Speech by Socorro Gomes

Speech by Socorro Gomes, president of the World Peace Council, at the Secretariat Meeting

Kathmandu, Nepal, February 18th, 2010

Dear comrades of the Peace Council of Nepal,

Dear comrades of the World Peace Council Secretariat,

First I would like to thank, in the name of the World Peace Council, the Peace Council of Nepal for holding the Secretariat meeting of the World Peace Council in such great conditions. Our thanks are extended to the hospitable and welcoming people of Nepal and to the democratic institutions of this country. We praise the victories of the Nepalese people and wish success in building the democratic Republic in the route of development and social progress.

This meeting takes place as economic and social problems aggravate in the world, when new conflicts loom.

Despite profuse news and analyses stating that the world is already in a “post-crisis” moment, what we may call the second cycle of the world crisis came to light in the last weeks. This time countries of the European Union are bordering bankruptcy due to their public and fiscal debt. The two greatest economies of the European Union suffered an acute recession in 2009. The French economy decreased 2.2% and the German economy posted a 5% reduction. The burden of such crisis saddles workers and the poor, who suffer directly and dramatically the consequences of governmental measures, among which the reduction of salaries, unemployment, failing public services and cuts regarding labor rights and social welfare. We salute the struggles of workers who mobilized in the last days to start strikes and demonstrations. The social dramas of the crisis and the struggles it sparks are inevitable effects of the policies practiced by the same imperialist forces that invest vast sums in the militarization of the world. Recently, the government of the United States announced military expenditure amounting to 708 billion dollars as that country posts a fiscal debt of 1,5 trillion dollars, equivalent to 10 percent of the GDP.


It is under such circumstances that humankind once again hears the roll of war drums. Reaffirming its desire to maintain the monopoly of nuclear weapons and to rule the Persian Gulf and the Middle East, the United States raised its threats regarding Iran and initiated a military escalation in the region that may lead to disastrous consequences to world peace and international security. Imposing new and more brutal sanctions on Iran, they also started an intense diplomatic and political campaign to force the UN and other countries to do the same by themselves. Military wise, the Barack Obama administration announced the installation of an anti-missile system in four countries of the Persian Gulf and reinforced the patrolling of the Iranian coast with ships able to intercept missiles with military devices of dissuasion and beleaguering. There is no doubt that such actions constitute one of the most brutal political and military assaults in the last 12 months. The promises of peace and cooperation are left behind and give way to the main aspect of the US foreign policy: threats, interventionism and aggression.

That is clearly expressed in Afghanistan. Turned into the main stage of the so-called “war against terrorism” by the incumbent administration, that country finds itself occupied by about 150 thousand soldiers of the armies of the United States and NATO. The increase in troops and expenditure with that war of occupation attest the falsehood of the announcements of withdrawal. Colluding with a puppet government in the genocide of civil population, the invading troops are facing an increasingly intense national and popular resistance that inflicts heavy defeats. More than never before, the populations of Afghanistan and Iraq, which is still under military occupation and where a broad and fierce resistance is developing, demand the immediate withdrawal of all invading troops, an issue that is supported by peace fighters all over the world. The two wars started by the Bush administration turned into a strategic nightmare to the United States.

Recently, a new conflict spot appeared in the region called Horn of Africa under the pretext of “fighting terrorism” and “uprooting terrorist cells that find shelter in Yemen and irradiate to other countries and regions of the world,” according to the propaganda of imperialism. In December the United States started attacks in Yemen, causing the death of a great number of civilians. Now the news that the military and security program of the Pentagon regarding Yemen rose from 4,6 million dollars to 67 million dollars last year comes to light. Yemen “rose” to the category of “priority,” according to president Obama’s Secretary of Homeland Security and “anti-terrorism”. One can observe the intensification of military activity in the course of more than three thousand kilometers in the Indian Ocean. In August last year NATO launched its second naval operation in the coast of Somalia. Dubbed Ocean Shield, it is being carried out with the participation of Great Britain, Greece, Italy, Turkey and the United States. The operation is still standing, with no deadline.

The fact is that the Indian Ocean region is playing a greater role in the global strategies of US imperialism. The Pentagon makes use of the state of insecurity in the region, often caused by interferences of imperialist powers and puppet regimes, as a pretext to patrol and intervene in the waters of the Indian Ocean. Facing difficulties to apply the strategic plan to the greater Middle East, the American imperialism turn also to the Indian Ocean region, where it decided to leverage its naval power.

The attentions of imperialism are also aimed at the African continent. Impoverished by colonialism, plundered and abandoned to its own fate, Africa possesses vast natural resources, such as oil and ore. In a clear attempt to occupy a strategic position and to start a neo-colonialist undertaking, the American imperialism decided to create AFRICOM, the African Command. Its intent is to install heavily equipped unities of the US Army to hold permanent positions in the African continent in order to guarantee, by force if necessary, the interests of the United States in that region. Once again, the proclaimed objective is “fighting terrorism.” However, it is nothing but another set of military bases abroad and an intervention force.


A month ago humankind was moved by the tragedy of the Haitian people, victim of an earthquake of unprecedented proportions that took the lives of 200 thousand people and caused immense material losses, practically decimating the already precarious infrastructure of an country impoverished by colonialism and imperialist rule and the pillage of dictatorial and corrupted elites colluded with and submissive to the USA. While demonstrations of solidarity took place in many countries and Haiti, less than 24 hours after the earthquake US troops took control of the airport in Port au Prince. And for what reason? To guarantee the salvation and repatriation of American citizens at service in Haiti. That is how the American military acted to the detriment incoming aid in form of food and medication shipped from many countries. That fact caused protests in the United Nations, Brazil and France.

In a few days 12 thousand soldiers landed in Haiti and many more are coming. Nuclear aircraft carriers, submarines and other war ships are also being deployed in Haiti.

In fact, the American imperialism took advantage of the tragedy in Haiti to do what it could not do in 2004. In that occasion, after helping unseat president Bertrand Aristide and integrating an occupation force with France, the United States, bogged down in the Iraq war, accepted the proposal of the United Nations to create a Mission led by Brazil and composed mainly by Latin American countries to pacify a country dilacerated by a civil war and to stabilize it by means of international economic cooperation.

The United States see the Caribbean Sea as a mare nostrum, the first perimeter outside its borders. In fact, they believe that the Caribbean Sea is an extension of its territory, a sea that is part of its own territorial waters. By occupying Haiti under humanitarian pretexts, once again the United States belittles international law and disregards the UN.

Military occupation in Haiti must not be seen outside the context of the interventionist policy for the Latin American and Caribbean region, whose priority is to besiege Cuba and the Bolivarian Revolution in Venezuela. The creation of the Fourth Fleet is part of that same context, as well as the military bases in Colombia, the military agreement with Panama and the existence of more than ten other military bases in Caribbean and Latin American countries.

On top of the military escalation and the preparations for the start of other wars of aggression against sovereign peoples and nations, a conservative offensive unfolds within the American society. The viciousness of the attacks against democracy, social progress, civil rights, social equality, the sovereignty of nations and world peace observed during the congress of American ultra-conservatives named Tea Party calls attention as it is made under the flag of a “counter revolution” proclaimed by the main speakers. That fact should not be observed according to the binary logic or the electoral polarization between democrats and republicans, but worries peace fighters, since we can find in it the seed of fascism, American style.


Within three months, between May 3 and 28, the 8th Review Conference of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT) will take place in the UN headquarters, in New York. In parallel, in April 30th and May 1st, many movements will hold the “Disarmament Now” Conference. Based on non-proliferation, disarmament and the use of nuclear energy for pacific ends, the NPT is in fact an unequal, asymmetric treaty, since it attempts to “freeze” the international order among nuclear-armed states and non-nuclear states. By prioritizing non-proliferation instead of disarmament, it consolidates the existence of a selected group of nuclear powers. The World Peace Council reaffirms its commitment with the struggle to eliminate nuclear weapons, beginning with great powers. The essence of the Stockholm Appeal, published by the World Peace Council when it was founded, is still current.


The political offensive of imperialism and the development of a trend towards militarization and war attest the gravity of the present moment for humankind, threatening its very survival. Those are threats to day-to-day life connected to imperialists that also imperil world peace, environmental balance, international security, social rights, democracy and national independence.

American imperialism is now offering a hypocritical discourse aimed at confusing peoples and numb consciences in order to preserve its ruling system. Under the guise of a democratic, multilateral and international law abiding state, the USA practices and takes the lead in facts that point to the contrary.

The United States makes all efforts to foster the illusion of a “benevolent state,” a magnanimous, democratic and constructive imperial power that guarantees stability, peace and the security of all. It is supposedly not a dominating power, but one that supports the balance of power, able to offer security as a public asset to be enjoyed by everyone. Thus, it shuffles the cards, mixes the pieces on the board and makes attackers be confused with attacked ones, disguising its interventionist policy as salvation operations with solidarity and humanitarian character. None of those facts is new in the foreign policy of the Democratic Party. With a multilateral speech, former president Clinton followed the path of unilateralism inaugurated by president Bush in the 1990’s. He raised the military expenditure, expanded NATO and ignored the UN Security Council during the Desert Fox operation against Iraq in 1998 and in the war against the former Yugoslavia in 1999.

Before the falsehood of the discourse of the president Obama and the severe attacks against world peace, the World Peace Council reaffirms its commitment to the struggle for peace and solidarity to the peoples threatened and attacked by imperialism.

Despite the increasingly denser smoke curtain, the peoples are becoming aware and fighting. From the Middle East to Latin America, Europe, Africa and the United States, the peoples are fighting and that consolidates our convictions of peace lovers who fight for a world free from wars and imperialist oppression.

Thank you very much.

Socorro Gomes

President of the World Peace Council