New Delhi: Drawing a distinction between US administrations under George Bush and Barack Obama, the CPI(M) on Thursday said it would listen to the American President when he addresses Parliament but would want him to listen to the voices of protest by the Indian people as well.
Reiterating its opposition to the growing Indo-US military cooperation and UPA government`s moves to open up retail trade to allow entry by US firms like Walmart, the party asked the government to tell Obama that it was his responsibility to "ensure justice" to the Bhopal gas disaster victims just as he got British Petroleum to cough up billions of dollars to clean up the oil spill in the West Coast.
Referring to Obama`s address in Parliament on November 8, CPI(M) General Secretary Prakash Karat said Left party MPs would "listen to him" along with others.
"On the same day, there will be demonstrations and meetings all over the country voicing the opinions of the Indian people. President Obama should listen to them," he said in an article in the forthcoming issue of party organ `People`s Democracy`.
Noting that Obama`s election as US President was "greeted with relief around the world" as it ended Bush`s rule, he said the world looked forward to an end to the "unbridled
neo-conservative aggression of the Bush era."
"In the nearly two years of the Obama administration, much of the expectations have been belied. There has been a change in the tenor and style, but not much change in the substance of US foreign policy," Karat said.
As far as the CPI(M) and the Left are concerned, "We recognise the difference between Bush and Obama. At the same time, we are aware that Obama administration represents a continuity in terms of the basic US approach for global dominance," he said.
That is why the Left has decided to utilise the occasion to highlight the opposition of the Indian people to the "continuing US imperialist interventions" in Iraq and
Afghanistan, for the illegal blockade against Cuba and supporting Israel against Palestine.
The CPI(M) leader said the Left parties would express Indian people`s opposition to the "pressures mounted by the US government to intensify the neo-liberal economic policies in India and facilitate the opening up of vital sectors like agriculture, retail trade and higher education to American multinationals."
Two year after, the Obama administration has confirmed that Republican or Democratic, there will be no change in the basic pursuit of a global strategy and foreign policy goals
which are in the interests of the ruling classes of America, Karat said.