The June 7 editorial, "That Neighborly Admonition," implies that Latin American nations neglect to criticize "dictatorial holdouts" and confront regional human rights problems.
The truth is that most countries in the region are actively working to find solutions. What they object to is an increase in US intervention and the double standards employed to deal with hot topics like democracy and human rights.
Venezuela's Hugo Chávez is not the problem. In fact, President Chávez, whose leadership has been overwhelmingly supported in more than six free and fair elections, has taken the lead in fostering closer relations throughout the Americas and fostering economic integration to make Latin American nations stronger. Initiatives like Telesur, a BBC-like public news channel, and Petrosur, a state-owned energy consortium, have been well received by other Latin American leaders.
The US should refrain from pushing its interventionist agenda and try to sit down with Latin American leaders to discuss viable solutions to improving the lives of millions of indigents roaming cities and countryside in the region. To suggest that Latin America should follow the US lead is to further the mistaken notion that whatever is best for the US, is best for the rest of the world.
Andrés Mateo Jarrín
Venezuela Information Office
Regarding the June 3 article "UN and firms team up to tackle hunger": Experts on global hunger have long recognized that persistent hunger, of the sort that is present in much of sub-Saharan Africa, is caused by poverty, not by lack of food. Handing out food, as the corporations portrayed in the Monitor are doing, has an important role in relieving temporary famines, such as those caused by war or drought. Eliminating persistent hunger requires raising the income of the world's poor, many of whom are themselves farmers. Tackling this problem requires far more than a publicity hand out.
Regarding the June 7 article "Will the bell toll for Hemingway's Havana home?": A joint US-Cuba support for preservation of the Hemingway house can be a small step toward restoring relations between the two countries. Students of history know that this will happen in time. To fight this eventuality keeps both countries captive to the past.
Bryn Mawr, Pa.
Regarding the May 20 editorial "Europe's Next Independent State": Kosovo's Albanians believe they deserve full autonomy, even though they have not lived up to the UN's "standards," especially regarding minority rights. The continuing everyday violence against and discrimination of non-Albanians, including the riots in March, are clear examples of this. Despite this The Christian Science Monitor believes Kosovo should be granted full independence.
It is difficult to see how a few internationally appointed judges on the high court can protect the province's remaining Serbs when an internationally appointed proconsul and 50,000 heavily armed international troops can't do the job. In the independent Kosovo envisaged by the Monitor, the remaining Serbs would slowly but surely be squeezed out and Kosovo would become the most ethnically pure state in Europe.
The only long-term viable option is partition. Give the land north of the Ibar river to Serbia and the land south to the new state of Kosovo. Any minorities who end up on the wrong side would be encouraged to transfer. This seems harsh, but it's an honest solution.
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