Left parties to protest today against Obama visit

Our Bureau New Delhi | Updated on January 24, 2018

Left parties have called for a protest day on January 24 against the visit of US President Barack Obama.

While some splinter parties and trade unions such as the CPI ML (New Democracy), CPI ML (Red Star) and All India Federation of Trade Unions are planning a demonstration at Jantar Mantar, mainstream Left parties have invited participation in day-long meetings and dharnas with slogans such as “Halt US aggression”, “Stop interference in India’s domestic matters” and “Stop US-India strategic collaboration”.

In a joint statement, six Left parties — the CPI, CPI(M), CPI(ML)-Liberation, All India Forward Block, Students Unity Centre of India SUCI(C) and Revolutionary Socialist Party (RSP) — said the US President has been invited to be the chief guest at the Republic Day at a juncture when the BJP and its government at the Centre have “unleashed the forces of Hindutva which threaten the secular and democratic values of the Indian Republic”.

“It is a supreme irony that the day which symbolises India’s independence and sovereignty is being graced by the head of a country which has done the most to assault and destroy the sovereignty of many countries around the world.

“(US) President Obama himself is responsible for the aggression in Libya and for the rerun of bombing and sending troops back to Iraq. The US is doing everything to destroy Syria as a national entity,” said the statement.

The Left parties further said the protest against Obama’s visit has been organised because the US is targeting and destabilising governments and countries in West Asia by military interventions, such as in Iraq, Libya and Syria.

It is also the patron and staunch supporter of Israel, which “occupies Palestinian land and Arab territories and subjects the Palestinian people to colonial oppression”.

Foreign monopoly

“The BJP government is pursuing a pro-US foreign policy which is contrary to an independent non-aligned foreign policy. This is being done in the interests of Indian and foreign monopoly capital,” said the Left parties.

“The Left parties strongly protest the decision to renew the India-US Defence Framework Agreement for another 10 years. This is a pact which will yoke India to American military strategy in Asia,” said the statement.

CPI(M) leader Sitaram Yechury said in an editorial of his party’s mouthpiece People’s Democracy that the invitation to Obama conveys a strong signal to the world that India is cementing its position as a ‘subordinate ally’ of US imperialism.

“This is a significant shift that will shape the demise of India’s long-held faith in pursuing an independent foreign policy. While India has and shall continue to develop friendly relations with all countries in the world, India’s foreign policy must always be dictated by its ‘enlightened national interests’, the crux of which is the solidarity with the developing world in resisting global domination by any power,” he said.

Published on January 23, 2015

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