International Aid to Lebanon Must Not Enforce Neoliberalism

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A Socialist Project e-bulletin ... No. 2174 ... August 21, 2020

International Aid to Lebanon Must Not Enforce Neoliberalism

CADTM international

As activists in the international CADTM network we were deeply moved when hearing of the disastrous explosions that hit Beirut on Tuesday 4 August. In this press release we want to convey our solidarity to the Lebanese people who, for too many years, have had to suffer an unfair concatenation of murderous crises. We think that it is also important to expose political responsibilities and those who attempt to profit from the situation; it is even more important to try to find how the country can escape this vicious cycle.

It will take time to establish the truth about the specific causes of the explosion of 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate in Beirut harbour in the early evening of 4 August, if it can ever be determined. However, what is evidenced by this catastrophe -- which caused at least 158 deaths and over 6,000 injuries -- is the extent to which the Lebanese State had abdicated its responsibilities. The country’s Prime Minister mentioned a... case of negligence. That negligence, which was literally a crime, is first and foremost that of the government and its administration, gangrened as it is by cronyism and corruption. The previous governments since the end of the civil war (many have been in positions of power since then), and of course the various parties and militias, are also responsible. That Lebanon is sick and that the local political leaders are heavily responsible is obvious to everyone. But that responsibility is shared with regional and global leaders, international financial institutions (the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank) and private banks.

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