Social change does not come down from the sky, By Owei Lakemfa

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Comrade Abiodun Aremu, the leader of ACIS-M, said, “We desire a society which should replace the present unjust order, where the super-rich few reign in plundered wealth, while the majority wallow in sub-human conditions”. the examples of Cuba and Venezuela, he added: “Our common realities should be our unifying factors in Africa to fight and recover our sovereignties that the various leaders in Africa have ceded to American and Eurocentric neocolonial domination” .

Social change does not descend from the sky. This was the fundamental message of an international conference on the “challenge of building an alternative political and socio-economic system”. Cuba’s Ambassador to Nigeria, Her Excellency Clara Margarita Pulido Escandell, delivered the keynote address at the July 16 virtual conference to mark the 17th anniversary of the Nigeria-based Amilcar Cabral Ideological School Movement (ACIS-M).

While leading speakers from eight countries in Latin America, North America and Africa, she argued that the solution to biting global crises is the solidarity of the human race. Cuba, at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, when other countries closed their borders, had sent more than 3,000 doctors, nurses and other health personnel to 28 countries to fight the pandemic. She said human beings need solidarity, even if it comes at a high cost, adding that solidarity is what Cubans have: “In our genes, our blood and our hearts.”

Speaking of the pandemic for which the small island has produced five candidate vaccines of which at least two are in use, she said Cuba has vaccinated more than 90% of its entire population, including children. She described the current situation in Cuba as good due to efforts to improve lives, including proposed new laws to expand family rights, and stem the effects of COVID-19 and a six-decade US blockade on the country. island country – a situation made worse by the piling up of 240 additional sanctions against the country. Summarizing her presentation, Ambassador Pulido said that US propaganda attempting to portray Cuba as a failed state is wrong, adding that, “In Cuba we have peace and the government is run by the people. Yes, these are the people who run the government.

His Excellency David Vasquez Caraballo, Ambassador of the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela, argued that it is necessary to build a new international system in which countries have the right to independence and sovereignty. He said there is a rearrangement of these political relations in Latin America, which has swept countries like Venezuela, Nicaragua and Bolivia. Regarding the realities in Venezuela, he said part of his problems was the executive order signed by then US President Barack Obama that designated Venezuela as an immediate and real threat to the United States. Venezuela, he said, has been the victim of sweeping US sanctions. , and experienced mercenary terror and attacks on its electrical system, but that the unity and commitment of the people led it to overcome these hostile actions, so much so that in 2021 it actually experienced a good growth.

Pratt said the Akufo government had also completely submitted the country to the dictates of the Western-controlled International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank, lamenting that the country now uses 128% of its total revenue just to pay off its debts. . The country, he said, has visited these institutions 18 times with the same results of mass impoverishment.

Comrade Imani Moja, representing the African Party for the Independence of Guinea and Cape Verde (PAIGC), after whom the founding leader, Amilcar Cabral, ACIS is named, said that people must recognize that the world is a global village, as fires in one part can spread to another. He said there were Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) troops in Guinea-Bissau, but they were mainly there to impose an undemocratic president on the country. He said coups had been used against the PAIGC, which was the ruling party in the country and that only on May 16, President Umaro Embalo, now President of ECOWAS, sacked the Assembly to prevent the PAIGC, which controls it, from entering. power.

The media, he said, was not spared either. He cited the case of Radio Capital which, according to him, was attacked in broad daylight. He also lamented that Africa does not have its own independent news sources, forcing the continent to rely on European and American news networks. Imani argued that just as the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) coordinates military forces in Europe, Africa needs a similar coordinating force. Kwesi Pratt Jnr, the organizer of the Socialist Movement of Ghana, argued that the world is being recalibrated, saying the world we knew yesterday is not the world we know today and certainly would not be the world we will know tomorrow. He regretted that Ghana had become a US military satellite.

Pratt said the Akufo government had also completely submitted the country to the dictates of the Western-controlled International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank, lamenting that the country now uses 128% of its total revenue just to pay off its debts. . The country, he said, has visited these institutions 18 times with the same results of mass impoverishment. He cited the 1982/83 imposition of punitive IMF policies in Ghana, which resulted in mass layoffs, privatization of state-owned enterprises and a crumbling economy. Such policies, he said, do not work in Ghana and will not work in any African country.

Pratt lamented that although Ghana is the sixth largest gold producer in the world, it remains very poor and in fact depends on foreign countries for its food needs. He said the time has come for African countries to transform their colonial economies into independent ones.

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The solution, Lefika said, is to create a peaceful and democratic system based on the needs of the people and the principles of social development, rather than profit, private gain and inequality. She noted that global capitalism, which is based on accumulation, has pushed humanity into catastrophic climate change that could make parts of the world uninhabitable.

Lefika Chetty of South Africa said the country was caught in “the crisis before the crisis”, trapping it in stagnation, in part because of state capture and corruption. The result, she said, is mass unemployment, high levels of violence and xenophobic tendencies. The solution, Lefika said, is to create a peaceful and democratic system based on the needs of the people and the principles of social development, rather than profit, private gain and inequality. She noted that global capitalism, which is based on accumulation, has pushed humanity into catastrophic climate change that could make parts of the world uninhabitable.

Comrade Fatai of the All African Peoples Revolutionary Party of the United States said colonial masters in Africa have demonized socialism which is a viable alternative to crippling capitalism, adding that the party’s goal is to unite all of Africa along Pan-Africanist lines. Ambassador Brahim Buseif of the Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic (SADR), also known as Western Sahara, in his message of solidarity thanked ACIS-M for being one of the founders and pillars of the Nigerian Movement for the liberation of Western Sahara.

Dr Dipo Fashina, a philosopher and former National Chairman of Nigerian Academics, said what is crucial to liberating the continent is to tackle the ideological roots of liberalism and neoliberalism, in order to arm the African continent with the tools to the Liberation. Comrade Abiodun Aremu, the leader of ACIS-M, said, “We desire a society which should replace the present unjust order, where the super-rich few reign in plundered wealth, while the majority wallow in sub-human conditions”.

Citing the examples of Cuba and Venezuela, he added, “Our common realities should be our unifying factors in Africa to fight and reclaim our sovereignties that various African leaders have ceded to the United States and Eurocentric neocolonial domination.” .

Owei Lakemfa, former General Secretary of African Workers, is a human rights activist, journalist and author.


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