Trade Unions, SACP slam Bush administration

Cape Town- South Africa (PANA) -- The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) and the South African Communist Party (SACP) Thursday reacted with "great disgust" to threats by the Bush administration to boycott the forthcoming UN World Conference against Racism and Xenophobia later this month in Durban.
"The attempt by the US to blackmail the World Conference arises from the ongoing problems related to globalisation after the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the emergence of a unipolar world dominated by the US.
"Too often, the United States resorts to blockades and military acts to blackmail and bully wherever it does not find its way.
Now, that this bully would not be able to use veto power in the conference, it is resorting to threats of boycott and blackmail.
As predicted, Colin Powell and Kofi Annan, who themselves rank among the victims of racism, are trying to outdo each other in the service of their masters," Cosatu and the SACP said in a joint statement.
The statement expressed support for the stance taken by the South African government that debates must take place on the issue of reparations for the victims of racism and the Palestine question as well as the broader Middle East.
"Instead of the US government threatening a boycott, they should show the same degree of enthusiasm as when the issue of reparations for the victims of Nazism was discussed.
We are asking for consistency.
Failure to be consistent on the matter of reparations seems to us to be a racist statement in itself," the statement pointed out.
The leadership of the two organisations threatened to stage a picket at the US embassy in Pretoria and Consulate in Durban on 16 August "to protest against the attempt by the Bush Administration to hold the whole world to ransom".
"The time has come for the Bush Administration to be told that the conference is convened by the United Nations, inviting governments on the assumption that they are opposed to racism and xenophobia.
If this is not palatable with the stance of the Bush Administration on this issue, then their participation will not be missed," the statement said.

02 august 2001 20:33:00

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