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Harvest of Empire takes a fresh look at the role that US economic, military and corporate interests played in triggering the waves of migration that have transformed our nation’s cultural and economic landscape. From the wars for territorial expansion that gave the US control of Puerto Rico, Cuba, and more than half of Mexico, to the covert operations that imposed oppressive military regimes in the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Nicaragua, and El Salvador.

Harvest of Empire
Mon, Nov 3, 1pm
At the Occupy San Miguel Meeting
Quinta Loreto Hotel
TV room
Loreto 15

From 1947 until the present, over 100,000 soldiers from Colombia, Mexico, El Salvador and other Latin American countries were trained at the School of the Americas at Ft. Benning in Georgia [renamed the “Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation” in 2001]. Human Rights Watch and other groups have accused these troops of numerous human rights abuses. In 1984, Panamanian President Jorge Illueca called the School of the Americas – the “biggest base for destabilization in Latin America.”

The film unveils a moving human story that is largely unknown to the great majority of citizens in the US. “They never teach us in school that the huge Latino presence here is a direct result of our own government’s actions in Mexico, the Caribbean, and Central America over many decades⎯actions that forced millions from that region to leave their homeland and journey north,” says Juan González at the beginning of the film.

5,000,000 Puerto Ricans live in the mainland US; 1,100,000 Guatemalans; 1,950,000 Cubans; 1,500,000 Dominicans [D.R.]; 500,000 Nicaraguans; 2,000,000 Salvadorans; 635,000 Hondurans and 34 million Mexicans. By 2099, the majority of people residing in the US will be from Latin American countries.

The film provides a rare and powerful glimpse into the enormous sacrifices and rarely-noted triumphs of our nation’s growing Latino community. It features present day immigrant stories, rarely seen archival material, as well as interviews with such respected figures as Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Rigoberta Menchú, Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Junot Díaz, Mexican historian Dr. Lorenzo Meyer, journalist Maria Hinojosa and Grammy award-winning singer Luis Enrique and poet Martín Espada.

The filmmakers tell their story with a deep underlying conviction that once Americans have accurate facts, “they rarely allow injustices to stand.” The film is open to all and there is no charge. It will be followed by a discussion.


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