By Brian Moore, Gainesville Veterans for Peace Member
Veterans for Peace (VFP) held its 27th national convention this year in Miami. The focus was on U.S. military involvement in Latin America with the theme “Liberating the Americas: Lessons from Latin America and the Caribbean.” Speakers included author Alice Walker, Father Roy Bourgeois and TV host Phil Donahue.
Also speaking at the workshops were familiar names like Col. Ann Wright, David Swanson, Medea Benjamin, Iraq War resisters Camilo Mejia and Victor Agosto, Carlos and Melida Arredondo, Marlene Bastien and DeAnne Graham. They participated in presentations on Haiti, Honduras, Guatemala, a panel on G.I. resistance, a Hiroshima/Nagasaki commemoration and much more. You can see video of the workshops at vfpnationalconvention.org.
We met with many other members to discuss current issues including drone warfare, depleted uranium, Agent Orange, the military industrial complex, the war on drugs and U.S. foreign policy in South America.
Many of the members present in Miami worked together in the ‘80s. In Central America, VFP visited Nicaragua, Guatemala and Honduras. VFP was invited back to help monitor the elections of 1990. While older members of the organization were excited to reunite and have some laughs, newer members and guests were eager to meet some of these legendary characters who have devoted their lives to working for peace over the past decades.