BY THOMAS C MOUNTAIN *
On February 28, 2019, the last financial wire transactions between the small African country of Eritrea and all the western countries were stopped with no further wire transfers in US dollars or Euros to or from Eritrea being allowed.
UNjust and illegal UN sanctions against Eritrea were lifted recently but the damage being done continues.
During the nine years long UN sanctions period, the US shut down all Eritrean government bank accounts and cut off all access to USD$ international transfers.
The USA and its European lackeys even tried to prevent Eritreans in the diaspora from paying their national 2% Rehabilitation and Recovery Tax (aka Diaspora tax), something all US citizens outside the country must do, critical to the survival of the country.
After being kicked out of the dollar market, Eritrea’s next turn to the EU was to no avail. The EU would not allow Eritrea access to international euro transfers so Eritrea was forced to fall back on her only [loyal] international friend, Russia, as a conduit for international banking transactions in euros.
US sanctions against Russia enforced via the EU are now officially the cause for shutting down Eritrea’s last western foreign exchange access, completely cutting off the country from western capital transfers.
While diplomatic ties between Eritrea and the USA have improved dramatically under President Trump, the economic sabotage of the country’s economy continues. As with all sanctions by the USA, the target is always the people of the sanctioned country, bringing untold misery in the name of “Defending Freedom and Democracy”.
Sanctions have almost never achieved the political aims of the USA with Iraq a prime example during Saddam Hussein’ rule. Half a million dead Iraq’s “was worth it” as Hillary Clinton’s mentor Lady Albright so infamously proclaimed.
In the case of us living here in Eritrea and our family and friends in the diaspora, its cash and carry, the only way to get part of the country’s hard currency lifeline in and out of our homeland.
When this economic sabotage will end is a question that must be asked in light of the recognition Eritrea has received in being a critical player in the peace that has broken out in the Horn of Africa, never mind the peaceful revolution that took place in Ethiopia in 2018.
It goes without saying that small socialist countries have never been treated fairly, with Cuba and North Korea paying a brutal price in human suffering.
Eritrea is the latest victim of Pax Americana and its failing grip on the worlds economic lifelines via the USD$.
The shameful thing is how spineless the Europeans are, bowing down to the US Empire in the most craven manner.
How this story will end remains unknown, but for Eritreans at home and abroad, it is just another challenge to overcome.
* The views expressed in this article are the author’s own. TN cannot independently verify the veracity of the story. This post will be updated as soon as we get a response from Eritrean government sources.
Thomas C. Mountain is a historian and educator living and reporting from Eritrea since 2006. See thomascmountain on Facebook and Twitter or best reach him at thomascmountain at gmail dot com