MAIN POSHTEH, AFGHANISTAN - JULY 3: U.S. Marines from 2nd Marine Expeditionary Brigade, RCT 2nd Battalion 8th Marines Echo Co. take cover as a 500 lb bomb explodes on a compound after the Marines took two days of enemy fire from the position on July 3, 2009 in Main Poshteh, Afghanistan. The Marines are part of Operation Khanjari which was launched to take areas in the Southern Helmand Province that Taliban fighters are using as a supply route and to help the local Afghan population prepare for the upcoming presidential elections. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

By Special Matarirano

OCTOBER 25 is SADC anti-Sanctions Day and is anti-sanctions month in Zimbabwe. 

As Zimbabweans, we should be grateful that after nearly two decades of isolation we enjoy the solidarity of SADC, AU and progressive countries the world over in the anti-sanctions crusade calling for the unconditional removal of the illegal punitive measures against us. 

For this, the country remains perpetually grateful to the late President of Tanzania Dr Pombe Magufuli who singlehandedly forced this matter onto the SADC agenda.

Many of us would not realise the political developments that led to this situation and would obviously want to dismiss many theorists and historians who quickly want to link this to the developments that happened a long time ago in Europe. 

For the record, the situation Zimbabwe finds itself in is linked and closely related to the environment that ensued soon after the end of the Second World War.

In simpler terms, soon after the Second World War, Europe found itself faced with two competing and indelible issues; a very devastating economic collapse and a very threatening ideological war that affected the survival of capitalism in Europe. 

In post-Second World War, Europe was ravaged by war and was susceptible to exploitation by an internal and external Communist threat. 

In a June 5 1947 speech to the graduating class at Harvard University, Secretary of State George C. Marshall issued a call for a comprehensive programme to rebuild Europe. 

Fanned by the fear of Communist expansion and the rapid deterioration of European economies in the winter of 1948, Congress passed the Economic Co-operation Act in March 1948 and approved funding that eventually rose to over US$12 billion for the rebuilding of Western Europe.

The US required that European nations agree on a financial proposal, including a plan of action committing Europe to take steps toward solving its economic problems. 

The Truman Administration and Congress worked together to formulate the European Recovery Programme, which provided roughly US$13,3 billion (US$143 billion in 2017 dollars) of assistance to 16 countries. 

These countries included France, Britain, Greece, Canada, Australia, Italy, the Netherlands, Germany. Norway, Portugal and Sweden, among others. 

As the debt was extended to these countries and their economies revived, America had to cancel many of these loans on the grounds that many of these countries would never wage a war against any other European country, more so America. 

This explains why any European country has never attempted to wage war on another European country since the Second World War. 

Furthermore, this is the reason all major European countries have not shown any audacity to challenge the US in its unilateral approach to world issues since the end of the Second World War. 

All we have seen are winning European partners acting in ‘coalition’ with America since that period. 

Iraq, Afghanistan military actions by America were unanimously supported by many European countries. 

This European Recovery Programme (ERP), commonly known as the Marshall Plan, became a programme of US assistance to Europe during the period soon after the Second World War. The Marshall Plan gave birth to the Bretton Wood Institutions — the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. 

These institutions became, and still are the most economic determining factors in the development of the global market.

To be more specific, the Marshall Plan had, and has continued to have, a direct effect on the Africa-Europe relationship. 

America, through this plan, contained and controlled the behaviour and attitude of European countries on pertinent issues decided outside the UN. 

It made, and still makes, sure that European countries would never rally against it in its pursuit of superpower status. 

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