I remember clearly where I was when I heard that President John F. Kennedy had been shot and killed. This was the afternoon of November 22, 1963. It was a weekday, an afternoon after school. I was riding my bicycle on North Front Street between the old Bob Turton office on my right and the Holy Redeemer School play yard on my left, headed east to see my father at the General Post Office. One of my classmates, George (or Jorge) “Cul” Aguilar, was walking in the opposite direction and broke the news to me.
In late November of 1963, Cul and I were in the fifth form at St. John’s College. “Fifth form” no longer exists at SJC. You just do your four years of high school and then sit your “O” levels, or whatever it is these exams are called nowadays. But in 1963, the year before they changed the long school holidays in Belize from April and May to July and August, we would do four years and then come back in June/July to prepare for November/December “O” levels The extra half year was the ‘fifth form.”
In November of 1963, I was still a fairly solid Roman Catholic, so I identified with JFK, the first Roman Catholic President of the United States. I didn’t know anything about the deal cut between the U.S. and Guatemala to train Cuban exiles in Guatemala to invade Cuba in April of 1961. I didn’t know that Kennedy had promised the Guatemalan President, Ydigoras Fuentes, to help him with Guatemala’s claim to Belize. I didn’t know that the Kennedy brothers were allowing American intelligence/security officials, led by the Central Intelligent Agency (CIA), to conspire with leaders of the Italian Mafia in the U.S. to assassinate Fidel Castro, Cuba’s Maximum Leader. I was a real naïf. I was who the power structure in British Honduras wanted me to be.
I didn’t know anything about the Nation of Islam, the Hon. Elijah Muhammad, and Malcolm X. It was maybe four years after JFK had been murdered, when I read Malcolm X’s autobiography, published after Malcolm himself had been murdered in February of 1965, that I learned that Malcolm had made comments to the press after JFK’s assassination which caused Hon. Elijah Muhammad to suspend him from public appearances for 90 days.
As I understand it, essentially Malcolm had told the American press that what had happened to JFK was a result, whether direct or indirect, of violent plotting and nefarious deals, worldwide, by the American government. In the movie by Spike Lee, Malcolm refers specifically to the murder of the Congo’s Patrice Lumumba, just before Kennedy was inaugurated on January of 1961. The specific words used by Malcolm were that Kennedy’s murder was a case of “chickens coming home to roost.”
I was going to school in New Hampshire in 1967 when the New Orleans attorney general, one Jim Garrison, began trying to prove that the Kennedy assassination was a conspiracy involving some sinister people, and that the lone gunman theory/story was a joke, that Lee Harvey Oswald was, as Oswald described himself, “a patsy.”
One of the troubling aspects of the Kennedy assassination was the amount of loose ends which the Warren Commission could not tie up with its lone gunman conclusion. And I can remember that there were 18 or 20 people who knew too much or said too much, re: Kennedy’s murder, who met strange and violent ends.
As the years went by, the one Oliver Stone even made a Hollywood movie about the Jim Garrison investigation, so that those of us who were skeptical of the Oswald narrative, found more and more material to support our skepticism.
Well, about three years ago a man wrote a book, a book I read a few weeks ago, which finally put all the pieces together for me. Now I feel sure I understand why Kennedy was killed and basically who or who all did it.
Early in the first Barack Obama presidency, an incident took place where the U.S. Secret Service was probably sending Barack a message, a message of how vulnerable he was. There were a lot of things which we expected from Obama’s presidencies which never materialized. To top everything off, we can see that the white nationalist Donald Trump presidency can be viewed as a case of the United States’ exposing some of its real self.
Kennedy was giving off some of the kinds of vibes we saw during Obama’s first campaign for the American presidency. America was showing a human side under the Kennedys. But America did not get to be the world superpower by being human: the U.S. became the boss of planet earth by being military, first and foremost.
The Guatemalans are America’s most important allies in Central America. The Guatemalans are totally faithful allies of the Americans. Who are we, Belizeans? We are people who love America and the American way of life. The thing is, if you really, really think about it, it is precisely that American way of life which we so love which is responsible for the carnage in our streets.
The Nation of Islam under Hon. Elijah Muhammad took an extremely strict and disciplined approach to saving those African Americans who had been victims of the American way of life. After Hon. Elijah Muhammad died in 1975, the Nation went through a phase which focused on orthodox Islam, but around 1977 Minister Louis Farrakhan revived the core beliefs of the Nation.
What am I saying to you, Belizean brethren and sistren? I’m saying that we have a crisis on our hands, a crisis we have been experiencing and watching grow worse and worse since the late 1980s. I don’t know what the remedy is for our ills, brothers and sisters, but I know that America and Guatemala are the same thing. In other words, Belizeans, our situation is more desperate than you could ever believe.