By Rutendo Bereza Matinyarare
When people say that sanctions are not affecting Zimbabwe; they clearly lack the financial sophistication and reading of history to appreciate the true impact of sanctions on a nation.
History tells us that the Babylonians, Greeks, Athenians, Persians and the British Empire, all used sanctions and sieges to build their empires. It is similar sanctions, blockades and sieges that started with the US Treasury imposing sanctions on Great Britain in 1812 which crippled Britain and turned the United States into a global super power.
In 1939, the United States decided to use sanctions on the two competing economic power houses Japan and Germany. As the sanctions began to strangle the life out of these two economic powers, both the Japanese and Germans chose to go to war to break the stranglehold, because according to them, economic strangulation through sanctions was worse than war itself.
This excerpt on Japanese and German sanctions, is extracted from a book written by Juan Carlos Zarete, who was a senior member of George Bush’s US Treasury team that came up with a new toolbox of financial weapons [sanctions] that the US government first implemented with ZDERA on Zimbabwe and then extended them to fight terrorism after 911 (11 September 2001).
Now, if industrialized nations, which had the benefit of colonialism and industrial capacity to manufacture all they needed, realized that sanctions were worse than war. Ask yourself what the impact the same sanctions could have on a previously colonized, non-industrialized nation that imports all its oil, tools, machines and industrial equipment from overseas, while depending on exports to earn the foreign currency to import these technologies, as Zimbabwe does.
To trivialize sanctions is to lack financial sophistication. I would even suggest that it’s a result of illiteracy because history is clear that sanctions and the wars they cause, have destroyed all former empires (including Great Britain as illustrated above), but, not a single nation ever fell due to corruption.
So why are we being forced to focused on corruption, when we know that nations are destroyed by sanctions and the wars they cause?
Rutendo Bereza Matinyarare is the founder of ZASM and ZUAUWS anti-sanctions movements.