Giorgia Meloni [Prime Minister of Italy] has just concluded a deal described as “historic” with Libya on gas and migrants. The agreement signed between Eni [an Italian multinational energy company] and Libyan energy company Noc involves an $8 billion investment to exploit two fields off the African country and bring more gas to Italy. At the same time there was a renewed Italian commitment to support the Libyan Coast Guard by donating five patrol boats to it to “fight illegal immigration.” And meanwhile, the war in Ukraine threatens to drag us into a nuclear conflict. We talk about this with Fabio Marcelli, international jurist.

Libyan patrol boats are described as “vessels equipped in the field of search and rescue of migrants in distress at sea,” and the gas deal is presented as a way to “help African countries grow and become richer.” We know, however, that the reality is quite different.

We are undoubtedly facing very serious mystifications on various levels. The so-called Libyan Coast Guard has been guilty of serious crimes against migrants and is an integral part of a criminal system that denies migrants their lives and subjects them to torture, slavery, rape, blackmail and mistreatment of all kinds. The Italian government has long been complicit in such crimes, and in this Meloni is merely the faithful continuation of a policy contrary to the most basic principles of civilization carried out in the past by Minniti, Salvini and others. On these issues, and in particular on the so-called migranticide, the Center for Research and Elaboration for Democracy, chaired by Michela Arricale and myself, is organizing with other associations a conference to be held in Rome in May, at which appropriate legal and judicial denunciation initiatives will be developed, including recourse to the International Criminal Court.

It is also evident how vague and exploiting Meloni’s intentions with regard to African countries are; because what Italian governments are interested in is only the possibility of taking advantage of the energy resources of Libya and other countries, while there is zero sensitivity to the populations. A different development of Africa depends on relations on the same level with non-corrupt governments that really know how to put the rights of their citizens first, as Chavez did in Venezuela, allocating oil profits to the fulfillment of those rights.

Entirely ridiculous is Meloni’s attempt to somehow appropriate Mattei’s legacy: the latter was liquidated by imperialism for attempting an alternative policy in relations with Third World countries, while Meloni, along the lines of the governments that preceded her, constitutes only a pawn of NATO. Moreover, continuing to put the emphasis almost exclusively on fossil fuels, in order to satisfy ENI and favor its huge profits, means postponing sine die [indefinitely] the investment in alternative energy sources, which is now more necessary and urgent than ever to combat climate change.

What can be done in your opinion to oppose this toxic narrative, which unfortunately extends to other issues as well, such as the war in Ukraine?

There is undoubtedly toxic and damaging information on all these issues, such as on the one that is the most important of all today – the war in Ukraine, which under pressure from NATO and the most retrogressive sectors of the U.S. government, impersonated by Secretary of State Blinken, is in danger of dragging us more and more each day into a generalized conflict that will turn the whole of Europe into a pile of smoldering radioactive rubble.

The measure is indeed full after the decision of Vespa and the RAI (Translator’s note: Bruno Vespa is an Italian television and newspaper journalist. RAI is Italy’s national public broadcasting company) top brass to invite Ukrainian Gauleiter Zelensky to the Sanremo Festival. Zelensky appears more and more the continuator of the Ukrainian Nazi-fascist leader Bandera. His regime, while inciting World War III, massacres dissidents and carries on the inhumane practice of decimations at the front in order to bend the resistance of its soldiers, who are increasingly tired of this useless slaughter. It is necessary to give expression to the pacifist sentiment that is more than ever in the majority among the Italian and European people by boycotting Sanremo and mobilizing, on February 24 and on other occasions, for a cease-fire, the resumption of negotiations and a just peace based on the right to security for all states and self-determination for all peoples, as called for even by former U.S. Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, among others.