Revolution in South Asia

An Internationalist Info Project

Posts Tagged ‘US imperialism’

Monsanto’s zombie crops in Nepal?

Posted by redpines on November 21, 2011

Imperialist countries often use development aid to force neoliberal economic reforms on poorer countries. USAID, the US government’s notorious ‘foreign aid and assistance’ program has a history of promoting export-oriented agricultural production in countries like Haiti. This is what happened there: 

This “aid” from the Americans, along with the structural changes in the countryside predictably forced Haitian peasants who could no longer survive to migrate to the cities…where the new manufacturing jobs were supposed to be.  However, when they got there they found there weren’t nearly enough manufacturing jobs go around.  The city became more and more crowded.  Slum areas expanded.  And to meet the housing needs of the displaced peasants, quickly and cheaply constructed housing was put up, sometimes placing houses right “on top of each other.”

USAID is operating in Nepal, and not just in easily accessible urban areas. Reporters from the blog Winter Has Its End observed projects associated with USAID in fairly remote, rural areas of the country, where small-scale peasant agriculture is the primary occupation. If Nepal follows a capitalist path of development, its future might resemble Haiti’s. 

The article below suggests USAID  in Nepal is working with Monsanto, one of the most widely hated corporations in the world.  Genetically modified crops sold by companies like Monsanto have destroyed the lives of farmers in India, causing many to commit suicide. This note  from USAID’s site confirms that the organization is helping Monsanto to push its hybrid varieties of corn, However,  it disavows the claim that GMO seeds are part of the deal. 

As usual, reports from the bourgeois press should be considered with some caution. The article originally appeared here.

Monsanto partners with USAID to push GM corn in Nepal

Sunday, November 20, 2011

by Jonathan Benson

The southeast Asian country of Nepal is once again having to fight against foreign interests that are trying to take over its agricultural system. Biotechnology giant Monsanto apparently has its sights set on bringing genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) to this sliver of a country just north of India, and it is allegedly working with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), a so-called humanitarian group, and officials in Nepal to make it happen.

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Nepal News | Tagged: , , | Leave a Comment »

As India Threatens Neighbors, U.S. Backs India

Posted by redpines on February 2, 2011

Dr. Binayak Sen -- victim of India's 'tolerant democracy'

The following excerpts are from a talk given by Robert O. Blake Jr., US Assistant Secretary of South and Central Asian affairs, on January 19, 2011.

Blake indicates that the US “strategic partnership” with India is one of the Obama administration’s top priorities in the region, second only to continuing the war in Afghanistan and Pakistan. Blake repeats all the usual platitudes about India: how its democracy, commitment to diversity and its knowledge-based economy make it “special”.

In reality, these  features of the Indian state only extend to a fraction of its population. Diplomats like Blake repeat these platitudes to put a human face on their brutal alliance.

Increased cooperation between the US and India means more repression for India’s poor and marginalized peoples. It means more ‘counterinsurgency’ operations against tribal people, more famine and economic instability in rural areas, more pressure to exploit the country’s natural resources and more capitalist-driven inequality.

The US wants to ensure India’s military is strong and compliant, not only to aid the wars in Afghanistan and Pakistan, but to address the significant counter-hegemonic threats in South Asia. Though Blake doesn’t mention them, the US is extremely wary of challenges to India’s legitimacy from separatist movements in Jammu and Kashmir to the revolutionary communist CPI (Maoist). Nepal receives slight, if ominous, attention in Blake’s report.

The subtext is that the Maoist revolutions are India’s problem to solve—with U.S. political, military and financial backing.

Stop the U.S. Backing for Counterrevolution! Remove the Maoists from U.S. Terrorist Lists!

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in India Background, Nepal Background, US imperialism | Tagged: , , | 1 Comment »