Condemn President Chavez’s support to Rajapakse

Latin American Friendship Association (LAFA), Tamil Nadu, India

We, from the Latin American Friendship Association in the Tamil Nadu State of India, strongly condemn the statement made by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez in Libya on 4.9.2009 in appreciation of President Rajapakse of Sri Lanka for “defeating the LTTE Terrorism which was deemed impossible by the world at large. It is a glowing example for the other countries best with the same problem”.

We are sad that President Chavez could believe the Imperialist Media and ignore the fact that what Rajapakse has done in Sri Lanka is the greatest crime against the Tamil Minorities of the Island Nation, killing thousands of people and is now holding 3.5. lakh Tamils in open air barbed wire torture camps where there isn’t electricity, water and food, leave alone medicines and basic sanitary facilities. We don’t believe that Chavez is unaware of the worldwide condemnation of the Sri Lankan State Terrorism on Tamil natives, which is worse than the Nazi holocaust. If Chavez could call the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) as terrorists, perhaps he has forgotten the path treaded by him before he was voted to power.

This sends alarming signals to us as we look upon Chavez for liberation from the imperialist yoke, not only of the Latin American Countries, but also of the poor in the third world countries. It is dangerous that the Latin American Leadership which aims at the consolidation of the South against the “Monster in the North” with efficient tools like the ALBA and the Banco De Sur is blind to the following facts:

1. The Tamils in Sri Lanka have been fighting for their rights as citizens for the last 60 years. They have tried out all possible democratic means of fighting but the Sinhala Chauvinist State violently suppressed them by killing them in thousands. The LTTE had no other option except to take up arms to fight for their liberation. Denial of just democratic rights as citizens has given birth to armed struggle in Sri Lanka, whereas in Venezuela, failure of military coup against the oppressive state led Chavez to seek power by democratic means.

2. The Sri Lankan state has so far massacred millions of Tamils in the name of “war on Terror” on the LTTE.

3. About 10 lakh Sri Lankan Tamils live across the globe as refugees.

4. It is four months now after the end of the war on terror, but no media persons are allowed to visit the war zones or the open air barbed wire fenced camps where the displaced Tamils are held in an inhuman state, worse than cattle. Genocide of Tamils was executed with impunity without a witness by the Sinhala Government.

5. U.N. officials have not been allowed to visit the war zones or the camps of the Tamils (The entire world reported the plight of the UN Volunteer who left Sri Lanka yesterday after repeated threats to his life).

6. It is no secret now that young women and men are removed from the camps and are abused and tortured by the army; children are separated from parents and couples are separated and dumped in different camps.

We are disgusted that Chavez could support State terrorism unleashed on Tamils by the Sri Lankan Govt. for whatever gain he is aiming at. If anti-imperialistic moves could include support for state terrorism of individual countries, then the aim is not empowerment of the marginalised, but being selfish in the goal while compromising a poor helpless people for no fault of theirs. It is anachronistic that President Chavez who wants to build 21st century socialism could support and praise Rajapakse who has successfully carried out ethnic cleansing of Tamils in the name of ‘War on terror’. And what is the morality behind his saying ‘wiping out terrorism’ ? Chavez would never want to go down in history as a Terrorist and a Dictator as the Imperialist Media projects him.

We, the Friends of Latin America, are also disappointed by the silence of Latin American Left Intellectuals and left parties for not openly condemning the stand taken by Cuba, Bolivia, Nicaragua and Venezuela in support of President Rajapakse . How can the left parties of Latin America watch in silence the support extended by their progressive Governments to Rajapakse in wiping out the Tamil race ? Are Tamils excluded from the Socialist world of 21st century being built by Left Parties of Latin America?

We respect the role of President Chavez in the western hemisphere because we go by history and not by what the Imperialist Media projects. We are aware that Chavez has the historical commitment to continue his efforts to make Bolivar’s dream a reality; to continue to honour and strengthen the ethical foundations laid by Jose Marti and Che Guevara in forging international solidarity.

Therefore, we appeal that in aligning themselves with the true spirit of Che’s Internationalism, Chavez, Fidel, Eva Morales and other leftist leaders of Latin America do support and stand by the Tamils of Eelam who have been fighting for their National Liberation for more than six decades and snap their diplomatic ties with the Sri Lankan State, as they have done in the case of Israel.


  1. Sivasegaram says:

    I think that the criticism is unduly harsh, and fails to take into account the objective global reality, where the US-led imperialist nations are making excuses in the pretext of dealing with human rights abuses and violation of democratic and fundamental rights. (I do not want to go into details of how US meddling in the affairs of countries including ours).

    The Cuban statement in the context of the resoultion on Sri Lanka (designed to preempt a US-backed motion) has explained the position of the Latin American left-led governments; and there is need for understanding.
    I think that it would have been wiser to have based the criticism on the explanation by theCuban government.

    What is at stake in Sri Lanka is not just the national rights of the Tamils but democratic rights themselves. That has to be fought by the people of the country. It is the most pressing need of the country.

    As for Tamil Eelam, it has been a project that consistently failed to take full consideration of the national question and national oppression in the country. Tamil Eelasm, the way the LTTE and Tamil nationalists intended, would have worsened the plight of other oppressed Tamil-speaking nationalities as well as harmed the entire people of the country.
    Well considered solutions based on the principle of self-determination had been proposed by the genuine left, but the LTTE and other Tamil nationalists, most of whom are now supporters of the Rajapakse regime, had other things in mind.
    The LTTE had been most undemocratic and never put its faith in the people. Its intolerance to criticism, let alone opposition, would have made any freedom loving Tamil to dread a Tamil Eelam ruled by the LTTE.
    Notably, the LTTE has never spoken in support of a single anti-imperialist struggle anywhere. (Nor have other Tamil nationalists). It had no word of sympathy for the struggles in Kashmir, Manipur and the tribal people in India. It even endorsed golbalisation in 2002.
    Also, the elite speaking on behalf of the Tamil nationalist diaspora has been openly pro-imperialist before and after the fall of the LTTE.

    As for LTTE terrorism, I think that their attacks on innocent civilians as acts of terror match, at least in spirit, the state terror that I denounce strongly.
    It was the insensitive actions of the LTTE targetting innocent Sinhalese civilians that helped to harden Sinhalese attitudes not just against the LTTE but also against the just cause of the Tamil people for autonomy with the right to self determination.

    Yet, none of the faults of the LTTE and Tamil nationalists can justify the crimes of successive Sri Lankan governments against its people, especially in the past quarter century.

    Beyond all that, there is a need for serious soul searching on the question of Tamil Eelam: Can one seriously see in it a feasible solution to Sri Lanka’s national question?
    Did the struggle for “Tamil Eelam” follow a path of mass struggle? If not, why not?
    Did the LTTE leadership really care for the people over whom it exercised control? Why did it detain them against their will, and cause a massive human tragedy, especially when it knew that the government would go to any length to have its way, as it had demonstrated in 2006-2008?

    Romanticising the LTTE and Tamil Eelam cannot help us to obtain an objective view of the problems in Sri Lanka, where Tamil nationalist folly has rendered the Tamils leaderless, at least for the present. I am certain that the Tamils need a different aim and a different kind of leadership to win their fredom

  2. S.V.Rajadurai says:

    I fully agree with the entire content of Sivasegaram’s response.It has been written with the courage of conviction of a Marxist who has consistently refused to fall into the Nationalist trap.It is surprising that a section of the Left in India, particularly those who have chosen the path of armed struggle has never cared to ponder over the history,the ideology and the ‘political’practice of the LTTE.They tend to equate any armed struggle against the state machinery with revolution.One needs to understand the position of Cuba and Venezeula in the context of US militarism and the regional hegemonic ambitions of its South Asian ally-the Indian State.Even China under Mao had to make certain foreign policy decisions which were not compatible with her Socialist principles.For example,she was one of the first countries to recognize Pinochet’s regime after the overthrow of Allende.Socialist coutries were/are not powerful enough to ignore the rules of the international game.

    It is high time, the section of the Indian Left that considers the LTTE as the representative voice of the Tamil aspirations in Sri Lanka to reach out to the Left forces there in the island in order not to reduce the complex reality into black and white categories and with a aim of see ing and understanding various shades of opinion.

  3. Sri Lanka army killed over 40000 Tamils and detained 300000 tamils in Camps 40 Media persons including the Sunday Leader Editor even wrote a editorial stating the government will him.
    Please note the Sri Lankan has refused to conduct an inquiry.
    Rajapakse government killed several children.
    Chavez and the leftists should have supported Tamils.
    Rajapakse has only shown that he wants Sri Lanka to be family rule with his brother Chamal,Basil,Gothabya and now son all in positions and even arrested his opponent Sarath fonseka
    The Left should have supported the Tamils not a Brutal guy like Rajapakse.This is forced the almost entire Tamil nationalists and diaspora to the streets of Toronto,London and Paris.80% of the Tamiil diaspora were on the streets this a mass struggle and even the defeat of the LTTE .Tamils staged referendrum on Vaddukottai 1977 resolution and Over 90% Tamils supported it.
    Tamils moving into Government were detained in internment camps even today 100000 are in camps and 14000 in torture special camps with no being brought to trial.
    Without mass support LTTE could not fight 33 years rising from the cycle to the Planes.Chavez and Left need to support the Tamils who are being the left in UK,India and other countries but sadly not by the communist states and leaders like Chavez


  1. […] isolating themselves from the left governments, the Indian, especially Tamil, friends of Latin America will achieve nothing. They should have sought to discuss the matter with some of the Latin American […]

  2. […] isolating themselves from the left governments, the Indian, especially Tamil, friends of Latin America will achieve nothing. They should have sought to discuss the matter with some of the Latin American […]

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