President-elect Obama

I was not surprised that Barack Obama won the election in the USA but was excited to hear the phrase "President-elect Obama" almost as soon as I turned on the radio this morning.  John McCain said that he stood for change but as Barack Obama said it was difficult to discern that there would be any difference from the policies of George W Bush.  Obama is an inspiring orator and I hope that his policies will live up to the words.  We should have some caution, remembering the excitement that many of us felt when Tony Blair was elected. 

I have written before about the School of the Americas also known as La Escuela de Asesinos (School of Assassins) and the campaign against it, SOAW.  I wanted to know whether Barack Obama had plans to close the college down.  I sent an e-mail to his campaign and as a result got many e-mails but no answer to my question.  What I did hear was that he was concerned about the record of extremely serious abuses by those who have graduated from it and returned to their home countries in Latin America.  However he was not ready to commit himself to closing the school.  I think that one plank of any real move towards respect for human rights would be to close it urgently. 

The annual November vigil to press for an end to the School of the Americas will be held at the gates of Fort Benning on 21 – 23 November 2008.   SOAW also have a petition to Barack Obama urging him to take action when he takes office.

Send a message of solidarity and encouragement to Barack Obama via AVAAZ. They hope that one million people will send messages.

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Our blogs are written by Amnesty International staff, volunteers and other interested individuals, to encourage debate around human rights issues. They do not necessarily represent the views of Amnesty International.
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