Sunday, July 30, 2017

July 30: A Sunday Sermon for New Brunswick.

To begin this post, go to images on your computer. Type in Raoul Leger Bouctouche. There, probably in the first picture to come up, you will see a handsome and determined young man. That is a picture of Raoul Leger of Bouctouche, New Brunswick, who committed his life to serving others as a lay missionary in Guatemala.

That was a dangerous place to choose. Guatemala - and all of South America - was seen by American and Canadian corporations as a place wide open for plunder Notable were United Fruit and several mining corporations.

They established brutal working conditions, starvation wages, and were hugely destructive of the environment. Anyone who complained got beaten and/or murdered. The corporations intensely disliked elected governments. Silly governments like that might charge taxes to create schools and hospitals for their people.  And the corporations didn't want anything silly like taxes.

In 1954. Guatemala had an elected government. That was naughty. So, one day. an army of uncertain origins suddenly invaded Guatemala. It was a pushover. The Guatemalan government had been spending money on its people. It really had no army to speak of.

Where did the army come from? That would  be the American Central Intelligence Agency, an American government agency widely used to murder, to torture, and to dispose of governments that American corporations don't like. It finances itself with money from the U.S. government,   (for intelligence services) and, substantially, from the illegal drug trade in South America. It operates all over the world, but especially in South America.

In 1954, it overran Guatemala, and established what billionaires like - a dictatorship. (They would later be involved in the murder of the President of South Vietnam, the country the U.S. army was supposedly defending. In this case, too, they established a series of dictators.)

One of the notable chiefs of the CIA in those years was George Bush Sr., one of this world's thoroughly evil men.

Our eagle-eyed press promptly printed the official line from the CIA. It was that communists had delivered guns to Guatemala by submarine. Yes. But the guns were all rusted. Haw. Haw. Stupid communists. (Gee! Guatemalans could have used those guns to invade the U.S.)

That was the Guatemala that Raoul Leger would go to some 25 years later. It was a country ravaged by environmental damage, by extreme poverty, and by lack of schools and of social services in general. (But United Fruit and the mining companies were happy.)

The people of Guatemala were not happy. They wanted their democracy back. They wanted a share of wealth of their country.  This was particularly true of the native people, the Maya.

And that was a case for the CIA, again. It organized the Guatemalan army to massacre protesters. Before it was over 200,000 Maya. men, women and children would be murdered.

The Catholic church in Guatemala, long horrified by the treatment of its people,
gave moral and spiritual support to them. But the CIA had an answer to that. It organized a large scale murder of priests and nuns In 1981, Raoul Leger was killed.

ALL commercial North American news media ignored the story of Guatemala.
All of them. The Canadian government knew what was going on. It knew about the killing of Raoul Leger. It didn't lift a finger or say a word.

And the irving press of New Brunswick? Not a word while this was going on. Not a word when activists managed to have his body brought to Montreal for an autopsy. Not a word when his body was brought home to Bouctouche for burial in the Roman Catholic cemetery.

Just a few days ago, a woman in New Brunswick was killed in a traffic accident.
The fact that she was well liked became the lead  headline on page one of the irving press. To this day, if you want to know about the murders of 200,000 people so that billionaires could make even higher profits, you have to go through entries in the web.

I thought of this as I remembered that this is the day when the faithful flock to the Irving Chapel to hear an expensive preacher and special music, and to enjoy coffee and socializing in the barn. However, I think it unlikely that the expensive sermon would include any mention of Raoul Leger. But not to worry -

-  as people leave the chapel, they can turn left and go to the end of the street. There, they will find the Roman Catholic cemetery and the grave of Raoul Leger.

And there, I suspect, they are more likely find Jesus.

1 comment: