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Readers Sound Off on Hugo Chavez and the Dalai Lama

Comments by Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez about Chancellor Merkel and the refusal of high-ranking German officials to meet with the Dalai Lama got readers attention this week.

Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez

Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez

The following comments reflect the views of DW-WORLD.DE readers. Not all reader comments have been published. DW-WORLD.DE reserves the right to edit for length and appropriateness of content.

Of course, Hugo Chavez's comments were out of line. He always is. Chavez is leftist but has never had the experience of living in a communist state, like East Germany or the USSR, where there were no human rights, fundamental freedoms, right to property and so on. -- Stefan Schneider, Brazil

Chancellor Merkel may be a conservative center-right politician but she is definitively not an extreme right-wing totalitarian leader as socialist President of Venezuela Hugo Chavez thinks she might be. You could label him an extreme left-wing totalitarian leader. If they get to meet in Lima, Peru, I wonder if his attitude towards Chancellor Merkel will change. -- Stuart John Pearson, Australia

As far as comparing Merkel's party with fascism, Hugo Chavez is grandstanding for his own benefit and seems to feel the need to show off to the world media with very bad taste and form. -- G. Gosau, Canada

Although the comments of President Chavez might sound extreme, they are just a reaction to Chancellor Merkel comments in the sense that this is hardball politics. To my understanding, Merkel was probably trying to praise the moderate left of countries like Chile or Brazil, but did it in a way that ended up attacking another country's policy which is always a big no-no if you want to have friendly relationships. Chavez on the other hand is used to the snide comments coming from the US and this is his way of dealing with that. Speaking clearly and boldly is the only way he has been able to get his message across to a news media that is largely against him. -- Andres Castillo, Venezuela

This is the way Chavez says the truth. It's not diplomatic, but that does not matter, it is still the truth. -- Christian Grundmann, Venezuela

This visit by the German Chancellor Angela Merkel is very important for the relations between our continent and the EU -- and stronger relations are needed for today and the future. One should not believe what the Venezuelan President said because he does not represent our interests or the Latin American people. -- Rosita Welcker, Columbia

President Hugo Chavez of Venezuela had every right to reply to the provocative statement that Chancellor Angela Merkel uttered when saying that he was not the voice of the region. If you do not like criticism do not take upon yourself to criticize anyone else. As for the Christian Democrats being a Nazi-like party, it is very close to the truth. The German Catholic Party was absorbed into the Nazi Party in 1934. So, Senor Chavez did make a statement that bore some truth in it. But, should President Chavez attend the EU-Latin American and Caribbean summit, I am sure he will tell Angela Merkel what he thinks. Right now Angela Merkel does not speak for the EU but as a mouthpiece of the Bush regime in the US. It's a shame that the EU has become a tool of Yankee imperialism. Tell Chancellor Merkel to keep her opinions to herself or face the consequences of her actions. -- Kenneth V. Tellis, Canada

Chavez was not out of line because he was telling the truth. He has not told a lie yet. -- Leon Bernotas, US

Dalai Lama's visit to Germany

Dalai Lama and Hesse Premier Roland Koch

Hesse Premier Roland Koch was the first official to meet with the Dalai Lama

A German cabinet minister should meet with the Dalai Lama. Tibet should be free from China. But I am very pleased with China accepting international help with the earthquake from Germany, the US, Australia and other members of the international community and that the Chinese premier visited the affected area fairly quickly and offered to help. -- Stuart John Pearson, Australia

I think the cabinet members and other top leaders in the government of Germany should go out of their way to meet with the Dalai Lama personally and to set up some sort of dialogue with his representatives. If he has arranged to travel such a distance to see Germany's leaders, the very least they could do would be to greet him and try to arrange something approaching substantial conversation. Furthermore, it would be the right time to consider some form of special recognition for His Holiness, an award like the honorary citizenship which the city of Paris bestowed upon him on April 21, 2008. -- Birger Salberg, Jr., US

Foreign Minister Franz Walter Steinmeier should meet with the Dalai Lama on behalf of the German people. He should always support on what is right including helping countries with emergency situations and promoting human rights which is the most important issue for this generation. -- Gonpo Tenzing, Germany

The new US Embassy in Berlin

Please accept our deepest apologies for the monstrosity in the form of an embassy that pretends to represent the American people in the very center of Berlin. We are embarrassed and saddened by this misuse of our tax dollars. It would have been laughed out of Chicago had anyone attempted to disgrace our largest mid-western city with such an ugly edifice. -- Robert and Virginia Bach, US

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  • Date 15.05.2008
  • Author Compiled by DW staff (ot)
  • Print Print this page
  • Permalink http://p.dw.com/p/E0Gt
  • Date 15.05.2008
  • Author Compiled by DW staff (ot)
  • Print Print this page
  • Permalink http://p.dw.com/p/E0Gt