Reflections On The New Brunswick Farmers' Tour Of Bolivia.
McLaughlin, DarrellYear Published: 1982
Resource Type: Article
Cx Number: CX2506
In the spring of 1979, a group of New Brunswick farmers associated with the National Farmers' Union visited Bolivia for a month. In this article, a participant describes his experience and shares his learnings about both Bolivia and Canada. He mentions two encounters which helped him to interpret the situation of the Bolivian people. One was a meeting with the leader of a group of farm women known as ADEMCO in which he was moved by the women's dedication to their own struggle and by their solidarity with Canadian Farmers in their struggle for justice. The other was a meeting with Domitila Changara, the author of "Let Me Speak", who is active in the struggle of Bolivian miners and their families. (In 1981, Domitila came to New Brunswick as a follow-up to the farmers' tour.)
As a result of his Third World experience, the author writes: "I have come to realize that underdevelopment isn't simply a lack of capital, but a dependence planned and implemented by those driven by greed". This realization helps him to understand his own situation: "Comparing the underdevelopment of the Canadian Maritimes to that of Bolivia is like looking at two cancers each having obvious differences but having a common cause." The major differences are the extreme poverty and hardship endured by the Bolivian Farmers and the use of military control against them. In the light of these realities, the author left Bolivia convinced "that we must strive for international solidarity among primary producers as well as in our own country."