[Marxism] GUARDIAN: Evo Morales: This European targeting of illegal immigrants is hypocritical, draconian and undiplomatic

Walter Lippmann walterlx at earthlink.net
Sat Jun 21 08:41:15 MDT 2008

(This is the man whom all the ultraleft sectarians are so desperate
to get rid of. To them Morales isn't really revolutionary enough, as
they think they are. And a bit of related comment by Fidel Castro:
http://www.cuba.cu/gobierno/reflexiones/2008/ing/f200608i.html )

42 days? Try 18 months
This European targeting of illegal immigrants 
  is hypocritical, draconian and undiplomatic
By Evo Morales
The Guardian
June 16, 2008

Until the end of the second world war Europe was a continent of
emigrants. Millions left for the Americas: some to colonise, others
to escape hunger, financial crises, persecution, ethnic cleansing,
war or totalitarian governments.

European citizens arrived in Latin and North America en masse,
without visas or conditions imposed on them by the authorities. They
were simply welcomed, and continue to be in Latin America. They came
to exploit the natural wealth and to transfer it to Europe, with a
high cost for the native population. Yet the people, property and
rights of the migrants were always respected.

Contrast the European "return directive", to be voted on in the
European parliament this week. It imposes harsh terms for detention
and deportation of undocumented immigrants, regardless of the time
they have spent in European countries, their work situation, their
family ties or their achievements in integrating themselves into
local society.

The EU is now the main destination for migrants around the world,
because of its positive image of space, prosperity and public
freedom. The great majority of migrants contribute to, rather than
exploit, this prosperity.

They are employed in public works, construction, cleaning, hospitals
and domestic work. They take the jobs the Europeans cannot or will
not do. Maintaining the relationship between the employed and the
retired by providing generous income to the social security system,
the migrant offers a solution to demographic and financial problems
in the EU.

For us, our emigrants represent help in development that Europeans do
not give us (few countries reach the minimum objective of 0.7% of GDP
in development assistance). Latin America received, in 2006, a total
of $68bn sent back from abroad, more than the total foreign
investment in our countries. My country, Bolivia, received more than
10% of its GDP in such remittances.

Unfortunately, the return directive is a huge infringement of the
human rights of our Latin American friends. It proposes jailing
undocumented immigrants for up to 18 months before their expulsion.
Mothers with children could be arrested, without regard to family and
school, and put in detention centres, where we know depression,
hunger strikes and suicides happen. How can we accept it?

At the same time, the EU is trying to convince the Andean Community
of Nations (Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru) to sign an
"association agreement" that includes a free trade agreement of a
similar nature to that imposed by the US. We are under intense
pressure to accept demands for liberalisation of our trade, financial
services, intellectual property rights and public works. Under
so-called "judicial protection" we are being pressured to
denationalise water, gas and telecommunications. Where is the
"judicial protection" for our people seeking new horizons in Europe?

If the return directive becomes law, we will not be morally able to
deepen negotiations with the EU, and we reserve the right to
legislate so European citizens have the same obligations for visas
that Europe imposes on the Bolivians, according to the diplomatic
principle of reciprocity.

The social cohesion problems that Europe is suffering now are not the
fault of migrants, but the result of the model of development imposed
by the north, which destroys the planet and dismembers human
societies. I appeal to European leaders to drop this directive and
instead form a migration policy that respects human rights, and
allows us to maintain the movement of people that helps both

. Evo Morales Ayma is the president of the Republic of Bolivia


More information about the Marxism mailing list