Unification News for December 1996


A Leap in True Parents' Work in Latin America - Inauguration of Tiempos del Mundo

by Willial Selig-Washington, DC

To promote greater integration in the Western hemisphere, True Parents recently unveiled Tiempos del Mundo, the first inter-American Spanish- language newspaper at the Buenos Aires Sheraton on November 23, 1996.

In his keynote address, former U.S. President George Bush said, "I want to salute Rev. Moon, who is the founder of The Washington Times and also of Tiempos del Mundo. ... A lot of my friends in South America don't know about The Washington Times, but it is an independent voice. The editors of The Washington Times tell me that never once has the man with the vision interfered with the running of the paper, a paper that in my view brings sanity to Washington, D.C. I am convinced that Tiempos del Mundo is going to do the same thing."

Addressing 300 leaders from 33 Latin American nations plus more than 600 local VIPs, the Founder said, "The guidelines of this newspaper will be to provide the most edifying reports in every aspect, as well as an attitude of service in offering constructive information, promoting harmony and reverting the tendency toward disbelief. I am especially interested in emphasizing family ethics and in guiding youth in the right direction."

Wonderful Victory!

Once again True Parents have accomplished the seemingly impossible. It was only a few short months ago that Mr. Dong Moon Joo was directed to initiate one of the most ambitious projects of the providential decade. With characteristic thoroughness and professionalism, a select team was tasked to research, develop and execute a highly- sophisticated newspaper using cutting-edge technology for the 21st century.

Tiempos del Mundo represents the beginning of something long-awaited, the first ever hemisphere-wide newspaper for the Americas. With publication beginning as a weekly in Buenos Aires, plans call for the newspaper to come out on Sundays at first, but go daily very quickly via satellite transmission to editorial centers in 10 countries.

Tiempos del Mundo intends to concentrate on hemispheric, political and economic news with a staff of 11 editors, based in Buenos Aires, and 44 correspondents in 22 bureaus in American cities from the Argentine capital north through South and Central America to the United States.

Forum on the "Americas in the 21st Century"

In addition to the gala evening inauguration, True Parents wanted to have an afternoon symposium on issues related to hemispheric unity. The co-hosts were News World Communications and AULA, the Association for the Unity of Latin America. This turned out to be a tremendous success because it created an academic atmosphere and afforded a prestigious occasion to invite current and former presidents, heads of state, members of national legislatures, academicians and public- policy opinion leaders, as well as media figures from throughout the Americas.

The first panel, "The Americas in the 21st Century" dealt with issues of free trade. In recent times, countries of this region have been moving toward the removal of economic barriers, presaged by NAFTA and MERCOSUR, to eventually create the largest free market on this planet. The 21st century will indeed not only be the century of the Asia- Pacific, but the century of the Americas, with a vast market potentially stretching from Alaska to Argentina.

The moderator was the Hon. Jorge A. Telerman, Director of the Department of Public Information at the Organization of American States, and special envoy of Secretary-General Cesar Gaviria in Washington.

The speakers included the Rt. Hon. Brian Mulroney, Prime Minister of Canada (1984-93), and H.E. Rodrigo Escobar Navia, former Minister of Government of Colombia.

The second panel, "Toward Economic Development and Cooperation," called for a new approach to Latin America's traditional enemy of poverty that would circumvent the common problems experienced by developing nations today, such as megacities accompanied by environmental deterioration with consequent abandoned countrysides.

The moderator was the Hon. Pio Oswaldo Cueva, Vice President of the Latin American Parliament; and Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee of the Ecuadorian Parliament.

The speakers included H.E. Ramiro de Leon Carpio, President of Guatemala (1993-96), and the Hon. Elliot Abrams, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Inter American Affairs (1985-89).

How did it all happen?

In December 1979, True Parents commissioned Dr. Bo Hi Pak (accompanied by Antonio Betancourt and Celia Roomet) to travel to Latin America and initiate relations with the top leaders throughout the continent. Upon that early foundation have come Noticias del Mundo in New York, CAUSA International, AULA, and the present programs that have unfolded so successfully.

Noticias del Mundo was actually founded with the mission to foster greater unity between the North and South; and the work of integration and the reawakening of the ideals of Simon BolIvar and the other founding fathers is the mission of AULA. In fact, it is accurate to say that the vision and effort behind NAFTA and MERCOSUR was spearheaded by AULA and CAUSA members, alumni and contacts. Credit for these significant hemispheric integrative movements should be given to our True Parents.

A Pan American Newspaper is Born

As summer was coming to an end, our brother, Larry Moffitt was given his marching orders to relocate to Buenos Aires, along with Rick Perea and Luis Patino from Noticias del Mundo in New York. Shortly thereafter, Pepe Cardinali, editor-in-chief of Noticias del Mundo also moved from New York to assume his new duties as editor-in-chief of the then un-named publication. Moffitt, Perea and Patino, working long- distance with a staff in Washington under the able chairmanship of Mr. Dong Moon Joo and several lawyers, were responsible to create the newspaper's legal structure, and later on, with a team of editors, to form a newspaper out of thin air.

Facing incredible obstacles, they had to interview and hire editors, reporters, photographers, telecommunication technicians, secretaries, circulation and distribution experts, writers, all kinds of professionals, as well as to set up a satellite computer system that would hook up all the nations of the Western hemisphere. It was an arduous accomplishment in such a short time that necessitated many long sleepless nights, and countless hours of hard, prayerful work and commitment.

Three weeks before the event, under the stewardship of Mr. Joo, Antonio Betancourt and Tomiko Duggan traveled to Buenos Aires to find an appropriate hotel and make the needed logistical arrangements. Tomiko remained until the time of the event in order to follow through on the preparations. Meanwhile, Antonio returned to Washington to oversee the invitation process. William Selig brought together a team, including June Maxim, Diane Fernsler, Yoshihiro Ichijo, Sandy Holcomb, and Karrin Brady to deal with the nuts and bolts operation. Michael Marshall provided editorial advice. As we got closer to the date, we were further assisted by Dina Pichler, and Pietro and Concha Marchitelli. Travel arrangements were taken care of by Seil Travel. Lisa Zanin helped secure some of the speakers. With the indispensable assistance of the national messiahs and church directors, the most Able leadership from 33 nations were brought to Argentina.


The efforts of everyone and the hard work of the people committed to this project gave us the confidence that the evening would be a total success. Mr. Bush's presence as keynote speaker gave the event invaluable prestige, but still the local press was trying to undermine the event and continued attacking us to the last minute.

The big question was whether Argentine President Menem would attend. Even though Mr. Bush was staying at the President's guest house, in the end, Menem gave in to local pressure and decided to stay away from the dinner. It was a big disappointment, especially since Mr. Menem had met Father last year.

But once again, heaven turned a disappointment into a victory. Up until that point, our activities were dominating the headlines, and the media continued attacking in a mean-spirited fashion. Yet the day after the speeches by President Bush and Monsignor Balboni, who traveled from Rome to deliver the invocation, the press did a 180- degree about turn once they realized that we did have the support of a U.S. president and even the Vatican through this high-level prelate. Monsignor Balboni is in charge of the Vatican's sacred antiquary collection.

It was so gratifying to hear President Bush's heartistic words. Father and Mother sat with several of the True Children just a few feet from the podium, while the former U.S. president testified to Father's good works and particularly The Washington Times. Everyone was delighted to hear his compliments. We knew he would give an appropriate and "nice" speech, but praise in Father's presence was more than we expected. Mr. Bush held up a copy of Tiempos del Mundo, and referred to several of the articles, including one about Barbara Bush and other former first ladies. It was a vindication. We could just hear a sigh of relief from Heaven.

The audience was also treated to a video message from the Hon. Cesar Gaviria, Secretary-General of the Organization of American States. Plus, there was an excellent video about Father's long-time involvement with the media leading up to the establishment of Tiempos del Mundo, produced by Atlantic Video, under the direction of Michael DeMark and Pier Angelo Beltrami.

The entertainment was first-rate and included the well-known show- stopper Gloria del Paraguay, and a chamber ensemble. The master of ceremony was our very dear elder brother, Amb. Phillip V. Sanchez, publisher of Noticias del Mundo and Tiempos del Mundo, who attended with his wife, Juanita.

Divine Principle Workshop in Uruguay

It's hard to believe but all of this occurred in just one day. On top of everything else, True Parents had given instructions to conduct a Divine Principle workshop immediately following the event. Invitations were sent out a week earlier and amazingly, 70 high-level guests accepted.

The next day, Sunday at 6 a.m., we loaded everyone on to a chartered flight and flew to Montevideo. Along the way there were many adventures, particularly dealing with visas, but somehow the spirit world cleared the way.

We arrived at the Victoria Plaza Hotel at 10:30 a.m. just in time for the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new convention center. This new building, which was in the planning and construction stage for the past 10 years, is a remarkable contribution to the Uruguayan economy and tourism industry, and a decisive testimony to True Parents' vision and expectation for the continent. It is a modern hotel and expo center equal in services and quality to any 5-star establishment in New York or Paris. Many local prominent guests, government leaders and friends attended the ceremony and reception, including several former presidents and cabinet members.

At 3 p.m., we took the guests to the Cilindro indoor arena where the first national Uruguayan-Japanese sisterhood ceremony took place. 4,200 Japanese sisters and about 1,000 Uruguayan ladies heard keynote speaker, the Hon. Walter Hickle, former U.S. governor of Alaska and other speakers including Dr. Bo Hi Pak, Mrs. Motoko Sugiyama, WFWP president of Japan, and several local WFWP representatives.

In the evening, Father addressed the workshop guests by skillfully launching into a profound explanation of the poverty that pervades Latin America, the responsibility of the leadership, and particularly the essential need to avoid the example of the United States which has in many cases squandered its blessings and today faces the consequences of years of immorality and indecisiveness. It was a real, concrete speech that had everyone spellbound.

The next two days, Dr. Thomas Ward and Steve Boyd, gave Divine Principle lectures. It was straight, out-of-the-book, no holds-barred Principle. On Tuesday evening, Father returned and once again love- bombed everyone. He spoke for two hours and passionately asked everyone to work with him to save their nations. He encouraged everyone to join together and come to the assistance of the needy brother and sister nations of the world. At the conclusion, one lady quietly asked him to sign her program. Once Father agreed, within seconds, he was engulfed by 70 guests asking him to sign their copies of the Principle, the program, anything. The security brothers were dumbfounded, they had never seen this behavior before. It was truly adulation and respect.

The next day, Wednesday, all the guests departed to their nations. It was a total victory-Tiempos del Mundo, the symposium, and the Principle workshop.

With complete love and honor, we offer this up to our True Parents.

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