Sydney, June 15th, 2020
The World Lebanese Cultural Union World President Stephen Stanton issued the following statement:
The World Lebanese Cultural Union (WLCU) is closely following the situation in Lebanon, as well as the effects of Covid19 pandemic. Meanwhile, the Union continues its humanitarian campaign in cooperation with Rotary clubs in Lebanon and worldwide, along with the Food Bank of Lebanon, to provide as much food as possible for families in need.
The WLCU is astounded of what has been recently happening in the motherland in terms of economic, security and political conditions, and since the Union is well positioned to speak on behalf of the expatriates and express their concerns and aspirations, and since the events have deteriorated and became a serious threat at different levels, it is important that the Union illustrates its position vis-a-vis the Lebanese political authorities.
The Union is once again affirming its support for the revolution and the revolutionaries. It is disturbing to watch some attempts aiming to awaken internal turmoil in order to overshadow the demands of the revolution, and thereafter adopting the same demands when the dollar suddenly shot up in price, only to burn down financial institutions and public and private properties. This is, in our opinion, an attempt to seize the Central Bank of Lebanon after the Government had acted on appointments related to the Central Bank in a manner similar to previous cabinets exercises and subsequently distributing benefits, and we are herein affirming the following:
- We will not allow the Lebanese free economy to be altered, nor will we allow neighboring regimes to be suddenly drawn into our Lebanese system.
- We say to the political authorities: after you have stolen the funds of the depositors, residents and expatriates, there shall be a lot of rounds between us, and the Lebanese and International courts shall be our arena. We shall not remain silent about our rights and our looted money and we shall persevere. If you have ever assumed that we are an easy bite, it is merely a fantasy, we are a sour bite that is so hard for you to swallow, no matter how long it takes, we challenge you to visit the world of Emigration, for the era of lying and sweet talk has long gone!
- We have said it before, Lebanon is not in need of the IMF or Cedre or similar debts, and we reaffirm to you: restore confidence in Lebanon with the expatriates as they are its inexhaustible treasure and its pure yellow gold overseas.
- We are appalled to see the government ruling with no control, and the security forces at the service of the rulers and the corrupt. The government is so powerful over the hungry, but very weak fulfilling its own duties of extending the sovereignty of the nation, so aggressive when it attempts to open a roadblock while Lebanon’s crossings by sea, air and land remain open to smuggling the Lebanese necessities of life abroad, stealing the country’s legitimate rights, and indulging Lebanon in the midst of regional problems, which led to losing all its friends in the Arab world and the whole entire world.
- We, as expatriates, see no solution to Lebanon’s financial, economic and political crises except with the return of some Lebanese factions from the wars in Syria, Iraq and Yemen, and for those who do not understand history, the model of Iraq will never materialize in Lebanon. The expatriates will only embrace the Lebanese Army and security forces to be entrusted with the security and safety of Lebanon and its people, and that the decisions of war and peace to be in the hands of the free and independent state alone.
- The time has come for the Presidency of the Republic to sponsor a national conference in which the Lebanese people affirm their guidelines and answer openly to the historical question: “Which Lebanon do we want?” Lebanon the farm?! Lebanon with no sovereignty?! Lebanon whose control is compromised by others?! Lebanon the state of corruption?! Lebanon of many factions and each one is empowered by outsiders?! Or Lebanon the message, rich in its diversity, honored by its children, proud of its history, with a system built on justice, freedom and equality?! It is a question that only the Lebanese must answer as they are their own guardians with no sponsors whatsoever!
- We, as expatriates, recall His Excellency Bishop Youssef Bechara, a mentor to the sovereigns during their struggle to get the Syrian occupation army out of Lebanon, and we observe how similar the situation in Lebanon is today compared to 2005, and how much we need someone of his caliber today in order for the Lebanese, all Lebanese, to consolidate their efforts, for Lebanon to regain its sovereignty and full independence. As a Union, we will do whatever it takes to mobilize our energies within the decision-making nations, particularly the United States of America, to help Lebanon overcome its crisis and to begin the process of reforms, which, in our view, will only occur in a Lebanon that is free from any regional dominance.
WLCU World President