Saturday, October 15, 2005

Robertson-Chavez Fallout: the "New Tribes Mission" Story

     Interesting stuff from Nikolas Kozloff on the history and current situation in Venezuela in the wake of Pat Robertson's murderous, slavering comments.  Thanks to Bartholomew's Notes on Religion for the head's up.  His summary is here.

     New Tribes Mission goes back to the Truman days, writes Kozloff, and insinuated their way into the country secretively, and then moved around a lot, especially near pockets of uranium.  Pro-US rulers (military dictator Jimenez and anti-communist leftist Betancourt) eased them in.  Kozloff has a lot of good history here, and I recommend it if you have the twenty or so minutes it would take to read the article.

     The result is that evangelical missionaries are no longer going to be allowed visas for Venezuela. 

     Did I mention that New Tribes Mission has already been banned from Colombia, and is suspected of espionage, fomenting revolutions, ethnocide, and other neato-things? 

UPDATE: I said New Tribes has already been banned from Colombia, and although this is accurate, based on the COHA article, they have since been let back in.  Have they been banned?  Yes.  Are they currently banned?  No.  Thanks to Dean for forcing me to recheck this.  From the COHA article linked above...
Shortly thereafter, Colombian president Cesar Turbay Ayala prohibited the Summer Institute of Linguistics, New Tribes and District 1355 from operating on Colombian soil. The president declared that the missionary groups had lent support to unauthorized overseas transnational companies which were searching for strategic resources.

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