Armenia, Turkey, and Zhirinovsky

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by Harut Sassounian
The California Courier
October 13, 1994

Not much has been heard in recent months from the Russian extreme nationalist Parliamentarian Vladimir Zhirinovsky.

Apparently, he is alive and kicking like mad. He has applied for a visa to visit the United States. But it looks like the U.S. government is going to refuse his request and deny him direct access to the American public.

In the meantime, Zhirinovsky had not changed his anti-Turkish, anti-Azeri and pro-Armenian attitude.

In a recent interview, Zhirinovsky told the French-Armenian magazine, Les Nouvelles d'Armenie, that "Russia and Armenia are strategic allies. We need an ally in the south represented by a Christian country, with which we will restore our former historic borders."

He describes Armenia's future borders as extending from the Black, Caspian and Mediterranean seas, including Kars, Ardahan, Mt. Ararat, Trabizon, Mersin and Baku!

Cubans Banished to Armenia

It seems that the news of the hard life in Armenia has finally reached Cuba!

According to the Russian newspaper Izvestia, Raul Castro, the defense minister of Cuba (and Fidel Castro's brother), recently addressed the members of the Cuban army and state security officers about the problem of drug smuggling in the country.

He said: "And all those who disagree with our revolutionary laws wil be deported to...," and after pausing for a few seconds and searching for a terrible place where they could be banished, he shouted, "to Armenia!"

Armenia Does Not Exist!

Last year, the Canadian government published "A Guide for Canadian Exporters." For some unknown reason, the publication has completely eliminated the existence of the Republic of Armenia.

The map shows Iran, Iraq, Syria, Turkey, and Azerbaijan. Strangely, the name of Azerbaijan is written across both Azerbaijan and Armenia. To make matters worse, there are no lines indicating Armenia's boundaries. It looks like Azerbaijan stretches from the Caspian Sea all the way to Turkey, including Armenia.

We don't know how many copies of this guide were printed by the Foreign Affairs Ministry of Canada and distributed to businessmen.

Making a mistake is one thing, taking prompt corrective action is another. You be the judge!

Months after its publication, a Canadian citizen notices that there is a serious problem with the map: Armenia is taken over by Azerbaijan! So, this error is brought to the attention of the first Canadian-Armenian elected recently to the Canadian Parliament, Sarkis Assadourian.

Assadourian writes a letter to the Canadian Foreign Ministery on May 13, 1994, pointing out the serious mistake.

He receives a reply on June 10, which simply states: "I regret this demarcation error. I also assure you that this oversight will be corrected in our next publication which we expect to publish within the next twelve months." This letter is signed by Daniel G. Marchand, Director, Africa and Middle East Trade, Development Division, Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Frankly, I am shocked by this callous response.

Mr. Assadourian may consider writing a second letter to Mr. Marchand and suggest to him the following:

  • The Canadian government stop mailing this faulty guide to businessmen;
  • Write to all those who have received a copy of this guide and ask them to return it to the Ministry;
  • Destroy all copies in its possession;
  • Immediately, not in twelve months, print a corrected map showing Armenia and Karabagh;
  • Reprimand the officials involved in preparing the faulty guide and investigate the circumstances leading to such an unusual map;
  • Issue an apology to the Canadian-Armenian community and the Armenian government.

I believe this would be a far more appropriate corrective action than the wimpy, will-do-something-next-year response issued by the Canadian government.