Peoples of the world demand accountability! Shutdown IMF-WB!

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank (WB) have concluded  their ostentatious Annual Meetings in Marrakech, Morocco. For three consecutive years, it has held its gathering of leaders of state, central banks, and corporations in the Global South. With US hegemony on the decline, the IMF-WB persists in pushing further privatization of social services, economic deregulation, and investment liberalization, all to the detriment of the masses.

The meeting in Marrakech is yet another attempt to divert attention from their responsibility for the worsening conditions of people in the Global South. We have endured enough of the resulting poverty and subservience of our puppet governments to these institutions. The calls for accountability and the shutdown of IMF-WB are resonating louder than ever.

The International League of Peoples’ Struggles (ILPS) stands united with the global people’s movement and its allies in the relentless fight against the IMF and WB. Their track record reveals they are instruments of imperialism, clinging to the neoliberal dogma, with no regard for the welfare of the people.

Institutions of dispossession and exploitation

The IMF and WB remain tools of US imperialism. As the foremost imperialist power, the US exerts its political and economic dominance over underdeveloped nations, fostering dependency on foreign debt and investments. 

For decades, the IMF-WB Group has enforced a regime of market colonialism and economic genocide, wielding conditional loans with the IMF shadow program services as prerequisites. Not only do they fund corporate farming, but they also pressure states to reshape their land policies in service of these agrocorporations. 

Worse, the Fund and Bank have pushed for national development agendas in developing countries to continuously veer away from genuine and redistributive land reform programs. Poor countries have restructured land policies to accommodate foreign investments, which in many cases partner with the local landed elites. This further aggravates landlessness and rural peoples’ dispossession.

The US-led IMF has relentless pursued austerity measures and profit-driven strategies in the name of “economic recovery” following the 2008 financial crisis and the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic. These measures meant doubling down on debt repayments that led to the deterioration and privatization of essential services for the people, all while suppressing minimum wages, and condemning billions of working people to extreme poverty. This destructive pattern has been painfully evident in Greece, and now, the same story unfolded in Sri Lanka, Pakistan, and other countries. 

Imperialism, in collusion with local elites and puppet regimes in the Global South, has dismissed aspirations for self-reliant and independent economies. It has achieved this through IMF-driven adjustments, turning both old and new colonies into export-oriented, commodity-dependent, and debt-laden economies. This cycle of subservience must be broken.

IMF guilty of supporting dictators, fueling conflict

The US together with other Western imperialists created the IMF-WBG in the aftermath of the Second World War and the Great Depression, ostensibly to fund reconstruction endeavors. History, however, has shown that in times of economic and political turmoil, these institutions have justified their mandates to perpetuate the supremacy of US private capital over economies in the global South.

Not only are these financial institutions instruments of economic domination, but they’ve also been complicit in supporting fascist regimes and fueling conflicts. In the 1960s-70s, the IMF and the WBG piloted the neoliberal playbook through actively funding and colluding with dictatorships in Brazil, Chile, and the Philippines. 

Most recently, IMF continued to provide loans to the junta government of Myanmar despite evidence that these loans will worsen rights situation and impose another burden of debt upon the Burmese people.

These dictatorships weaponized loans from the Bank and Fund to reinforce their power, crack down on the people, and serve private interests. 

The IMF and the WB played roles in post-conflict reconstruction in Rwanda, East Timor, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Palestine, El Salvador, and Lebanon. Today, the IMF and the WBG have escalated their involvement and resources in “peacebuilding.” The WBG has identified conflict intervention as a ‘central priority,’ allocating a substantial 20-25% of its lending to conflict-related financing. 

The recent flashpoint in Niger starkly exposes the interference of imperialist powers. Through the backing of the US and France, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has threatened military intervention in the West African nation after the ousting of the puppet Mohamad Bazoum regime on July 26. ECOWAS, propped up by the IMF-WB with technical, financial aid, and policy counsel, hastily imposed economic sanctions on one of the world’s most impoverished nations. Peoples of West Africa have asserted that any military intervention by ECOWAS and the West would be tantamount to a declaration of war against their sovereign nations.

As tools of imperialism, they have exploited these turbulent situations to further erode people’s sovereignty and implement neoliberal reforms. This has invariably paved the way for US imperialism to secure and establish an environment conducive to the incursion of major corporations and private capital.

Time to shut it down

In the situation where US hegemony is being challenged, it aggressively mobilizes its institutions to tighten its grip on its neocolonies and secure its geopolitical interests. The IMF-WB, in lockstep with US imperialism, aims to expand its scope by integrating gender and climate concerns, attempting to regain relevance amid a multitude of crises. In collusion with local reactionary puppet governments, the IMF-WB continues to impose the detested policy of neoliberal globalization, shifting the burden of the crisis to the oppressed peoples and nations.

Worse, it pushes to amplify its influence in conflict-ridden regions. The hypocrisy of the Bretton Woods institutions is stark– they claim to address fragility and conflict risks, yet they are complicit in the very power structures that breed inequality and fuel wars of aggression

We hold US imperialism, it’s local cohorts fully accountable for hunger, inequality, and dire poverty, made more insufferable by the IMF-WB’s continued neoliberal policy regime. We have proven that we can challenge these institutions and win victories for the people.

Throughout history, a legacy of militant people’s resistance against the IMF and World Bank has persisted. From 1976 to 1985, indigenous communities in the northern Philippines bravely opposed the destructive Chico Dams Project funded by the World Bank. This victory continue to fuel their determination to defy imperialist forces and reclaim self-determination over their land. 

In recent decades, people-led campaigns persisted exposing the anti-people projects of puppet governments funded by these imperialist institutions. The Lebanese people thwarted the World Bank’s $474 million loan for the Bisri Valley dam, marking a significant victory against development aggression. In Uganda, relentless actions led to the cancellation of the World Bank-financed Transport Sector Development Project, plagued by issues of landgrabbing and sexual harassment. In 2016, the World Bank Group was forced to withdraw its support for the Inga-3 Basse Chute & Mid-Size Hydropower Development Technical Assistance Project in the DRC, following militant opposition by the Congolese people.

These underscore the indomitable spirit of collective action demonstrating that through solidarity and militancy, communities and movements can triumph over stewards of imperialism.

ILPS stands united and resolute in the fight alongside democratic, anti-imperialist organizations, communities, and people’s movements against US imperialism and all reaction. We demand an end to its economic dictates that has caused decades of suffering and maldevelopment. A world without imperialism and the exploitative, oppressive global political and economic order they perpetuate is not only possible but a necessity as we reclaim our rights and pave our future. The time has come to shut down the IMF-World Bank and topple US imperialism! #



Len Cooper

ILPS Chairperson

15 October 2023

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