Thursday, October 13

Hugo Chavez Expels US Missionary Group, New Tribes Mission.

Chaves is accusing New Tribes Mission of collaborating with US Intelligence agencies and passing strategic information. Interestingly, BBC Spanish version makes this accusation (supuestamente envía información estratégica a la agencia de inteligencia estadounidense.), while the English version of the article leaves this accusation out.

The BBC.com English story:
He accused the Florida-based group of making unauthorized flights and setting up luxurious camps amid poverty.

New Tribes, which preaches to non-Christian indigenous peoples, said it had no immediate comment.

It is one of Latin America's biggest missionary organizations and has 3,200 workers and operates in 17 countries, with operations in West Africa and South-East Asia too.

Caracas has suggested that American evangelicals are part of a broader conspiracy in Washington to topple a president whose regional influence is growing thanks to massive oil revenues, the BBC's Simon Watts writes.
Of course, Chavez takes the opportunity to highlight good'ol socialist economic policy, but giving tribal leaders titles to lands and equipment.
"The New Tribes are leaving Venezuela," Mr Chavez said at a ceremony to present land titles and farming equipment to members of Venezuela's indigenous population.

"This is an irreversible decision that I have made. We don't want the New Tribes here. Enough colonialism!" He added that he had yet to sign the expulsion order and was giving New Tribes time to "gather their stuff."
I am curious about the validity of their accusation in regards to New Tribes Mission facilities being large and luxurious. I have seen such huge missionary compounds in third world country, and as a missionary kid myself, it was terrible to see the walls that separated them from the indigenous people. In our case, we chose to live as residents, in a regular home in a regular neighborhood.