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Canada's Hypocrisy Towards Eritrea


Canadian-Eritrean youths named Eden and Siham dancing on stage during the Eritrean festival in Toronto - August 4, 2013 (Credit: Zantana Imaging)

The Crippling Effect of Foreign Aid, Western Hypocrisy on Issues of Human Rights and Terrorism

By Bruh Tesfa,

Dear readers:

This piece on Foreign Aid and its negative consequences and western hypocrisy was written some time ago more as a reaction to Canada's unwarranted and malicious attack against Eritrea on the bases of unfounded allegation involving terrorism and other human rights issues. Canada's main squabble with Eritrea has nothing to do with terrorism or lack of freedom; rather it revolves around the latter's quest and determination to be economically self-reliant. Matthew Mclearn's of Canadian Business magazine recent article in which he deliberately misrepresented Eritrea's national service in a derogatory manner and went as far as equating it to slavery is clear testimony that exposes western governments' disapproval of a mere idea of economic independence entertained, let alone practiced, by Eritrea or any African country.

Your comments and/or feedbacks and constructive criticism pertaining to the subject is greatly appreciated.

FOREIGN AID DEPENDENCE AND ITS NEGATIVE CONSEQUENCES

Ample examples can be given to illustrate the danger and ugly face of foreign aid dependence and its crippling effects in a given society. Suffice to say that almost four decades after the world-known famine hit the Horn of Africa, and despite the enormous response from the international community, the problem still persists in many parts of Africa, with little sign of abating.

The most troubling aspect of foreign aid dependency is the prevalence of conviction it instills in the minds of recipients that they can not survive any future economic hardships without the support of or "a hand out" from the western "rich" countries. Sadly, such a crippling way of thinking did not come about by accident and in fact has become a powerful tool certain western governments utilize to keep Africa a begging continent, always at the mercy of "western donors" and in exchange for a much larger political economic gain.

Praying for a rain...in Canada?

At one point during the famine of the 80's Canada was one of the countries which helped in the relief efforts by sending tones and tones of wheat to those affected. While the aid had definitely helped alleviate the problem short-term, long term it created a crippling effect of dependency amongst the beneficiary-turned-victims. So much so that, it was said, people in the drought-stricken region who were accustomed to hand outs use to get so anxious over a weather forecast that would have suggested scarcity of rain or a possible drought in Canada.

As a consequence, the world has witnessed a generation who'd become addicted to aid and with a sick mentality that their lives can only be sustained if and only if "it's raining" in a land of thousands of miles away. It is sad and sometimes difficult to digest or contemplate such level of dependency in a continent that is blessed with natural resources so abundant that it should be looking for handouts from others. Such mindset where people have gone beyond the feeling of helplessness and reached a point where they actually believe they can not function independently, as unfortunate as it may be, comes as a blessing in disguise for certain greedy powers who cash-in on such misfortune.

Breaking the Cycle of Food Aid Dependency

Shortly after the formal independence in 1993, one of the major challenges Eritrea faced with pertains to the issue of foreign aid dependency and how to tackle it. Realizing early on the crippling effect of persistent food aid on a given society, the government of Eritrea adopted an economic policy that could, in a long run, help the country become self-sufficient. Amidst unwarranted war of aggression by Ethiopia and the subsequent persistent hostility from the west, the people and government of Eritrea worked diligently in the implementation of the agricultural programs set forth. Major work was accomplished in improving the country's irrigation system through water conservation and building of big and small dams.

One of the proudest moments in Eritrea's history that is attributed to its sound agricultural policy and is largely accredited its hard working people was it declined food aid during the most recent drought in the region, citing food surplus, while some of its neighboring countries helplessly sought for humanitarian aid. Has Eritrea reached a point where the chain of chronic econonmic dependency inflicted upon the continent, be it by nature of man-made, is totally broken? The answer is certainly No. The writer is by no means to suggest that Eritrea has attained a state of food efficiency. But, it's certainly building a foundation that paves a way in meeting such status.

And this is perhaps the main reason and where Canadian government's "squabble" with Eritrea stems from. Oddly, the Canadian government finds Eritrea's stand on foreign aid and its advocacy on and practice of self-reliance rather distasteful. To one's recollection this may be the first time in Africa's history where a long held practice involving food aid that has no long-term solution; one which can be equated to a use of band aid to treat a gun-inflicted wound was flatly rejected. A resistance to food aid and a notion of mutual trade relationship without any political pressure entertained by a "small African State" was something unheard of before for countries who somehow feel that they should dictate any economic dealings with Africa.

Alligations of Human Rights Abuse and Terrorism against Eritrea

Canada's Hypocrisy towards Eritrea.

The government of Canada recently threatened to shut down Eritrean consulate for collecting 2% tax from Eritrean-Canadians, a practice which is norm across the globe. Such threat of action, we were told, was because of Eritrea's alleged link to Somalia's militants and the unfounded claim that such remittance is being used to finance such a group.

"Tsintsiway", is the term commonly used in Tigrigna when one hears a garbage story such as this. And that's what it is - A story fabricated by the likes of Matt Byden, a Canadian and Former Head of SEMG (Somali Eritrea Monitoring Group) and his collaborators as means of tightening the illegal UN sanction slapped against Eritrea in 2009.The termination of this man from his post as head of SEMG largely stems from his involvement in this and other illegal activities outside his mandate.

Canada, more than any other country, knows well that Eritrea has no involvement with terrorism what's so ever. In contrary to what has been reported, this North American country also has firsthand knowledge about the good use of the 2% remittance collected from the Diasporas. If history is any guide, Eritrea was one of the first countries that was targeted by some elements of Al-Qaeda, way before the west had any knowledge of such group. Because of its secular system of governance, the militants tried to destabilize the country by engaging in cross border operations with out success.

Ignoring such historical facts about Eritrea's role on terrorism, the government of Canada has chosen to be at the forefront with those who are set out to harm Eritrea's economy on the bases of some baseless, bogus and highly exaggerated "human rights abuse, terrorism" allegations.

What's rather interesting is, however, to note how hypocrite Canada has become in its shaping its trade ties with other nations. From the get go one can deduce that Canada's relationship with other countries has little to do with the latter's human rights records and more to do with its geopolitical and economic interests. To confirm such assessment all one has to do is look at some of the countries this government has diplomatic and trade ties with. These are countries one by no means would consider democratic. Far from it. Some of these countries Canada wheels and deals with on a regular basis have zero religious tolerance and are involved in gross human rights violations; while others are accused for denying the rights of certain groups to coexist as neighbors by expanding resettlement programs in defiance to international law.

According to the Canadian government website, for instances, "Ethiopia is a country of focus for Canada's international development assistance, and Canada is the third largest donor to Ethiopia.   ......In 2010-2011, the Canadian international Development Agency (CIDA) provided $176.66 million ind development and humanitarian assistance to Ethiopia through bilateral and multilateral channels as well as through Canadian civil society"

On the same government website, Ethiopia was described as "the most stable country in the most volatile region". Thanks to the internet and alternative media where accurate and unbiased information has become easily accessible, Ethiopia, aka "a western darling", is not exactly how its friends want to portray it to be. At present time, there are reports coming from reliable sources in which over 30 students from the Oromia region have been gunned down by Ethiopian security forces in response to protest by the former "opposing the alleged "integrated Master Plan of Addis Ababa" which will expand deep into their jurisdiction. The undeniable fact is Ethiopia is and remains the most unstable country in the region where gross abuses of human rights whether in the Somalia, Ogaden or Oromia region are quite prevlaent. The country is led by a brutal regime that rigged elections on two occasions, killing hundreds of civilians and imprisoning decedents; Addis Ababa is run by a terrorist regime that bombs its own people just to turn around and blame and accuse Eritrea or other rebel movements. These are not mere allegations but facts that were leaked via Wiki Leaks. Ethiopia is a country that declared a unilateral war against a neighboring country-Eritrea and continues to occupy its land in defiance to international law and with the blessing of certain western "friends". Yet, the government of Canada not only failed to address these significant human rights and geopolitical issues that are majorly contributing to the instability in the region, but chose to reward such reckless acts and prides itself for being "the third largest donor" to a country with the worst human rights records.

To highlight further on the severity of hypocrisy of the Canadian government when it comes to its trade dealings with others, let's cite other examples in which the government has no qualms in establishing trade partnerships with other countries whose human rights records are far from impressive.

Saudi Arabia is Canada's largest trade partner among the seven countries of the Arabian Peninsula, totaling more than $2,000,000,000 in trade in 2005, according to Wikipedia.

According to Canada government's website, Canada-Israel trade relationship is described as such: "In 2011, bilateral merchandise trade between Canada and Israel was valued at $1.38 billion. This year, 2012, marks the 15th anniversary of the Canada-Israel Free Trade Agreement (CIFTA) which extends preferential tariff treatment to goods originating in the territory to which Israeli customs laws are applied."

While Israel may be more democratic with a fairly sound human rights records domestically as compared to some of its neighbors, it's nonetheless a party largely to blame for blocking the UN endorsed estblishment of a Palestinian state and for engaging in gross human rights violations in the Gaza stip and others. In recent months there have been some shocking reports of gross mistreatment of African migrants, including arbitrary arrests and forceful deportation by Israeli government despite protests and outcry from the international community.

Yet, we don't see the government of Canada come forth in speaking about human rights violations and lack of democracy against the aforementioned countries. In contrary, what we see is the strengthening of economic ties which would be only seen as a signal to continue disregarding international laws and engaging inhumanely.

It's against such backdrops that people are beginning to pay little attention to the western media's including that of Canada, preach of human rights issues and systems of governance that themselves have little regard.

When it comes to Eritrea there's a clear case of double standard. For over a decade the west, through its main stream media, tried to portray the East African country in a negative way, labeling it as a "failed state", "rouge", dictatorial" and, at times, equating its system of governance to that of North Korea. The so called "Human Rights Watch" has been very instrument in spreading such highly exaggerated and often false claims of rights violations in fulfilling their ill-conceived agenda against Eritrea. The deafening noise of human rights violation in Bisha we're currently hearing from the HRW and the likes, just at a time when Eritrea is calling for intensification of investment in the country, is well orchestrated act of defamation and a continuation to previous malicious attacks to slow down Eritrea's economic advancements.

Canada, one of the countries whose mining company is actively operating in Eritrea, not only remained silent over the false fabricated reports of "forced labor" in Bisha for which company was implicated (which many find it odd) it continues to accuse Eritrea of human rights violations and terrorism unabated.

No country is perfect. There's a common saying that the faultless entities are those who do nothing-like sitting duck. Eritrea, despite its limitations and the continuous and unwarranted malicious attacks from many corners, is doing its best to improve the peoples's standard of living. As the saying goes "Rome was not built in one day". And the same applies to Eritrea. In all fairness, which is a gesture that has become a rare commodity in the world we live in, Eritrea has performed better whether it's in healthcare, education or overall quality of life than its counterparts. Recently, the country has received recognition from the United Nations for achieving some and on being on track of the UN Millennium goal in near-eradicating malaria, reducing HIV and infant mortality rates significantly, among others. Today, life expectancy in Eritrea is about 66 years, about 6 to 10 years higher than that of its counterparts with similar socioeconomic status. The policy it's following, though by no means perfect with room for improvement, is nonetheless sound and the right path which foreign aid dependency can be eradicated and an important key to socioeconomic liberty.

Based on the evidence of western hypocrisy described, it is quite obvious that Eritrea is a victim that has been targeted unfairly by Canada and other western nations. While the motives behind such malicious attacks could be anyone's guess, most people can reach with similar, if not the same, conclusion. And it has little to do with the country's human rights record. Rather, Eritrea's policy of self-reliance-driven-economic emancipation is somehow perceived as a threat and unpalatable to the western-imposed policy whereby Eritrea, like most if not all African countries, is to remain economically dependent and always at the mercy of western donors in times of economic hardship.


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Canada's Hypocrisy Towards Eritrea Reviewed by Admin on 8:39 AM Rating: 5

12 comments:

  1. Thanks Bruh Tesfa, for your articulated and clear piece of work in regard to AID:
    Those who are abuser of human rights USA; Canada are the first states to point out their finger to the developing world. Nothing is for free on earth, all those countries who are recipient of AID will pay back by triplets or more. The payment is endless and it will continue for generation as debt & impossible to pay back. Eritrea and Zimbabwe are the two countries in Africa who are independent, they are against imperialism, Zionism and neo-colonization. Globalization by it self is a new face of neo-colonization.
    To me all the west countries are the same we can differentiate them they are working for their own interests. Birds of the same feather flock together.
    The only solution for all African countries is to follow the foot steps of Eritrea. Self-reliance in all sectors, including individuals, families, societies and countries. We are not born to be slaves. We are human beings and our dignity must be respected as humans by any country.
    Leave us alone!!!
    Down fall to imperialist!!!

    ReplyDelete
  2. pappagallo hunterMay 2, 2014 at 10:51 AM

    playing victim all the time ,complaining and craying about this and that is not asolution for your problems,no country is spared on this malicious attack on behalf of pfdj(not the Eritrean people), and now is my home country Canada. pleas and pleas stop messing with Canada you will regret it. you ca not use the word hypocrisy the only hypocrite is you.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Quomal_Agame-we know you get" Srnay" wheat from canada
    to feed your people, money from the NGO. Ethiopia can not
    stand by itself even for one day. lemani. I see you never spoke
    Italian you spelled your name wrongly. wedi tmbien.

    ReplyDelete
  4. pappagallo hunterMay 2, 2014 at 12:57 PM

    "i see you you never spoke Italian" , are you stupid ? i do not speak Italian but i do speak tigrigna and that my ancestors language,if you proud of your BANDA heritage good for you like they said the shit it does not fall far from the butt , by the way i am glad you mention Temben ,where issayas afowerki abraham came from, take my advice shut your mouth ASHA SUK ENTEBELE LEBAM YMESL

    ReplyDelete
  5. Your home country canada, lol stupid keep licking your masters plate, that is your forte. Trust me Canadians will never treat you as their equal but as their parasite which is what you are. All this time i thought you were one of the sell outs but you made it clear that you are agame by calling calling the guy banda.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Woayne Pappagalo,
    Eritrea never played a victim and you see they hold us like a hostage still we are breathing and building our country. If it was like the way you think of Eritrea is playing a victim you so wrong time for you toc check your cotton brain.

    ReplyDelete
  7. We are not playing victim or complaining. WE ARE SUBJECTED FOR UNJUST SANCTIONS AND BLOCKADE YOU CAN MANTION FOR THEIR HYPOCRATIC AGENDA. YOU CAN NEVER DENAY THESE NEITHER THE HYPOCRATS

    ReplyDelete
  8. What an idiot,you seem to share the same problem as of those have financed they loved ones to escape their national duty and ended up in prison or dead along the way trying to reach you. If this is the case I urge you to seek medical help,because you can write all you want that does not relive you from your mental sickness. Your country Canada if they don't give a darn of those ancient land owners"native Indians" dream on for you to be treated better than them stupid.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Ata wedza kondaf agame..meneddieka nabzi web metsaeh illuka? ane amelkum aytegedfuwan ikkum mechem, ab zekedka melemman terah?

    ReplyDelete
  10. this video will explain to you all about the Western
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XlQCLhTuRxU

    ReplyDelete
  11. Papagallo, you are trying to sound Eritrean with no shame.

    But look and compare how your Ethiopia is unequal under the greedy woyane. You guys will eat your hearts soon because the wave of Oromo is going to ungulf you to your original state of "Silemariam" trademark and historical condition:) Canada tmeskr !!! lol

    http://nazret.com/blog/index.php/2012/04/09/ethiopia-separate-and-unequal-tigray-and-gambela

    ReplyDelete
  12. Watch and learn for knowledge is power.
    The video Michael has just posted about global economy and why it is the way it is was highlighted on the second paragraph of this article. Foreign aid to a given country is authorized and carried out only and only if it is deemed highly profitabe to the "donor" both financially and politically. African continent is the primary target that continues to be exploited in the name of humanitarian aid and its resources drained to the bone by greedy corporations, with the blessing and full protection from their governments.

    ReplyDelete

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