Malcolm Deas rejects my first-hand impressions of Bolivarian University of Venezuela (UBV) as representing "genuine widening participation" with "high standards" (Features, December 1) and has resigned from the University and College Union, arguing that "a serious academic union" should not support Hugo Chávez. The UBV is "100 per cent Chavista", he goes on. I would point out that UBV is also nearly 100 per cent working class - hence support at UBV for Chávez's programmes of economic and social justice for that class, and, indeed, hence the Chávez landslide election victory. As far as trade union backing is concerned, unions, academic and otherwise, have a long history of supporting movements that represent the class interests of their members.
Research professor in education and equality, Bishop Grosseteste University