| 4 March 2024, Monday |

Sawt Beirut International News Bulletin – April 24, 2021

In today’s news bulletin:

– Bassil tackles some files to conceal others and reveals a road map to withdraw the mandate to form a cabinet.

– The World Bank warns against a social catastrophe: more than 50% of the Lebanese are below the poverty line.

– Ministry of Social Affairs reduces the duration of employee contacts for the interest of people affiliated to a political party.

In an era full of political lies, everything is permitted. Gebran Bassil, head of the Free Patriotic Movement, delivered a televised speech to talk about Lebanese files, out of which he selected three: Judge Ghada Aoun’s case, the formation of a government and the demarcation of maritime borders.

Topics chosen by Bassil are important. However, he disregarded a fourth one that took place on Friday. It’s about Saudi Arabia’s import ban on fruits and vegetables coming from Lebanon as the Lebanese agricultural export has become a platform for smuggling drugs to the Kingdom and its neighboring countries.

So why didn’t Bassil tackle this file? Is it because it somehow relates to his ally Hezbollah, which is primarily concerned with it?

According to reports, the Bekaa region is turning into the biggest source of Captagon pills. In 2017, statistics said more than 60 factories were producing Captagon pills of all kinds. One week ago, Sheikh Sadeq Al-Nabulsi, who is close to Hezbollah, said smuggling is considered as part of “resistance operations”.

Isn’t Bassil aware that this issue takes its toll on Lebanon as farmers have lost, in just one blow, half of their exports?

Instead of being dragged into a battle which consists in the recovery of stolen public funds, why wouldn’t he try to reduce Lebanon’s losses and that of its farmers by preventing his ally Hezbollah from converting the country into a regional platform for exporting all kinds of drugs?

Speaking of the recovery of funds, he who listened to Bassil would have thought that the FPM leader and his political party were in the opposition ranks or in exile when the money of major depositors was transferred abroad. Mr Bassil, have you forgotten that such a heinous crime happened when the founder of your party was President of the Republic? Weren’t you and your party strongly participating in the government and influencing all of its decisions?

Mr Bassil, stop belittling the Lebanese people’s minds and remember that lies can no longer fool citizens. We have seen you in opposition and in power. In both cases, you have only brought us woes and hardships so enough is enough.

  • Sawt Beirut International