Flowers and famine

While Ethiopian crops fail and people starve owing to ‘drought’, thousands of tonnes of water-hungry flowers are being grown for export.

Mohammad Hassan of the PTB (Belgian Workers’ party) delivers a powerful speech condemning the puppet regime of Ethiopia for selling his country to imperialism, and engineering a famine with its pro-imperialist policy and at the behest of US/British imperialism.

He was speaking at the CPGB-ML’s international BBQ held in Saklatvala Hall, Southall, on 30 July 2011.

Ethiopia, like much of the developing (‘third’ or neo-colonial) world, should be a rich country. It is rich in resources, population and territory. Yet it has become (in)famous internationally for the famine that Bob Geldoff’s ‘Live Aid‘ was supposed to address, and few realise that while that famine raged, Ethiopia was exporting food grain as a commodity.

This is the reality of global monopoly capitalist economics. Now, when there are poor farmers on the edge of existence and water resources need careful husbanding, precious land and huge amounts of water are used growing flowers for export, which are flown to Britain, Europe and the US – and which we are then encouraged to buy and give to each other on Valentine’s day, birthdays and anniversaries.

The gross inequality and absurdity of these features of imperialism are graphically illustrated by Mohammad Hassan in this excellent speech.

For additional reading on this topic, see: Famine in Somalia: imperialism is to blame.