Venezuela: Return to Nation After 10 Years
Dr. Thomas G. Walsh, UPF Secretary General
August 8, 2006
The tour party arrived around noon in Caracas, welcomed by Rev. Lee, Rev. Hayashi, David Stewart, Jesus Navarro, R.G., Venezuelan Ambassadors for Peace and others. Due to some road repair it took about 2 hours to drive to the hotel, InterContinental in central Caracas, and the long journey offered an opportunity to compare the changes in the country since Mother Moon’s last visit in 1996.
Caracas was the birthplace of Simon Bolivar, the great liberator of many Latin American countries. However, today, along the main highway, large billboards display and glorify the works of President Hugo Chavez, some featuring him together with Iran’s President Ahmaddinajad. In what may soon be a post-Castro Cuba, and buoyed by petro-dollars [gasoline in Caracas is 17 cents a gallon] Chavez’s Venezuela is positioned to stand as Latin America’s central figure for anti-USA sentiment in the hemisphere.
The Main Program was at 6:30, attended by 900 people. The program went very well, with a lot of very good advance preparation. David Stewart welcomed everyone, and R.G. opened the program which moved quickly through the preprogram, Holy Wine Ceremony and Chairman’s Address to Sun Jin Nim’s presentation of the Founder’s Address. Sun Jin Nim was beautiful, and breathed life into Father’s words, setting the stage for TM’s presentation. Though not fully recovered from her cold, Mother Moon’s health was clearly improving, and her presentation strong as ever.
The Peace Blessing, officiated by True Mother and Sun Jin Nim, was followed by post-program entertainment and a reception. Virtually everyone stayed on, enjoying the entertainment and the time together.