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Dear Louis Proyect,

I have read the article that you have written for Counterpunch on the 26th June 2020. I am Malagasy, and lived in Madagascar for the first 23 years of my life. I am currently a mathematician that resides in South Africa.

Counterpunch is at the very top of the list of online newspapers that I regularly read and I was quite happy to see that someone was interested in this small country.

I tend to agree with most of what you have written about Madagascar: the political context since 2000 and especially how you portray M. Ravalomanana and A. Rajoelina. They're both proponents of neoliberalism. However, Madagascar has a peculiar historical context that makes the small difference between the two quite important in terms of educational and health policies. (For example, M. Ravalomanana, under IMF pressure, planned to privatise the public university in the capital; this plan was shelved after 2009. I, like many young people in Madagascar, could never have attended universities unless they were free.) There was a failed revolution (1972-1991) that still influences societal structures in Madagascar, although the IMF has imposed a total liberalisation already since 1991.

I do not mean to criticise the article. I think it's nice. I just wanted to say that there is a rich nuance in the Malagasy political landscape and certain things (especially through the eyes of the media alone) can be misleading.

With best regards,

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