Information regarding countries that are in difficulty due to environmental and humanitarian crises, finds less and less space in our mainstream media, least of all in the statements of our political representatives.
The pandemic has sadly facilitated the centralization of all attention on the countries that hold control of the world economic system. Let’s face the harsh reality: we only talk about their number of deaths and their number of vaccines, above all because these two sets of data are connected to the economic recovery and to the performance of the stocks. The stocks of the gigantic companies which in turn determine, in a more or less transparent way, the financial policy choices of these countries and of the supranational bodies to which they belong, but with harmful repercussions on the rest of the world.
Who knows the death toll from Covid-19 in Afghanistan?
Who knows if vaccines have been developed in Chile?
Who is aware of the socio-economic support measures for the population in Cameroon?
Yet we are facing a crisis that has openly told us that we live, extremely connected to each other, on a planet that we have weakened and exposed to dangers of various kinds.
What medium or long-term benefits are there if the number of infections is equal to 0 in Switzerland, yet in the countries that surround it; France, Germany and Italy, the situation is highly critical?
There was international applause for the State of Israel because it vaccinated the vast majority of the population in a very short time while in the neighboring State of Palestine not only was it not possible to vaccinate anyone, but even basic medical care for those infected, cannot be delivered.
The trend of reactions in the face of this latest event that is marking the history of humanity therefore tells us about the worsening of this pathology of economic selfishness that is affecting the countries with greater capitalist traction, and proof of this has been the Resolution A/HRC/46/L.4 of the Human Rights Council of the United Nations entitled ‘The negative impact of unilateral coercive measures on the enjoyment of human rights’.
The proposal was presented by Azerbaijan, China and the State of Palestine, supported as well by the Non-Aligned Movement (a group of 120 states that consider themselves not aligned with, or against, the main world powers), to urge the member states of UN to eliminate, stop the adoption, maintenance or application of sanctions contrary to international law and the Charter of the United Nations.
The Resolution; the official document of which we report below, has been approved. And this is the news.
It was adopted with the favorable vote of 30 countries and can represent a keystone for the lives of billions of people because it establishes the illegality and immorality of the current operating procedures in the international field of some world powers.
Furthermore, in practical terms (and the resolutions of the Human Rights Council have often been lacked in pragmatism in the past), the Secretary-General of the United Nations is asked to provide the necessary assistance to the Special Rapporteur and the High Commissioner for Human Rights to carry out their mandates effectively, making adequate human and material resources available.
Such a positive goal could only be hailed with satisfaction by those who are suffering the tragic consequences of imperialist policies, and in fact Jorge Arreaza, the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Venezuela, declared: “Today the Human Rights Council approved the resolution on the negative impact of unilateral sanctions on the enjoyment of human rights. Its impact is so evident that, for elementary ethics, the countries that voted against it, should lose their seat in the Council”.
Yes, because of the 47 current members of the Council (elected by secret ballot every 3 years with geographical distribution criteria), 15 countries voted against this resolution: Austria, Brazil, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Marshall Islands, Holland, Poland, Republic of Korea, Ukraine, United Kingdom.
The representatives of these countries found themselves at a crossroads: they could opt for the launch of a new course of international policies aimed at cooperation and solidarity, but instead they chose to defend economic sanctions, which are nothing but a suit and tie version of the bombings and coups.
But in the moral integrity of countries we are used to calling “developed” countries, there is very little to add… Suffice it to consider that the European Union has allowed its member states to compete with each other for the supply of medicines and vaccines, and that the WTO (World Trade Organization) has recently opposed the liberalization of vaccines which would have stolen intellectual rights from the hands of pharmaceutical multinationals (however for a large fee), thus allowing individual states to start a massive and rapid production.
But financial violence affects not a few countries in the world, far from it. In addition to Venezuela, heavily hit by international sanctions that have brought the population to their knees, one of the many other countries bent by the economic strength of NATO countries is Cuba.
El bloqueo, the commercial, economic and financial embargo imposed by the USA against the Caribbean island has lasted since 1962.
Sixty years of rights denied to its people. Along with many ideas. Among these is the Universal Right to Public Health care that has led Cuba to be accused of promoting terrorism while actually the only brigades it carries around the world are medical ones. We can see these things in the images on social networks with the purpose of not forgetting that, in the midst of a tragedy of global proportions in which nations have stolen medicines and masks from each other, a small country sent 2,300 women and men, doctors and nurses, to 24 countries.
Sadly, it has been forgotten, so much so that even the nations who have been helped by these doctors, have voted against the Resolution (Italy as an example), and again and again, the United States, Brazil and Israel are the ones who are opposing the end of the embargo. And consequently all their ‘business associates’ are doing so.
But, returning to the Resolution of the Human Rights Council of the United Nations, and therefore wanting to base our actions on the Law of Rights, rather than dwelling on the lack of humanity of some states, we should begin to follow and encourage populations and governments that in this state of things, they should oppose firmly and above all with proposals.
Noam Chomsky, pointing out that problems such as poverty, ecological disasters and migration are real monsters with which single individuals have to deal with daily and exclusively, often reminds us that the far-right souverainism, whose quotations are growing in the most powerful countries, is the wrong solution. And he did it again a year ago in an interview with the Global Policy Journal in which he expressed with these following words, together with the American economist Robert Pollin, the urgency to imagine a different world.
“There are some steps towards Internationalism in the service of People, not concentrated power. There are many kinds of global interaction and integration. Some of them are highly meritorious and should be actively pursued.”
The road to Solidarity for the future of humanity is long and demanding, and it always seems to us that we do not have the right equipment or the right travel companions; well, let’s get on the road and, if we remain aware and alert, we will find both along the way.
We have all found confirmation, for example, in that UN Resolution, as well as finding inspiration in the eyes of those Cuban doctors.
Cover photo: “Cuban Health Specialists arriving in South Africa to curb the spread of COVID-19” by GovernmentZA is licensed under CC BY-ND 2.0