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Opinions from the World Press: Human Rights—and Wrongs

BEIJING People's Daily (Communist Party): By issuing its "Human Rights Report," the United States is attempting to control the world in terms of not only strength but also spirit.... The U.S. is pursuing a moral ostrich policy, endlessly censuring others but reluctant to do self-criticism. --Gu Ping

NEW DELHI Asian Age (centrist): The State Department's report ... is a major indictment of [India's] ruling Bharatiya Janata Party for violence against the Christian community. ... But inherent in the wording of the report ... is the message that [the U.S.] would like to see India included among those states guilty of gross human-rights abuse. This would open yet another door for intervention by countries like the United States.... Unfortunately, much of what has been said in the report is true.

LIMA La Republica (liberal): The United States has no right to judge the rest of the countries or governments around the world.... It is obvious that the U.S. report is expected not only by governments but also by financial organizations, international advisory offices, and investors. It plays a major role in the policy of many countries and excessively influences relations with the country in question. --Mauricio Mulder

MADRID El Pais (liberal): In few areas is U.S. hypocrisy as evident as in its use of the death penalty, which has now claimed the life of a German citizen convicted of murder, Walter LaGrand, who was put to death in an Arizona gas chamber [in March].... The fact that one in every seven persons put to death eventually turns out to be innocent seems to make no impression on Americans, [nor does the fact that] the death penalty is ... applied more often to blacks and poor defendants ... than to whites, who are better able to pay for an effective legal defense.

MEXICO CITY El Universal (conservative): The Mexican government must ... avoid having other governments try to show us how to save ourselves. Just as Mexican authorities are obliged to fight against narcotics trafficking without interference by U.S. agencies, it is also a strategic obligation to make every effort to guarantee individual rights. We must clean our own house, because only thus can we halt [U.S.] interventionist efforts.

BOGOTA El Espectador (liberal): As predicted, Colombia came out looking bad, due to a chilling description of reality and not to any new revelations.... The government recognizes the problem.... And the people widely suffer its tragic effects. However.... Colombia is not doing enough to halt violations of fundamental rights and to punish [the violators].... The solution must be found in Colombia, and that's where we come up short.

Go to Conclusions

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A recent speech by Fidel Castro on Kosovo & human rights abuses.

Some Viewpoints material comes from the US. Information Agency's daily digest of foreign media reaction. WORLD PRESS REVIEW -- MAY 1999
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