The Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU) congratulates the American people for carrying out free, fair, and secure elections. Whilst the process was highly characterised by political polarisation and baseless allegations of systematic falsifications, the observation mission, carried out jointly by the OSCE Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (ODIHR) and the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly (OSCE PA), concluded that the 3rd November 2020 United States general elections were competitive and well managed despite the many challenges caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
COSATU has enjoyed a cordial relationship with American workers, through our sister federation, the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO), and it is clear that whatever shape the future America will take, the labour movement has a crucial role to play. As we observe the change brought in by the in-coming American government, COSATU hopes to see a change in policy orientation which will be favourable to workers. We hope to see a government that will be favourable to migrants (through constructive immigration policies), and also hope the US President-elect Joe Biden will denounce human rights violations internally, and externally and call against all repressive regimes.
Biden whom some African leaders have called a “Friend of Africa” will be presented with multiple challenges, to reverse policies put in place by President Donald Trump. As a federation we hope Biden and his Vice-president Kamala Harris will immediately prioritise one of the most contentious foreign policy issues – the Israeli occupation of Palestine.
The Federation COSATU anticipates the incoming US government to put an end to the embargo and economic sanctions against Cuba, Iran, Venezuela, and others, which have negatively affected the livelihoods of millions of ordinary, and working-class people in the world. We urge Mr Biden to deploy his vast experience in tracking the negative consequences of nationalist politics on world affairs – which have created divisions and uncertainties – and to introduce greater engagement with Africa on the basis of reciprocal respect and shared interests.
Issued by COSATU
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