Ben Lunn
Composer & Conductor

Covid-19 has done many things in a relatively short period of time. It has removed the thin veil of ‘eternally generating profit’, destroyed any semblance of solidarity within the confines of the European Union, highlighted the advantages of state-controlled economy, as well as showing the roots of fascism and authoritarianism in capitalist crisis. 

Like any pandemic, this is a global phenomenon, however various nations have been more impacted than others. The DPRK has been able to boast not gaining a singular case of it. China has managed to get to the other end of the epidemic stronger and more united. Italy and Spain seem to be facing an increasingly devastating disaster. 

Three nations in particular have been facing a painful experience, not because of mismanagement, but because of the continuing political attacks they face. These nations are of course – Iran, Palestine, and Venezuela. Due to the sanctions enforced by US and its lackeys Iran and Venezuela have both been woefully unprepared to deal with a pandemic of any nature, let alone one that is as vicious as this one. 

Al Jazeera reported on the 22nd March that Venezuela was already in a disastrous position, with 70 cases with no ability to fight it properly. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) announced relief funds for nations to address the pandemic, however they rejected Venezuela’s application on the grounds of ‘confusion’ over who is the legitimate leader of the nation. Despite Juan Guaido’s coup attempts having almost burned up in smoke, his poisonous tactics still have a wider impact which continue to attack the South American nation.

Iran suffers a rather similar situation, however arguably it is amidst a more dangerous environment. Press TV reported that the nation has already suffered at least 720 deaths amongst 4,600 other cases. The attempts to destabilise Iran earlier in the year, combined with years of sanctions has meant the Middle Eastern nation was under-equipped, however internally the nation seems to be stabilising. 

Palestine has been suffering a double-edged attack. Due to the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza, medical institutions simply struggle to cope with basic medical circumstances. The second edge has arisen as a politicised response from Israel. Out of fear of destabilisation and wider panic, occupation forces have been even more vicious in their attacks on Palestinian people. The UN has said previously that due to the impact of Israel’s attacks on Gaza, the small coastal region would be effectively unliveable by 2020. The two recent cases of Covid-19 could easily be the final nail in the coffin. 

These three cases highlight who are friends of the world. The US, IMF, EU, and UK have not attempted to support any of these nations. The EU has shown its true colours by effectively leaving Italy to die in isolation. On the other hand, China having just come out of the opposite end of the epidemic, have been giving global support and guidance on a level that would make a Stakhanovite weep. Cuba has dispatched their world-renowned doctors internationally to aid in the fight. Russia has continued its friendly links with Iran and Venezuela offering notable support to both. 

The socialist states have been the pride of humanity. The capitalist notion of humanitarism has unfurled its sheep’s clothing. In a time of crisis, the world can really see which system is better for humanity. Rosa Luxemburg famously said we have a choice ahead of us ‘Socialism or Barbarism’ – this crisis truly shows us what this barbarism looks like. 

China, Cuba, Vietnam, Laos, and DPRK have all put people’s lives at the forefront. Capitalist nations have desperately fought to keep the economy rolling to the cost of the working class and the world. From now on, we can proudly highlight the greatest friends to humanity are the socialist states. 

To paraphrase the Italians – Forza Cina, Forza Cuba, Forza Socialismo!

Ben Lunn

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