WASHINGTON, DC — Green Party leaders urged President Obama and Congress to cut off aid to Egypt after President Mubarak refused to step down from office on Thursday. Greens have called the resignation a necessity for a peaceful transition to democracy and respect for human rights in Egypt.
Greens said that, in the context of President Mubarak’s speech, Vice President Suleiman’s recent warning of a ‘coup’ can only be meant to intimidate the Egyptian people, who will continue to protest in demand for Mubarak’s removal. The warning hinted of a violent measures to crush the demonstrations.
“For decades, President Mubarak has used economic and military aid from the US to suppress human rights and freedoms in his country. Unless the aid is canceled, President Obama’s declarations of US support for the protesters are hollow and hypocritical,” said Julia Willebrand, spokesperson for the Green Party’s National Women’s Caucus and former chair of the International Committee.
Vice President Omar Suleiman, former intelligence chief of Egypt who allegedly aided the CIA’s secret extraordinary-rendition program, had warned of a coup if protesters refuse to accept the Mubarak Administration’s timetable for a transition to democracy and asserted that Mr. Mubarak has no plans to step down. Leaders of the youth groups leading the demonstrations in Tahrir Square interpreted Mr. Suleiman’s remarks as a threat to launch a crackdown and impose martial law.
Green leaders in the US have expressed the party’s support and encouragement for nonviolent protesters in Tunisia, Egypt, Jordan, Algeria, and other nations in the region who have demanded an end to corrupt and oppressive regimes.
Greens hope for a broad-based transitional government in Egypt that fully respects freedom of speech for all segments of society, including the media and opposition political parties, and insisted that President Mubarak’s successor must by chosen by the Egyptian people, without influence from Washington. The Green Party advocates a policy that denies aid to governments that suppress human rights, reserves aid for humane purposes, ensures respect for Egypt’s independence and sovereignty, and ends US intervention in Egypt’s internal affairs and leverage over Egypt’s military and security forces.
The Green Party of the United States has also called for boycott, divestment, and sanctions against Israel because of the Israeli government’s continuing apartheid system and brutal occupation of Palestinian lands. Egypt, which receives US aid in part for its cooperation with the US’s Israel-Palestine policy, is the second largest recipient of US military and economic aid ($1.55 billion in 2010), after Israel ($3.175 billion).
“Peace in the Middle East doesn’t require US military bases and billions of dollars for oppressive governments. It requires democracy, clean elections, human rights and freedoms, economic fairness for all people living in the region, and an end to meddling by outside powers like the US for their own economic and strategic purposes,” said Muhammed Malik, co-chair of Miami-Dade Green Party and organizer of local rallies in support of the Egyptian protesters.