The Sins of the Right & the Left
CHRIST & NEIGHBOR
I have just returned from two weeks in Nicaragua. Before I left I tended toward a highly critical view of the Sandinistas, but after I returned I found myself much more sympathetic.
With this as an introduction, I append below some remarks I made to the second congress of the International League of Religious Socialists held in Managua, October 8-12. I was one of four U.S. delegates and I felt compelled to make these remarks because there is a reluctance on the part of Latin American Christians who are committed to “a preferential option for the poor,” and on the part of many of their European sympathizers as well, to criticize the Soviet Union, which has lately been the major support for liberation struggles in Africa and Central America. And so, herewith the gist of my remarks:
We can quickly agree that the main problem facing Nicaragua is the implacable hostility of the present U.S. administration. We can also quickly agree that for Nicaragua, for Latin America, for all the poor of the Third World, a further problem is global capitalism, which is dominated by the United States, regardless of administration.
Having agreed on these questions, let us get on with the really difficult ones, like how do we build a society and a socialism that are truly just and liberating, once the murderous hand of Reagan’s Contras, the more persistent hand of U.S. domination, and the suffocating embrace of world capitalism have been removed?
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