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Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Viva Chavez

I was amazed to read your partisan views about present-day Venezuela and its popular and charismatic leader Hugo Chavez.

Written by The Indian Express | Published: February 20, 2009 10:47:39 pm

I was amazed to read your partisan views about present-day Venezuela and its popular and charismatic leader Hugo Chavez. Of course,one very well understands the demonising of Chavez by Western governments,opinion makers and media,for he represents a challenge to their interests in Latin America.

I fail to understand why these Western attitudes and biases should be internalised by a leading newspaper in India. If your paper feels that it has to take some kind of moral position against Chavez as “undemocratic” or “dictatorial”,then perhaps one can understand your stand. But then that has not been the paper’s consistent stand,for it has never expressed similar outrage against other popularly elected “dictators” like Mubarak of Egypt and many more.

Secondly,what is more annoying is the kind of pontification your paper has done on Chavez when your paper,in all these years,never had a correspondent in Latin America. And that is the story of all major Indian newspapers. I would not be wrong in saying that all your information and knowledge about Latin America is second-hand and from Western sources. It is very a difficult call to pass absolute judgment on a country or its leader or its people based on such dubious sources.

To understand and absorb Latin American realities one has to live there. The entire continent is in ferment and the poor and the disadvantaged in those countries are demanding new solutions to end exploitative systems set up by multinationals from the north in collaboration with local oligarchs. The rise of Chavez and Evo Morales and others should be seen as a new assertion of Latin American dignity against US exploitation and the much-hated Monroe Doctrine. The tremendous popularity of the old revolutionary,Fidel Castro,among Latin American masses can only be understood when we realise that Castro stands for Latin American dignity.

— Niranjan Desai

Former Indian

Ambassador to Venezuela



Watchful eye

This refers to ‘Pak’s truce with Taliban…’. The agreement between the Pakistani government and the Pakistani Taliban in the Swat valley invokes a dual security dilemma for India. First,the success of Taliban extremism not only exposes a weak Pakistani establishment but also reinforces the perils of Taliban intrusion in the border areas. Secondly,it destroys the credibility of Pakistan’s commitment to fight terror. India has to keep an eye on Pakistan.

— Arundhati Sharma Delhi

Preventive action

Pakistan has ceded sovereignty of part of its country to the Taliban. The imposition of Sharia is not new,but this time it marks a new beginning. Extremists will extend their influence,muscle and firepower. The day when major parts of Pakistan come under the Pakistani Taliban may not be far. India must foresee catastrophe at its doorstep and take preventive action.

— K. Venkataraman


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