Two destructive regimes, two differing reactions to ships

Sailors on visiting ships no longer tied to brutal regimes

Maxim Rpucyehko Grichenko

Maxim Rpucyehko Grichenko

It’s interesting to compare the reception of the tall ships Esmeralda and Pallada during their recent visits to Victoria.

Both are magnificent vessels and we are lucky to have had them visit here.

But the Esmeralda is treated to protests and vitriol by people who may have a legitimate grievance against the government of General Augusto Pinochet.

They chose to express that grievance against an inanimate object and its crew which, years after the fact, have nothing to do with the Pinochet regime.

The Pallada, by contrast, was given an enthusiastic reception and centre stage in the Inner Harbour, even though Russia has one of the most brutal and repressive histories of any country that one can imagine.

The Pallada is also just a ship and the crew has no responsibility for Stalin and some of Russia’s other brutal leaders.

If protesters are looking for symbols, they should be ecumenical and “equal opportunity” in their choices.

Scott Eichel