Joint statement of the Slovak Left on Syria

[English here]

On 6 February, a devastating earthquake struck Syria and Turkey, killing 53 000 people and injuring 130 000. Hundreds of thousands of people lost not only their loved ones, but also their homes and livelihoods. The total property damage is estimated at EUR 100 billion. The world community has therefore stood up in solidarity to help the victims and has sent either its rescuers or material aid. However, even the mitigation of the tragedy has not been without politicking. The countries affected are geopolitically different. Turkey has long been an important part of NATO and regularly plays the West, Russia and other countries as chess pieces. It uses its indispensability in the face of US imperialist ambitions to practise wars of aggression against its neighbours. These wars go unpunished because it is a country under the protection of a great power. Compare, for example, how often the Turkish excursions in Syria make it into the media and how many times the war in Ukraine has been mentioned. This protected position has opened the door for Turkey to virtually all the great powers and, consequently, a considerable amount of humanitarian aid has been directed to this country.

The second country affected is Syria. This is a state that has been a victim of US imperialism for years. They have initiated a worldwide coalition of troops that are waging an illegal war against the Syrian Government. However, the imperialist efforts of the West are also being carried out here in a less conspicuous way, in the form of sanctions, with the aim of starving the local population and creating the ground for a change of government through the undemocratic installation of a pro-Western leadership. The Syrian people have been suffering from the sanctions for a long time, but their effects were exacerbated by the earthquake at the beginning of February. Among other things, they have made it impossible for humanitarian aid to reach the country, as planes carrying medical supplies, food or drinking water cannot land at local airports. Such restrictions are depriving innocent people of their lives, who are dying of thirst and from injuries because of the lack of basic medicines. It is worth mentioning that, apart from Turkey or NATO, Israel is also carrying out unprovoked aggressions against Syria. For years, it has rejected the constant reports of missiles or air strikes coming from its territory, the consequences of which are destroying Syrian infrastructure and causing innocent civilians to suffer. The occupying government of Israel, which is illegally settling the territory of the State of Palestine, has not been stopped even by the horror of the earthquake and is carrying out attacks on Syrian airports, for example, further exacerbating the inhuman suffering of the population.

In the spirit of the anti-imperialist struggle of the world left, the Leftist Youth Front of Slovakia has therefore joined the internationally coordinated protest action End the Siege. Together with comrades in Palestine, Canada, the USA, Britain, Ireland and Germany, we have stood up against the oppression of innocent people for the benefit of globalised capital, and we continue to raise awareness in the streets and on social media.

The movement hereby expresses its strong opposition to the sanctions imposed on the Syrian Arab Republic and joins the demand for their immediate end. As we have seen with Cuba, Venezuela and various socialist countries throughout history, the instrument of economic sanctions serves no one’s interests except those of the ruling class and hurts us, the international working class, the most.