Imperialism is a Nakba for the people
This speech is prepared by David Freitez of Centro de formación e investigación “Profesor Franklin Gimenez” (Professor Franklin Gimenez Center for Training and Research), Venezuela for the webinar Forging Solidarity amid Imperialist Attacks. The People’s Coalition on Food Sovereignty (PCFS) organized the webinar in commemoration of the May 15 Nakba Day, with the aim of forging the solidarity among peoples of Palestine, Venezuela, and the Global South against imperialist sanctions and wars of aggression.
The peoples of the world resist and fight against imperialism.
Despite the might and the immense resources possessed by the exploiters and oppressors, they have been unable to achieve one of their most desired objectives: to halt the people’s various forms of resistance.
The actions of the imperialists put the pursuit of profit to fill their own coffers above all else. The lives of millions of human beings are subject to the vicissitudes of what they call collateral damage, expressed in death, destruction and persecution for those who dare to confront this ignominy; people subjected to hunger, deprived of the most basic rights—that is, subjected to the tragedy that capitalism imposes on the people. In other words, the capitalist regime is a Nakba for humanity, which must carry out intifadas for liberation and revolution, drawing on its capacity for organization, sacrifice, and dedication in the struggle to obtain victory.
Today, 73 years have passed since that event that marks a before and after for the Palestinian people: the Nakba.
While we know that the history of the struggle and resistance of the Palestinian people is not limited to this event, we must recognize the impact of the decree that created the state of Israel in 1948.
The origins of this conflict lie in part in one of the most common characteristics of the activities of late-stage capitalism, which is imperialism, and this is the dividing up of the world among the great imperialist powers.
Among other tactics, the imperialists promote acts of war in order to forcibly oppress the people under its plans and interests. This is precisely what happened in the case of Palestine in 1922 when the League of Nations, precursor to the UN as an institution designated to carry out the interests of the imperialists, granted England the rights to Palestine as a protectorate. All of this took place in the context of the Balfour Declaration.
Within the framework of the people’s anti-colonial struggle, actions were carried out against the Ottoman Empire, which in turn suffered hard defeats in the First World War, a situation that gave rise to other belligerent powers like England, which had it its hands the administration of the territory of Palestine.
The imperialists chose to go along with the creation of the state of Israel; for example, the prominent British banker and Zionist Lionel Rothschild was informed about the plans ahead of time. In other words, the imperialists were coordinated in carrying out their tactics to ignore the rights of the Palestinian people.
Another aspect that we want to highlight is that, upon studying the history of aggressions against the Palestinian people, it is clear that this should be understood in light of the contradictions of the era of imperialism; that is, not based on ethnic conflict between two peoples, but rather based on class war, the contradiction between capital and labor, the contradiction between imperialism and the peoples, taking into account the interests that are intertwined in inter-imperialist contradictions.
Aggressions against the peoples will cause them to organize with the firm objective of facing the struggle for their liberation with some possibility of success, and this implies that the imperialists spend vast sums to create and consolidate repressive machinery, intelligence, and war against the people and their forms of organization.
Thus, to carry out a set of actions that made the Nakba possible, the imperialists made sure to create paramilitary groups that would be employed ever since then in operations to exterminate the Palestinian people.
For example, we are aware of the destruction of more than 500 villages and the displacement of more than 800,000 Palestinians from their territory, which was forcibly occupied by Jewish “settlers” that are simply armed invaders applying state terrorism with international complicity.
This occupation operation was headed by agents of Zionism, allies of imperialism and the monopolies of the United States and Europe, thus they had the complicity of international institutions that present themselves as spaces of “international harmony,” but that in reality are mere facades, tools that serve the interests of international capital.
That is why we identify with the struggle and resistance of the Palestinian people, because we understand how it stems from the struggle of people everywhere against the different forms of aggression by imperialists and their allies in different corners of the planet.
From Venezuela, a country that is currently resisting and struggling against the aggression of the US/EU imperialist block, we identify fully with the Palestinian people and we send our greetings and solidarity.
It is also important to expose the acts of resistance and struggles that we are undertaking in Venezuela in the face of the aggression led by the US and EU governments, which has involved a very tough battle in different areas and at different levels.
Since the sanctions were arbitrarily decreed by the US and EU, their effects have been apparent, especially in the heart of the popular sectors where the living conditions are more difficult.
Upon analyzing the causes of the current situation that we are experiencing in Venezuela and that is common to many peoples, we should put first the aggression carried out by the imperialist block of the US and EU, the criminal actions declared against the peoples who have chosen to be free, which is focused on attacking in various ways economic activities and discrediting legitimate struggles.
Due to this offensive, a large part of the productive apparatus has been destroyed, and on top of this there is the deterioration of basic services, all of this accompanied by exponential inflation in food prices, leading to high levels of precarious living conditions for millions of those who are exploited and oppressed around the world.
All of these actions are carried out under the guise of legality with respect to the international legal framework, which many of the imperialists often support with their words, but in concrete facts, they violate them entirely.
It is also important to highlight how imperialism promotes zenophobia against those segments of the peoples who have migrated to other countries, largely motivated by the consequences of imperialist aggressions themselves.
Through their propaganda and misinformation machine, the imperialists succeed in confusing the masses so that they see immigrants as enemies, diverting the attention of the people away from the root causes of exploitation and poverty.
Beyond all of this, it is important to note that many people, far from being intimidated, have a capacity to organize on the basis of revolutionary proposals, demonstrating heroism and a willingness to continue building class-based alternatives. These are workers, peasants, comuneros, poor people who have developed a class consciousness through this whole process of the criminal aggression they face. They know where these attacks come from and can identify their common enemy, focusing their strength on combatting it, and this is largely why imperialism has been unable to bend the will to fight of many of those who are exploited and oppressed in this hard battle in various areas and sectors of the life of the people, who fight and resist.
From the Venezuelan people, we send our revolutionary, internationalist greetings and solidarity to the Palestinian fighters who are an example of bravery, and to those who are fighting all around the world.
We understand that only through popular, revolutionary and anti-imperialist unity on a global level will we defeat the common enemy of all those of us who are exploited, and hence we echo the historic slogan: Workers of the world, unite!
Long live the unity of the people in the anti-imperialist struggle!
For the free self-determination of the peoples!
In the struggle for national liberation and socialism, we the exploited and oppressed shall overcome!
*Caracas, 15 May 2021.*