Central America

Introduction

Dr. Jess G. Nieto was part of a historic effort in 1985 to promote peace in Central America.  It was during the memorable trip to Mexico and to the Central American countries of Honduras, El Salvador, and Nicaragua, that the Peace Delegation of 13 Americans, accompanied by Rep. George Brown, Chairman of the House Intelligence Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives, traveled to these countries, including Cuba,  to ascertain the conditions of the civil wars in Central America, to interview the various "players"  (groups) of these conflicts,  and to assess the role that the United States was playing in these struggles.  It was a prime objective of the trip to promote the "Contadora Peace Initiative" that had been proposed by a number of Latin American countries but had been strongly rejected by President Ronald Reagan and his Administration.  It was within this framework that the Delegation traveled to the Central American countries and to Cuba and met with President Fidel Castro and members of his government in order to assess the role of the Cubans in these conflicts. For a more complete report of the Peace Delegation's trip, see "Report of the Peace Delegation to Central America, July 1985" (see below or download here).  Also, view the video footage on this page, "Meeting with Rebels," for more information about the historic trip.

Report of the Peace Delegation to Central America, July 1985

Since 1985, Dr. Nieto has made four other trips to Cuba, accompanied by son Diego, a biologist / entomologist of the University of California Santa Cruz on two instances and wife Peggy, teacher of a middle school in California, on one occasion,  as part of a number of academic delegations to Cuba  in 1999, 2000, 2001, and 2007.  Significant scholarly and academic relationships have been forged as a result of these trips.  Visit our Cuba section for more details.

Meeting with Rebels - July 1985

 

 

Photos from the Delegation's Visit

Nicaraguan President Daniel Ortega, Dr. Armando Navarro (UC Riverside professor), Sam Maestas (community activist in Southern California),  and Dr. Jess G. Nieto are discussing the possibilities of peace in Central America when the Sandinistas were fighting the U.S. sponsored Contras, in July 1985.

 
These two guerrillas were part of the revolutionary army of the FMLN which fought against the U.S. sponsored President Napoleon Duarte government.  Dr. Nieto and the Peace Delegation traveled to Perquin of the Morazon  Province in July 3-4, 1985  which was guerrilla held territory, and we met with the leading guerrilla commandantes to discuss the peace initiative which we were proposing.  The FMLN leadership gave a letter to the delegation to take to Congress and the American people in which they stated that they were for peace but that the U.S. had to stop supporting the Duarte government and the death squads which murdered thousands of innocent people of their country.  Delegation members Aris and Caroline Anagnos  and Dr. Jess Nieto traveled to Washington D.C. where they delivered a copy of their Report on the findings of their trip and the letter from the FMLN to Congress and the American people.    This initial effort by the Peace Delegation was the first serious dialogue between the various sides in El Salvador and the U.S. which eventually led to a peace settlement.  The U.S. supported Duarte government and billions of dollars of aid to El Salvador could not defeat the FMLN.  Mauricio Funes, an ex-guerrilla and member of the FMLN,  was recently elected president of El Salvador in 2009.
 


In 1985, Dr. Jess G. Nieto and Aris Anagnos of the Peace Delegation met with President Fidel Castro, members of his government, and his older brother, Ramon Castro, who was in charge of the dairy industry in Cuba.
 

FMLN - El Salvador - Guerrilla en Morzan

 

Los Torogoces de Morazon, Soy Excombatiente del FMLN 

 

"No Mataras" by Yolocamba Ita of El Salvador

 

Yolocamba Ita- "Canto a la Patria Revolucionaria"

 

"La Opcion Por Los Pobres"- Yolocamba Ita (Cancion deddicaada a Monsenor (Archbishop)  Romer)

 

"El Pueblo Ta Venciendo" Yolocamba Ita

 

 

 

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