(April 8, 2019) — Blase Bonpane has died. He was a member of World BEYOND War’s Speakers Bureau. Bonpane was the director of the Office of the Americas. He served on the faculties of UCLA and California State University Northridge.
His articles have been published internationally, and he worked as a contributor to the Los Angeles Times and the New York Times.
Blase previously served as a Maryknoll priest in Guatemala during the revolutionary conflict of the 1960s. As a result of his work in peasant organizations, he was expelled from that country in 1967.
On his return to the United States, Bonpane and his family lived at the headquarters of United Farm Workers with César Chávez, where he was editor of UFW publications.
Bonpane was host of the weekly radio program World Focus on Pacifica Radio (KPFK, Los Angeles). He was named “the most underrated humanist of the decade” by the Los Angeles Weekly.
In 2006, he was awarded the Distinguished Peace Leadership Award by the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation.
His books include: Civilization is Possible (Red Hen Press, 2008); Common Sense for the Twenty-first Century (2004); Guerrillas of Peace: On the Air (2000); and Guerrillas of Peace: Liberation Theology and the Central American Revolution (iUniverse, 2000, 3rd edition).
Blasé Bonpane / Office of the Americas
(May 15, 2018) — After 50 years of broadcasting, Blase is signing off of World Focus. Blase’s commentaries and his guests on World Focus were truth-tellers with a passion for justice, human rights, and peace. It’s an understatement to say he will be missed. Here is his message:
Hello, this is Blase Bonpane with WORLD FOCUS, produced by THE OFFICE OF THE AMERICAS and coming to you from KPFK, Los Angeles.
We are podcast and available24/7 at <kpfk.org> where we are heard internationally.
Today I want to share with you a difficult but important decision. Due to demands at the OFFICE OF THE AMERICAS including a writing schedule, together with slightly less energy than 50 years ago, I will have to discontinue this program WORLD FOCUS by the end of this month of May.
This was a difficult decision because the station and its mission are so very meaningful to me and to worldwide listeners.
I hope to stay in touch with you by way of our website Office of the Americas and our email (email@example.com). For some 50 years I have gratefully offered volunteer service as a programmer . And I will still be available at KPFK when asked to participate.
Special thanks to my wife, Theresa, as executive director of the OFFICE OF THE AMERICAS for her constant solidarity in the production WORLD FOCUS. The rest of my family was brought up hearing: 818-985-5735 repeatedly. I hope you will hear that number today and call in with a generous contribution.
And you, my listeners have been a family to me as well. Some of you have humorously referred to the program as their Sunday Church Service.
Today I would like to offer you my first Pacifica broadcast. This recording was made exactly 50 years ago, yes, May of 1968. It was delivered on the steps of Sproul Hall at U.C. Berkeley. I had recently been expelled from Guatemala in the wake of a revolution. I will post this link shortly.
(See UC Berkeley speech, May 27, 1968, Pacifica Archive Number: B B 1753) TRT: 35 minutes).
Can you imagine a network where one might broadcast for five decades without having one word censored? This is the freedom of “fiercely independent” Pacifica.
Suppose my program had been on commercial media? I don’t think I would have been tolerated for a single week. The unique spirit of the Pacifica Network speaks the truth to power and becomes the voice of the voiceless.
WORLD FOCUS is a production of us at the OFFICE OF THE AMERICAS. The mission of THE OFFICE OF THE AMERICAS is to evaluate the foreign policy of the United States with regard to ethics and sound political science. We have worked on the ground internationally creating an ongoing dialogue between our citizens and many so-called-enemies./p>
The cost of producing WORLD FOCUS has been borne by our non-profit organization. We have raised the funds necessary for travel, preparation of programs and invitations to prospective guests. We are very pleased with the large listenership of WORLD FOCUS by way of KPFK and the Pacifica Network.
Together with 50 years at Pacifica we are deeply grateful to THE UCLA RESEARCH LIBRARY, Department of Special Collections, Collection Number 1590, for making the work of the OFFICE OF THE AMERICAS available to the students and the public. This collection is made up of some 150 boxes of Office of the Americas Archives.
We have concluded our programs saying: With the fond hope that we all may be agents of justice and peace on earth with good will to everyone.
And that is our hope today.
Hasta la victoria de justicia y paz!
Until the victory of justice and peace!
On this MOTHER’S DAY I would like to introduce the Founding Director of OFFICE OF THE AMERICAS—my wife, Theresa Bonpane. Without her input, WORLD FOCUS would never have been possible.
Happy Mother’s Day, Theresa.
This is Blase Bonpane.