Truth Is My Sword Volume I -Collected Speeches in the Public Arena
by Bo Hi Pak
A Latin Continental Congress
March 11, 1986
Following is Dr. Pak's opening address given at the Third AULA Conference in the Zafire Room of the Victoria Plaza Hotel in Montevideo, Uruguay, on March 11, 1986. Chaired by former Colombian President Julio Cesar Turbay Ayala, the conference dealt with the theme, "Liberty and Progress for the Unity of Latin America." Activities included a private visit with the president of Uruguay, Dr. Julio Sanguinetti.
Distinguished presidents; Ambassador Jose Maria Chaves, president of AULA; distinguished president of the conference; ladies and gentlemen. I am deeply honored to be here and to have this opportunity to extend a warm welcome to you all. When my wife and I were given an audience with Pope John Paul II in Rome, he greeted me in beautiful Korean. I felt astonished and surprised. When he came to our country on his visits throughout the world, he addressed us in our native language. So, after his example, I feel ashamed that I am speaking in English and I am not able to speak your native tongue. I have not prepared a speech especially for this conference simply because I wish to speak a few words from my heart.
The speeches of distinguished former President Julio Cesar Turbay Ayala and President Francisco Morales Bermudez have truly inspired me. Both mentioned Dr. Cleon Skousen, the constitutional expert from the United States, and we are very honored to count them among us at this conference arid wish to work with their substantial contributions.
Let me say something about Uruguay. Uruguay is not an unknown country to me; I have fallen in love with this beautiful nation. On my first visit here, the army officer who escorted me from the airport said, excusing himself, "Uruguay is a small country and not very prosperous. We don't have a Niagara Falls or anything comparable. However, I can tell you that Uruguayans have beautiful hearts. Our country even has the shape of a heart."
I looked at a map to find that Uruguay is indeed heart-shaped. From my very first meeting with the Uruguayan people, I experienced that wonderful, free, and great heart. I began to respect them; I respect their intellectualism and their absolute respect for democracy. I have traveled more than half a dozen times to this country and each time my love for it grows. I am truly happy that this conference was organized here and that we could have with us two great constitutional presidents. Please join me in greeting them.
Moreover, we are holding this conference in our own hotel. We have made substantial investments in this country and one of them is this historic hotel, the Victoria Plaza. Nevertheless, I feel sorry we cannot offer you the comforts of a five-star hotel, although I can inform you that we are planning to build a 30-floor hotel to serve possibly as the head office for AULA activities in the south. Please feel at home, and I hope our new hotel will be finished in a few years.
In 1775 a very similar meeting took place in the United States at Philadelphia, where the first Continental Congress in the history of the United States was held. There were no press, no big headlines, and no television. But, as you know, the event became a part of history. I understand you are not here to reproduce exactly what went on at that time in the United States. That is not our task. But, like that earlier event, this meeting seeks the unity and cooperation that facilitates democracy and prosperity.
Today the United States, the most powerful nation on the face of the earth, hopes to become a power for freedom in our common fight against totalitarian systems and other anti-democratic forces. Perhaps our meeting at the Victoria Plaza in Montevideo will be remembered in a similar way to the first Continental Congress of the United States.
Simon Bolivar said, "In the union of our nations lies the glorious future of our peoples," and in that statement lies the great potential of Central and South America the wealth of knowledge and experience of these leaders, academics, constitutionalists, and diplomats, put together, will bring measureless prosperity. I know this conference can make obvious our problems and draw out the great vision of the hemisphere's future. We are living in a very crucial time in history.
Whether we like it or not, the result of the present-day ideological confrontation will be determined by our action or inaction. Time is not our ally. The great emergency is the struggle between freedom and tyranny, between the democratic system and totalitarianism, between God and the philosophy of God's denial. We know this struggle will be solved one way or the other before the year 2000. The only way to face this emergency is by forging a common understanding, increasing and deepening the cooperation between free nations and people.
I believe this conference must lead the way in our efforts to reach that goal. Therefore, I would like to thank Ambassador Chaves, as the person in charge of its organization, and Dr. Julio Cesar Torbay Ayala, the conference president.
Finally, let me offer warmest greetings in the name of the Reverend Sun Myung Moon, who is now in Korea and who asked me to convey to all of you his wishes for your success. He is a dreamer like Simon Bolivara 20th-century dreamer. He believes in unity and therefore takes a great interest in Latin American unity.
When he came to Colombia for the World Media Conference in Cartagena, he visited Simon Bolivar's house. He then contributed funds to restore the house and transform it into a museum to enable students and historians of this hemisphere to learn more about the great spirit of Simon Bolivar.
Again, I am very honored to be here. I wish to be a student of Latin culture in these next few days, and I will personally enjoy the conference as much as you.
God bless you. Thank you very much.
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