DEMONSTRATION TO CLOSE SCHOOL OF THE AMERICAS : HUNGER STRIKE IN FLORIDA : CUBA -- SANTERIA
NEWS HEADLINES Story: DEMONSTRATION TO CLOSE SCHOOL OF THE AMERICAS Today, more than 2-dozen activists will be tried in a Georgia court for trespassing at the Fort Benning army base just outside of Columbus, Georgia. They were arrested during a November demonstration where more than two thousand people gathered to call for the closing of the School of the Americas -- what critics call "The School of Assassins". Over the years, the school has trained hundreds of Latin American soldiers. Some of its more notorious graduates include the Guatemalan defense chief Hector Gramaho who is responsible for the deaths of thousands of Guatemalan indians, and a majority of the Salvadoran officers who killed the 6 Jesuit priests, their housekeeper, and her daughter in the infamous 1980's attack in San Salvador. Guest: Siuhin Lee, reporter for Pacifica affiliate KPFK, speaking on the phone from Columbus, Georgia, outside the courthouse. Tape: Father Roy Bourgeois, statement as he enters courthouse. Related links: School of the Americas Watch School of the Americas Story: HUNGER STRIKE IN FLORIDA In Florida, tomato pickers ended a month-long hunger strike for higher wages yesterday, as former President Jimmy Carter promised to intervene. The pickers are mainly Haitian, Guatemalan, and Mexican. They work in a town called Immokalee in southwest Florida, where the Everglades begin. The "Coalition of Immokalee Workers" says wages for some 2,500 tomato pickers are lower than they were 20 years ago. Pickers earn 40 cents a bucket -- about nine thousand-dollars a year, and are seeking a twenty cent raise. The Florida Fruit and Vegetable Association, which represents growers, claims the current rate provides workers with an hourly wage of six to sixteen dollars and an average annual salary of over sixteen thousand dollars. Guest: Gregory Asbed, staff person with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers. For more information on tomato pickers, call (941) 657 1776. Story: CUBA -- SANTERIA On the eve of the Pope's visit to Cuba, a look at the most widely practiced religion on the island -- it's not Catholicism, it's Santeria. Born among the West African Yoruban people who were taken to Cuba as slaves between the 16th and 19th centuries, Santeria -- which means "veneration of the saints" -- fuses African myths with Catholic saints. Guests: Carmen Gonzales, has co-authored, with Natalia Bolivar, 4 books on Santeria, including Afro-Cuban Cuisine: Myths and Legends and Death, Myths, and Legends. Gonzales worked for the Cuban foreign ministry, and the Center for Africa and the Middle East. Related Links: Yahoo! links on Santeria Supreme Court Ruling on Santeria Animal Sacrifices Washington Office on Latin America Radio Habana Cuba The Republic of Cuba - National Web Site 1/16/98 Democracy Now! - "Economy in Cuba" 1/15/98 Democracy Now! - "Young Prostitutes in Cuba" 1/14/98 Democracy Now! - "Cuban Reigious Leaders" 1/13/98 Democracy Now! - "AIDS in Cuba" 1/12/98 Democracy Now! - "Cuba Conversations - Arnaldo Coro Antich" 1/9/98 Democracy Now! - "Women In Cuba" 1/8/98 Democracy Now! - "Evoving Revolutionary" 1/7/98 Democracy Now! - "Cuba's Revolution and the Lives it Changed" 1/6/98 Democracy Now! - "Interviews from Cuba (Part II)" 1/5/98 Democracy Now! - "Interviews from Cuba (Part I)" 11/20/97 Pacifica Network News - "Bombs in Havana" 11/19/97 Pacifica Network News - "Pentagon Planned Crisis To Blame On Castro" 10/17/97 Pacifica Network News - "The Mythical Che Guevara" Story: BURMA "Burma's military junta has locked up more than 1,000 pro-democracy activists in recent years. Long prison sentences under harsh conditions are debilitating enough, but another threat in the cellblocks is helping the government eliminate its opposition: AIDS." -- That's the beginning of a recent Boston Globe article, also featured in the San Francisco Guardian, by investigative reporters Dennis Bernstein and Leslie Kean. Guests: Dennis Bernstein, associate editor of Pacific News Service, and co-host of Flashpoints, a daily public affairs show on Pacifica station KPFA. Leslie Kean, co-author of Burma's Revolution of the Spirit. Dr. Sein Win, prime minister of Burma's government in exile, the National Coalition Government of the Union of Burma, based in Washington, D.C.