In 1966, the year before Cesar Chavez’s United Farm Workers Organizing Committee began its national boycott of California grapes, South Vietnam was the world’s 23rd largest importer of fresh table grapes from America. Today it is the world’s fifth largest importer, a figure that puts its consumption patterns well beyond those of most European nations. The reason for this change is not difficult to locate. Despite an official policy of neutrality, the Defense Department has become one of the major supporters of California grape growers. In the last fiscal year alone, fresh grape purchases for all armed services were increased by 50 percent and for troops in Vietnam by 350 percent!
For the United Farm Workers, who ...
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