Page 14


An Open Letter to All Who Are Concerned About Central America: Friends, Recent public opinion polls taken all across this nation have repeatedly shown that an overwhelming majority of our people are firmly opposed to further military escalation of U.S. intervention in Central America. Congress has become very sensitive to our expressions of disapproval of a deepening U.S. involvement in the military stalemate in that area. President Reagan, on the other hand, is now requesting another $110 million dollars in “emergency” military aid for El Salvador alone. The Pentagon has announced that it wishes to expand the number of U.S. military “advisers” in El Salvador. And the administration is escalating the pressure on Congress by issuing veiled threats that it will “reprogram” military funds appropriated for other areas if the Congress fails to approve the “emergency” funds requested. Have we forgotten so quickly how Vietnam tore this nation apart? Have we forgotten so quickly that no amount of military assistance from the United States will force a nation to support a brutal and unrepresentative government? Pope John Paul II has criticized all foreign intervention in Central America. After spending a traumatic ten days visiting every Central American nation, the Pope urged the whole world to see that the terrible suffering in Central America has been caused first and foremost by “unjust social and economic conditions.” But the response of our government is simply to pour in more weapons, more military training, and more American military advisers. The Pope has called for negotiations to end the bloodshed and the foreign intervention, and the Mexican government has once again offered to mediate. The representatives of the guerrillas in El Salvador have accepted that mediation without conditions. The U.S. government appears to be the principal obstacle to negotiations in El Salvador. This may be the best opportunity that we have ever had to reach out to our Congressional representatives and to say, quietly but firmly, “No more. Send no more weapons. Send no more American advisers. Insist upon negotiations.” How can the Reagan administration fail to see that once again we are placing all of our support behind a government which is embarrassing to even the State Department officials Mickey Leland, U.S. Congress Lloyd Doggett, Texas Senate Gonzalo Barrientos, Texas House Larry Evans, Texas House Bob Barton, Texas House Ron Wilson, Texas House Alex Moreno, Texas House Billie Carr Sissy Farenthold Maury Maverick Jr. John Henry Faulk David Van Os Sam Dawson Jim Marston Rev. Tom Farmer who must testify on its behalf before Congress? The Salvadoran government has now developed a history of literally decades of human rights violations, fraudulent elections, and the total absence of criminal justice for the wealthy and powerful. How can they ask us to forget that in just the past few months: 1.The United Nations issued a report which placed the blame for most of the “gross violations of human rights” in El Salvador upon government-controlled organizations and the right-wing groups which have been so successful in seeking U.S. support; 2.the Salvadoran government has once again claimed that it cannot prosecute the soldiers accused of murdering and raping the American churchwomen because the evidence is “insufficient” \(our own embassy personnel have repeatedly stated that the evidence is 3, the president of the Salvadoran Human Rights Commission was killed by government troops because they considered her a “leftist.” In the near future there will be several key Congressional votes to determine U.S. policy over the next months. Many observers believe that the administration is pressing for extra funding now so that it will not have to remind the voters of our involvement next year, during the presidential election campaigns. Now is the time to express our objections! Now is the time to say “No More!” Call these congressional representatives. Their telephone number is listed below. Or write to them, in simple and straightforward ways, and tell them that we’re tired of supporting brutal governments “just because they claim to be ‘anti-communist.’ ” Tell them to use our scarce public funds for jobs, for support for our own poor, and to meet the obvious needs that we have here at home. Some of the key members to contact are: Senator Lloyd Bentsen, Texas; Senator John Tower, Texas; Senator Charles Percy, Senate Foreign Relations Committee; U.S. Senate, Washington, D.C., 20510. Representative Clement Zablocki, House Foreign Affairs Committee, U.S. House of Representatives, Washington D.C., 20515. Please write to them. Please call them. Do it today. Co-signed: Rev. Monsignor Lonnie Reyes Father John Korcsmar Jeff Friedman, former Austin Mayor Larry Deuser, Austin City Council Richard Moya, Travis Co. Comm. Margaret Gomez, Travis Co. Constab. Austin AFL-CIO Central Labor Council AFSC, Austin Democratic Socialists of America, Austin Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador, Austin U.T. Young Democrats, Austin U.T. Progressive Faculty, Austin Austin Peace and Justice Coalition Austin Campaign for Peace with Justice in Central America 1022 West Sixth Street, Austin, Texas 78703 Pho tos cour tesy o f Rice Mu seu m Speaking Owl by William Edmondson. relationship between Edward Hopper’s paintings and Western Renaissance three-point perspective, there is a reference to tradition iri the work of many of these black artists, and that tradition is African. The materials used are the materials at hand, the materials that surround the lives of mostly poor, mostly Southern rural black artists. The way in which a person perceives is directly related to the way in which he or she lives. This is, of course, also true of the artist. If the experience of a young artist in New York’s Soho is limited to the cultural confines of that community, is that person then a folk artist? While viewing this show, you become acutely aware that the value of great art transcends capital value, that this experience cannot be appraised. At last these hidden works have been revealed to a large American audience, thanks to the curatorial intelligence and vision of the Corcoran Gallery. They can now take their place alongside the work of Marcel Duchamp, Picasso, Rauschenberg, Hopper, and other artists of this century. However, their moment in the sun may be brief. It is tragic that we have not been as familiar with the artists in this exhibition as we are with every new wave of contemporary art promoted by the market. It is a grave injustice that we are deprived of certain cultural experiences,that a limitation is placed upon what we know as art by the manipulation of aesthetic value by market value. Take advantage of this opportunity. It is very possible that we won’t have the chance again to see these works either as a collection or alone in public places. THE TEXAS OBSERVER 21,