An accepted then rejected letter to the UK Independent re Venezuela

UPDATED March 11, 2013
The Independent said they wanted to publish my letter (see below) but balked after I
insisted that it be run IN FULL. Everything after the second paragraph was deemed "unhelpful". Just for laughs, I asked "unhelpful to who?" but I think they've explained more than enough.
Some things cannot be said in the pages of the autocratic Indy – even in terse letters from readers much less by Indy employees.

UPDATED  March 12, 2013

Indy clarifies that after the second paragraph my letter became unhelpful to "the reader".
From: INDY Letters <letters@independent.co.uk>
To: jemersberger <jemersberger@aol.com>
Sent: Thu, Mar 7, 2013 7:50 am
Subject: RE: UK indepednent editors call Chavez a dictator
I should like to publish your letter, but I need an address. Where are
you writing from, please?
Guy Keleny
Letters editor
A day later after nothing of the letter had been printed I wrote:
Hi Guy
So may I conclude that Indepndent wil not be publishing my letter in full as I 
He replied a few days later:
Yes, I fear so. I like the first two paras about what we said about Chavez, but 
the rest is not helpful.
Best wishes,
Guy Keleny
Letters editor
—–Original Message—– 
From: jemersberger@aol.com [mailto:jemersberger@aol.com] 
Sent: 07 March 2013 12:25 
To: INDY Letters; Chris Blackhurst; Mary Dejevsky
Subject: UK indepednent editors call Chavez a dictator 
RE: Editorial: Hugo Chavez – an era of grand political illusion comes to an end 
Dear Independent editors: 
This editorial states 
"Mr Chavez was no run-of-the-mill dictator. His offences were far from the excesses of a Colonel Gaddafi, say. What he was, more than anything, was an illusionist – a showman who used his prodigious powers of persuasion to present a corrupt autocracy fuelled by petrodollars as a socialist utopia in the making. The show now over, he leaves a hollowed-out country crippled by poverty, violence and crime. So much for the revolution. " 
Chavez was not a dictator and Venezuela is not an autocracy. 
The very editorial where this ludicrous claim is made also concedes that "True, he retained considerable popular support, winning no fewer than four elections, all with comfortable majorities…" 
Does the Independent now have a new definition of "dictator" and "autocracy" it is withholding from everyone else on earth? 
If so please explain how your definition does not apply to Tony Blair and the UK government whose crimes, by the way, EXCEED those that can be credibly blamed on Gaddafi. 
The Independent also called former Haitian president Jean Bertrand Aristide a "dictator" the day after he was overthrown in a US led coup on February 29, 2004. 
Your newspaper has provided highly revealing lessons in how the "liberal" media reinforces the lies and assumptions of the far right Murdoch press. 
I'm sure there are employees within the autocratic Independent who are quite disgusted by this editorial. They will not publicly express such a view which shows why the word "autocratic" does accurately describe your newspaper. 
Joe Emersberger

Leave a comment