Saturday, June 18, 2016

US Ambassador Thomas Lies About Economic Sanctions

This post is a response to the latest US ambassador to Zimbabwe, who seems to feel he is in a position to lecture the Zimbabwean government about 'fiscal responsiblity' and 'chasing away foreign investors', while being blissfully unaware of his own government's actions to destroy the Zimbabwean economy.

(NEWZIMBABWE) Pay your debts! US envoy tells Harare
By Anna Chibamu, UK Bureau

THE economic crisis which has brought Zimbabwe to its knees has nothing to do with United States sanctions but the failure by President Robert Mugabe's government to pay the country’s debts.

Well no. This is my response:

So this is the latest fool they have sent down, to sell us their US state department garbage. Before him there was Ambassador Bruce, before him Charles Ray, before him Johnny Carson. Now it's ambassador Thomas. No relation to Supreme Court Judge Clarence Thomas, I hope?

Let me help the ambassador out, because he is clearly out of his depth, wading into matters he does not understand.

1) We have the law

We don't need your ensurances about 'targeted sanctions'. We have the text of the Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Recovery Act of 2001, Section 4C, which specifically mentions "the Government of Zimbabwe", twice. So keep your lawyerly lies about 'targeted sanctions' to yourself.

2) This article tries to connect things that are not connected.

Debt default had ruined Harare’s credit worthiness even before the US passed its Zimbabwe Democracy and Economic Reform Agenda (ZIDERA) of 2001, Washington’s new envoy said in the capital on Thursday.

Mugabe also conceded the bad debtor problem at a meeting with war veterans in April, saying: “We’ve a disease in Zimbabwe, that of receiving and forgetting that debt should be settled.”

Let me remind everyone of the irony, that the US government is reminding the Zimbabwean government to pay it's debt, when it was the US government under Reagan and the Thatcher government, which reneged on their obligation to pay their part in the Willing Buyer, Willing Seller landreform program, which eventually led to it's breakdown (made official by Clare Short in her Nov. 1997 letter), and the replacement of Willing Buyer, Willing Seller with the Fast Track landreform program, against which Rothschild/De Beers/US object so much. I'll leave historic debts alone for a while.

Poor creditworthiness may sound like a fitting insult, and also conveniently ignores the disastrous economic effects of the neoliberal ESAP from 1991 to 1996, however creditworthiness has nothing to do with the collapse of the Zimbabwe Dollar in the year 2002. Creditworthiness doesn't paint extra zeros on banknotes. Not even an IMF decreed currency devaluation does that. Only a country that from day one to day two no longer has access to lines of credit, and is forced to operate on a cash only basis, would do that.

Creditworthiness also has nothing to do with the creation of ZDERA in 2001. (Read it.) Section 4A mentions that the IDA (International Development Agency) has suspended loans to the government of Zimbabwe in previous years, however, this is stated as a finding, and is not given as the reason for ZDERA. It has nothing to do with 'creditworthiness', and you can read the reasons given in the law itself.

The fact is that they wanted landreform to fail, and they did not trust the program or country to fail on it's own. The fact is that they want to prevent landreform in South Africa, let alone Namibia, Botswana and Kenya, if not more countries.

An MDC MP called it "slashing an already deflated tire".

3) Years ago, the MDC admitted that they too, when they were in government (look that up, mr. Ambassador, there was an MDC government), could not "move" with ZDERA in place.

Listen to that interview with former Finance Minister Tendai Biti, mr. Ambassador, before addressing this forum about the effects of America's economic sanctions against ("the Government of") Zimbabwe.

Subsequently, in 2010, there was a law introduced by US Senator Jim Inhofe to remove ZDERA. Around the same time, then US Senator and ZDERA co-sponsor Russ Feingold lost his seat. He had been trying to continue the economic sanctions against Zimbabwe through his own Zimbabwe Transistion to Democracy and Economic Recovery Act of 2010 (ZTDERA).

4) If it was not ZDERA, what else happened in the year 2002, that made the Zimbabwe Dollar collapse against the US Dollar? Notice the rapid excelleration of the the fall of the exchange rate from 2002 onwards.

That's 2002, not 2001, 2003, 2004, etc. 2002 is the year ZDERA 2001 came into effect.

Just a reminder of what these economic sanctions were:

(c) MULTILATERAL FINANCING RESTRICTION- Until the President makes the certification described in subsection (d), and except as may be required to meet basic human needs or for good governance, the Secretary of the Treasury shall instruct the United States executive director to each international financial institution to oppose and vote against--

(1) any extension by the respective institution of any loan, credit, or guarantee to the Government of Zimbabwe; or

(2) any cancellation or reduction of indebtedness owed by the Government of Zimbabwe to the United States or any international financial institution.
Now, do these sound like 'targeted sanctions' against individuals or individual corporations, or are these sanctions against "the Government of Zimbabwe", as mentioned twice?

5) What is the effect of economic sanctions worldwide?

Lest we think that economic sanctions only hurt Zimbabwe because 'somehow' the economy of Zimbabwe is exceptionally fragile, it would help to see what US economic sanctions have done to other economies around the world.

This was the effect of economic sanctions on the population of Iraq. BTW, Madeleine Albright is a business partner of Lord Jacob Rothschild, and George Soros, in Helios Towers Africa. It are the Rothschild Barons who funded De Beers, the world's largest diamond mining company, which is behind the propaganda against Zimbabwe. Also, Zimbabwe was formerly known as Rhodesia, named after Cecil Rhodes, the Founding Chairman of the board of directors of De Beers from 1888 until his death.

Were 500,000 dead Iraqi women and children "worth it" to weaken President Hussein? Was the destruction of the Zimbabwe Dollar through a credit freeze 'worth it', to dislodge President Mugabe and thwart landredistribution?

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