Real Face of Imperialism
THE latest display of imperialism’s aggressiveness in its quest for global hegemony has come following the referendum held in the Black Sea Crimean Peninsula, part of Ukraine, where people overwhelmingly voted to join the Russian Federation. In a referendum, endorsed as free and fair by many an international observer, 85 per cent of the people participated of whom 96.9 per cent voted in favour of Crimea joining the Russian Federation. Displaying the height of hypocrisy and its double standards on `democracy’, the USA, followed by the European Union and Canada, have imposed sanctions on Russia, unilaterally expelled it from the G-8 group of countries and suspended the ongoing preparations for holding the forthcoming G-8 summit in Russia’s Sochi, which spectacularly hosted the recently-concluded Winter Olympic Games. Ironically, Mikhail Gorbachev, who was instrumental in and presided over the dismantling of socialism and the disintegration of the mighty Soviet Union, said “This (result of Crimea’s referendum) should be welcomed instead of declaring sanctions…This reflects the aspirations of Crimea’s residents”. Following this result, President of Russian Federation Vladimir Putin signed an order that Russia recognises Crimea as a sovereign and independent State. “According to the will of the peoples of the Crimea on the all Crimean referendum held on March 16, 2014, (I order) to recognise the Republic of Crimea, in which the city of Sevastopol has a special status, as a sovereign and independent State”. Consequent to the break-up of the former USSR as Ukraine declared itself as an independent country, an agreement was reached between Russia and Ukraine that Russia will be permitted to maintain a 25,000 strong military troop presence to guard the strategic Black Sea naval fleet of the former USSR which had moved under Russian control. It is the presence of these troops that is being used as an excuse by imperialism to denounce these results of the referendum as being held under `Russian military occupation’. Soon after the referendum, Crimea addressed the United Nations seeking recognition as a sovereign State. “The Republic of Crimea intends to build its relations with other states on the basis of equality, peace, mutual neighbourly cooperation and other generally agreed principles of political, economic and cultural cooperation between states”, its Parliament said. Crimea has already introduced the Russian Ruble as a second currency. The dual currency will be in place for six months before it moves over to the Ruble. Imperialism led by the USA, in its efforts to cement its global hegemony in the post-Cold War world, has been actively promoting “colour revolutions” to affect regime changes in strategically located countries in the world in order to advance its strategic interests. The US administration and its think-tanks actively supported to finance opposition groups and civil society movements to attain this objective. It is through this process that it succeeded in creating conditions for an illegal NATO intervention in former Yugoslavia and carved up that former united Republic into several independent states. It divided Serbia and carved out the state of Kosovo. Each of these popular movements was given `a colour’. In 2003, it was the rose revolution in Georgia; in Ukraine, it was an orange one in 2004. This, however, failed with the defeat of the pro-imperialist government in 2011 in democratic elections widely endorsed as free and fair by international observers. In order to re-install a pro-imperialist regime, the current turmoil was openly financed and instigated leading to the removal of elected President Yanukovitch. Imperialism required such a regime change as the president refused to sign an economic treaty with the European Union and, instead, relied upon the traditional and cheaper Russian offer for economic aid and purchase of energy resources. Popular discontent among the people was utilised to escalate violence in order to bring about yet another coloured revolution. This is attested by the public exposure of a telephonic conversation between the EU member Estonia’s foreign minister and EU foreign policy chief. A diabolic plan was designed to destablise the government by mobilising ultra-rightwing fascist forces to act as agent provocators and shoot to kill demonstrators and blame the president and their forces. In the resultant clashes, over a 100 people died and the instability that followed was used to install pliant pro-imperialist regime in Ukraine. Crimea was part of Russia since the 18th century under the Tsar. In the post-Stalin period, in 1954, this area was transferred to Ukraine which was a Republic within the former USSR. Majority of the people continue to speak Russian and have strong cultural and historical ties with Russia. Hence, the result of the referendum is understandable. Imperialism, however displaying supreme duplicity and double standards, has refused to accept a democratic decision of the Crimean people. Imperialism, under the USA, has repeatedly violated international law and norms established under the UN charter to justify its military invasions like in Iraq or interventions like in Syria. In Libya, it violated UN Security Council resolutions 1970 and 1973 (2011) in carrying out its armed intervention under the NATO banner. It carved out Kosovo from Serbia using the excuse of people’s desire to do so. The UK, recently, held a referendum in Falklands islands and proudly declared that the islanders chose to remain with the UK. Except for Argentina, no one else complained about this referendum. But the one in Crimea where 85 per cent of the people participated and 97 per cent people were in favour is termed as illegal! The US has now warned that the sanctions against Russia will be intensified. Its vice president in Warsaw, Poland said yesterday (March 18, 2014) that the USA is considering sending troops for `war games’ in the Baltic states bordering Russia. This is a direct provocation for strengthening NATO military exercises on the Russian border in the name of protecting these countries from so-called Russian aggressiveness. Imperialism’s attitude and its actions against Russia over the Ukraine developments once again clearly demonstrate that it shall spare no effort at seeking to strengthen its global hegemony. Apart from strengthening its strategic interests globally, the US interests in this region are, as it is with its involvement in West Asia, connected with immense energy resources available here. The USA is poised to become a major exporter of liquefied natural gas in the coming years. For its multinational corporations to reap super profits, it is essential that these countries of Eastern Europe and former USSR republics should be weaned away from their dependence on Russian energy supplies. Super profits, in the final analysis, is the objective to achieve its global hegemony at whatever cost, both human and material. This is the real face of imperialism. This truth must dawn on those mislead sections who continue to naively believe that we are living in a single globalised world today where there are no powers of dominance. The coming general elections in our country must result in a government that is aware of such dangers and will be prepared to protect and safeguard India’s economic and political sovereignty.