Friday, July 25, 2008

The British Government Must End All Interference in Zimbabwe

Statement of the New Communist Party of Britain and the Revolutionary Communist Party of Britain (Marxist-Leninist), July 26, 2008

We vigorously condemn the government’s continued interference in the internal affairs of Zimbabwe, the most recent example of which resulted in a decision by the EU General Affairs and External Relations Council on July 22 to impose new sanctions on those associated with the government of Zimbabwe.

The government has been at the forefront of external attempts to interfere in the electoral process in Zimbabwe and to attempt to determine that country’s economic and political future. It has openly given its support to the candidate of the opposition party, imposed sanctions and destabilised Zimbabwe’s economy, and is striving to bring maximum pressure to bear on the mediation efforts of those from neighbouring countries and from the African Union. At the same time, a great propaganda campaign has been launched in the monopoly-controlled media, to spread as much disinformation as possible on Zimbabwe and its history. Nothing is said about Britain’s colonial domination of that country and the fact that no reparation has been made; or of the fact that the Labour government has reneged on agreements made in the past to provide financial support for land redistribution in Zimbabwe. The same media never mention that Britain has openly interfered in Zimbabwe’s internal politics through the so-called Westminster Foundation for Democracy and other sinister organisations.

The government currently seeks to justify its interference on the grounds that violence has prevented the second round of the presidential election in Zimbabwe from being viable and has called for further EU and UN intervention. At the same time, it has declared itself content with the first round of the election held in March, since although that vote was inconclusive it favoured the candidate who is acceptable to Anglo-American imperialism and the other big powers in the EU. It is now demanding that Robert Mugabe, the president of Zimbabwe, should stand aside and that a “transitional government” favourable to the big powers should be established. Then, it is promised, sanctions will be lifted and “aid” will be provided so that the rebuilding of Zimbabwe’s economy can begin.

We totally condemn such interference and what amounts to outright blackmail. Zimbabwe is no longer a British colony and the British government has no right to declare itself the arbiter of which political party or individual is a “legitimate representative of the will of the people of Zimbabwe”.
What must also be condemned are the economic measures taken in the past by Anglo-American imperialism and the international financial institutions in which it holds sway, which have created many of the economic problems facing Zimbabwe and its people. Indeed, it is the big British and other monopolies such as Anglo American, Rio Tinto, and Standard Chartered which still dominate Zimbabwe’s economy, 30 years after formal independence. They now stand poised to strengthen their grip and continue to dictate the actions of the British government.

It is also clear that Britain and the other big powers have created all the conditions for violence to take place and have not ruled out its use and “whatever it takes” in order to effect “regime change”. But while apparently deploring violence during the elections in Zimbabwe, the Labour government condones and perpetrates it during the elections illegally held in occupied Iraq and Afghanistan.

The British government presents itself as the guardian of so-called “universal values”, which are nothing more than the values of neo-liberal globalisation. It attempts to impose such values all over the world, just as the imperialists of the 19th century declared that they had a “civilising mission” to impose the alleged benefits of colonial rule. It demands that all should bow down and accept its definitions of “democracy” and “good governance”, and declares it is ready to “export democracy” on the basis that “might is right” to those who refuse.

We call on the working class and all democratic people to resolutely oppose this old colonial mentality. In regard to Zimbabwe, the important principle that must be upheld is the right of the people of that country to choose their own path of development and government free from the meddling of Britain and the other big powers. The attempts of the government to impose its “universal values” in any other country must be resolutely opposed and it must end all its interference in Zimbabwe.