Friday, September 2, 2016

In Honduras, a Spiritual and Political Awakening for Tim Kaine - The New York Times

My kind of guy. - gwc

In Honduras, a Spiritual and Political Awakening for Tim Kaine - The New York Times
by Jason Horowitz

In September 1980, as violence and civil war erupted throughout Central America, a quiet American left Harvard Law School to volunteer with Jesuit missionaries in northern Honduras.
Around him, the United States-backed military dictatorship hunted Marxists and cracked down on the Catholic clergy for preaching empowerment to peasant farmers. But some locals also looked warily on the bearded and mop-haired Midwesterner in their midst.
Just a few hours south, the Central Intelligence Agency was using Honduras as a staging ground in its covert war against Latin American communism, with right-wing forces training for operations in El Salvador and Nicaragua.
“Some of the people were wondering what’s going on, who is this guy?”Tim Kaine, then a 22-year-old volunteer and now the Democratic nominee for vice president, said in an interview. He understood why. His mentors in the priesthood had also urged him to be wary of friendly American faces.
“It was a time of such intrigue and suspicion,” Mr. Kaine said.
Far from being a C.I.A. operative, Mr. Kaine was a young Catholic at a crossroads, undergoing a spiritual shift as he awakened to the plight of the deeply poor in Honduras. In its far-flung pueblos, banana plantation company towns and dusty cities, Mr. Kaine embraced an interpretation of the gospel, known as liberation theology, that championed social change to improve the lives of the downtrodden....

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