Wednesday, 7 May 2014

Comment on "Western intervention will turn Nigeria into an African Afghanistan"

I live and work in Nicaragua with abused children. They also have been subjected to appalling abuse due, in large measure, to the effects of western destruction and greed. The very fabric of a Two -Thirds World society such as ours has been shredded by centuries of callous military intervention and eco/economic/gender exploitation by the Me-First World. Given its magnificent and abundant natural resources and hard-working people, especially its women, Nicaragua should be a paradise. Instead it's rated the second poorest country in the Western hemisphere. For 'poorest' read 'impoverished' - made, continually and actually being made, poor. This to help support the ultimately unsustainable lifestyle of the US, Europe and the economic 'elites' of so many other countries. 

Including that of us woolly liberals and guardianistas. As a direct result of this ongoing greed, adolescent girls and boys are effectively enslaved here on a daily basis. Several of our family members work in factories producing brand name jeans and sneakers that we me-firsters simply 'have' to have. The price we pay for a single pair of 'designer' jeans is more than they get paid in a month. A month of 12 hour days, with 20 minutes for lunch, and rigidly-controlled bathroom breaks, thanks to which many of 'the girls' have serious urinary problems.

As everywhere, there are of course many local problems and much local greed - Nicaraguans are human too! But the author of this article is exactly right to underline our complicity in the fate of the Nigerian students. It is, in large (not only) measure, part and parcel of the Me-First West's supremely immoral behaviour towards the Two-Thirds World over centuries of direct colonialisation/military intervention and ongoing gender/eco/economic exploitation. The denial and finger-pointing she evokes are no more than the standard knee-jerk response of so many of us - myself often included - who know we have to change, and change dramatically since we now see the writing even on the planetary wall, but who are too frightened/comfy/greedy to do the right thing. Coraje compaƱer@s. For all its foibles and faults, and despite all we've done and tried to do to little Nicaragua, it is in fact at least a mini-paradise, a place of great happiness, community and creativity. We should/could all be so lucky!

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