Building Resistance: Salvadoran Youth in the Global Struggle: Interview with Oswaldo Nataren
January 2007El Salvador Watch
Oswaldo Nataren is a visual arts student at the University of El Salvador and a founding member of the Roque Dalton University Front (FURD). FURD has organized recently around increased bus fares and tuition hikes, and has worked in coalition with unions and the Popular Social Bloc (BPS) against the privatization of water and the implementation of the Central American Free Trade Agreement (CAFTA). Oswaldo offers a brave and honest critique of the social movement in the United States and some profound recommendations of how to work together as one world movement towards justice. This interview was conducted during his 2006 Fall Tour by CISPES National Organizer Jacoby Ballard.
How does your organizing in El Salvador relate to the organizing here in the United States, from what youve seen on your tour and what you have read? How can we work together more effectively?
Its imperative that people are organizing in the United States, because youre on the inside and you can raise the conscience of this population. Ive said to the people here, as Ive been on tour, that you are fighting and we are resisting, and this is the struggle. This is how we build a stronger movement, from the inside and from the outside.
From the United States, you can try to change the structure that your government is perpetuating, forcing on the world. But, there are fewer motivations to do this when youre in the wolfs mouth. A movement of strong social strength has the capacity to transform the world when we fight together for the benefit of everyone. Its not just for Latin America, its all over the world, and here too. The government here is intervening in the politics over much of the world, creating a political war in much of the world.
What have your impressions been of the solidarity movement in the U.S.?
Ive seen an important segment of the U.S. population that is working hard to confront imperialism from within this country, and this is something that is incredibly important. This is critical not only because of the change it can generate here, but because it also gives us hope and strength in our struggles in Latin America, knowing that there are people here who are committed to working together for social change. Knowing that there are people here willing to struggle with us, hand in hand, to try to bring well-being to our countries as we collaborate and work together like brothers and sisters.
You have traveled to many U.S. cities and have met many organizers, activists, and students. What have been your most striking encounters so far?
The meetings with teenagers have been especially exciting