spray of pesticides which destroy not only the coca and poppy plants, but crops vital for our people's nourishment. But the fact is that most people in Colombia are fed up with the abuses of the FARC, the ELN and the paramilitary groups. Thousands of Colombians have been kidnapped; their business ruined, suffered the death of a dear relative, or had to abandon their towns and farms. Some of them want revenge or at least justice and reparation. They look at Mr. Uribe as their only hope, for because of the strong military presence they can now travel to their country houses and feel safe in their homes.
I don't like the military aid, which benefit mainly the American weapon dealers, for I'm convinced that the only way to obtain peace is by Social Justice as John XXIII wisely said. Some times I wonder how can some of my Colombian fellows continue to live apparently normal lives regardless the massacres in remote places against innocent civilians; I've noticed that many people don't even read the papers and think that the problem is what they call "mala prensa" (bad press) against Colombia. But at the same time, who am I to judge them? They have to give their children a normal life and instill in them dreams and hope in the future. That's why there is still, music, laughter, carnivals, festivals…a lot of prayers, and an incredible high level of happiness and pride among most Colombians.
And yes, there are corruption and human rights violations in part of the army. I regret that. But on the other hand, the guerrilla fighters randomly commit terrible acts against innocent civilians, destroy bridges, electric plants, police stations, churches and schools, because they have tons of money, and especially because there are a lot of countries ready to sell them all kinds of sophisticated weapons. What can the government and especially the Army do? Colombia is a country at war. And unfortunately, human right violations are common during war times. Remember Abu Grabi and Guantamano.
That's the sad story about my beautiful country. I think that unless every government stop making and selling weapons like candy; unless we change this war mentality which gives citizens the right to bear arms, but denies them the right to a decent health program; until we stop trying to impose democracy by force and instead of building jails for the poor minority children, we make an effort to improve housing, education, drug rehabilitation and above all create jobs, there is little hope for peace in the world.
It's very easy to demonize Colombia because of the drug traffic when even some American soldiers or members of the DEA are dealing in drugs. That's another war we are losing, and suggesting as one of the Hollywood actors did to invade our country, to protect American youth is naive, to say the least. Sadly, our American children have enough licit and illicit drugs on the streets. The so called "civilized world" has to use a different approach to remedy this terrible disease.
Forgive me for this long letter. I'm going to finish with the words of General Barón, one of the Colombian high army commanders, a few years ago, answering to the Colombian parliament's question, "Why aren't we winning the war despite all the money we've spent; and why is it that some of our soldiers are guilty of human right violations?
This was his honest, painful answer: "Ladies and gentlemen, our army is composed of the poorest and most undeserved youths in the country. They are not angels, for some of them have been displaced, homeless, ignored or abused. For those children or youths, there are only three choices in Colombia: to join the military if they qualify; to join the guerrilla or paramilitary forces or to become a hit man".
That night, I cried myself to sleep.
(What an irony that upper class children can enjoy peace and freedom without risking their lives in the Colombian jungles or mountains, while the poorest of the poor defend the system).
Note: I wrote this article on April l8, 2005 with a few variations. Things haven't changed much since then. There is some investment in social programs and the government has made a big effort to attract members of the armed forces to civil life. But without job programs there are disturbing signs that the fight has been moved to the cities where there're more bandits and thieves now; we still have more than 2.000 kidnapped Colombians in captivity waiting for a Humanitarian Pact to rescue them; and the number of misplaced, terrorized people, grows dramatically day by day.
Why did we come here?
The first European settlers came to America looking for religious freedom. Columbus for a shorter route to get the spices, and riches from India ; adventure and greed moved Spaniards Conquistadors later, along with their crusade to convert the infidels to Catholicism and expand the Spanish empire, even if it took destroying among others the Inca, Maya and Aztec cultures. That's old History.
At this time in History we are confronted with new immigrant waves. And though there is probably a remnant of an adventurous spirit in some immigrants, the hope that the "grass is greener" on the other side of the road, most immigrants come escaping from oppression, violence, or poverty, as was the case with the Europeans during and after the World Wars. The same is true for many Latin Americans today. After all, looking for a better future for your family is a valid motive to leave your home, friends and language, even if the cost is to live forever in a kind of "limbo".
What seems to bother some people, however, is our skin color, although Hispanics are not a race and we come in every shape and shade. Few Americans are complaining about Russians, the second largest group of immigrants to New York a few years ago.
Unfortunately while the U S A continues its policy toward Latin America , offering our countries the stick instead of the carrot, the Hispanic immigration will continue to grow. At this very moment, to cite only a case, many Mexican farmers are abandoning their parcels enable to compete with the American subsidized agricultural products. The same is true for Colombian factories and farms, as violence wasn't enough to drive people away. The truth is that the monster called "globalization" is ruining our economies from México to Argentina
Everybody worries also about bad apples, especially after 9/ll. Ironically, Florida businesses looked the other way when the Colombian drug lords came to Miami to deposit their dirty money and buy houses, planes, boats, weapons etc. They are also thrilled with the wave of rich Latinos, mainly from Colombia and Venezuela , who are bringing their money to escape economic instability.
The outcry, however, is against poor immigrants. Those who are the main victims of politically corrupt systems, our foreign policy or natural disasters like the Hurricane Hugo. There is still another complain: that the USA will loose its sacred English language by the attack of what they perceive as a lesser one: Spanish. But experience proves that once the members of the new generations go to school and are exposed to American television and culture, their language of choice will always be English. However, with 35 million Hispanics living in USA today, and the numbers growing even as we speak, Spanish will continue to be our second language. It's time for us to wake up. Remember that Canada has two official languages and Belgium almost five.
I know this is just a brief overview of some of the forces that move human beings, Hispanics in this case, to emigrate. I fully understand that it is easier to take the rich and famous rather than the displaced people from around the world. Only that traditionally, our leaders are so blind that instead of creating jobs and promoting peace abroad, they are fueling chaos abroad.
Thus, we are left many times with "THE TIRED, THE POOR, AND THE HUDDLED MASSES YEARNING TO BE FREE..."
That is our curse, but also our challenge.
"Beware of the country that needs heroes!"
This has been a violent year around the world. In Colombia the guerrilla attacks had destroyed and terrified small towns, killed, wounded, or maimed high number of soldiers or plain citizens, while the government reacted with the same violence, taking eye by eye. And as usually, most of the soldiers dead, as young and poor as some of the guerrilla fighters, are declared Heroes. Therefore, their mothers, wives or children are presented with a flag, or a medal. And I keep screaming: stop the war, WE DON'T NEED MORE HEROES.
Wonder how many had fallen in Iraq or Afghanistan this week while the United States politicians are too concentrated on solving their own economic crisis. And of course, most of the dead soldiers are also declared Heroes, and their families presented with the flag, a medal, and in some cases a Green card. What an Irony. And I keep screaming from the distance: please stop the war, WE DON'T NEED MORE HEROES.
I wonder how many people fall each day for telling the truth about crime or corruption. And why not, we have the right to call them heroes. Three days ago, Facundo Cabral, an Argentinean poet, singer and peace leader, fell in Guatemala after a successful visit, for been in the wrong place at the wrong time. His death is another cross over the Central American people crucified by the current region's violence. And I keep screaming from the distance: please, stop the war, WE DON'T NEED MORE HEROES.
In the meantime, the world witness with disbelieve some Washington politicians' efforts to keep the benefits and exceptions for the rich, limiting social programs to solve the economic crisis.. We should call them ANTIHEROES.
What an irony that in one of the richest countries of the world, the one who developed the best medicines, the one with the greatest number of Nobel price winners, best doctors and scientists; pioneer in State of the Art medicine including the most sophisticated instruments and diagnostic gadgets, only the rich can afford a mammography, an echography, or even basic eye operations, because a simple visit to the doctor can take away one month's salary. Parents restrain their children from practicing sports, enable to pay for accidents, despite the First Lady's efforts to promote physical education to fight obesity.
There are not heroes here, unless you call heroes the Seniors who have to decide between paying for food or medications. Or the dedicated scientist and researchers who worked so hard to improve medical care over the world, to find out that the greedy pharmaceutical companies, or sacred cows like GE. are the ones who benefit from their work
Adding insult to injury in this chaotic situation, some rich countries keep selling weapons to friends and enemies, while pretending to be peaceful States. In this infamous list are USA, Israel, Switzerland, Czchecoslovakia, Brazil and many others that keep fueling violence and promoting wars without any regard for millions of innocent people, especially young children who are falling like flies in Latin America, Africa or Asia. They keep the money. We loose many generations of young boys and girls, the ominous harvest of poverty, ignorance, neglect, corruption, and rotten political systems more interested in building jails than schools or rehabilitation centers. So, don't blame me if I, at the door of my 83 years, keep screaming from the distance: stop the war. WE DON'T NEED MORE HEROES!
Today is heroes' day in Colombia, my country. Summer 2011
Mother's day should be every day, but this one found me in Orlando, FL., where I came to visit my family and continue a postpone task: to review and update my Web Page, but especially the section "A bottle to the sea". But after reading and rethinking for a few days, I arrived at the decision to leave it like it is. Here are my reasons.
As I see it, the world around me has exactly the same problems it did when I began my Web page. It is true that Mr. Chávez is not in Venezuela, but we have Mr. Maduro, as populist and addicted to violence and power as his predecessor. And though Mr. Bush is gone, some greedy and intolerant politicians haven't allowed President Obama to end the war in Asia.
Regarding war addiction, we have more sophisticated and lethal weapons today and even worst, those war machines are each day more accessible to the wrong people in every country. It is also true that most governments in the world keep avoiding social changes, and trying to solve everything, as youth delinquency using the wrong medicine. That's why they keep building jails instead of schools, and expending more money in Interdiction than in education, health, especially mental health, and job creation.
It continues to be true that the desire of money and power is a growing evil around the world, at the point that it has permeate every social class, and even poor people is willing to do anything to get it, no matter the consequences.
So, here I am trying to update the short articles or messages I once wrote about my dreams, frustrations, and hopes. Until I came to the conclusion than given the circumstances, as the shortage of time, I want people to know that my feelings about those obsessive themes, haven't changed at all. At the contrary through all my experiences and readings I have become more upset and uneasy about those problems I refer to in my writings and my poems.
As a matter of fact, I remain not only worried but offended by the growing inequity in this world, as described in Joseph Stiglitts book "The price of inequality". And as a pacifist, each day I'm more frustrated at the futility of the peacekeepers' efforts everywhere to give the new generations some justice and peace.
And talking about war and peace, I just read two moving and interesting books: "Unbroken", by Laura Hillebrand, and "Los ejércitos" by the Colombian author Evelio Rosero. Both books written in very different times and scenarios, convinced me even more, than men, most men, turn into monsters, devoted of humanity, during a war, any war.
Thank you for your patience
For most Latin Americans, especially for those of us who have lived in the U S. and have a broader perspective of the US Latin American relationships, the fact that the United States has traditionally used the stick with its Latin-American neighbors, while the whole carrot was saved for the Europeans first and the Asians during the last twenty years, is obvious.
After all, we don't speak English and our heritage is a mixture of Europeans, Indians and African ancestors. Furthermore, most U S citizens are taught at school that their country is a separate continent, while AMERICA for us is a continent that goes from "Tierra de Fuego", south of Argentina, to the North Pole. Hence, we consider ourselves Americans, and our students sing "America the Beautiful" in Spanish at school.
But by ignoring and exploiting the Latin American countries the way the US government and many US corporations have traditionally done, and trying to impose unjust "trade" agreements, Uncle Sam has ruined our economies causing unemployment, poverty and resentment throughout Latin America, not to mention a massive wave of Latin American immigrants to the United States. That's what I, an anonymous writer without a PhD in political science, call "the boomerang effect".
The economic boomerang is a modern weapon, as effective as the primitive boomerang, a wooden weapon designed to return near its thrower. Because it is a fact that by giving most US jobs to Asia, and especially to China, the US has created the XXI. Century monster, an octopus whose tentacles are reaching further and further every day squeezing the US economy, and those of South American countries as well.
As a matter of fact, and because China is only a few hours away from the Colombian Pacific coast (look at the map) with the new transportation systems, most stores here are flooded by chip Chinese goods, while many of our factories are closing, creating more unemployment and desperation among a large section of the population.
To cite but one section of our economy adversely affected by the Chinese dumping practices, during the last months many Colombian shoe factories have being put out of business, enable to compete with the 500 pesos shoes (the equivalent of 25 American cents) coming from China, and sold in our stores for as little as $5.000 pesos (2 dollars) a pair.
On top of that, I have learned from different sources that one of the new practices among Chinese business people is to recycle used electric appliances dumping them at very low prices in our country's black market, where there is little or no protection for the consumer after an article leaves the store. Watch out President Chavez to make sure your Chinese friends, so anxious to buy the Venezuelan oil, won't pay you with obsolete machinery, in the same manner that some Europeans and US corporation have done to Colombia selling us from used planes, helicopters and rifles, to lethal medications, pesticides and other chemicals forbidden in their countries.
Coming back to the boomerang effect, the best example is that of the Iraq war. Purportedly intended against terrorism, it has backfired creating more terrorism around the world, with thousand of lives and billions of dollars lost along the way.
I'm afraid it is already too late to stop the Latin immigration wave. Just today, while I write this letter, hundred of desperate Ecuadorians cry for one hundred loved ones, who drowned packed as sardines in a fragile boat they had boarded for a trip to Central America, hoping to reach the United States later on.
I have been told there are small towns in Peru and Ecuador where the only ones left to manage family and community affairs, are the women. To the point that a Peruvian child came to ask President Toledo: "please, bring my father back".
Yes, it is already too late to stop the Latin immigration wave, because the rich countries have never understood that the only way to end it is to create jobs and improve life conditions for our people in their homeland. As one of my friends told me one day, even birds emigrate when they are deprive of food, or jobs, in this case.
I'm afraid it is also too late to stop the Chinese dragon. After all, even that China is a dictatorship, it has become the US best trade partner and money lender. Accordingly, we must learn t speak Chinese.
Buga, Colombia, August l9, 2004
A letter from Colombia.
Dear readers, Latin America doesn't need more weapons or more military personnel. Our biggest problems are poverty and social injustice.
The last outrageous data reveled this week, shows that 40 % of our Colombia's population lives in poverty, and a large number of them are indigents. It's a well known fact that 30 % of Cartagena's population, the beautiful tourist Mecca, go to bed hungry. And yes, even Brazil, our richest Latin American country has a large number of its young population trying to survive in the subhuman atmosphere of its "fabelas" plagued with crime and desperation. I doubt that the millions of dollars approved a few weeks ago in the Brazilian congress to buy submarines and other sophisticated military equipment will change that.
Ask Mexico, USA back yard, with its large number of multimillionaires living in luxury, if the constant flow of weapons coming from its closest neighbor has helped to curb crime. Or ask President Hugo Chavez, the big mouth, if the more than thirty five million dollars he squandered buying weapons have made Venezuelan streets more secure.
I can go on and on from country to country to prove that our biggest problems are poverty and social injustice, something President Cristina Fernández forgot to mention in her opening speech in Bariloche, though she spoke about peace. But you can not have PEACE with an empty stomach Madame President. You can not have peace without social justice.
Granted, we can't deny those other problems: drugs and narco-guerrillas.
Colombian President is right when he denounces illegal groups criminal and random terrorist attacks, perpetrated especially on the poorest of the poor, those who live in far away places and don't have enough money to pay bodyguards.
But again, bringing the most sophisticated weapons to the Colombian military bases, and more foreign advisers is not going to change that.
Go ask President Obama if the most powerful army in the world was able to stop the carnage in Afghanistan last week. I never forget President Bush's rarest intelligent declaration when he launched that infamous war against Afghanistan: "I'm not going to send an expensive military aircraft against a 2 dollars tent". But he did it and the world will never stop lamenting that stupidity.
Terrorism is a new, deadly, insidious but cheap weapon. Here in Colombia there are entire towns mined with home made potatoes; terrible attacks perpetrated by using a doll, a donkey packed with dynamite, an ambulance, or a junk car. In my opinion, keeping the military industry alive, it's not only obscene but criminal.
How can The United States keep throwing away money building multimillion aircrafts, warships, or submarines when some of those monsters need enough energy to move an entire city, and are absolutely obsolete to stop terrorism, just to please a number of blind congressmen and woman who don't care about their people's real problems?
Latin America has become the dumping place for every lethal weapon made by rich countries, those which are fueling crime in Mexico, Colombia, Venezuela, or Central American streets, while some of our people die from pure starvation?
Most FARC members are illiterate and desperate children recruited by force, or forced to join the illegal groups in Colombia out of hunger, and frustration, and I'm sure some of them will repeat that terrible phrase I heard in the Middle East from a suicide bomber a few years ago: "If you don't give us a reason to live, give us a crusade to die".
Please, please, President Obama, don't listen to your military Hawks. Colombia doesn't need more weapons or foreign advisers to make our neighbors uneasy and resentful. There have to be a more human and intelligent way to bring us peace.
What we need desperately are jobs, a better education system, decent housing, running water, health care, training and crime prevention, programs for our youth, etc. etc.
In other words, SOCIAL JUSTICE
P.S: Please, read "Addicts to war". You'll find it at any Public Library.
Buga, Colombia, November 2009
My mother, a wise woman, always cautioned me against labeling human beings. Born in a small Colombian town where the parish priest condemned liberals to hell every other Sunday, grandma cried herself to sleep fearing her beloved husband Felipe will suffer that terrible fate. That quaint memory comes back to me in a different age and latitude when I witness the political scene before elections time.
I know for example that if I oppose the cruel Cuban embargo which doesn't hurt Castro but has doomed several generations of Cubans, I'll be called Communist; if a I favor a universal health care system, I am a Socialist; if I am Pro-choice, not because I like abortion but because I believe that nobody has the right to impose on a woman the burden of an unwanted child, the Liberal label will hunt me, like a scarlet letter.
Those who oppose the war are Unpatriotic. But somebody has to remind us that the same suicide bombers we call Terrorists, are called Martyrs depending on their faith and culture.
The Republicans call themselves Conservatives and Pro-life, because they fiercely protect a fetus even during the few hours of conception, but some of them don't care if our soldiers come back maimed, traumatized or inside wooden boxes; neither they care if some of our youth at home are homeless, uneducated, neglected, abused, jailed, jobless or killed, as long as their friends, the war hogs, laugh all the way to the bank, because wars are not only the dirtiest, but the most lucrative business in the whole world.
The irony is that the Pro-life people oppose every single program to promote and finance sexual education and birth control, the only sensible way to get rid of the abortion tragedy. I want me readers to know that because the shortage of funds, the scores of children bearing children are growing within the displaced population in my country Colombia, and the rest of the third world.
But on top of the fact that they call them conservatives, and Pro-Life, even when they fight for their right to buy assault weapons, some republicans have taped to themselves the label of Christians, to attract those who believe that Liberals are religious pariahs. How can you be a Christian while spreading death, and injustice throughout the world on the altar of their only god: GREED?
I felt a moral responsibility to write this article after some of my friends told me they were afraid of the Liberal Democrats. Because that is the problem with labels. They stick to your name forever, and the other band use them to terrorize those less informed or insecure. I hope that my children and grandchildren in due time, will learn my mother's advice: "don't label human beings". You have to judge people for their deeds, and go beyond the labels. And before you go around calling other people evil, look at yourself and think if you have the right to throw the first stone.
No, Sarita, the label you found on a soda bottle when we were at the JFK airport Didn't mean anything: it was just a stupid label with the word "NAKED", to attract people's attention. How can a soda be naked? But by showing it to me you gave me the idea for this article. I love you.
I wrote this piece a few years ago, in Florida. But things haven't changed much here in my country or in the Unites States, though I celebrate the fact that young people are reacting to those stereotypes.
And about the miracles of a war economy, American citizens have learned now, that even if the military industry helped people to become millionaires, the country at large was left in ruins, not to mention the tragedy of death and destruction left around the world
That was the title of one of the funny songs I used to sing with my children while they grew up. Well my dear readers, if we read the news, it's easy to conclude that right now our world is turning upside down.
If not, look at the tragic earthquakes in Haiti, Chile, or Indonesia; the extreme weather alterations with flooding, unusual snow storms, the latest sun explosions, the heat waves which are melting glaciers and snow mountains around the world.
At the same time, the terrible scenery of the United State's, crumbling economy, while its government continues to support two infamous wars, unable to stop the criminal haemorrhage of money and innocent lives. Never mind that on the other side of the street, not far from the White House, hundred of its citizens don't find any jobs, loose their houses, or are left out in the cold forced to declare bankruptcy, leaving only pain and despair among many families.
Money for the Wall Street war 'hawks' and the military apparatus. Only bread crumbs to rebuild the country, create jobs or improve the health and education system. The world upside down:
A few weeks ago, watching the news, I was almost in shock at the spectacle of hundreds of angry people in some United States cities, marching against President Obama's plan to implement a Universal Health Plan, just in the middle of the XXI century, lying to the public when they accuse the plan of plain socialism, or too expensive for the United States' economy, while their country is spending 4 billion dollars a week to maintain the Afghan and Iraq wars. The world upside down.
This mentality sounds almost obscene, especially if you consider that the United States has been a beacon for some of the most outstanding findings in medicine, not only regarding the treatment of most illnesses, but the production of high technology drugs, and sophisticated diagnostic machines. What an irony, that all those modern advances are now limited to a few rich people, like the Arab Princes, the members of Congress, or the wall Street' hawks, while the rest of the population suffers in silence or takes Tylenol. The world upside down.
Another incredible fact, almost incompressible for some of us in the rest of the world, was to watch some of the same people marching down the streets to defend their "Constitutional" right to bear arms. What an irony, that in the United States' children have the Constitutional right to buy and use arms but don't have the same constitutional right to have decent health care. The world upside down, especially if you consider that some of those legal arms, end up in criminal hands to kill innocent people not only in the Unites States, but in some Latin American cities.
No wonder that some of our Latin American Presidents, following Mr. Bush's militaristic policy, are using a big chunk of their countries' resources to buy the most sophisticated weapons money can buy, to update their arm forces, ignoring the fact that poverty, lack of jobs and education, and reckless use of our natural resources are our biggest problems.
Quoting Violeta Parra, the Chilean poet:
"The laborers ask for bread. The army answers with bullets"
The world upside down.
Dedicated to my dear son Felipe, whose birthday falls today, but is no longer with us
A letter from Colombia,
Dear readers, I hate to sound pessimistic, but I don't see any light at the end of the tunnel despite all the good intentions of so many peace loving people around the world.
The Iraq and Afghanistan wars go on, even if President Obama wants to end them, and no matter how much money the United States government has to squander buying useless deadly weapons, because some Congressman want to keep the military industry going on. It's sad to learn how many people are protesting the health plan reform because apparently it coast a lot of money, but keep supporting two wars even if everyday they have to sacrifice their own children and keep destroying far away cities.
There is not light at the end of the tunnel in Latin-American either where many rich countries, from the United States to Sweden, Russia, China, Israel, Spain, to name only a few have found a good market for their weapons in the third world impoverished countries. Who cares if some of our children are dying from starvation, and our school systems are obsolete or not existing? Who cares if we have to deny medical attention to a big sector of our population? Who cares if some of our cities don't have running water, our rivers are more contaminated every day, our air is polluted, and our jungles have been systematically destroyed? Let's buy weapons to improve security.
What kind of security? Third world countries are the dumping place for deadly garbage, deadly and some times defective weapons, deadly pesticides, outdated drugs, cheap and useless goods. Are we more secure because all those imports? No way, because some of those weapons end up in the hands of criminal gangs or illegal groups. That's the reason why some of our big Latin-American cities are becoming more violent everyday, and police forces
are powerless to stop them. Furthermore, most of those sophisticated and expensive weapons, are useless to stop the personal mines or a terrorist attack perpetrated with home made bombs planted on a donkey, a doll, or an ambulance.
However, regardless this scenario, some of our leaders don't get it. Their war mentality is so blind that they keep buying weapons and building jails instead of schools, hospitals, or decent houses.
That's why it's so difficult to see a light at the end of the tunnel. War is one of the most profitable businesses in the face of the world, and some of our politicians are so corrupted that is very ease to buy them.
So, don't blame me dear readers if I feel like screaming:
STOP THE WORLD. I WANT TO GO OUT
I write from Colombia, a country at war, about some of our world's leaders "War mentality", that insane notion that economy improves during war periods (look at today's economy), and every human problem could be fixed by war, from larceny, to drug use, and obviously, terrorism.
In a rare intelligent remark, Mr. Bush said after the Afghanistan invasion, that he won't send a multimillion plane against a two dollars tent. I would like to ask him and his advisers, why, if "Terrorism" is today's lethal way of war, his country keeps building huge, expensive, and useless weapons like atomic submarines, gigantic war planes and destroyers, big as a city, which by the way, will be soon museum pieces, for running one of them needs as much oil as a round trip to the moon, according with Discovery Channel.
I wish, they'll remember for a moment, while they squander America's resources, and keep sacrificing human lives, that the terrorists who blew up the twin towers didn't need nuclear weapons to destroy one of America's most beloved symbols. And in Colombia terrorist acts are done using a bicycle, a car, a doll, or even a poor donkey packed with explosives; the reason why handmade land mines have mutilated thousands of children and innocent people not only in Colombia but around the world is this: THEY ARE CHEAP AND EASY TO MAKE!
That's why we need visionary leaders, with their priorities in order: Strong enough to say NO to the military monster, and start doing justice to every citizen by providing them with the best health system, job, housing and education they deserve. Compassionate leaders, who care about our troubled minority youngsters, and instead of housing them in jails for years, have the heart to save them, by providing rehabilitation and job training programs to turn their lives around and help them rebuild their lives.
I always remember John XXIII's words: "WITHOUT SOCIAL JUSTICE WE'LL NEVER HAVE PEACE."
BUGA Colombia, March, 2008