Party Executive Committee

Border Crossing Solidarity – Protecting Life Worldwide

So far, globalization was characterized by upholding the dogma of free trade, the capitalist mode of production and a competition of nation states. The corona virus clearly shows that such a world is not capable of effectively meeting the danger of a pandemic. Solidarity, cooperation and mutual support can only succeed if they become fundamental parts of foreign and economic policy.

Humans, their integrity and basic needs have to become again the centre of politics. DIE LINKE together with her sister parties fights for strengthening these ideas in foreign policy and supports initiatives which develop a vision for a peaceful coexistence in solidarity of all human beings worldwide. The corona pandemic illustrates that eight billion people are not just inextricably connected with each other; they only have this one world. It is time for us to jointly save ourselves from the crises of global capitalism.

The convulsions of the corona pandemic are already global. They massively hit our coexistence, the constitution of our societies and their predominant mode of production.

The global corona crisis marks a historical turning point. The world seems to be out of joint: around 2.6 billion people, nearly a third of the world’s population, are under a historically unique, epidemiologically advised curfew. This has drastic consequences for the individual countries as well as global trade relations. If, for example, big textile discounters close their stores here due to corona this does not only lead to severe financial losses for the sales staff but entails mass layoffs in the respective textile factories in Bangladesh and Pakistan. The corona pandemic destroys global supply chains. It gravely influences global economy.

The corona crisis aggravates the deep social and economic distortions. This affects far more than our way of producing and consuming. The corona crisis also endangers our community and democracy. It neither spares states nor cultures or religions. It must, therefore, be tackled by international cooperation and in solidarity. Yet, in many places, still national and authoritarian solutions are propagated.

In Hungary, for example, in the U.S. or Brazil the political right not just negligently risks the health of the citizens, it seizes the opportunity for nationalist and undemocratic crisis measures.

The corona crisis is used in many countries to stir up familiar resentments. In Bulgaria, for example, antiziganism against Romani people is alarmingly growing. On the Philippines dictator Rodrigo Duterte threatens leftist groups with a firing order because they allegedly use the corona crisis to cause strife.

In Germany as well antidemocratic parties and currents, as for example the Alternative for Germany (AfD), try to ascribe the pandemic to migrants or specific groups of people with the use of abstruse conspiracy theories. They intend to use the crisis to promote an even stricter isolationist policy. Racism aggravates the consequences of the corona pandemic for those already marginalized groups of people and contaminates coexistence.

DIE LINKE, by contrast, stands for international solidarity and cooperation. We support, therefore, international initiatives in their fight against corona, be it bilaterally, multilaterally or through the UN:

  1. For a Global Ceasefire Instead of Military Maneuvers and Arms Exports

UN general secretary António Guterres has demanded a global ceasefire. He called on all conflicting parties worldwide to “silence the guns; stop the artillery; end the airstrikes”. Now it was about the world confronting the common enemy – the corona virus – by mobilizing all forces and making every possible effort.

As a party of peace DIE LINKE supports this call of the UN general secretary. We ask the German government to follow up on these words with actions. It is not the time for international military maneuvers, other threatening gestures or the maintaining of the NATO demands for military buildup.

Ongoing military interventions need to be stopped. Arms exports need to be stopped. The German government needs to support the initiative of António Guterres and make this clear towards other states by using its economic and diplomatic weight.

  1. Suspension of all Economic Sanctions

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, pleaded for the suspension of international sanctions against individual states, especially mentioning Iran, Cuba, North Korea, Venezuela and Zimbabwe, in light of the global corona pandemic.

DIE LINKE fundamentally rejects economic sanctions as a means of international policy because they regularly hit the population instead of corrupt or authoritarian governments.

DIE LINKE welcomes this proposal explicitly because it will be decisive for all humankind that in no country the healthcare system collapses and the affected countries can acquire urgently needed medical goods and draw on bank credits.

We strongly reject the recent attempts to launch a new free trade agreement similar to TTIP.

  1. Strengthening Global Health Care

The United Nations demand altogether 233 million Euro from the international community of states to tackle the global corona crisis. The UN refugee relief organization requires 30.2 million Euro to provide refugees with a minimum of protection from corona. We ask the federal government to support the creation of a UN corona fund. It needs to advocate in the UN Security Council for the annual national payments to the World Health Organization and the UN refugee relief organization being changed from optional to obligatory to protect the health of all people worldwide.

We stand for a new international understanding of the concept of “health for all”. Globally, more than 2 billion people have no access to medication, 25 million die annually from diseases which could be easily treated.

It is time to globally acknowledge the simple truth: any public health care system is only as strong as its poorest patient. In view of a global recession DIE LINE renews its demand for a global debt cut for the poorer countries. While German Finance Minister Olaf Scholz “gets the bazooka out” and presents the prospect of unlimited credits for corporations due to the economic consequences of the corona crisis, on a global level not just breaking delivery chains have to be contained but there must also be help for those who produce a great share of our goods in sweatshops and production halls of the global South and now literally fall into the void of their bare lives.

  1. No Patents on Essential Medication

DIE LINKE supports all current demands to provide a cost and patent free vaccination against the corona virus to all humankind. All pharmaceutical companies having patented possible agents of medications which could contribute to the development of a corona virus vaccination need to give free access to their research and results. Patents on essential agents and medications are consequently lethal by providing pharma corporations with a lucrative monopoly position and excluding especially the health care systems of poorer countries from the usage of essential medication. It is overdue to radically question the existing patent law for all essential medications. Safe and potent as well as affordable medication is an essential part of global health care. It should hold more than ever: health research needs to become a global public good and essential medication, as a matter of principle, needs to be excluded from patent protection for all affected people being able to profit from them.

  1. For Real Solidarity in the EU and Worldwide

Hundreds of Cuban experts arrived in the countries hit worst by corona virus in recent weeks and offered their help.

It is a shame how reluctantly the European Union supports the disaster areas in Italy, Spain or France. It tells a lot about the health policy situation in Europe when currently a delegation of Cuban doctors is being sent to the worst hit areas in Italy.

It is a scandal how the German government so far blocks European community funds for the countries hit worst by the corona virus or wants to connect them with obsolete restrictions and conditions. When Italian mayors, like for example from the especially afflicted region around Bergamo, now remind the German government with full-page newspaper ads how the European neighbor countries after 1945 having been haunted by Nazi fascism halved and deferred the debt of former post war Germany this obliges us to press for a policy change:

Our criticism of the constitution of the European Union applies here as well: Europe – only in solidarity!

This concerns the intake of the sick, the exchange of medical goods or direct financial aids to support collapsing economies and health care systems. This also concerns the refugees in Europe and the inhumane situation at the external EU borders. We ask the German government to end the situation at the external borders of the EU. Whoever enters European soil needs to have all rights as established in the primary treaties of the European Union. This entails the right to asylum and the 1951 Refugee Convention. This also includes stopping deportations and instead admitting people.

We support the campaign #LeaveNoOneBehind. All people have the right to adequate protection from the virus. No refugee camp should turn into a graveyard because of the lack of protective measures.

We explicitly support that the German states with a left government (support) recently affirmed their solidarity with refugees in Greece and again clarified their will to admit refugees. We ask the German government to clear the way for those federal states and municipalities declaring themselves as safe harbors to be able to admit refugees.

DIE LINKE makes the difference, in the state parliaments and governments, presses forward and claims: #WeHaveSpace.

  1. Comprehend Peace, the Social Question, and Health Globally

The corona pandemic shows that eight billion people are not just inseparably connected, they only have this one world. It is about time that we save ourselves together from the crises of global capitalism. The global climate movement could serve as a role model for a new international solidarity of the trade unions and workers in the health care sector, in retail, and many others.

This underlines again our demand for a necessary socio-ecological transformation and the connected radical change of the way we produce and understand economy.