Jose Ramos Horta and home-coming chickens

Philip Ferguson plf13 at student.canterbury.ac.nz
Thu Feb 27 15:11:47 MST 2003


Horta's article is appearing all round the world, I think.

It has been in the Christchurch 'Press' here, the main daily paper in
the South Island (NZ).

I agree with what Tom O'L said, but I'd add that we can also blame Horta
for his disgusting position.  It's worse than the position a lot of
British Labour MPs, and even some Tory MPs, have taken.  Horta could
easily have decided to just say nothing.  Moreover, while he doesn't
claim to be a Marxist or a radical these days, he certainly used to.  I
was at a meeting he spoke at in the 1970s, and he certainly saw himself
as a revolutionary and socialist back then.

What has happened is that Fretilin, like a lot of national liberation
movements of that era, has moved well to the right.  In fairness, of
course, they were under massive pressure.  And it should be noted that a
helluva lot of Trotskyists and Maoists of the same era have moved well
to the right without being under anything like the pressure that
Fretilin was under.

However, it strikes me that, whatever it was in the 60s and 70s (and I'd
say it was a genuine national liberation movement then), these days
Fretilin is the chief agent of imperialism and neo-colonialism in East
Timor, just like the ANC plays that role in South Africa now.

Those on the left who saw only the Indonesians as the agents of
imperialism forgot that the smart imperialist money always has more than
one horse in the race and are quite capable of nobbling their original
favourite in favour of their other horse if this looks like achieving a
better result for them.

Philip Ferguson

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