Sunday, October 16, 2005

Chavez Plans to Boot Missionaries – Catches Flak

Chavez Plans to Boot Missionaries – Catches Flak

Leftest Venezuelan strongman, Hugo Chavez, this past week suddenly announced that he was issuing and order to evict some very dangerous, subversive, and CIA-connected foreign workers from Venezuela.

The dangerous agents to be evicted?  The 130-plus foreign missionaries working under the aegis of New Tribes Missions among the indigenous peoples (Note to old-timers: indigenous peoples = Indians) in Amazonas State – an area traditionally neglected by the central government in Caracas.

Chavez – who adores his friend and mentor, Marxist icon Fidel Castro – has asserted (without proof) that the New Tribes workers have ties with the CIA.  Moreover, Chavez asserts that members of the New Tribes Mission – which he hast termed an “imperialist infiltration” – have been circumventing Venezuelan customs via their use of private airplanes and private airstrips.

Unfortunately, Chavez forgot to check in with the indigenous folks being served by New Tribes missionaries.  Jose Kayupare of the Puinare tribe boldly spoke out against Chavez’ decision to oust the New Tribes-affiliated missionaries, noting, "For those of us who live in the jungle, this really is a decision that the majority of indigenous people in Amazonas (state) don't support and that we are not going to accept under any circumstances."

Moreover, Kayupare pointed out that the very missionaries targeted by Chavez had helped indigenous people get medical help – sometimes even airlifting them to sources of medical care when the Central Government showed no concern.

One of the indigenous workers with New Tribes asked, "Why don't they ask (the Indian communities) ... if they've really been abused?"

The Evangelical Council of Venezuela also spoke out in defense of the missionaries’ work.

Fortunately, representatives of New Tribes Mission were able to meet with members of the media.  They were able to make their case on the air both via radio and television.

One of the “subversive” activities of the New Tribes workers is to teach the indigenous peoples Spanish while at the same time helping them to preserve their own indigenous languages.  It seems that Chavez ought to appreciate such efforts, rather than oppose them.

Lessons to be drawn:  Marxists hate Christianity and Christians.  Marxists also dislike having anyone around who is more efficient than they are (and who, therefore, has a tendency to make Marxists look bad in comparison).

If you would like to express your opinion on this matter, here are some possible contact points:

The White House

The US State Department

The US State Department Venezuela Desk: (202) 647-3338

The Venezuelan Embassy in Washington DC Web site; email address

Venezuelan Consular offices in the US

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