At times, it was uncomfortable listening to these people's stories. Sometimes they interpreted events that were far from the ways in which I would interpret them. At other times, their personal recollections of events went against historical facts what is generally believed to have happened. However, over the three weeks in Ballycastle, I came to appreciate the importance of listening to other people's stories regardless of the dangers in so doing. I thought of that as I read this story about Reina Howard, a woman who fled communist violence in El Salvador during the 1980s.
El Salvador has been shaken through history, not only by earthquakes, but also by political uproar.
In the search for answers to alleviate poverty and suffering, some people adopted the concepts of social justice and redistribution of wealth. This was promoted by the religious left in the form of the theology of liberation and imparted in schools and universities as social justice.
This manipulated the needs of people, and the agents of class warfare created the environment which would advance their agendas by increasing the hate among different groups in the Salvadoran society.
In the late 1970s the country was at a sweltering point; secular and religious leftists were harvesting the fruits of the indoctrination of the masses. They recruited and forced those who refused to join them to become members of their guerrilla groups which had been organized in cities and in the country side.
Now good people in need, who had been convinced that a Cuban-style revolution was the answer to social problems and poverty, were armed and had been trained to terrorize those who had more than what they did.
They kidnapped and assassinated national and foreign business men, placed explosives in public transportation, took radio stations hostage, and passionately expressed their hate for Americans and Capitalism.
In this environment, my parents thought it was time to leave. The bulletins from the American embassy in El Salvador sent to American citizens were telling them the same - leave or stay at your own risk.The entire article is worth reading even though most of you, I think, are not going to share her narrative. That doesn't make her personal narrative any less real however.