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Destabilizing Bangladesh for the sake of oil profits

January 18, 2002 | Page 4

Dear Socialist Worker,

I come from a poor country named Bangladesh. After September 11, the American government received permission from the government of Bangladesh to use its airspace, refueling facilities, airports and seaports.

But why? Bangladesh shares no border with Afghanistan. The reason has to do with the fact that the leading U.S. oil company, UNOCAL, has recently invested in Bangladesh. And now the government of Bangladesh is under intense U.S. pressure to export its natural gas and reach an agreement with UNOCAL to build a pipeline to India.

U.S. Ambassador to Bangladesh Mary Ann Peters even dared to give the newly elected U.S.-backed government an ultimatum of 100 days to make a deal with UNOCAL. This is neocolonialism, pure and simple.

The U.S. will destabilize the area by setting up military bases to protect its investment. If this plan goes through, many industries in Bangladesh will collapse, and people will be deprived of electricity, even though only about 15 percent of the country's 135 million people have access to it now.

To pressure Bangladesh, the U.S. is threatening that the country won't get duty-free access to the U.S. market for garments produced in Bangladesh sweatshops. U.S. corporations think that the oil and gas reserves of this world belong to them.

Hasan, New York City

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