The Militant(logo) 
    Vol.62/No.26           July 6, 1998 
NATO, Ottawa, Hands Off Kosova  
The following statement was released June 23 by Michel Dugré and Elssa Martinez, candidates of the Communist League in Canada for mayor and city council in Montreal, respectively.

All working people across Canada should oppose the June 20 decision by the Canadian government to send six CF-18 aircraft fighters and 130 troops to Italy to join the NATO buildup toward a military intervention in Kosova and neighboring Balkan republics - including air strikes against Serbia. They should also demand the immediate lifting of all sanctions by Ottawa and other imperialist powers against Serbia, including the suspension of export credits and the refusal of landing rights for Yugoslav aircraft in Canada. The members of NATO, an imperialist military alliance dominated by Washington, use the brutal assault by the Serbian regime of Slobodan Milosevic against the struggle for self-determination by the Albanian population of Kosova to justify their move.

But the war moves by Washington, London, and Ottawa have nothing to do with helping the just struggle of the Albanians in Kosova - an historically oppressed nationality in Yugoslavia, more and more of whom are supporting the call for independence in face of discrimination and repression by the Milosevic regime.

Since when do imperialist jackals, as revolutionary leader Ernesto Che Guevara justly called them, care about the well-being of the oppressed and exploited of this world? Since when does Ottawa defend the right to self- determination of oppressed nations, beginning with the Quebecois and the Natives inside its own borders?

NATO's buildup in Kosova is aimed against the working people of that region of the world - and ultimately at those in Russia. Close to 10 years after supposedly winning the cold war, the imperialists are far from having reestablished their capitalist system of exploitation anywhere in Eastern Europe and the former USSR. To do that, they need to smash directly and militarily the class -our class, the working class - that kicked them out decades ago through powerful anticapitalist revolutions.

That's what they are attempting to do by occupying Bosnia with 34,000 troops, in expanding NATO up to the border of Russia, in building up their military presence in the Middle East south of Russia, and in striving to get their foot in along Asia's Silk Road - ultimately an imperialist encirclement of Russia whose logic is an all-out war against this workers state.

The stakes of what is happening in Europe are extremely high for all working people around the world. But we should remind ourselves that imperialism acts today from a position of weakness. Its capitalist "free market" system is in a deepening crisis, from Mexico to Southeast Asia. Working people have been displaying a new mood of resistance internationally, from Indonesia to Northern Ireland to the striking paperworkers in Eastern Canada. And those who have defended for decades a policy of class collaboration with the capitalists under the guise of "communism" are no longer the obstacle they once were.

That's why we will use our working-class campaign for mayor and city hall of Montreal on picket lines, at plant gates, in actions for Quebec independence, and in working- class neighborhoods to build solidarity with the struggle of the people of Kosova for self-determination and to explain why working people should reject the imperialist buildup in the region.

Ottawa and NATO out of the Balkans!

Lift all sanctions against Yugoslavia!

Support the fight for self-determination in Kosova!  
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