IMPERIALIST POWERS, the International Monetary Fund, and multinationals are bellowing over Zimbabwe’s move to expropriate half the land of white commercial farmers and give it to landless peasants and veterans of the 1970s war of liberation. But since the farmers hold 70 percent of the arable land, all of it robbed from Africans, this action is not only justifiable, but conservative.
Big Business critics are demanding that President Robert Mugabe follow “the rule of law.” Whose law? Zimbabwe’s 1979 independence agreement, made with the reactionary Thatcher government of Britain. The pact stipulated that territory can be taken from settlers only if full compensation is made for the stolen land and for improvements to it, and only if the seller is willing.
The “outrage” of the neocolonialists might be laughable, except that they wield mighty weapons of persuasion. The IMF, for example, after causing economic chaos and untold human misery, has a stranglehold on the country.
ULTIMATELY, ONLY SOCIALISM can cure the ills that plague Zimbabwe. But in the meantime, a strong dose of international workingclass solidarity is urgently needed.
In the U.S., organized labor must call for the legislature to reject Senate Bill 2677, which provides for sanctions against Zimbabwe in retaliation for the expropriations. And justice-seekers everywhere should not only support the land seizures, but also demand cancellation of the entire Third World debt and massive aid for AIDS treatment in Africa – with no political strings attached. It is well past time that international capital was forced to pay back what it owes Zimbabwe for more than a century of looting!