O Intermitente<br> (So long, farewell, auf weidersehen, good-bye)

O Intermitente
(So long, farewell, auf weidersehen, good-bye)

sexta-feira, junho 18, 2004

Coreia do Norte

Artigo de Vaclav Havel no Washington Post.

[T]he testimony of thousands of North Korean refugees who have survived the miserable journey through Communist China to free South Korea tells of the criminal nature of the North Korean dictatorship. Accounts of repression are supported and verified by modern satellite images, and they clearly illustrate that North Korea has a functioning system of concentration camps. The kwan-li-so, or "political penal labor colony," holds as many as 200,000 prisoners who are barely surviving day to day, or are dying in the same conditions as the millions of prisoners in the Soviet gulag system did.

The northern part of the Korean Peninsula is governed by the world's worst totalitarian dictator, a man responsible for the loss of millions of lives. Kim Jong Il inherited the Communist regime following the death of his father, Kim Il Sung, and has continued to strengthen the cult of personality. He sustains one of the largest armies in the world and is producing weapons of mass destruction even as the centrally planned economy and the state ideology -- known as juche, a blend of nationalism and self-reliance -- have led the country into famine. The victims of the North Korean regime number in the millions.

Despite the ever-present army and police, tens of thousands of desperate North Koreans have escaped to China. In defiance of international treaties, the Chinese government refuses to recognize these people as refugees, and Chinese officials have blocked the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees from contacting any North Korean in China. The Chinese government hunts the refugees in the woods along the border and sends them back to North Korea, where the journey ends in the kwan-li-so. All of this is happening right now, and the world is standing idly by.


Shockingly, the U.N. Commission on Human Rights has criticized the North Korean regime for its gross violations of human rights only twice since the commission was founded. Less shocking, but also disturbing, is the fact that the North Korean government has yet to implement any of the commission's recommendations.

Now is the time for the democratic countries of the world -- the European Union, the United States, Japan, South Korea -- to take a common position. They must make it clear that they will not offer concessions to a totalitarian dictator. They must state that respect for basic human rights is an integral part of any future discussions with Pyongyang. Decisiveness, perseverance and negotiations from a position of strength are the only things that Kim Jong Il and those like him understand.

posted by Miguel Noronha 4:09 da tarde

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"A society that does not recognize that each individual has values of his own which he is entitled to follow can have no respect for the dignity of the individual and cannot really know freedom."

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