IMPERIALISM IN FOOD AND AGRICULTURE AND SPREAD OF DEADLY PATHOGENS

Full Text of Presentation

by Jose Maria Sison

June 19, 2020

 

Dear Colleagues and Friends,

First of all, I wish to thank Commission No. 6  of the International League of Peoples’ Struggle for organizing this webinar on the general theme of Resisting a policy of famines: A struggle against furthering imperialist domination of food and agriculture amid the pandemic.

 My specific task is  to speak on the topic of “Imperialism in food and agriculture and the emergence of deadly pathogens”. I wish to present to you the major facts about imperialism in food and agriculture under the neoliberal economic policy, the consequent emergence of deadly pathogens  due to social and environmental degradation and the conclusions and imperative tasks that can be set forth.

Because of time constraint, I shall focus on the relations of imperialist corporations (whether they are called multinational, transnational or simply monopoly corporations) and the underdeveloped countries with regard to the exploitation of land and other natural resources. All of us can assume that the monopoly agro-corporations realize their superprofits in their home countries and in the world at large by being able to get cheap agricultural, forest and mineral products from the underdeveloped countries.

1. Imperialism in Food and Agriculture

The Anglican cleric and economist  Thomas Malthus wrote in 1798  that an increase in a nation’s food production increased the well-being of the people  as well as  their number and ultimately the population growth would result in a  deterioration of the standard of living due to the inability of the economy and natural resources to keep pace with population growth.  He opposed the optimistic view in 18th-century Europe that society could keep on improving and perfecting itself.

He was being pessimistic, parochial and carried away by the Christian doctrine of original sin and human imperfectibility in contrast to divine perfection. He failed to take fully into account  the high potential of science and technology even under capitalism for raising productivity and the fact that the desperate poor of England could be redeployed to the much less populated colonies since the 16th century and of course to the urban factories since the onset of the Industrial Revolution.

Since the time of Malthus, a great deal of changes have occurred. Science and technology have continued up to now to expand the productivity of the proletariat and other working people but population has increased at a cumulative rate, especially because of the progress in chemistry, pharmaceuticals and medical science which in the main stopped epidemics of the sort and scale that wiped out large chunks of the population in ancient and medieval times.

But free competition among the capitalists of the 19th century has developed to monopoly capitalism, which accumulates wealth so fast in the hands of the few at the expense of so many people. Monopoly capitalism or modern imperialism is the decadent and moribund final stage of capitalist development,  prone to ever worsening crises of overproduction and wars of aggression in the struggle for a redivision of the world among the imperialist powers.

In the 1970s the Malthusian theory enjoyed a big revival when at the World Food Conference in Rome the ideologues and economists of the imperialist powers harped on the oil crisis and the limits of growth and called for population control. Officially calling themselves the “Club of Rome” and issuing popular publications, they obfuscated socialism and improving science and technology as  the way to avert the so-called Malthusian trap.  As recent history of socialist countries shows, these can assure the economic well-being and cultural development of  a population much larger than that of the 1970s or even now.

But the economists of monopoly capitalism hypocritically espoused environment-friendly sustainable development and at the same time deployed petrodollars and maintained the neo-Keynesian line of economic development in which the underdeveloped countries must get loans from the imperialist countries and open up to foreign direct investments and foreign loans for infrastructure building to facilitate and enhance the exchange of raw materials from the hinterlands and  manufactures from abroad under the auspices of the IMF and the World Bank.

Concurrently, the US was bogged down by the problem of stagflation from the recurrent economic and financial crisis due to the rehabilitation and expanded productive capacities of the major capitalist countries previously ruined by World War II. Starting in 1979, the solution pushed by the US and followed by its allies was the neoliberal economic policy to accelerate profit-taking and capital accumulation supposedly to enable the monopoly bourgeoisie to create more jobs and more social wealth in complete denial of the proletariat as the real creator of social wealth.

The neoliberal policy includes pressing down wages, eroding job security, pensions and social benefits, reducing taxes on corporations and high earners, liberalizing trade and investments, privatizing profitable public assets, doing away with regulations that protect labor, women and the environment, and further de-nationalizing  the economies of the semi-colonies and dependent countries to extend national treatment to foreign monopoly corporations.

The crisis of overproduction in manufacturing  and the falling rate of profit  which characterized the deep slump of 1980 to 1982 in the imperialist countries drove the monopoly firms to seek a higher rate of profit from exploitation in the underdeveloped countries by plundering their  natural resources.  The US stood out in financializing its economy and conceding consumer manufacturing to China in the 1980s.

For more than four decades, the US and its imperialist allies in the G-7, the OECD and G-20  and the multilateral agencies like the IMF, World Bank and WTO have touted  the neoliberal economic policy of imperialist globalization and  imposed it on all the client states of the US and its imperialist allies. It has become their new and ever more exploitative  way of harmonizing their interests and glossing over inter-imperialist contradictions at the expense of the proletariat and people of the world.

The imperialist powers easily dictated neoliberal economic policy to client states, especially in the underdeveloped countries, whose accumulated foreign debt made them beggars for structural adjustments programs. The imperialist pontification is  that underdeveloped countries  can develop faster by accepting neoliberalism and availing of  comparative advantage by specializing in the production of certain raw materials and semi-manufactures for export. Thus, the underdeveloped countries like the Philippines  have continued to  be drawn away from the line of  genuine land reform and national industrialization.

In this connection, the US and other imperialist corporations have been able to tighten comprehensive control over the economies of the client states through structural adjustment programs and have gained further privileges, national treatment or most-favored-nation treatment for their investments in the acquisition of land and natural resources and operation of all kinds of businesses. They have thus widened their  opportunities for the accelerated plunder of the natural resources and degradation of the environment in the underdeveloped countries.

At breakneck speed, they and their big comprador and bureaucrat capitalist agents have proceeded to expand logging, mining, plantation, ranch and aquacultural operations to increase production for export. These have corresponded to the drive of the imperialist powers to obtain ever greater amounts of superprofits from cheaper raw materials and counter the persistent tendency of the profit rate to fall in their home economies and to feed the appetite of China for food and raw materials in its frenzy to make itself a new capitalist giant in the last four decades.

The result has been the immense land grabs of the 21st century. The accumulation of land in the hands of imperialist agro-corporations has  been propelled by the high prices of basic food stuffs in 2008 and 2011 as well as by the finance oligarchs’ search for tangible assets following the eruption of the global financial and economic crisis in 2008.

This whole process led to farmers and small food producers being disposessed of land and their mass migration to cities, while imperialist agro-corporations replaced traditional agriculture with monoculture plantations. The resulting urban and urbanizing areas, which serve as markets and trade routes for agro-corporations’ products, have become the spaces where certain diseases, previously confined in the forests, can enter and thrive in.

All  the logging, mining,  plantation,  ranch and aquacultural enterprises for the purpose of export plus real estate and tourist enterprises have reduced the agricultural land and water resources for producing food for domestic consumption.  Moreover, they have resulted in deforestation,  cycles of severe droughts and floods, soil erosion and landslides, the pollution of rivers and streams by acids from the open-pit mines and pesticides from the large monocrop plantations and the disruption  of water flows to the farms producing food for the national population.

The ruined lands no longer fit for agriculture and other so-called idle lands (including ancestral lands of indigenous people) not deemed profitable for actual production continue to be subjected to land monopolies. Increasingly, these are converted into eco-tourism and agro-tourism resorts or as residential, commercial and recreation adjuncts of big-business enclaves—essentially to jack up differential land rent and to create new sources of profit in non-industrial services on top of the more traditional comprador-landlord profits.

In some countries and global regions such as in Africa, vast lands with yet unexplored and untapped water, mineral and biological resources are controlled by big finance capitalists for speculation purposes.  Some African oil magnates have ventured into acquiring and exploiting large swathes of land in Africa for food production.

But global food system is dominated by the imperialist powers especially by the US which is the world’s largest food exporter. Neoliberal policies since the 1980s have opened up agricultural markets  to heavily subsidized agricultural production by the global powers. In the underdeveloped countries, rural economies have become even more linked and subordinated to global agri-business.

Transnational agri-corporate giants expanded and entrenched themselves in food systems worldwide. They control farm inputs (e.g. seeds, fertilizers, pesticides and other chemicals) and make the agricultural equipment and machinery. They are the monopoly traders buying the world’s major crops, the world’s largest food processors and manufacturers, and the retailers dictating to consumers at the end of the global food supply chain. Underscoring their overwhelming domination, one-third to as much as one-half of global agricultural trade is intra-company trade.

The imperialist agro-corporations, with the assistance of big comprador agents, control, manipulate, reduce and distort food production and agriculture not only within the context  of neoliberal policy and the economy of a particular underdeveloped country. But they also profit even more from creating food scarcity in one country in order to import food from another underdeveloped country or even from an imperialist country.  They control food production and trade on a scale beyond the ken of national authorities that are supposed to be concerned with food sovereignty and security.

  1. Pathogens Due to Environmental Degradation

The COVID-19 pandemic has spread to more than 200 countries and wreaked havoc on their health systems and economies. It is so serious that governments and scientific institutions and experts have called attention to the emergence of highly contagious and lethal pathogens as a result of environmental degradation and the increasingly extreme climate and weather changes.

Progressive scientists tell us that deadly pathogens have always existed and have caused diseases and epidemics even before the era of imperialism. But because of their belief in continuous technological and economic progress, some scientists in the 1970s believed that infectious diseases had receded  so much that they ceased to be the objective of research.

It was ironically during this time that the world economy was being restructured according to neoliberalism in ways that would drastically change social relations, populations, food patterns, and use of land. While pathogens will always exist, it is the way our societies are arranged or dis-arranged that enable them to cause diseases and even pandemics.

Large-scale deforestation,  land-use changes and other capitalist-induced human encroachment into natural biomes have reduced the habitat for wild life and have disturbed the ecological balance among organisms, thus creating the conditions for the mutation of microbes to become more infectious and more harmful pathogens.  At the same time, the increasing population has become more dependent on and closer to the decreasing forests.

The resulting more intimate interaction of humans with  wild animals as well as with livestock, poultry and pets has facilitated the transmission of the  pathogens from these animals to humans. Neoliberal economic policies have accelerated the ruination of the environment and bombardment of unhealthy foods and drugs into human systems, causing the weakening of  the immunity levels of both humans and  animals (both wild and domesticated) as well as the birds and insects that carry and transmit the zoonotic diseases.

Scientific studies have established that new pathogens like SARS (2003), the swine flu (2009), MERS (2012) and now COVID-19 are the outcome of environmental degradation and more frequent contact of humans with wild species that carry the pathogens. This is in the context of the accelerated exploitation of natural resources in response to the growing demand for resource-based products, energy and animal-based foods.

The WHO reports  that the 21st century has already been marked by major epidemics. Old diseases like cholera, plague and yellow fever have returned and a cascade of new diseases have emerged like SARS, pandemic influenza, MERS, Ebola, Lassa fever, Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever, yellow fever, Zika, chikungunya, avian and other zoonotic influenza, seasonal influenza, pandemic influenza, cholera, monkeypox, plague, leptospirosis and meningococcal meningitis.  And now COVID-19.

It is estimated that  60 to 70 per cent of  recognized emerging infectious diseases originated from animals dwelling in forests disturbed and degraded  by imperialist corporations and their local agents. In pursuit of superprofits, these plunderers have wreaked havoc to appropriate or environment-friendly use of land, agricultural practices and food production. The rapid expansion of logging, mining for fossil fuel and other minerals for industrial use and export-crop plantations has propelled the invasion and degradation of the tropical forests and other natural biomes, especially under the neoliberal economic policy regime.

Other major impacts of climate change, such as the melting of ice in glaciers and tundra, may also release and reactivate en masse ancient pathogens rendered inactive during previous ice ages and against which present-day organisms, including humans, cannot quickly mount effective immune defenses.

The Global Risks Report of the World Economic Forum has for the first time called attention to environmental risks, including climate change and damage to biodiversity. Previous outbreaks of infectious diseases of zoonotic origin and the COVID-19 pandemic are estimated to lead to further contagions that are now considered as one of the main threats to humankind.

The ideologues and political agents of the monopoly firms acknowledge environmental degradation as a serious threat to humankind and identify the burning of fossil fuels and the destruction of tropical forests as the cause of global warming and now of highly infectious pathogens. But they do not identify the monopoly bourgeoisie as the chief culprit responsible for the plunder and degradation of the environment.

In line with the advance of science and technology, there are cleaner and more efficient sources of energy than fossil fuel, such as the sun, wind and the tidal waves.  But the oil monopoly firms have become so heavily invested in fossil fuel and are engrossed with making superprofits from it. There   are cheaper and more efficient ways of producing more and better products from less raw materials  but the monopoly capitalists persist in ways damaging and destructive to society and nature. The monopoly corporations are fond of claiming to be innovative and good users of science and technology but they subordinate these to profit-making rather than avail of them to produce goods more efficiently and economically to serve the needs of the people.

A number of pioneering capitalist corporations and some governments of advanced capitalist countries are turning to renewable sources of energy and raw materials but only as new sources of profit.  But they are far from being able to displace the dominant oil and gas monopolies and the newly-risen fracking companies. There are also renewed attempts to include nuclear power and megadams as “safe, clean and renewable” sources of energy while evading long-held public concerns about their long-term adverse effects on health, safety and other environmental impacts.

Rather than hold the  monopoly bourgeoisie accountable for the degradation of the environment and for the consequences detrimental to the people, the ideologues and political agents of monopoly capitalism blame the people who have been deprived of land for trying to eke out a living from the forests, natural grasslands, lakes and seacoasts as swidden farmers, animal hunters, herdsmen, fisherfolk, low-level wood cutters, fruit gatherers and the like. The big corporations and landlords keep on grabbing the land and depriving the millions of landless peasants of land and natural resources. At the same time, there is no genuine land reform as well as  national industrialization to generate employment for the rapidly growing number of unemployed.

In many underdeveloped countries, the  people are deprived of land by monopoly corporations and their local adjuncts. These corporations take ownership or control of the land under various forms of agreements with the state for the purpose of logging, forest management, mining and agriculture, including  monocrop plantations, ranches or intensive mixed-farms for livestock and feeds,  orchards and shrimp farms.  Monocrop plantations to produce food and raw materials for industrial use and ranches for raising various types of herds are  the most land-extensive.  They usually take over the logged-over areas in the public domain.

Capitalist-oriented monoculture technologies in crop production and animal-raising, because they entail high densities of identical species, are proving to be major factors in driving up infectious plant and animal diseases. The new pathogens behind these diseases spread rapidly, cause recurrent epidemics among crops and livestock with agro-chemical and biotech-weakened immunity, and thus create new dangers to the people’s health and livelihood.

In the practice of agro-imperialism, foreign monopoly corporations use the political power of their imperialist states over the client-states and deploy large amounts of finance capital and productive capital. The latter takes the form of equipment such as bulldozers, tractors, seeding machines, harvesters, power generators and the like.  They go to the extent of taking patent rights over certain native plant and animal species or agricultural processes through gene editing or genetic engineering which robs the people of the right to cultivate plants or raise animals that they have long developed though traditional seed and breed selection methods.

Unlike traditional breeding techniques, modern biotechnology is now able to splice genetic material across unrelated species to create genetically engineered (GE) organisms. Capitalist biotech firms are thus able to control the process of producing GE seeds and animal breeds in order to monopolize the supply. This new form of piracy and monopoly is not only enforced by legal and technical means, but also achieved by market mechanisms.

Agrochemical and biotech firms aggressively campaign for entire agricultural sectors to adopt the new GE crops and livestock, thereby killing off the traditional breeds. The GE crops and livestock, while supposedly more resistant to old pests and pathogens, produce the conditions for the rise of novel pests and pathogens. These new and barely understood hazards push farmers and rural communities to be more dependent on “improved” and expensive biotech solutions, in an endless race that eventually bankrupts the small farmers. There are also cases when GE organisms turn feral and spread uncontrolled, becoming invasive species themselves.

The imperialist agro-corporations collaborate with the client-state in carrying out  campaigns similar to the Green Revolution whereby they monopolize the GE seeds or animal breed and other required inputs (chemicals, equipment,  irrigation and the like) and shut out the landless peasants and small owner-cultivators. However, the foreign agro-corporations sometimes engage the  rich peasants and small and medium landlords in lopsided lease and growers agreements whereby they lose control over the land.

Monocrop cultivation over vast tracts of land has caused massive destruction of the original fertility of the soil and the consequent massive use of fertilisers, pesticides, hormones and other chemicals only destroys the soil further. Worse, these chemicals poison  the food chains and cause a wide range of diseases, including  cancer and kidney failures. In this regard, certain agro-chemical monopoly firms have become notorious for poisoning the food chain. These are Monsanto-Bayer, Dow-Dupont, and Syngenta ChemChina.

Favored  by the neoliberal economic policy and using their financial prowess, the imperialist agro corporations have gained control over global agricultural production and trade in connection with the large chains of supermarkets.  They lord over vast tracts of land of various categories (agricultural, pasture, timberland, mineral-rich, and so on)and water resources in various underdeveloped countries, deprive millions of people of these, distort the agricultural sector and entire economy,  bankrupt the  peasant masses, cause food shortages and famines, deplete the forest and aquatic-marine resources and serve as a major factor in ruining bio-diversity and causing more contagious and lethal pathogens.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, seasonal, migrant, and permanent farmworkers and food processing workers have been made to harvest and work without sufficient pay, protective gear, safer distancing protocols, and medical care. Thus, the intensifying hardship and exploitation of workers and peasants allows greater profits for multinational corporations in the global agricultural industry.

In addition,  global hunger and food waste due principally to overproduction, and secondarily speculative hoarding of essential food products by a select few are rapidly increasing. Big pharmaceutical firms have also sought  to make bigger profits by producing products (such as COVID-19 treatments and testing kits) derived from peasant and indigenous practices, knowledge, and resources, and even by using indigenous groups as guinea pigs for experimental drug testing.

III. Conclusions,Prospects and Imperative Tasks

US imperialism has been the chief instigator of neoliberal economic policy and has touted it as the most effective policy for imperialist globalization. Despite its recent falling out with  China as its main partner in neoliberal globalization and despite its protectionist pronouncements and actions against what it now regards as its main economic competitor and political rival, the US like China still considers neoliberal economic policy as exceedingly profitable for all imperialist powers. This is still the most effective way for exploiting the people and resources in underdeveloped countries which are made the source of cheap labor and cheap raw materials, a field for investing surplus capital and a market for surplus manufactures.

But neoliberal economic policies have outraged the broad masses of the people in both imperialist and underdeveloped countries. The accelerated accumulation and centralization of capital in the hands of the monopoly bourgeoisie, by pressing down the incomes of the working people, has resulted in the frequent  recurrence and worsening of the crisis of overproduction and consequently financial crisis. The rate of exploitation has run so fast that only a small fraction of 1 per cent of the population, a few hundreds of individuals, own 80 per cent  of the global wealth, and 99 per cent of the population have only 20 per cent to share.

All the promises of the exponents of neoliberal policy that the growth of the gross domestic product and the rapid accumulation of capital in the hands of the monopoly bourgeoisie would trickle down have proven to be completely false. Unemployment, lack of job security and mass poverty are growing in all types of countries. Even the much-vaunted middle class in developed countries has shrunk and joined the precariat. Underdevelopment, the highest rates of unemployment and the worst forms of poverty and deprivation afflict the overwhelming majority of countries.  The world capitalist system is wobbling with the mounting debt of central banks, corporations and households.

The neoliberal policy is unsustainable and is therefore unravelling and has become thoroughly discredited. It has aroused the outrage of the peoples of the world.  Since last year, there has been an unprecedented outbreak of mass protests on a global scale against  neoliberalism, austerity measures and the escalating use of state terrorism to suppress the complaints and demands of the people for better socio-economic, political and cultural conditions.

The COVID-19 pandemic and the lockdowns have slowed down the mass protests for awhile in recent months because the people themselves have agreed to fight the pandemic due to extreme concerns about a barely known, fast-spreading and deadly threat to their health. But this has exposed the anti-people character of the ruling systems and  the anti-social consequences of neoliberalism, such as the gross inadequacy of the public health systems and the inability to provide medical services.

Most governments have adopted drastic nationwide measures against the pandemic, reflecting to some degree the real and urgent need for effective public-health response, but also giving in to doomsday scenarios pushed by certain quarters. These include rash repositioning of medical resources that exposes basic flaws in the healthcare system, and extensive lockdowns that forcibly close many businesses, limit or paralyze public transport, and oblige most people to stay home or “shelter in place.” As a result of the lockdowns, a big percentage of the toiling masses and among the middle classes have lost their jobs or source of livelihood, especially in the informal sector.

Most reactionary states have taken advantage of the pandemic and the lockdowns to dictate their own ruling-class priorities in meeting the crisis while setting aside the people’s urgent needs and demands. In the course of the lockdowns, they have failed to provide adequate food assistance and other forms of social relief and emergency services, causing widespread hunger, diseases, and other extreme deprivations.

In some countries such as the Philippines, Thailand, Bolivia,  Brazil, Chile and elsewhere, fascist forces have taken advantage of the pandemic and the lockdowns to repress the people, impose or expand emergency powers and military takeovers of civilian functions, short-circuit regular state processes to pass unpopular measures and fast-track their factional objectives, and make massive transfers of public funds to the private corporations and to pockets of corrupt bureaucrats and military officers.

At any rate, the pandemic and lockdowns have broken down production in the global economy and have aggravated the economic crisis. The IMF, World Bank and OECD are estimating that the global GDP for 2020 would contract by 5 percent, a bigger drop during the global recession of 2008. The OECD has calculated that for every month of lockdown outputs in most sectors fall by 25 percent and the annual GDP by 2 percent. The IMF also estimates that over 170 countries will experience negative per-capita income growth this year. The economic slump looms ahead as far worse than the Great Depression of the 1930s.

According to the ILO, around 81 percent of the world’s 3.3 billion workforce have been locked out of their jobs. Around 6.7 percent of working hours have been lost in the second quarter of 2020. The expected loss in labour for 2020 is around USD 3.5 trillion. Mass poverty will increase drastically. Oxfam expects a 20-percent contraction in income and foresees that people living in extreme poverty will rise by 434 million to 932 million worldwide.

As early as April 2020, the UN World Food Programme already announced a doubling of its pre-COVID estimates of global famine, while its head warned that the economic disaster triggered by the lockdowns was heading towards famines “of biblical proportions.” The latest findings show that more than 1 billion people are being cast away to the ranks of the desperately poor. The people are are now in a dire situation of being jobless, homeless and hungry in both imperialist countries and underdeveloped countries. Famine has appeared in an increasing number of countries. Hunger is now killing far more people than COVID-19 has been able to do. According to official statistics from the United Nations’ World Food Program as of June 7, 2020, about 12 times more people have died due to hunger worldwide than from Covid-19 this year.

The political leaders and economic planners of the imperialist powers are obsessed with “quantitative easing” (lowering interest rates and increasing money supply) to counter the conditions of depression. But the central banks, the corporations and households are already exceedingly overloaded with accumulated debt.  Piling debts on debts merely aggravates the crisis.  The global public debt at the end of 2019 was already USD 255 trillion, nearly three times the USD 87 trillion debt level when the financial crash of 2008 occurred. And the people are outraged that, while they suffer the rapidly worsening conditions of oppression and exploitation,  the bailouts and stimulus packages are going to  the monopoly banks and firms.

The economic and political crisis conditions are ripe for the proletariat and people to launch mass protests on a world scale. They have started to burst out or have resumed their pre-pandemic vigor in the US,  Europe, Hong Kong, Philippines, India, Nepal, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Kurdistan, Turkey, Lebanon, Palestine and elsewhere. By using repressive measures, the ruling systems are generating political crisis. They are goading the people to rise up and fight the escalating conditions of oppression and exploitation. It is widely recognized that the world capitalist system is now in the throes of an economic and financial crisis that is definitely far worse than that in 2008, and the people are increasingly unable and unwilling to live in the old way nor accept the so-called “new normal”.

In the underdeveloped countries, the people suffer far more oppression and exploitation than  the people in the imperialist countries. They can be expected to wage various forms of struggle. The aggravation of the land problem by the imperialist agro-corporations in conjunction with the persistence of feudal and semifeudal forms of exploitation generates ever more favorable conditions for people’s war along the line of the people’s democratic  revolution in semicolonial and semifeudal countries like the Philippines.

The pandemic and its attendant health and economic crises present favorable opportunities for people’s struggles, as well as enormous tasks and challenges for them. Many emerging issues cry out for people’s campaigns and struggles. They are ventilated by the anti-imperialist and democratic forces,  carried by  traditional as well as by the latest means and methods of communications and rouse the people to collective protests and demands on varying  scales from local to global.

The financial oligarchs, monopoly capitalists and their big comprador allies pretend to wish returning to business as usual as in the past but they themselves and their political agents in power are escalating the level of oppression and exploitation and presenting this as the ”new normal” as their way of overcoming the worsening crisis of the world capitalist system.  There is an urgent need  for the people to seize the moment and heighten the level of consciousness, organization and mobilization for radical reforms and revolutionary change.

It is the imperative and urgent task of all patriotic and progressive forces who seek the national and social liberation of the people to arouse, organize and mobilize them for the struggle to realize full national independence, democracy, social justice, economic development through genuine land reform and national industrialization, the expansion of social  services, the development of a national, scientific and pro-people cultural and educational system and international solidarity with all peoples and countries on the basis of equality, cooperation and mutual benefit and for the cause of just peace and development against imperialism and all reaction.###

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