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'To the Tunisian People,
After the Fall of Ben Ali'

by Jacques Cheminade,
candidate for the 2012 French Presidential elections.

This release has been translated from French.

PARIS, Jan. 17, 2011 (EIRNS)—The fall of Ben Ali represents the awakening of a people and of an army that couldn't bear it any longer to live under the oppression of a mafioso clan. My heart is with those who have freed themselves, but the verbal expression of solidarity is insufficient. France has a duty toward them, as much by reason of our common history as by our recent intolerable complacency.

The attitude of our Minister of Foreign Affairs Michèle Alliot-Marie, who on January 11 proposed to aid the Tunisian regime in maintaining order, merely reflects the historic compromise of our entire political class, from François Mitterrand to Nicolas Sarkozy, and Jacques Chirac as well. Under the pretext of eradicating the growth in Islamicism, our governments have protected and supported a system which has systematically looted the country, first under the President's brother, Habib Ben Ali, and then under the Trabelsi family, who carried out financial thievery on a grand scale.

For its part, beginning in the 2000s, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) pushed Tunisia to undertake a vast program of privatization, which turned into a giant hold-up, with the ruling family grabbing the entire economy thanks to the credits they obtained.

This is what must be eliminated once and for all. The Tunisian governments will never be able to achieve this by themselves, and that is why we ought to help them. To this end, at last, we must finally decolonize our minds.

What cause the barrel of gunpowder to explode was the rise in prices for basic food products in a state, whose leaders were stuffing themselves, while young college graduates were unable to find work. Thus, the violence by the presidential guard and a part of the police force, led to the general revolt. However, even though Ben Ali and his family mafia are now set aside, the system remains, and the price of food staples, determined by international decisions that put the survival of a financial system above the lives of people, has not gone down.

Also, our policy must be to aid Tunisia in particular, above all in the face of the present deadly international dynamic throughout the world, and even more severe in the poor countries that import food staples, for which food often comprises between 60-80% of the household budget.

Therefore, I propose the following measures:

  • Immediately, send cargoes of wheat, cooking oil and sugar, to deal with the emergency

  • The assistance of our financial intelligence to those who captured clan boss Belhassen Trabelsi and Gen. Ali Serati, former intelligence boss of the presidential guard, and apparently head of the counterinsurgency militias who terrorized the population of Tunis.

France should offer Tunisia cooperation and share financial intelligence on the now-arrested Belhassen Trabelsi, the godfather of the clan, and also on general Ali Seriati, former head of both the secret service and the presidential guard and apparently equally the head of the counter-insurgency units terrorizing the civilians of the capital Tunis. We must, with their testimony, follow the trail of their accomplices.

  • More fundamentally, a plan for agricultural production and development on a world scale, giving absolute priority to food-producing crops and stopping all biofuel production.

  • Separation of investment banks and deposit banks, in order to, by breaking the power of the monetarist oligarchy, redirect credit to the necessary projects for the African people and the Tunisians in particular.

  • In this context, to launch a blue revolution for Tunisia and the Maghreb, use modern means to restart the plan of François-Elie Roudaire to supply water to the chotts, or brackish marshes, in southern Tunisia, and thereby make it a granary and center of agro-industry.

To aid the Tunisian people is to free them from the imperial financier system that oppresses them, and to re-establish the principle of development of the physical economy, and saying "never again" to a predatory system based on outsourcing, real-estate, and tourism.

Ben Ali has been driven out. The system that produced him must now be eliminated, and Tunisia must become a symbol of reconstruction at the heart of a world economy like that which the Roosevelts, the de Gaulles, and also the Bourguibas and Mendès-Frances, would have wished in their time. To those who think this is a utopia, we reply that the alternative in today's financial globalization, will engender something a great deal worse than even the Ben Ali clan.