While the media blames the crisis in Lebanon solely on corruption, the US government unleashed a “maximum pressure” campaign to push regime change and crush Lebanese resistance with sanctions and aggressive hybrid warfare.
“Mass destruction sanctions” on Lebanon exacerbate the disaster in Beirut.
An international coalition led by the US and France intends to deliver $ 300 million in “humanitarian assistance” if political and economic reforms are “implemented,” while Washington prepares a new round of “sanctions” on “Hezbollah allies.”
In response, Iran called for a lifting of the unilateral coercive measures that Washington has imposed on Lebanon, a country where the Hezbollah party has a political and military life, and called not to politicize what happened in Beirut.
The US financial blockade on Lebanon came after Hezbollah was accused of terrorism and corruption in the Levant in recent years, targeting members of the government and financial entities “related” to the party. The “sanctions” have had an impact on the current crisis.
The Lebanese have endured years of economic-financial and institutional instability, after decades of war sponsored by Israel, Saudi Arabia and other regional powers, and consecutive political crises. Added to this picture is the financial blockade that affects the entire country.
The destruction of half of Beirut, including the port (Lebanese main commercial vein), has served to promote an agenda of transnational privatization of some crucial points of the Lebanese economy, including Beirut’s electricity system, airports, casinos and telephone companies.
Due to the “sanctions”, inflation has increased dramatically in the multi-denominational country and expectations of an economic recovery have been limited to the promise of a debt with the IMF for $ 5 billion, an entity that already foreshadowed an “implosion “in Lebanon.
The Lebanese situation is joined by the Covid-19 emergency, making any type of stability impossible. The pandemic has hit the tourism industry, so important to its income, and remittances have decreased, which had contributed 40% of the local GDP in 2018-19.
🔻Unemployment and the shortage of basic products and the failure of public services have been increasing critically as a result of inflation, public debt ($ 86 billion) and the difficulties that the Lebanese state has had to import what is necessary due to the “sanctions “Americans.
At the same time that Washington increases the economic and financial pressure on Lebanon and the colonial hypocrisy tries to compromise the sovereignty of the country for a few hundred million, Iran and Syria in the region, and China from East Asia, have responded to the emergency call in the Levant.
Tehran has sent food, medicine and medical equipment. Syria opened its border with Lebanon, deployed medical teams and has received Lebanese patients. China claims to be one of the financiers in the reconstruction of the port of Beirut, framed in the Belt and Road Initiative.
But an even more important element that has been conveniently left out of this picture is the role of the United States, and its allies in Israel and Saudi Arabia, which have pursued a concerted policy of destabilization, or what they call “maximum pressure.”
Washington has suffocated Lebanon and its neighbors with aggressive economic warfare, explicitly aimed at paralyzing the country and weakening Hezbollah, one of the most powerful and popular resistance forces in the region, which has successfully resisted US and Israeli interventionist designs, helped defeat ISIS and al-Qaeda, and even expelled the Israeli military after two decades of brutal military occupation of south Lebanon.
Hezbollah has a political arm that is democratically elected, holding 12 seats in Lebanon’s parliament, and which has been a member of the country’s governing coalition for a decade. Because of the resistance movement’s presence in government, Washington and Tel Aviv have refused to recognize the legitimacy of Lebanese democracy, and have desperately pursued regime change.
The crushing sanctions Washington has imposed on Syria and Iran have not only devastated the economies in the area; they have produced a ricochet effect back in Lebanon, severing the country from regional trading partners.
Then there is the nine-year Western-backed proxy war on the government in Damascus, which has destabilized Lebanon’s neighbor and unleashed a historic refugee crisis, putting enormous pressure on Beirut.
All of these factors have led to a catastrophe in Lebanon