FRONTLINE has paid a nice tribute to the Lion of Cuba, now a soldier in the battle of ideas (Cover Story, March 14). By publishing the articles and photographs on Fidel Castro, you have contributed much for the present generation.
Reading Herbert Matthews interview with Fidel, I felt that I was accompanying the interviewer in his journey to the Sierra Maestra. Fidel is larger than life in every sense of the term.
He is an exemplary leader. No one will forget this man and his mission.B. Jambulingam Thanjavur, T.N.* * *
THE Cover Story was excellent. The resurgence of Cuba as the quintessence of socialism has disproved the notion that less developed countries have to depend on capitalist countries for development. Castro will be remembered for his internationalist commitment to the cause of the downtrodden masses across the world. Castros views on the Non-Aligned Movement and the role played by India are still relevant. India should take active part in fulfilling the interests of the developing countries.Bhaskar Pegu Guwahati* * *
FIDEL Castros greatest contribution is probably that he has demonstrated how to tackle the bully that is the United States. India should stop cosying up to the U.S. and become a full member of the Shanghai Cooperation Organisation led by Russia, thereby reverting to its traditional friendship with Russia since Independence.
Amartya Kumar Bhattacharya Howrah, West Bengal* * *
FIDEL Castros photograph on the cover was excellent. Although you have carried many pictures of Castro over the years, this was the best. He is the leader I like most because of his self-confidence, untiring work and limitless patriotism.Om Shakthi Jegadheesan ChennaiPakistan
THE drubbing suffered by the Kings Party in Pakistan elections shows how unpopular Pervez Musharraf is with the voters (A democratic experience, March 14). The verdict reflects the peoples desire to rid Pakistan of a dictator and usher in a liberal, democratic and stable government.
With the people of Pakistan having spoken through the ballot, it is for the politicians to fulfil their promise to the people and ensure that democracy is not subverted again.S. Balakrishnan Jamshedpur, Jharkhand* * *
The people of Pakistan would like their leaders to follow the Indian model of democracy and economic progress. But that is possible only if Pakistan becomes more liberal. It should start thinking globally. But will fundamentalists allow economic development and its positive impact on the social environment?Mahesh Kumar New Delhi* * *
THOUGH Musharraf is disappointed that the parties backed by him suffered badly in the elections, he has proved his critics wrong by ensuring that the elections went on smoothly and the results were announced promptly.
It is clear that Musharraf was keen that popular civilian rule was restored immediately.K.R. Srinivasan HyderabadOil prices
THIS has reference to the article Taxing prices (March 14). For the government, petroleum products are the goose that lays the golden egg. The exorbitant prices of petrol and diesel affect not only the rich but also the poor owing to their cascading effect. The government should scrap import duties on crude oil and petroleum products so that even if the oil price shoots up in tune with international prices, the common man will not be affected.S. Raghunatha Prabhu Alappuzha, KeralaMalaysia
THE article Nipped in the bud (March 14) brought out the marginalisation of Malaysian Indians. The ban on the peaceful rally organised by Hindraf shows that democracy does not prevail in Malaysia. Will Hindraf be able to defeat the present regime in the next elections and try to get justice under the next government?Y.A. Zaheer Abdul Ghafoor ChennaiEconomic growth
THIS refers to C.P. Chandrasekhars column New growth story (February 29). The domination of the services sector in the gross domestic product, the coming up of cheaper sources of finance and the relatively increasing share of private consumption expenditure in total consumption all these raise doubts about the sustainability of the present growth in the long run.
The growth process can be realistic and sustainable only if, among other things, attempts are made to provide a stimulus to the growth of agricultural and manufacturing sectors, contain the inflation rate and provide more incentives for domestic investment.Sonal Goel DelhiMumbai violence
THE attack on North Indians by the Maharashtra Navnirman Sena activists proved that Raj Thackeray is naive in the realm of politics as naive as his uncle Bal Thackeray was in the 1960s (A Thackeray act, February 29). Playing a political game on the basis of regional chauvinism will pose a great threat to the integrity of the nation.* * *Bhushan Kumar Chaudhary New Delhi
THE arrest of Raj Thackeray and the drama over his few hours stay in the police custody have helped him gain a lot of publicity, which was the objective of his pro-Marathi stance and the violence unleashed against North Indians.Niladri Sekhar Dutta KolkataCorrection
In the Cover Story feature (March 14), a part of the interview with Fidel Castro by Herbert L. Matthews (I am always in the front line) was lost for technical reasons and thus the continuity was broken between pages 18 and 19. The three paragraphs that were involved are reproduced below:
To arrange for me to penetrate the Sierra Maestra and meet Fidel Castro, dozens of men and women in Havana and Oriente Province ran a truly terrible risk. They must, of course, be protected with the utmost care for their lives would be forfeit _ after the customary torture _ immediately if any could be traced. Consequently, no names are used here, the places are disguised and many details of the elaborate, dangerous trail in and out of the Sierra Maestra must be omitted.
From the looks of things, Batista cannot possibly hope to suppress the Castro revolt. His only hope is that an army column will come upon the young rebel leader and his staff and wipe them out. This is hardly likely to happen, if at all, before March 1, when the present suspension of constitutional guarantees is supposed to end.
Fidel Castro is the son of a Spaniard from Galicia, a Galego like Generalissimo Francisco Franco. The father was a pick and shovel labourer early in the century for the United Fruit Company, while sugar plantations are on the northern shores of Oriente Province. A powerful build, a capacity for hard work and a shrewd mind led the father up in the world until he became a rich sugar planter himself. When he died last year, each of his children, including Fidel, inherited a sizeable fortune.ANNOUNCEMENT
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