Canadians pay utmost attention to developing anti-imperialist solidarity
By NICK LIN
Working people across Canada continue to pay attention to the unfolding events internationally that require them to take a stand to uphold the international rule of law and organize actions in solidarity with the peoples of the world who have courageously set independent paths for themselves, for which they are increasingly being targeted by U.S. imperialism. Canadians must not accept U.S. dictate in world affairs which seeks to overturn the principles and norms of international relations. These have been expressly codified so as to maintain peaceful relations between countries and to find diplomatic means to settle disputes between countries.
The U.S. is blatantly violating with impunity the UN Charter, as well as fundamental norms of international relations established by the Vienna Convention on Diplomatic Relations and other treaties and agreements. It is even violating the Charter of its instrument, the Organization of American States, because it has been unable to impose its narrow aims on the member states that make up that body. It launches wars of aggression, and uses and threatens the use of force. It imposes economic sanctions and blockades, considered acts of war, including through carrying out acts of piracy on the high seas, as well as seizing assets of other countries in financial institutions. This U.S. exceptionalism is wreaking havoc on the international rule of law.
Working people in Canada recognize that they have a particular duty in this situation, given that the government of Canada is fully embroiled in many of these activities, as one of those countries appeasing U.S. imperialism and exceptionalism in the name of upholding a rules-based order. They are taking public stands to reject the unacceptable activities of the Canadian government and opposing the disinformation about high ideals to turn truth on its head.
The situation requires that Canadians step up their activities to develop their anti-imperialist solidarity with the peoples of the world and to make Canada a Zone for Peace. The hooliganism of the U.S. imperialists clearly knows no bounds and is creating the conditions for a new world war. This must not pass.
Below are some of the latest developments that require the attention of peace- and justice-loving people in Canada.
Stepped up blockade against Cuba
The U.S. activated Title III of the Helms-Burton Act against Cuba, on May 2, to permit U.S. citizens and companies to sue the Cuban government as well as businesses and other entities from third countries making use of properties nationalized after the Cuban Revolution, rather than receiving compensation offered by the Cuban government under provisions in international law. At the time the U.S. refused to take compensation offered by Cuba for such properties.
Under these circumstances, Canadians must see to it that the government of Canada does not submit to interference in its affairs and its relations with Cuba, through the extraterritorial application of U.S. laws against Canadian companies doing business in Cuba, or permit the undermining of Canada’s longstanding friendly diplomatic relations with Cuba. The recent indefinite closure of the Canadian Embassy’s visa office in Havana is already having an impact on travel and exchanges between Cubans and Canadians.
Ongoing attempt at regime change in Venezuela
The U.S. announced on April 5 that it will block Venezuelan shipments of oil to Cuba and has since begun doing so. The U.S. suspended all commercial passenger and cargo flights between the United States and Venezuela on May 15. U.S. Homeland Security claims that “conditions in Venezuela threaten the safety and security of passengers, aircraft, and crew traveling to or from that country.”
U.S. police invaded the Venezuelan Embassy in Washington, DC on May 16, to remove U.S. activists present with the permission of the Venezuelan government. Those activists were there to protect the embassy from takeover by illegitimate representatives of the U.S.-backed opposition forces as part of the attempt at regime change in Venezuela. Under the Vienna Convention on Diplomacy, the sovereignty of embassies must be upheld and they must be protected by the host country even in times of war and when relations are severed.
When it comes to Venezuela, the Canadian government is fully embroiled in the U.S. attempt at regime change. For example, Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland is very much the handmaiden for the U.S. imperialist aims in Venezuela, spearheading the Lima Group and advising the self-proclaimed president Juan Guaidó.
Naval blockade of Democratic Republic of Korea
The U.S. seized the M/V Wise Honest earlier in May in what news agencies refer to as “civil forfeiture action,” an attempt to provide a legal veneer to what is effectively an act of piracy. It has a load of coal bound for the Democratic Republic of Korea (DPRK). The U.S. Justice Department accused the Korea Songi Shipping Company of paying U.S. dollars through “unwitting U.S. financial institutions” for improvements, equipment purchases and service expenditures for the Wise Honest, activities it claims are in violation of U.S. laws. The ship was initially detained in April 2018 by Indonesia and has now been towed to a port in American Samoa. This “civil forfeiture action” is a totally illegitimate extrajudicial application of U.S. domestic civil procedure, that has no standing in international law.
It was on January 12, 2018 that 17 countries, including Canada and the United States, signed a statement indicating that they are “postured” to enforce UN Security Council Resolutions 2375 and 2397 against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). These enforcement measures include interdicting and inspecting ships suspected to be trading with the DPRK in materials prohibited under UN Security Council sanctions, based on “information that provides reasonable grounds.” This is effectively a naval blockade, an act of war.
Attempts to isolate Iran
Last year, the U.S. withdrew from the 2015 Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA) that it and other countries signed with Iran, under which Iran agreed to curb its uranium enrichment capacity in return for sanctions relief. Now the U.S. has announced new rounds of renewed sanctions in March and May, including a blockade against Iranian oil exports. Its aim is to coerce other countries to abide by its unilateral sanctions and pressure them not to fulfil their responsibility under the JCPOA to contribute to the development of Iran’s economy through trade. The U.S. has also imposed sanctions on Iran’s steel, iron, aluminum and copper industries. The U.S. recently deployed the Abraham Lincoln aircraft carrier battle group, B-52 bombers, and Patriot missiles to the area, claiming Iran represents a threat to its troops and interests in the region.
Economic war with Syria
With the government of Syria having prevailed over terrorists and foreign intervention, the U.S. is ramping up its economic war against the Syrian people with sanctions to isolate the government of Bashar El Assad to continue its attempts at regime change.
Canadians must oppose any involvement of Canada in these sanctions or future military actions, which have caused the Syrian people so much harm.
Huawei and U.S. trade war with China
The U.S. is using “national security” concerns to apply tariffs against other countries’ products, as in the case of Chinese telecommunications company Huawei. The U.S. Commerce Department said on May 15 that it was adding Huawei and 70 affiliates to its so-called Entity List which would ban it from acquiring components and technology from U.S. firms without prior U.S. government approval. The same day President Donald Trump signed an executive order barring U.S. firms from using telecom equipment made by companies deemed to pose a national security risk.
Canada is already doing the bidding of the U.S. vis-à-vis Huawei, in the name of high ideals. As previously pointed out in TML Weekly, claims by the Canadian government that it is upholding the rule of law ring absolutely hollow.
i) The premises of the mission shall be inviolable. The agents of the receiving State may not enter them, except with the consent of the head of the mission.
ii) The receiving State is under a special duty to take all appropriate steps to protect the premises of the mission against any intrusion or damage and to prevent any disturbance of the peace of the mission or impairment of its dignity.
iii) The premises of the mission, their furnishings and other property thereon and the means of transport of the mission shall be immune from search, requisition, attachment or execution.
Similarly, Article 45 states:
If diplomatic relations are broken off between two States, or if a mission is permanently or temporarily recalled:
a) The receiving State must, even in the case of armed conflict, respect and protect the premises of the mission, together with its property and archives;
b) The sending State may entrust the custody of the premises of the mission, together with its property and archives, to a third State acceptable to the receiving State;
c) The sending State may entrust the protection of its interests and those of its nationals to a third State acceptable to the receiving State.
This article was published in
Volume 49 Number 18 – May 18, 2019