Canada, Get Out of NATO! Defend the Right to Self-Determination!

Youth for Democratic Renewal

Picket outside U.S. embassy in Ottawa, February 23, 2023.

Youth for Democratic Renewal upholds the letter and the spirit of the 1945 UN pledge "to save succeeding generations from the scourge of war." For us, this is both a sacred right and a duty. The letter and spirit of that pledge are embedded in international laws and conventions which, today, the U.S. and NATO have transformed into an "international rules-based order."

The February 17 Munich Security Council stated that a "re-envisioned, liberal rules-based international order" is needed "to strengthen democratic resilience in an era of fierce systematic competition with autocratic regimes." It also pointed out that basic disagreements have arisen on the very notion of human rights. The claim is made that many non-Western democracies show greater concern for their sovereignty and non-interference in their internal affairs than their Western counterparts and are thus reluctant to support "robust action in the name of human rights."

It doesn't take much deciphering to understand that NATO countries are openly acknowledging that the key issue, in fact, is that nations who refuse to comply with U.S. and "Western" interference and who instead defend their constitutions, their duly-elected governments, and their right to self-determination will be targeted precisely for that reason.

The peoples of Latin America and the Caribbean are well aware of such "robust action in the name of human rights." To this day, they are subjected to foreign intervention, destabilizing efforts, organized coups -- such as the most recent one in Peru -- military intervention and bullying. Venezuela was declared a threat to the security of the U.S. and, for over 60 years, a brutal blockade has been imposed on Cuba. For all its talk of human rights and democracy, the U.S. has yet to comply with the UN General Assembly's annual overwhelming condemnation of the blockade against Cuba as inhumane and criminal.

The very notion of the territorial sovereignty of a country has been replaced by the sovereignty of a so-called NATO territory. Basically this means that those integrated into "NATO territory" will host its military bases, spend a part of their national revenues to support it, and will partake in one way or another in its hegemonic ambitions.

Canadian support for U.S. hegemonic aims is being stepped up through calls to "put Canada on a war footing," as well as through agreements such as those guaranteeing, among other things, critical and strategic minerals to the U.S. This implies taking hold of land indiscriminately in the name of medieval "free mining" rights which encroach upon the well-being of entire communities, Indigenous hereditary and treaty rights, and the natural environment.

Youth for Democratic Renewal upholds that Quebec and Canada must be zones for peace, in the spirit of the zones for peace of other nations of the Americas. We uphold the rights which belong to us by virtue of our humanity. We uphold the right to self-determination and the right of the people to decide themselves what economic and political path they want to follow. This includes getting out of NATO and NORAD, out of arrangements which have integrated the security of Canada into that of "North America" -- that is, the U.S. war machine, and establishing a foreign policy which upholds the peaceful resolution of conflicts and international relations based on respect and mutual benefit.

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This article was published in
Volume 53 Number 1 - February 2023

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