Yemenis rebel against high oil prices
Published Jul 30, 2005 7:38 PM
Subsidies were suddenly lifted on the
prices of all oil products throughout the Arab country of Yemen on July 19. This
resulted in dramatic price increases of 100 percent in oil, 200 percent in
diesel fuel and 50 percent in gas. Two days later, 13 people had been reportedly
shot dead during spontaneous rebellions in Yemen’s capital Sana’a
and several towns.
These price increases dramatically impact on
transportation, food preparation and the heating of homes for the Yem eni
population. These inhumane increases did not originate from the Yemeni
government, although the Yemeni police repres sed the demonstrators. They were
implemented by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank, whose
policies have enslaved the economies of the world’s developing countries.
These policies or structural agreements have caused unimaginable and deepening
poverty, suffering and gross underdevelopment.
These agreements force
governments to take out millions of dollars in loans from the IMF and World Bank
with very high interest rates. In order to pay back just the interest on the
loans, local economies are undermined and sometimes destroyed along with
devastating cutbacks in education, health care and other vital
services—all in the name of “cutting the budget deficit,”
which is an illusion.
The irony is that Yemen is rich in oil resources,
but these resources are controlled by Big Oil transnational corporations based
in the rich capitalist countries. Yemen is one of the poorest countries in the
world. It has a population of close to 22 million people, 11 million of whom
live below the poverty line. One in five Yemenis are malnourished and the Gross
Domestic Product annually is $510 per person, compared to more than $40,000 in
the U.S. (IPS, July 21)
The 2004 foreign debt crisis for Yemen was over
$6 billion. The 2003 unemployment rate for Yemen was 35 percent.
The Yemeni people have the right to fully develop their
economy using their country’s resources, especially oil. This can only be
done without the interference of the greedy, parasitical imperialist banks who
suck the developing countries’ resources dry to make investors super-rich
with profits. Cancel the debt! Reparations now!
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