EU Observer, via Crooked Timber:
Louis Michel, the Belgian former EU development commissioner and current prominent Liberal MEP has shocked his home nation and its one-time central African subjects by calling King Leopold II, the Congo’s colonial master responsible for between 3 million and 10 million deaths, a “visionary hero.”
“Leopold II was a true visionary for his time, a hero,” he told P-Magazine, a local publication, in an interview on Tuesday. “And even if there were horrible events in the Congo, should we now condemn them?”
. Yes, we really, really should.
FWIW, Louis Michel is also a former Belgian foreign minister, and has been deeply involved with the Congo at a national and European level.