PEP COLUMN: Championing the cause of Libya
Last week, Mr Bobby Clarke, vice-president of the People’s Empowerment Party (PEP), sent a letter to United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon, denouncing the UN Security Council’s recent resolution on Libya and the neo-imperialist agenda of the United States and Europe.
It is clear to us that the situation in Libya is not akin to the scenarios that unfolded in Egypt and Tunisia. This is not a case of unarmed civilians peacefully protesting. Rather, what we are witnessing in Libya is heavily armed and organized militias making a naked and violent bid for power, and being egged on and supported by Libya’s traditional enemies – the United States, Britain and other Western European states, al-Qaeda, and the old traditional Arab establishment.
It is important that Third World people bear in mind that Colonel Gaddafi and the Libyan government have been two of the most dynamic forces in the progressive revolution that has unfolded in the Third World over the past 40 years.
Indeed, it is an open secret that it was Gaddafi and Libya who provided much of the resources that kept the various African liberation movements going during the difficult decades of struggle.
Furthermore, over the past decade, Muammar Gaddafi has been the single most important champion of continental African unity. It is he who advanced the idea of establishing the African Union (AU), and who has fuelled the now decade-long relentless push to unify the continent of Africa economically and politically.
And, significantly, Gaddafi’s pan-African orientation did not stop at the boundaries of the African continent, as evidenced by his inviting Caribbean prime ministers to attend and address AU summits, and his on-going project to establish in St Lucia a Libyan-funded development bank for the Caribbean.
Indeed, one of the major sources of the internal Libyan opposition to Gaddafi stems from racist, Arabic factions within Libya who strongly object to Gaddafi’s embrace of Africa and his identification of Libya as an inherently African country.
There are racist elements who consider this to be anathema, and who are determined to scuttle Gaddafi’s pan-African visions, and to redirect Libya towards Arabia and Europe.
Gaddafi’s Libya has provided a home for literally millions of African and other Third World migrants who have gone there seeking better lives. Gaddafi played a critical role in the campaign of Third World oil-producing countries to take greater control of their petroleum resources, and having done so, he went on to radically uplift living standards in Libya, resulting in Libyans enjoying the highest standard of living on the African continent.
No doubt there have been some negatives associated with Mr Gaddafi’s regime, but clearly, the positives, far outweigh the negatives. And for this reason, Third World organizations such as the AU, CARICOM, ALBA, and the Non-Aligned Movement must not stand idly by and allow the wanton destruction of Libya!
These organizations must speak out forcefully on this issue; their member countries must caucus at the UN and use their collective power to ensure that there is no United Nations, United States or NATO military invasion of Libya; and they must also assist the African Union to assume its rightful role in mediating the conflict in Libya.