CORRUPT POLITICIANS, IMF LOANS AND FOREIGN AID

External forces do not enslave the masses of the world – they are enslaved by those from their own country who serve external forces. Leaders of countries which accept IMF loans are nothing more than recipients of credit cards with exploitative rates of interest; their main aim being to force countries to adopt ‘structural adjustment programmes’, a ‘weasel word’ term for the selling of State assets to American corporations, financial and labour market deregulation, reduction in public services and welfare programmes.

The London Independent (June 14, 2002), quoted Nigerian President, Olusegun Obasanjo: “Corrupt African leaders have stolen at least $140 billion (£95 billion) from their people in the decades since independence”. The UN estimated that 90 percent of the sub-Saharan gross domestic product was shipped to foreign banks in 1991, as reported in The New York Times, February 4, 1996). The London Telegraph (June 25, 2005), reported: ‘Nigeria’s past rulers stole or misused £220 billion ($296 billion) … If this sum had been divided equally among Nigeria’s 120 million people, its income per capita would be at least $3,000, instead of (a) miserable $265’.

Henry Neondo (www.newsfromafrica.org, 2011), implicated international banks in aiding corruption: ‘Corruption is rife in Africa because there are banking institutions in Europe especially Switzerland, France, Jersey Island, Britain, Luxembourg, Liechtenstein, Austria, US and many others who accept money from African leaders without questioning the source of the money’. He states that banks have close relationships with the business and political elites of African countries, and enable them to deposit around $148 in stolen money (UN estimates), ‘but which for profits sake the media refuse to tell the world about. Analysts say the banks know these corrupt leaders have stolen the money yet they pretend not to know until there is a scandal before they begin to act as if they are responsible institutions … Apart from the banking sector, the property sector in Europe, America and Australia have also colluded and connived with the political and business elite in Africa to impoverish the people’.

Talk of redress is a smokescreen – America and its deputy- States, such as the UK, do not have a record of overly punishing their champagne-sipping, neo-colonialist stooges. Banks are rarely caught laundering stolen money, and, when they are, the fines are small in relation to the bank’s profits. Individual bankers are protected from charges of personal irresponsibility.

It is often the case in the UK that ‘ordinary’ people are asked for the source of the cash deposit they are about to make, to which they could reply: “I am a friend of an African dictator who banks with you, he told me there are no questions asked”. The depositor could be more specific and claim to be a friend of Ugandan president Yoweri Museveni, about whom Ian Drury (2011) wrote: ‘he bought the top-of-the-range Gulf stream G550 private plane in the same year (UK) ministers gave his poverty- ravaged country £70million’.

The connection between overseas aid and corruption was voiced in Pakistan by Imran Khan: ‘The British Government and other donors must have a major say in the implementation of proposed projects. The money must be used for welfare projects rather than making billionaires even more rich,” said Khan, as reported by Maria Khan ( 2014), who explained: ‘Khan’s remarks followed a report that revealed that, despite millions of pounds being channelled towards governments, aid money has done nothing to help the economic and political freedom of the people’.

This claim was given credence by a recent report (presstv.com, 2014), which stated: ‘An official British investigation has disclosed for the first time that UK government’s aid money is funding corruption in foreign countries. The report conducted by the Independent Commission for Aid Impact (ICAI) … said funds invested by the British government abroad was found to be actively encouraging fraudulent practices. The commission, which scrutinizes the UK Department for International Investment (DfID), said it found that large sums of British foreign aid is used to fund corrupt programs … In Nigeria a number of police stations linked to British aid were found to be ‘as bad as – if not worse than – other police stations’, with locals saying they were even more likely to have to pay bribes at those precincts … The report comes just days after campaigners revealed that while the UK gave more than one billion in aid to Ethiopia, human rights abuses by Ethiopian security forces worsened. The Ethiopian security forces are accused of torturing, burning, raping and killing citizens’. Aid is often a bribe in disguise, used to secure the purchase ‘crowd control’ weapons, and weapons used to protect the interests of multinational oil companies.

A report concerning Nigeria (platformlondon.org, 2013), stated that the UK government ‘has provided escalating levels of military aid to Nigerian troops patrolling the volatile Niger Delta region, where western companies like Shell have extracted oil for decades. Despite documented cases of human rights abuses by the Nigerian police and military, BIS approved a range of exports to Nigeria including £60,000 worth of machine guns and equipment, sixty AK47s and £492,298 worth of grenades, bombs and missiles … Sarah Shoraka of Platform said: “UK taxpayers are funding a policy that supports repressive troops and subsidises the operating costs of oil giants like Shell. The UK government has promoted the interests of oil companies, arms traders and PMSCs at the expense of human rights and regional stability”.

The UK also exports toxic chemical precursors (TCPs); chemicals – potassium fluoride and sodium fluoride (used in the American water supply) – which when combined with other compounds create weapons, such as sarin and mustard gas. TCPs are dual-use chemicals, which can be used in agriculture or turned into weapons of mass destruction when mixed with other chemicals. The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI allow the sales of TCP’s ‘under the belief’ that they would be used ‘benignly’ for agricultural purposes or in making detergents. Such ‘belief’ is incredulous when judged against the fact that America and the UK sold the chemicals and technology to Iraq to produce nerve gas. The UK government can not have believed that Iraq intended to stockpile fertiliser and detergent, because they sold Iraq the drug pralidoxine, an antidote to nerve gas, in March 1992 (Arbuthnot,Mackay 2002).

They also reported that nerve gas was only one of several chemical weapons held by Iraq: ‘The US Senate’s committee on banking, housing and urban affairs – which oversees American exports policy – reveal that the US, under the successive administrations of Ronald Reagan and George Bush Snr, sold materials including anthrax, VX nerve gas, West Nile fever germs and botulism to Iraq right up until March 1992, as well as germs similar to tuberculosis and pneumonia. Other bacteria sold included brucella melitensis, which damages major organs, and clostridium perfringens, which causes gas gangrene’.

Iraq was vilified by the Western media of ‘gassing’ Kurds. Yet, ‘crocodile tears’ were not shed when America-supported Iraq ‘gassed’ Iranians in the Iran-Iraq war, using chemical agents supplied by America and the UK.

More recently, a report (http://investmentwatchblog.com, 2013), showed the UK ‘sold industrial materials to Syria that could have been used to make chemical weapons … The Commons Committees on Arms Export Controls (CAEC) said it was just one example of numerous questionable deals between UK contractors and countries the Foreign Office (FCO) deems to have poor human rights records’.

The UK has sold TCP’s to India, Kenya, Kuwait, Malaysia, Nigeria, Oman, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, Slovenia, South Africa, South Korea, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Tanzania, Thailand, Turkey, Uganda, and Yemen (Arbuthnot and Mackay, 2002, ibid.). The majority of these countries receive UK overseas aid. It is just a coincidence, of course, that chemicals used in making their fertiliser and detergents are manufactured in the UK?

Collaboration between Western capitalists and corrupt African leaders is of long standing. Kilzer and Conte (2012), placed it within the context of the slave trade: ‘Bonny Island off the west coast of Africa was the last place many slaves saw before being hauled to the New World. Centuries ago, corrupt African leaders and Western traders became business partners. A few Africans made fortunes; Western interests found cheap labor … Today the slave trade is gone from Bonny Island in Nigeria, replaced by gas liquefaction plants and pipelines stretching from a great reserve of fossil fuels. But the story has not changed much: Some African leaders are selling off what is most valuable — this time oil, not people — while pocketing huge bribes and leaving their citizens destitute’.

Aid agencies appeal for funds that in many cases are only to alleviate the distress caused by multinational banks and corporations colluding in theft and a continuing enslavement of people.

South Africa is another example of how a governing elite collude with multinational banks and corporations to keep the masses in poverty. The IMF gave South Africa an $850 loan in 1993, and demanded the usual ‘structural adjustment policies’ – lower tariffs on imported luxury goods from America, the selling of State assets to American corporations, financial deregulation, reduction in public services and welfare programmes, etc. This only benefited the white/black elite, one of which, the iconic Nelson Mandela, praised the IMF for having confidence in South Africa’s “structural adjustment”.

This was a different Nelson Mandela who had said in 1990 that the socialist policy of the ANC was to nationalise banks, mines, and monopoly industries, and to redistribute the wealth stolen by the colonialists to black South Africans. Yet, once in power, Mandela’s government promised to repay the $25 billion of debt accumulated by the apartheid regime. They removed exchange controls, allowing large corporations and rich whites and blacks to launder their money abroad. Under ‘free market’ Mandela, poor blacks were sentenced to ongoing poverty. There is a greater gap today between rich and poor South Africans than there was under apartheid. Is anyone so naive as to believe that Nelson Mandela would have been lauded in the Western media if he had remained true to his socialist principles?

Bobby Wilcox, a South African socialist who spent seven years in Robben Island under the apartheid regime, explained how the African National Congress has become notorious for its culture of self enrichment and corruption (2012). ‘The corruption in the ANC is not without precedent. The history books are replete with the acts of the leadership of bourgeois democratic struggles turning to corruption and in many cases, brutal dictatorships to enrich themselves. The petty bourgeois leadership of the ANC in order to promote its class interests, reached accommodation with the representatives of the bourgeois, the leadership of the National Party and formed a ‘government of national unity’ with them.

On assuming power the ANC proceeded to reward Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu and its other leaders, who had served long terms of imprisonment under the regime, by sanctioning their unprecedented enrichment. Nobody … questioned where this money came from and what its purpose was. Then, the salaries of politicians and high ranking personnel in government offices were dramatically increased, besides the grand salary allocations for those in the employ of ANC itself.

It is becoming clear that the agenda of the corrupt has gained the upper hand in the ANC. This has prompted Zwelinzima Vavi, General Secretary of the Congress of South African Trade unions (COSATU) to utter strong warnings, on various occasions, that if something radical is not done to curb this corruption then the country faces the real danger of a general revolt that can be equated to the Arab Spring
The future of the country remains in the balance, but the working class was not and has not been defeated and critical battles lie ahead’.

Gucciardi (2012), reported on corrupt politicians in India, who have ‘successfully stolen more than $14.5 billion worth of food from starving poverty-stricken citizens. Looting over 57,000 tons of food intended for the starving poor, the unpunished corrupt lawmakers and politicians are warehousing the mass amount of food supplies in a government-owned storage facility that spans more than five football fields in length.

With the state police force grovelling to corrupt lawmakers who care only for financial gain and corporate interest and a painfully-stunted court system that has made zero convictions over seven years of ongoing political turmoil, the starving families are helpless.

Around 900 million Indians currently eat less than the bare recommended minimum as issued by the government, and half of all the nation’s children are completely malnourished’.

British Prime Minister, David Cameron, paid his 3rd. visit to India in November 2013, addressing the same corrupt politicians that steal food from starving children. Was this topic mentioned? No. Did Cameron and his guests dine sumptuously? Yes. Cameron seeks to sell fighter jets, and raising the issue of starving children would be like farting at a vicar’s tea party. ‘Not cricket, old boy’.

External forces do not enslave the masses of the world – they are enslaved by those from their own country who serve external forces. The only way to eliminate internal forces of repression is by revolution. Such revolution can not be accomplished by (so-called) revolutionary parties joining forces with movements that are allied to the forces of internal repression, such as trade unions and (so called) ‘Labour’ parties, which enforce capitalist hegemony by only seeking its mild reform. Abandon the concept of alliance with those who are tools of capitalist repression.

The only way to eliminate internal forces of repression is by direct revolution, the mass rising of the working class.

March under the banner of Bolshevik revolutionary slogans.

Demand the nationalisation of land, mineral, and energy resources.

Throw off the yoke of Yankee neo-colonialism, and rid yourselves of its collaborators in your country.

lenin nightingale 2014

References:

Arbuthnot F. Mackay M. (September 8, 2002) How Did Iraq Get its Weapons? We Sold Them. Sunday Herald, in http://www.commondreams.org.

Drury I. (June 10, 2011) UK Aid Cash Helped African Dictator Buy Himself a £30m Jet. dailymail.co.uk.

Gucciardi A. (2012) Corrupt Indian Politicians Steal $14.5 Billion In Food From Starving Poor. naturalsociety.com.

http://investmentwatchblog.com, 2013.

Khan M. (October 19, 2014) Former Pakistan Cricketer Inmran Khan Says British Aid Money From DIFD Making Corrupt Politicians Richer. http://www.ibtimes.co.uk.

Kilzer L. Conte K. (October 20, 2012) Africa’s Wealth Floods Offshore As Corrupt Leaders , Coporations Use Banks To Hide Fortunes. triblive.com.

London Telegraph, 2005.

Neondo H. (March 7, 2011) Canada Puts Corrupt African Leaders on Notice. http://www.newsfromafrica.org.

New York Times, 1996.

Platfomlondon (August 17, 2013) Armed Extraction The UK Military In Nigeria. platformlondon.org.

Pressitv.com (October 31, 2014) An Official Investigation Has Disclosed For The First Time That UK Government Aid Money Is Funding Corruption In Foreign Countries.

The London Independent, 2002.

Wilcox B. (August 11, 2012) The Corruption of The ANC. socialistresistance.org.

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About leninnightingale

A nurse who for decades challenged the nursing establishment, echoing the voices of the silent many- the downtrodden nurses, students, care assistants, patients, and relatives that the 'system' overlooks. This site will present issues that many fear to engage in, prefering to believe what they are told by the Government's 'Ministry of Truth' (i.e. 'Lies').
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