THE ARAB leaders meeting on Wednesday at an economic summit in Egypt’s resort of Sharm el-Sheikh expressed ‘fears’ that poverty, unemployment and recession, coupled with rapidly rising world food prices had produced impossible conditions for Arab workers and youth, who were now being driven into revolutionary uprisings.
The bourgeois leaders, very much at bay, in the wake of the ongoing Tunisian revolution vowed in their final statement to ‘move forward in the development of our societies in terms of human development, technology, economy and society’.
They added that ‘the developmental challenges are no less important than the political challenges facing the region’.
Addressing the leaders, Arab League chief Amr Mussa was however forced to go beyond these meaningless phrases. He warned them that the hardships of ordinary Tunisians that sparked a popular uprising were linked to ‘unprecedented anger’ in the region.
‘The revolution that happened in Tunisia is not far from the subject of this summit,’ Mussa said, adding: ‘The Arab soul is broken by poverty, unemployment and general recession . . . The political problems, the majority of which have not been fixed . . . have driven the Arab citizen to a state of unprecedented anger and frustration.’
President Hosni Mubarak, who has ruled Egypt for three decades, made no reference to the Tunisian revolt in his Sharm el-Sheikh speech, but he acknowledged that economic development and cooperation had become a national security priority.
What he meant was that there is a danger that the Tunisian revolution will inspire the workers and youth of Algeria, Libya, Egypt and other Arab states to rise up and overthrow the Arab bourgeoisie who have been content to see the masses live in poverty and acute hunger.
Already, the self-immolation of 26-year-old Mohammed Bouazizi, the spark that lit the flames of the revolution in Tunisia, has led to major clashes between security forces and workers and youth in Algeria, Libya, Egypt and Jordan.
The fact is that millions of Egyptian workers live in the streets and go hungry, and have completely miserable lives. It is also a fact that there has been a massive resurgence of the Egyptian trade union movement and the working class to fight for a better life.
Meanwhile, three members of the Tunisian cabinet who belong to the main UGTT trade union resigned yesterday with Abdessalem Jrad, secretary-general of the UGTT, making it clear that the group could not be part of a government ‘that includes symbols of the old regime’.
The Tunisian masses will not stand for it, and are continuing to drive forward and will bring down the rickety interim regime that has been established.
The fact of the matter is that the Arab bourgeoisie has long been an agency of world imperialism, and has been utterly unable to develop the Arab states in a way that liberates the Arab people from exploitation, and has also been unable to liberate the people of Palestine. It has settled for a corrupt mafia-style existence as the guardian of imperialist interests in the region.
It is the working class in North Africa and throughout the Arab world that has the responsibility to carry out socialist revolutions to overthrow the Arab bourgeoisie and break the power of imperialism over the Arab world.
To carry out this historic task, sections of the International Committee of the Fourth international must be built in Tunisia and all over the Arab world to lead the working class and the Arab socialist revolution to its victory as part of the world socialist revolution.