By Ravi Shanker Kapoor
The Ethiopian cannot change his skin, nor the leopard his spots-this is the wisdom of the Bible. The Biblical writers could have made the list longer. Had they had the misfortune of living in a world with parts of it infested with communism, they would have included the nature of communists as unchanging as the spots of the leopard. A couple of recent international events underline the fact that the communists remain as tyrannical, cruel, and malicious as they ever were.
While communist China is employing every instrument of repression to smother the dissenting voices of its own people, far away in Latin America left-leaning Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez is using every trick to murder democracy. According to a report in The New York Times on December 9, ?Residents of a fishing village near Hong Kong said that as many as 20 people had been killed by the paramilitary police in an unusually violent clash that marked an escalation in the widespread social protests that have roiled the Chinese countryside.
?Villagers said that as many as 50 other residents remain unaccounted for since the shooting that occurred this week as villagers staged a protest over government land appropriations. It is the largest known use of force by security forces against ordinary citizens since the killings around Tiananmen Square in 1989. That death toll remains unknown, but is estimated to be in the hundreds.
?The violence began after dark in the town of Dongzhou on Tuesday evening. Terrified residents said their hamlet has remained occupied by thousands of security forces, who have blocked off all access roads and are reportedly arresting residents who attempt to leave the area after the heavily armed assault.?
A report in another publication on December 10 said, ?Some families were still trying to recover the bodies of those killed by pistol and automatic-weapons fire from People'sArmed Police during confrontations on Tuesday and Wednesday nights, the residents reported. Villagers said 14 to 20 people were shot and killed.
?Their estimates were impossible to confirm; government and hospital officials maintained a strict silence and prevented Chinese news media from reporting on the violence.?
Such ruthless crackdown is not an instance of Oriental despotism but of communist nastiness. It becomes evident from the actions of an aspiring tyrant in the New World. A Reuters report on December 14 said, ?Ten days after Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez won an election boycotted by the entire Opposition and with a turnout of barely 25 per cent, a top opposition leader, who led a strike against him three years ago, was sentenced today to nearly 16 years in prison. He was charged with rebellion.
?After a trial, which critics said was political persecution and a violation of due process, Carlos Ortega, one of Chavez'sfiercest foes, became the first key opposition leader jailed for the two-month-long strike that battered the economy but failed to topple the left-wing president?
?Opponents of the soldier-turned-president accuse him of cracking down on foes as he edges Venezuela closer to the model of his ally Cuban leader Fidel Castro through control of the courts and other key institutions.
?Authorities are now probing hundreds of business and political figures for supporting a short-lived 2002 coup that briefly ousted Chavez.?
Notice the common features between China and the oil-rich Venezuela-scant regard for citizens, hostility towards democratic elements, absence of rule of law, control over the media, and vindictiveness towards political opponents. It may be noted that the Indian communists can also be accused of same misdemeanors. In fact, our comrades, especially from West Bengal, can teach a thing or two about ?scientific rigging? to Chavez whom they adore!
What the recent events have proved beyond reasonable doubt is not only that communism is essentially a violent, anti-democratic ideology but also that its adherents are irredeemable and unalterable. All democracy-loving people should confront them, or they would be wiped out by them sooner or later.
(The author is Editor, www.indiaright.org, and can be reached at [email protected])