"No to Biden! No to NATO!" -- Irish leftists protest Biden's visit
With statements from the Communist Party of Ireland and the Workers' Party of Ireland
Communist Party of Ireland activists protest US president Joe Biden's visit, April 13 -- Image via the Communist Party of Ireland
US President Joe Biden spoke to Ireland's parliament Thursday, April 13 during his visit to the country and while he was predictably greeted warmly by its social democratic, centrist and right wing members not everyone was as pleased.
Four members of People Before Profit (PBP), plus Mick Barry of the Socialist Party boycotted his visit. Boyd Barrett of the PBP said of Biden:
Joe Biden needs to be forcefully challenged over his long-standing and unconditional support for the apartheid regime in Israel and its brutal and criminal treatment of Palestinians; his pivotal role in promoting the US invasion and occupation of Iraq; his active promotion of NATO expansion; and the ongoing and blatant double standards of U.S. foreign policy globally.
In Dublin Communist Party of Ireland activists were among those in the streets protesting Biden's visit. In a statement they noted:
Twenty years ago President Joe Biden was one of the main drivers of the war on Iraq. As chair of the powerful Senate Foreign Relations Committee, He and George W. Bush persuaded the public to back the war. Biden holds responsibility for the thousands of deaths and for devastation of Iraq and the surrounding region since the invasion.
Today US imperialism continues its warmongering in the Middle East; most recently through providing bombers and weaponry to the Saudi Arabian dictatorship as it continues a brutal war against the people of Yemen. In Latin America, US-backed coups and attempted-coups continue, as do inhumane US-led blockades and sanctions. These have resulted in the immiseration of millions of working class people; in particular in Cuba, Venezuela and Nicaragua.
Meanwhile the Workers' Party of Ireland issued an excellent statement on April 12, No to Biden! No to NATO!, that we reprint here in full:
This week the US President, Biden, is in Ireland, supposedly to mark the 25th anniversary of the Belfast/Good Friday Agreement. This is a pretext. He will spend very little time in Northern Ireland where he has one brief engagement.
The real purpose of his visit is to secure an Irish-American vote in US Presidential elections and to glad hand a sycophantic Irish government and a fawning Irish media in an attempt to draw the Irish state closer to US foreign policy and NATO.
The US, which Biden represents, is guilty of warmongering, exploitation and terror. It buttresses the rule of the monopolies. The US has at least three times as many overseas bases as all other countries combined and it has used these bases to launch wars and other combat operations against sovereign states. It uses Shannon airport to further foreign intervention and war.
The US blockade against Cuba is the most enduring blockade in history and has cost the Cuban economy many billions of dollars. Every year the United Nations General Assembly overwhelmingly passes a resolution condemning the blockade, all ignored by the US. Despite world opinion, the economic, commercial and financial blockade applied by the government of the United States against Cuba is being maintained and it continues to have profound repercussions on the Cuban economy. The blockade is deliberately designed to limit Cuba’s right to follow its own development path. Biden continues to tighten this cruel and criminal blockade and has outrageously refused to remove Cuba from the US list of state sponsors of terrorism.
Biden continues support for the apartheid Israeli regime despite the fact that millions of people across the world are shocked and outraged at the brutal terror bombings, ethnic cleansing and communal violence being carried out by Israel against the Palestinian people. These crimes are committed using American armaments and funding.
The Biden administration approved the sale of $735 million worth of JDAM and SDB “smart” bombs to Israel—the munitions which rained down on the population of Gaza. The United States has used its veto power many times to protect Israel from resolutions censuring its conduct in the United Nations Security Council.
Biden’s record on Somalia, Venezuela, Cuba, Palestine, support for dictators and autocrats in the Middle East and elsewhere who serve US interests, his support for the expansion of NATO and the US war machine, the ratcheting up of inter-imperialist rivalry and tensions and his continuing advocacy of imperialist intervention and war demonstrate his long record of support for naked US aggression.
More than a year has passed since the start of the imperialist conflict in Ukraine. Competition between competing imperialist blocs has produced a vicious and dangerous war where the working class (Ukrainian and Russian) is bearing the brunt. The imperialist war launched by Russia in Ukraine, and the eager and aggressive actions and provocations of the United States and European Union serve only to prolong and escalate the suffering of the Russian and Ukrainian people. The publication of documents over the past few days proves the presence of US and NATO forces on the ground in Ukraine.
The world faces a serious danger of a more generalized military confrontation given the clamour for coercive measures, intervention and war by the EU, NATO and the US. In Africa, AFRICOM, in collaboration with the European Union, seeks to increase and develop U.S. military power to control land, resources and labour in the service of the monopolies. Biden and his administration are key to these developments.
At a time when the world stands on the brink of disastrous and irreversible climate change, Biden’s administration has approved over 2,100 drilling permits on public and native American tribal lands since he took office.
The US Department of Justice, under Biden, is still pursuing the extradition of Julian Assange, attacking the scope of permissible press activities.
The Workers Party of Ireland opposes the Biden visit and is taking an active part in the protests against him.
The way forward in the struggle for global peace and against war and imperialist barbarism is international solidarity, the unity of the working class and the struggle for socialism.
Workers of All countries Unite!