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Home arrow Older News Archive arrow Roger Waters sends message of support to Chile
Roger Waters sends message of support to Chile Print E-mail
Written by Matt   
Saturday, 06 March 2010

Roger WatersAs most of you will be painfully aware, around a week ago, Chile was struck by one of the most powerful earthquakes in history: 8.8 in Richter scale, 500 times more powerful than the one in Haití.

Around 2 million people have been affected in different ways and hundreds are dead or missing. The Chileans are still shocked, however, as César Jiménez tells us, they "have found comfort in the overwhelming reaction from many people around the world, including several musicians, like Roger Waters.

"Chilean newspapers have published this afternoon a letter he [Roger] sent to one of the DJs of Radio Futuro, a station based in Santiago. If you have a way of tell him how grateful we are for this, please do it."

Here's the letter in full, first in Spanish as it originally appeared, and then an approximate translation into English:

"Estimado Hernan

Me acuerdo muy bien de ti, como también de los momentos vividos en Chile. Las audiencias chilenas a las cuales entregué mi show no son comparables con ninguna otra.

Qué terrible desastre para Chile.

Te puedo enviar dinero, y lo haré. Hazme saber las mejores maneras de colaborar. ¿Quizás a nivel personal o local? ¿O un cheque a la mayor institución?

Esto no es broma…y no pretendo ser cruel, pero si sólo este terremoto hubiera ocurrido antes del de Haití…

No todos, pero muchos de los norteamericanos y las teletones para levantar fondos con celebridades ya tienen “fatiga de terremoto”. No es que les culpe, hacen su mejor esfuerzo, pero pienso que la ayuda para desastres no debiera ser un tema para las organizaciones de caridad y las personas. Debiera ser una obligación global.

¿Por qué no existe un fondo mundial especialmente reservado para satisfacer las necesidades básicas de la humanidad cuando se enfrenten a grandes catástrofes?

Me aventuraré a sugerir que la respuesta es simple.


EE.UU. gasta el 40% de lo recaudado por Impuestos a sus ciudadanos en Defensa (Armas). Sobre $1 trillón de dólares por año. ¿Por qué?

¿Por qué le tienen miedo a Sadam Hussein? ¿O Hugo Chávez? ¿O Corea del Norte? ¿O Francia? ¿O México? ¿O Nicaragua? ¿O Irán? ¿O Canadá? ¿O Rusia? Perdón, no Rusia, ahora son nuestros amigos. ¿O China? Oops, perdón nuevamente…

De todas formas, me imagino que ya entiendes mi punto.

He sabido que el costo de ayuda para reconstruir tu maravilloso país es de alrededor de $15 mil millones de dólares, o el 1.5 % del presupuesto de defensa de los EE.UU. Aproximadamente el 0.75 % de todo el presupuesto combinado de defensa de todas las naciones del mundo.

Imagínate un mundo… en el cual el sentido común nos llame mucho más a dar y entregar, que a quitar.

Que tengamos más regocijo al construir que en destruir….

Más placer al amar que al odiar…

Pero... desafortunadamente... EL MIEDO tiene un aliado, LA AVARICIA.

Las fortunas hechas de la industria del armamento en las naciones desarrolladas desafían las creencias.

Nosotros, la gente, alimentamos las guerras a través de nuestra aceptación de la doctrina que Dwight D Eisenhower llamó "el complejo industrial militar".

¡Por supuesto que no es idea de él, sino que de sus asesores que le escribían sus discursos!

De todas formas, también dijo: "cada arma que se fabrica, cada acorazado inaugurado, cada cohete disparado, significa, en el sentido final, un robo a aquellos que pasan hambre y no son alimentados, a aquellos que tienen frío y no son abrigados".

Hay muchos miles ahora en Chile que tiene hambre y no son alimentados, y muchos que tienen frío y no reciben abrigo.

Nosotros, los ciudadanos, la gente común, somos los que robamos de todos ellos.

Tu amigo,
Roger Waters.

P.D. ¿A dónde envío los fondos?"

And now in English:

"Dear Hernan

I remember you very well, as well as other moments experienced in Chile. Chilean audiences, to whom I gave my show, are not comparable to any other.

What a terrible disaster for Chile.

I can send money, and I will. Let me know the best ways to collaborate. Perhaps on a personal or local level? Or a cheque to the largest institution?

This is no joke... and not trying to be cruel, but if this earthquake had occurred just before Haiti's...

Not all, but many Americans have seen telethons hosted by celebrities to raise funds and now have "earthquake fatigue." Not that I blame them, they do their best, but I think disaster relief should not be an issue for charities and individuals. It should be a global obligation.

Why isn't there a special global fund set aside to fulfill the basic needs of humanity when dealing with major disasters?

I venture to suggest that the answer is simple.


The US spends 40% of the taxes levied on its citizens in defense (weapons). Over $1 trillion per year. Why?

Why are you afraid of Saddam Hussein? Or Hugo Chávez? Or North Korea? Or France? Or Mexico? Or Nicaragua? Or Iran? Or Canada? Or Russia? Sorry, not Russia, they are now our friends. Or China? Oops, sorry again...

Anyway, I guess now you understand my point.

I heard that the cost of aid to rebuild your wonderful country is about $15 billion dollars, or 1.5% of the defense budget of the US. Approximately 0.75% of the entire combined defense budget of all nations.

Imagine a world in which we use common sense much more to give and deliver...

We'll have more joy to build than to destroy....

More pleasure in loving than hating...

But unfortunately... FEAR has an ally, GREED.

The fortunes made from the arms industry in developed nations defy belief.

We the people, foment wars through our acceptance of the doctrine that Dwight D Eisenhower called "the military industrial complex".

Of course it is not his idea but his advisers that wrote his speeches!

However, he also said: "Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense, a theft from those who are hungry and are not fed, those who are cold and are not sheltered".

There are many thousands now in Chile who are hungry and are not fed, and many who are cold and are not sheltered.

We, the people, ordinary people, are the ones who stole this from them all.

Your friend,
Roger Waters.

P.S. Where do I send the funds?"

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