Ghana risks reliving its ‘slavery’ days through the signage of the controversial defense cooperation Agreement with the United States of America; it actually stands a risk of suffering similar threats and inhumane treatment meted out to the Filipinos under the ‘Lordship’ of their colonial masters; the US, this is an assertion made by Antonio Tujan Jr., a social activist and Filipino who together with his movement has fought against American imperialism.
Mr. Tujan who belongs to IBON International stunned the house at a public forum Monday June 4 when he made harrowing revelations of how for several years, citizens of the Philippines were subjected to cruel, vicious treatment by troops of the U.S Military.
Reckless abuse of women and children and consistent shooting of civilians by military service men, takeover of farmlands and military takeover were but a few of the examples he outlined in his narration during the forum.
“For us the Filipinos, we know the U.S because the Philippines is the only colony of the U.S. Actually we were the first republic in Asia but the U.S invaded the Philippines and they were able to cease control in the Philippines for 15 years of war. The U.S is actually a more thorough colonialist than the British and the Spaniards. They actually imposed 6 treaties by which the Philippines was controlled in terms of trade, investment, culturally, charity, military (the military in the Philippines cannot buy arms from anywhere else than the U.S and the Philippine army was under the U.S) and they had a treaty where the U.S established 32 military bases in the Philippines”
“They took over the lands of the indigenes and farmers, they created towns of prostitutes so that the military can have their fun at night so we have several towns of prostitutes and we experienced and so on”, he said.
“We still have 3 agreements with the U.S, one agreement says that if the U.S goes to war, the Philippines must join, secondly, Filipino military cannot buy arms from any other place but the U.S and thirdly the U.S military controls the Filipino military. One after the other, our governments continued to create new agreements to replace the bases. One of them is the MLSA which means the Philippines will support the logistics needs of the U.S military troops which is similar to the Enhanced Defense Cooperation Agreement (EDCA) which our President signed so now we don’t have military bases but the U.S has access to all military bases in the Philippines", he further stated.
“So the Philippines remains a puppet and a colony of the U.S and it has been so because we have these three agreements and the EDCA. The agreements were similar to what you (Ghana) have where troops are not required to present passports, they can go anywhere they please etc. and the proof of the pudding was when one American navy man killed a prostitute and this prostitute happened to be a transvestite so in effect he was killed by the service man who thought he had been fooled. The question is who has control over this serviceman when you have an agreement in place and of course the U.S wouldn’t want to turn over this service man who was accused of murder”, he indicated.
According Mr. Tujan, the United States sees it imperative to impose their hegemonic powers over most economies which have prospects; Ghana he explained, is their best shot in West Africa considering that Nigeria is currently faced with ‘complications’ and the other viable countries are French-speaking ones.
“One of the major issues we deal with is the question of U.S imperialist control over our lives. U.S imperialism is hegemonic in their control, economy and politics especially in the military field and they use their strength militarily to impose that control but the U.S is a dying imperialist power and for them it is very important to counter others who are still operating in Africa but they want the wealth of Africa that is why everyone is coming to Africa”, Mr. Tujan said.
“The U.S doesn’t have a military and political control in Africa, they only have a new base near the horn of Africa but they are absent in the other side and that is why Ghana is very important”, he continued.
He further narrated, “We have all sorts of examples that happen when you have an enhanced agreement. An enhanced agreement can be the start of your problems because as far as the U.S is concerned, they still need basing and they don’t have bases in the whole of West Africa and the best place to do that would be Ghana. Why? Nigeria is too complicated, the rest of Africa is French Speaking, they cannot operate there, if you go down to Namibia and others, it would be too far away and it’s also a bit too complicated for the U.S that’s why Ghana is the best option and indeed you need to intensify and strengthen the movement if you want a free Ghana”.