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Report on WCPA Latin America Tour, May 14 to June 12, 2018.
Glen T. Martin

 

      The unique history of Latin America makes it both an excellent place for understanding and affirming the message of the Earth Constitution and a place where there is cultural resistance to that message. There is a significant scholarly literature on the colonial and neo-colonial condition of Latin America. The struggle for independence from Spain and Portugal was immediately replaced by the neo-colonial Monroe Doctrine of 1823.  The power in the north decided that it alone had the right to interfere in Latin America on behalf of US interests.  Books such as Empire’s Workshop by Greg Grandin chronicle the practice of empire in Latin America by the colossus of the north ever since it issued the Monroe Doctrine.

     In June 2017, WCPA had a delegation of 5 persons at the huge conference in Tiquipaya, Bolivia concerning “World Citizenship and a World Without Borders.”  Thousands of people were there from all around Latin America, including many Presidents and former Presidents of nations. The conference is in response to the US drive to build a world with borders and to exclude as many people as possible from its territory.  It was also in response to US imperialism against Venezuela and other Latin American countries.

     Because of this history of imperialism going back to 1823, Latin American peoples want to emphasize two very different things: (1) they want a world of openness, good neighbors, and international cooperation (hence, “a world without borders”).  But they also want this: (2) within a framework of being left alone as “sovereign” nations.  All nations should respect one another’s sovereignty.  Every trip I took to Cuba during the US blockade of that socialist country included the Cuban people telling me that same thing: “we are a sovereign nation and the US has no right to blockade us.”

     This is the paradox of Latin America.  Many people there want to be cosmopolitan world citizens without walls and borders and they want to simultaneously affirm national sovereignty and territorial integrity.  Perhaps this paradox is also worldwide but it is clearly true of Latin America.  One our trip we went to Caracas, Venezuela, then Rio de Janiero, Brazil, then Buenos Aires, Argentina, then Lima, Peru, and finally, Bogota, Columbia.

     Perhaps many thoughtful persons from Latin America would recognize this paradox if it were pointed out to them, and if they knew about the alternative provided by the Constitution for the Federation of Earth.   To affirm the sovereignty of nations is to affirm a war system in which the big fish inevitably dominate and manipulate the smaller fish for their own interests.  The structure of the nation-state system makes officials of all nations into promoters of the perceived self-interest on one’s own nation.  The system recognizes no laws above the nations that promote the common good of the planet and future generations.

     Our first stop was in Venezuela, a country really hurting because of imperialist sanctions designed to crush its economy and create civil unrest.  We met with a journalist and several leaders of the Venezuela WCPA chapter, including our Vice-President for Latin America, Leopoldo Alberto Cook (immediately to my left in the photo below). The Venezuela chapter had many ideas and proposals.  They are a rapidly growing force for the Earth Constitution in Venezuela.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Meeting with members of WCPA Venezuela. Leopoldo Cook is second from the right.
     
     From Caracas, we flew to Rio de Janeiro in Brazil.  We were hosted there by WCPA member Rosana Martynes.  In Brazil, the dominant language is, of course, Portuguese, which means that the limited Spanish that Phyllis and I speak was of little use to us there.  But Rosana is part of an “English speaking club” that meets regularly in downtown Rio. (I also brought copies of the Earth Constitution in Portuguese with me to Brazil.)  

     Rosana brought us to that club so that we could meet other English speakers and talk about the Earth Constitution with them. She founded a WhatsApp group called the “World Constitution Group” that has been active ever since then.   Thanks to her, we had a great experience in Rio.  In the photo below, Rosana and I hold up a copy of the Earth Constitution in English, and below that, Phyllis and Rosana are pictured in front of some of the amazing scenery of Rio.
Rosana Martynes and Glen Martin in Rio de Janeiro
Rosana Martynes and Phyllis Turk with part of the city in the background.

     From Rio we flew to Buenos Aires in Argentina.  WCPA supporter, Francois Soulard, with whom I had made contract in Bolivia the previous year, was not in the country at the time we were there, even though he did great work in trying to arrange speaking engagements for us through using email.  However, we were also very fortunate to have Walter Trusoni offer to host us, show us around, and arrange engagements for us.  Walter is pictured with us below at an Indian restaurant that he recommended for us. Like Phyllis and I, Walter and his wife are lovers of India and have been there repeatedly.
Glen Martin, Phyllis Turk, and Walter Trusoni in Buenos Aires

     While in Buenos, Aires I gave a talk to faculty and graduate students of the Faculty of Social Sciences at the University of Buenos Aires.  The talk went well, with good questions and discussion. It was organized and hosted by the Director of the Faculty, Dr. Diana Tussie, who is pictured with me below.  The participants in this meeting appeared very aware of global issues and global politics and were a credit to that University and its programs.
With Dr. Diana Tussie of the Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Buenos Aires

       While in Buenos Aires, we also gave a presentation to the Assembly of the Baha’i, organized through the kind efforts of Walter Trusoni.  As we know, the Baha’i movement worldwide, through its founders and scriptures, has long affirmed the growing unity of humankind and future world government.  Phyllis and I also met with Fernando Iglesias, who is a member of the Congress of Argentina, author of Democracia Global,  and founder of an organization by that name in Buenos Aires. Fernando reserved an hour from his busy schedule in his congressional offices to meet with us, and we agreed that there should be cooperation between our movements that pursue the global goal of global democracy.
With staff and interns of the center for global democracy. The Director, Camila Lopez Badra, is to my right.

     We also met with the organization, Democracia Global, who have their own offices, and spoke with staff and interns about our work. This was at the invitation of their Director, Camila Lopez Badra (pictured above). On the whole, we had a busy and productive few days in Argentina.
From Buenos Aires we flew to Lima, Peru where we were hosted by our friend Justice David Percy Quispe Salsavilca, his wonderful wife Elisabeth and their two sons.   It was a special occasion because Justice Quispe’s new book Dos Ensayos: Sobre La Destinacion Existencial Mestiza y La Epiritualidad en el Mundo de Hoy, was being launched.  I wrote a foreword for that book and was very pleased to be part of the opening celebrations.  Below is a photo taken after the celebration with Justice Quispe’s family assembled in front of the enlarged book cover in the background.

   Justice Quispe also arranged to speak with the Magisterium of High Court Justices about “The Quest for a World Judiciary,” in which I included information about the Collegium of World Judges. I was very grateful for this opportunity.  Justice Quispe is also a runner, like myself, and his brother is a member of the runners club of Lima.  We met with his brother (In the second photo below on the right) and the club’s trainer (on the left) and agreed that they could run in the name of the Earth Constitution and use the WCPA logo for their events.

               
Justice Quispe (front, center) with family and friends at the book launch.
Justice Quispe’s brother (right) and the club’s trainer (left) holding Dos Ensayos and the Earth Constitution
 
                From Lima we flew to Bogota, Columbia, at the invitation of WCPA supporters there, especially Juan Silva Camilo, Miriam,  and several others who are in the process of forming a WCPA chapter there. They were our hosts and hostesses. Just as our time in Venezuela was in the middle of a Presidential campaign (and President Maduro was later re-elected), so there was a campaign going in Bogota.  The candidate WCPA members supported was Gustavo Petro, former Mayor who ran on a campaign to restore peace and protect a liberal centrist government (he was not ultimately elected).  Hence, our WCPA talks and presentations to groups in Bogota were almost always in the context of campaign meetings, although we also met with a womens’ environmental group working to protect the park areas surrounding Bogota.
Campaign bus for Gustavo Petro on a motorcade through the streets of Bogota.

     Leopoldo Cook, our Vice-President for Latin America, traveled to Bogota to join me during my visit there.  This was a great help because our WCPA members in Bogota do not speak much English and my Spanish is very poor.  Leopoldo was both emmisory and translator, and was a wonderful asset for this visit.  We ending up riding a campaign bus (pictured above), and by and large the groups whose meetings on the Petro campaign I interrupted to talk about the Earth Constitution were both courteous and often interested.

     Miriam and Juan Silva make a good team.  The photo below was taken with a portrait of Petro, and includes Leopolod Cook from Venezuela (second from the right).  In general WCPA made many new contacts in Latin America, as well as new friends, and we are pleased at the progress of WCPA in all five of these countries.  I will look forward to being in contact with our many new friends there.

In the words of the first US President George Washington: “Let us raise a standard to which the wise and honest can repair; the rest is in the hands of God.”
               
 
 
Miriam, a portrait of Petro, Leopoldo, and Juan Silva in Bogota, Columbia






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