The First Requena Letter

October 16, 2002

Dear sir,
As a graduate and former Professor of Cambridge University I take the
opportunity to express my disgust to learn that the Centre for Socio- Legal
Studies of Oxford University, in its program INTERNATIONAL HUMAN RIGHTS
SEMINAR is receiving the President of my country, Mr. Hugo Chavez Frias, to
speak and address the students and fellows of Oxford University. President
Chavez record in human rights is less than despicable, starting for its
disdain for human life of the soldiers its commanded during his intent to
overthrow the government, back in February 4, 1992. More recently, from the
presidency of the republic he allowed, if not conducted himself, the
slaughter of civilian during a pacific demonstration on April 11, 2002. If
these acts against humanity were not enough to in validate him to talk
under the umbrella of human rights, Oxford University should know that he
is conducting a deliberate and cruel program against our population, having
increased by 2 million over the past three years the number of our people
living under extreme poverty; isolating our country by siding with
terrorist countries such as Cuba, Libia and Irak. But moreover, Mr. Chavez,
consistently denigrated of academics and intellectuals, doing every thing
under his power to annihilate the Venezuelan academic elite. In fact, we
have in Venezuela a rather small number of people devoted to high sciences,
technologies and humanities and instead of promoting growth and development
Chavez government is making sure that there are ousted out of their jobs
and cutting research funding. I, my self, is a vivid example, having been
ousted of my post at the “Instituto Internationa de Estudios Avanzados”
(IDEA) of Caracas and having been ordered by the tribunal to be restated to
my job, as Professor of Biophysics, I am still waiting, 3 years now, that
its puppet Supreme Court validates the already given sentence. It
happens,  that it directly affects his Minister for Science and Technology,
responsible of running IDEA. At the time of writing over one million people
inundated the streets of Caracas in protest or the repressive and
authoritarian measures taken by Mr. Chavez in the last weeks and asking for
his resignation. I know quite well academic life in Great Britain, not only
for having obtained from Cambridge University my Ph.D. in 1974 but having
being Simón Bolívar Professor of the Centre for Latin American Studies of
Cambridge University (1994-1995), Fellow of Churchill College and been
awarded a Sc.D. degree in 1997 by Cambridge University. Thus, I would be
utterly surprised if my alma mater, Cambridge University, would lend
promote the anti-humanitarian cause of  Mr. Chavez.
Yours very truly
Jaime Requena, Sc.D.
Member of the National Academy of Sciences

One Response to “The First Requena Letter”

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