President Obama's speech in Chile yesterday managed to "dodge" a few bullets when it came to the US Government's involvement in bringing down the elected "Marxist" government of Allende prior to the installment of the dictator Pinochet. He spoke instead of "moving on" to the future and leaving the past behind. I'm sure the "Mothers of the Disappeared" feel differently about this. I expected something like the Gettysburg Address..and got..instead..a kind of New Jersey "fergettaboudit"!
And then he moved onto El Salvador. Another shining light in America's support for the oppressed during the 1980's replete with death squads, US supplied armanents against the FMLN and "Hueys" chopping commies from above. I just thank god he didn't deliver a speech in Nicaragua detailing his country's endless support for Freedom and Democracy. After the Iran-Contra hearings it would sound sour and would be more than I could bear.
History IS History..and the past is not necessarily a "bucket of ashes" all the time. People remember which side whom was on..people remember the graves of their brothers..their sisters..their comrades. They remember.
It would be nice if we could rewrite these things..If Reagans and Contras and Death Squads and the bodies of endless people killed at the soccer stadium in Chile would just "disappear". But..for too many they won't..they WILL be brothers..and sisters..and comrades forever gone. They will always lie in ditches..be burned in schools..and float down rivers. Their skulls will always smile and mock our fickle and fatuous diplomacy. Always dead now. Too late now for whatever side of history you were on.
With Easter approaching..perhaps it is fitting to remember Archbishop Oscar Romero from El Salvador..and his sacrifice?
Assassination of Archbishop Oscar Romero:
"Archbishop Oscar Romero was assassinated during mass on March 24, 1980. Due to his defiance and denouncement of the government’s violations of human rights, Romero quickly became the spearhead and the face of the El Salvadorian people. Because of his lack of government support, Romero was deemed disloyal to the El Salvadorian government and was said to be in support of the opposing guerilla organization. Despite the physical threats and the mass murders of priests and citizens around him, Romero continued to speak out against the government, which eventually led to his assassination in 1980. While it has been over 20 years since his death, Romero is still very much alive in the spirit of the El Salvadorian people. Numerous murals and banners are scattered throughout El Salvador keeping his memory and spirit alive."
Yeah....Rebels...Freedom Fighters..Terrorists...it all seems to depend on history..don't it?
RIP ...Lest We Forget.