Hey Guys…I am so sorry but I just discovered all these messages in my inbox which I had no idea there were even there. What happened to the little notification (mail alert) on the dashboard tumblr? Sigh…No Bueno. Anyways…I will just respond to all of you in your inboxes. Please don’t assume that I was ignoring you….I seriously didn’t know the messages were there. Again, I am sorry.
http://rt.com/news/europe-usa-libya-gaddafi-425/A Syrian protester holds crossed-out pictures of (from top L-R) US President Barack Obama, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, British Prime Minister David Cameron and French President Nicolas Sarkozy (AFP Photo / Louai Beshara)
As some European leaders demonstrate a celebratory mood over the violent death of Colonel Gaddafi, they are no less terrorists themselves, claims international consultant and author Adrian Salbuchi.
Salbuchi said Gaddafi’s death was undoubtedly a message for the whole world, as it is not just about Libya.
“We are seeing how Hillary Clinton, US Secretary of State expressed it very clearly: ‘We came, we saw, he died,’ and then started laughing. This is a message to the world of how this new world order model actually works,” he stated. “When they decide to change the regime, they do so with the utmost violence, and it is a whole model. First they target a country by calling it a rogue state; then they support local terrorists and call them freedom fighters; then they bring death and destruction upon civilians and they call it UN sanctions. Then they spread lies and call it the International Community’s opinion expressed by the Western media. Then they invade and control the country and call it liberation and finally they steal appetizing oil and call it foreign investment and reconstruction,” Salbuchi explained.
At the moment Western powers are hailing a democratic future for Libya. When Saddam Hussein was captured in 2003 the US also thought it was all over – but it had only just begun. And according to Salbuchi, it is going to be the same, or even worse, for Libya.
“I think one of the reasons why Gaddafi’s country has been invaded and he has been killed is because he had plans to introduce the gold dinar as a golden currency that could very easily have become a major currency at least in North Africa and in the oil market,” he said. “Don’t forget Libya has the ninth-largest oil reserve in the world and the main oil reserve in all of Africa, so I think this definitely smells of oil and greed on the part of Western companies. They are just using this to justify they have supported the worst terrorists probably because in the White House and Palais de l’Élysée in France, and at 10 Downing Street, we also have very high-class terrorists and mafias running those countries and the better part of the world,” he pointed out.
He added the US, France, Britain and NATO should be held accountable for the sectarian violence, should it take place in Libya.
“In any country, Libya included, there is always about a half of the population that is against the ongoing government. Should we also be invading Greece because of the way they are handling their own internal divisions?” he posited.
A rebel-assisted victory in Libya will not mark the end of NATO’s interest in the country, Salbuchi emphasized.
“This is just the beginning and part of global regime change. This means orange alert for Venezuela, Bolivia and Ecuador and definitely red alert for Syria and Iran. This is the kind of democracy US, France and Britain want for the whole world,” he concluded.
NATO and the US in particular are interested in a long-term intervention in the North African country. They would have designs on involvement in Libya’s domestic affairs for decades, believes Mazin Qumsiyeh, a professor from Bethlehem University.
“Their aim is to control Libya and effect the change in Libya to make it easier to reinstitute an American base in Libya which existed until 1969, as well as to control the oil industry in Libya and the privatization of the country,” professor stated.
This is hypocritical from the part of the US, as they earlier had Gaddafi as their ally. Colonel was known as the CIA collaborator, added Qumsiyeh.
Ugandan soldiers on patrol in the Congo, looking for tracks of the Lord’s Resistance Army in late March 2010. (Photo: Jeffrey Gettleman / The New York Times).
Obama’s decision is described in the press as “highly unusual” and “surprising,” even “weird.” It is none of these things. It is the logic of American foreign policy since 1945. Take Vietnam. The priority was to halt the influence of China, an imperial rival, and “protect” Indonesia, which President Nixon called “the region’s richest hoard of natural resources … the greatest prize.” Vietnam merely got in the way; and the slaughter of more than three million Vietnamese and the devastation and poisoning of their land was the price of America achieving its goal. Like all America’s subsequent invasions, a trail of blood from Latin America to Afghanistan and Iraq, the rationale was usually “self defense” or “humanitarian,” words long emptied of their dictionary meaning.
In Africa, says Obama, the “humanitarian mission” is to assist the government of Uganda to defeat the Lord’s resistance Army (LRA), which “has murdered, raped and kidnapped tens of thousands of men, women and children in central Africa.” This is an accurate description of the LRA, evoking multiple atrocities administered by the United States, such as the bloodbath in the 1960s following the CIA-arranged murder of Patrice Lumumba, the Congolese independence leader and first legally elected prime minister, and the CIA coup that installed Mobutu Sese Seko, regarded as Africa’s most venal tyrant.
Obama’s other justification also invites satire. This is the “national security of the United States.” The LRA has been doing its nasty work for 24 years, of minimal interest to the United States. Today, it has fewer than 400 fighters and has never been weaker. However, US “national security” usually means buying a corrupt and thuggish regime that has something Washington wants. Uganda’s “president-for-life” Yoweri Museveni already receives the larger part of $45 million in US military “aid” - including Obama’s favorite drones. This is his bribe to fight a proxy war against America’s latest phantom Islamic enemy, the rag-tag al Shabaab group based in Somalia. The LTA will play a public relations role, distracting western journalists with its perennial horror stories.
However, the main reason the US is invading Africa is no different from that which ignited the Vietnam War. It is China. In the world of self-serving, institutionalized paranoia that justifies what Gen. David Petraeus, the former US commander and now CIA director, implies is a state of perpetual war, China is replacing al-Qaeda as the official American “threat.” When I interviewed Bryan Whitman, an assistant secretary of defense at the Pentagon last year, I asked him to describe the current danger to America. Struggling visibly, he repeated, “Asymmetric threats … asymmetric threats.” These justify the money-laundering state-sponsored arms conglomerates and the biggest military and war budget in history. With Osama bin Laden airbrushed, China takes the mantle.
Africa is China’s success story. Where the Americans bring drones and destabilization, the Chinese bring roads, bridges and dams. What they want is resources, especially fossil fuels. With Africa’s greatest oil reserves, Libya under Muammar Qaddafi was one of China’s most important sources of fuel. When the civil war broke out and NATO-backed the “rebels” with a fabricated story about Qaddafi planning “genocide” in Benghazi, China evacuated its 30,000 workers in Libya. The subsequent UN Security Council resolution that allowed the West’s “humanitarian intervention” was explained succinctly in a proposal to the French government by the “rebel” National Transitional Council (NTC), disclosed last month in the newspaper Liberation, in which France was offered 35 percent of Libya’s gross national oil production “in exchange” (the term used) for “total and permanent” French support for the NTC. Running up the stars and stripes in “liberated” Tripoli last month, US Ambassador Gene Cretz blurted out: “We know that oil is the jewel in the crown of Libyan natural resources!”
The de facto conquest of Libya by the US and its imperial partners heralds a modern version of the “scramble for Africa” at the end of the 19th century.
As with the “victory” in Iraq, journalists have played a critical role in dividing Libyans into worthy and unworthy victims. A recent Guardian UK front page carried a photograph of a terrified “pro-Qaddafi” fighter and his wild-eyed captors who, says the caption, “celebrate.” According to General Petraeus, there is now a war “of perception … conducted continuously through the news media.”
For more than a decade, the US has tried to establish a command on the continent of Africa, AFRICOM, but has been rebuffed by governments, fearful of the regional tensions this would cause. Libya, and now Uganda, South Sudan and Congo, provide the main chance. As WikiLeaks cables and the US National Strategy for Counter-terrorism reveal, American plans for Africa are part of a global design in which 60,000 special forces, including death squads, already operate in 75 countries, soon to be 120. As Dick Cheney pointed out in his 1990s “defense strategy” plan, America simply wishes to rule the world.
That this is now the gift of Barack Obama, the “Son of Africa,” is supremely ironic. Or is it? As Frantz Fanon explained in “Black Skin, White Masks,” what matters is not so much the color of your skin as the power you serve and the millions you betray.
Ivory Coast (population 20.6 million) received nominal independence from France on 7 August 1960. During the next 20 years it achieved a period of phenomenal economic growth with an annual increase in GDP of 10%. The world’s largest exporter of cocoa, pineapples and palm oil, it also became the third largest exporter of coffee. This period was known as the Ivoirean Miracle.
In the 1980’s world-wide recession precipitated a collapse in prices, aggravated by a persistent drought. By 1987 Ivory Coast had incurred a foreign debt of $14 billion with annual interest thereon of $1.4 billion equivalent to 2/3rds of the annual budget! The IMF subsequently moved in and imposed a structural adjustment programme. The usual punitive conditions that public sector salaries, social services and infrastructure programmes be slashed, were inflicted. Living standards dropped in order to ensure that interest on the loans created out of nothing by European banks would be paid on time.
Since then this foreign debt has hampered Ivory Coast’s economic development and repayments of capital have had to be deferred at regular intervals. During the past ten years GDP growth has limped along at approximately 1% p.a.
In October 2000 Laurent Gbagbo, leader of the Ivoirean Popular Front Party, was elected as President. No election took place in 2005 as a civil war was in progress there is a north/south divide of Muslims and Christians respectively. Prior to the 2010 election Gbagbo gave notice that he intended to end Ivory Coast’s financial servitude to France.
Currently Ivory Coast belongs to the Central Bank of West African States (CBWAS). All the bank’s foreign reserves are deposited at the Banque de France, which has been controlled by the Rothschilds since they plotted Napoleon’s demise in 1815. (Napoleon had founded the bank in 1800 as a state bank, which issued all government loans free of interest). Furthermore 85% of Ivory Coast’s export earnings have to be paid over to the Banque de France to be invested in French government bonds.
In the election of 2010, massive fraud took place in the northern part of the country. Eventually the Constitutional Council awarded the election to Gbagbo, who obtained 51% of the votes. The “world community” insists that his opponent Alassane Outtara is the winner. His father comes from Burkino Faso and is thus half foreign, but more ominously, he is a former Deputy Managing Director of the IMF and governor of the CBWAS. Gbagbo has rightly referred to Ouattara and the rebels as stooges of former colonial power France.
On 23 December 2010 Gbagbo appropriated 153 billion West African CFA (Communaute Financiere Africain) francs for running the country from the Abidjan branch of CBWAS. Financial sanctions were immediately imposed and on 1 February 2011 Ivory Coast was forced to default on a Eurobond loan of $2.3bn bearing interest at a rate of 10.18% p.a.
On 4 April 2011 UN and French forces destroyed much of Gbagbo’s heavy artillery and the main broadcasting station in Abidjan. On 11 April 2011 “white mercenaries” (code for French troops), stormed his presidential residence and forced him to capitulate. His current whereabouts are unknown. Ivory Coast will become another victim of the New World Order, and the international bankers will once again be able to collect interest on their fictitious loans.
Origin and nature of the crisis
The African Socialist International condemns any imperialist intervention by Europe, the US, the UN, China or others in Ivory Coast.
We denounce and reprove the use of proxy forces by imperialist rulers in Ivory Coast in the forms of rebels from the region or from ECOMOG forces that advance the interests of foreign and imperialist countries.
Garvey‘s slogan “Africa for Africans, those at home and those abroad,” has never been so correct.
It is not the business of Sarkozy’s France or Hilary Clinton and the neocolonial puppet Barack Obama to decide who should be in power in Africa.
It is the right of African people only to decide and preside over our own future and destiny.
The presidential election took place on October 31 (first round) and November 28 (second round) in a country that has two armies and two governments.
Officially, Laurent Gbagbo rules in the South with Abidjan as his capital, and unofficially, Alassane Ouattara leads the North with Bouaké as its capital.
Elections in Ivory Coast are a result of peoples’ struggles to end colonial exploitation and repression under the regime of Felix Houphouët-Boigny.
After the declaration of Ivory Coast’s flag independence in August 1960, our people waited for 30 years for the opportunity to exercise their right to vote in the so-called first multi-party elections.
The alliance between French rulers and Houphouët-Boigny’s tyrannical rule repressed any attempt for a democratic life. The coup attempts of 1963, 1973 and 1980 are just examples of the absence of democratic life under the Ivory Coast sell-out leaders’ rule.
The dictator-ruler and his Democratic Party of Côte d’Ivoire (PDCI) won the only elections he ever organized against Laurent Gbagbo in 1990.
When Felix Houphouët-Boigny died in 1993, the crisis was already in full swing, as the infighting from the petty bourgeois factions to determine who would succeed him shattered the artificial image of peace and stability of Ivory Coast.
In 1995, Henri Konan Bédié, the new leader of PDCI, unconvincingly won the elections — which were boycotted by Laurent Gbagbo’s Ivorian Popular Front (FPI) and Alassane Ouattara’s Rally of the Republicans (RDR) because of the lack of an independent electoral commission and the disqualification of Ouattara.
Ouattara was prevented from taking part in this election in the name of Ivorité, a rule barring anyone from running if either of the candidate’s parents were of a “foreign” nationality or if they had not lived in Ivory Coast for the past five years.
Bédié’s victory was an extension of Felix Houphouët-Boigny’s rule and the PDCI party. However, his oppressive rule was terminated by popular discontent and a military coup led by General Robert Guéï. Bédié was forced to flee into exile in France.
This was followed by an electoral contest between Gbagbo and Robert Guéï in 2000, of which the general declared himself the winner despite the results that pointed to a victory for Gbagbo.
Laurent Gbagbo successfully called for a mass protest to prevent the general from stealing his victory away. This is how Gbagbo became the president of Ivory Coast.
It is said that this election had a low turn out, as the RDR called for a boycott because General Guéï barred the PDCI and the RDR from competing in these elections and Alassane Ouattara was barred once again based on Ivorité.
Nevertheless, Ouattara immediately called for fresh elections. His supporters clashed with Gbagbo’s supporters, and Ouattara went into exile in France.
In November 2001 there was a coup attempt against the new regime of Laurent Gbagbo, who responded by opening talks with Ouattara’s forces. These talks concluded with ministerial jobs being offered to the RDR.
In September 2002, a mutiny broke out in Abidjan. At the same time, rebel forces attacked Bouaké and Korhogo.
This military conflict developed into a civil war that split the Ivory Coast into two parts. The North came under the control of Ouattara‘s ally, Guillaume Soro and his Patriotic Movement of Cote d’Ivoire (MPCI). The South remained under the control of Gbagbo’s government.
A series of peace agreements between the two sides was signed in 2003 in France and in 2005 in South Africa, followed by the Ouagadougou political agreement — a power sharing deal that was concluded in 2007.
Guillaume Soro — whose MPCI had by then merged with two other rebel forces called Ivorian Popular Movement of the Great West (MPIGO) and Movement for Justice and Peace (MJP) to form the New Forces — was appointed Prime Minister in Gbagbo’s regime. In the meantime, Gbagbo extended his rule by one year until 2006.
This move was endorsed by the UN, and Gbagbo’s rule was extended again by one year until 2007. Subsequent to this later date, Soro and Gbagbo postponed the elections of 2008 to 2009 and finally to 2010.
The two factions that are competing for absolute control of the Ivory Coast state have shared power for three years. Even though Guillaume Soro heads the rebel army called New Forces, it is widely believed that Ouattara was their real leader.Oppose all wars and proxy wars against African people and crush the strategy to maintain neocolonialism
Ivory Coast remains divided despite the 2003 ceasefire agreement between the government of Laurent Gbagbo and the New Forces rebel army, who still control northern Ivory Coast.
The proxy wars in Ivory Coast are part of a strategy of the French government in response to Laurent Gbagbo’s initiative to open up Ivory Coast to other non-French exploiters, particularly from Russia and China.
French capital has been on the defensive for some time. In fact, U.S. capital was already on the increase in Ivory Coast since the last years of Houphouët-Boigny‘s rule.
The threat to bring an armed force of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), known as the Economic Community of West African States Monitoring Group (ECOMOG), to oust Gbagbo by force is an imperialist solution.
ECOMOG’s forces are nothing but thieves, murderers and bandits in uniform in the service of Europe and North American rulers.
A December 28, 2010 article on wsws.org describes the neocolonial nature of ECOMOG as follows:
“ECOMOG has previously intervened in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Guinea Bissau. The operation in Liberia was noted for the extent of the looting and corruption on the part of ECOMOG forces, which earned them the nickname ‘Every Car or Movable Object Gone’. ECOMOG would need logistical and other technical support from the great powers. Their intervention would in this sense be a cover for an extension of more direct colonial authority over Ivory Coast.”
It should also be noted that France has 4,000 peacekeepers occupying Ivory Coast alongside 6,000 UN peacekeeping troops.
The French and the neocolonial government of Blaise Compaoré in Burkina Faso have been instrumental in supporting this neocolonial war between two factions of the African petty bourgeoisie in Ivory Coast.
Ouattara, Guillaume Soro and others, who have relied on armed struggle to secure their access to government ministerial jobs, depended on the complicity of and support from Compaoré, the man who assassinated Thomas Sankara in 1985.
The French recognized this crisis a long time ago, and for this reason, they maintain a counterinsurgency force known as “force rapide.” This force is used to maintain colonialism in Ivory Coast.
The French government uses the neocolonial treaty signed between French president Charles De Gaulle and Houphouët-Boigny in 1961 to claim the right to intervene militarily in Ivory Coast.
The real solution to the crisis requires the immediate departure of all imperialist forces — the French, the UN and all other proxy forces — from the region.Dr. Ouattara, a loyal servant and puppet of imperialism
For three years, Ouattara was the prime minister of president Felix Houphouët-Boigny.
He is a loyal puppet of imperialism and currently represents the interests of the French and the U.S. against the Chinese, Russians, Brazilians and other forces who are seeking access to Africa’s resources.
Many Africans rightly believe that Ouattara’s administration would guarantee France and the U.S. an exclusive access to raw materials and other moneymaking services.
Ouattara has been instrumental in maintaining and worsening our colonial living conditions in Ivory Coast. He is the one who presided over the privatization of state companies including those responsible for water and electricity.
Only misinformed African workers, not conscious of their own interests, would follow Ouattara and call for a general strike.
In the wsws.org article previously quoted, commentator Ann Talbot provides an outline of Ouattara’s résumé that reveals his political identity:
“The lack of response is not surprising, since Ouattara has a limited popular base. He is a former International Monetary Fund (IMF) economist. He was deputy managing director of the IMF from 1994 to 1999 and governor of the Bank of Central African States (BCEAO). He was prime minister of Ivory Coast from 1990 to 1993 and is closely identified with the free market policies introduced under an IMF structural adjustment plan that removed price subsidies and deregulated the labour market. State-owned enterprises were privatized and tariff barriers removed.”
People didn’t vote for Ouattara because of his program, which is empty as far as the masses of Africans are concerned. Like the rest of the African petty bourgeoisie, his starting point is always to advance his own access to power, privilege and material benefit.
Many people voted for Ouattara because of the hardship of the colonial conditions, which are unbearable and genocidal for the vast majority of African people.
They identified Gbagbo with these conditions.
Many others voted for Ouattara to end the uncertainty of national identity and the harassment of Ivorité, which denies civil rights and basic democratic rights to Ivorian nationals on the pretext that they are from Burkina Faso, Mali or elsewhere.
In either case, people voted for Gbagbo or Ouattara, because of the absence of revolutionary organization of workers and poor peasants who can expose both of these petty bourgeoisie candidates and advance our own revolutionary national democratic program.Laurent Gbagbo is not a revolutionary
Gbagbo has never mobilized the people in Ivory Coast around the fundamental question: the French control of the CFA franc. Even in the midst of the conflict, Gbagbo does not mobilize against the French control of the currency.
French companies control the Port of Abidjan. Water and energy distribution are still in French hands after 10 years of Gbagbo’s rule.
Recent revelations in the New York Times do not leave any doubt about who Laurent Gbagbo really is. In order to retain power, he is spending a lot of African people’s money to hiring members of former U.S. president William Clinton’s administration officials.
According to the December 22 article, “Michael Espy, the former agriculture secretary who is now a lobbyist, has appeared on Ivorian television on behalf of Mr. Gbagbo’s government, while Lanny J. Davis, former chief counsel to president Clinton, who was hired by Mr. Gbagbo’s government this month, worked the phones and described himself as a liaison of sorts to the tainted regime.”
American lobbyists work for the neocolonial Ivorian leader. Davis, who helped defend Clinton from impeachment, registered with the U.S. justice department as an agent of Ivory Coast being paid $100,000 a month.
Gbagbo and his reactionary concept of Ivorité
Gbagbo has opportunistically used his conflict with the French to present himself as an anti-imperialist patriot.
The truth is that Gbagbo is not against French imperialism. He wants French imperialism to share Ivory Coast with other imperialists.
Gbagbo also wanted the French government to side with him against the rebel forces of Ouattara/Soro, using the 1961 colonial pact between Ivory Coast and France as the basis.
Gbagbo has opportunistically used the concept of Ivorité to his own advantage against Ouattara.
Ivorité is a defense of imperialism, disguised as an act of patriotism. It allows them to exclude other factions of the petty bourgeoisie in order to accumulate capital and satisfy the material needs of the petty bourgeois in their own camps.
Bedié — who had previously used the concept of Ivorité to bar Ouattara from elections — is today in alliance with Ouattara against Gbagbo. It is clear that whenever it suits them, they can always agree about how to share power.
Ivorité is an ideology of capitalism. It does not solve a single problem of the people against imperialism.
It does not mobilize African people against AFRICOM, IMF, French control of the CFA or for African unity.
They have defined other Africans as foreigners in Africa, while French capitalism sucks the resources of Ivory Coast unchallenged.
Many thousands have been killed, more displaced with houses burned down.
The truth has not been revealed about the conditions that Africans face after the elections took place. How many irregularities were there in the North and in the South? There has been no effort to find out what really happened.CEI and Constitutional Council, tools of the African petty bourgeoisie
The Constitutional Council had the obligation to announce the winner on recommendation of the Electoral Independent Commission (CEI), which declared Ouattara as the winner with 54.1 percent against Gbagbo’s 45.9 percent.
A few hours later, the Constitutional Council declared their results invalid because of irregularities and declared Gbagbo instead the winner with 51.45 percent.
Without a clear winner, soon afterwards, France, the U.S., the UN, ECOWAS and other imperialist institutions sided with Ouattara.
This is how the crisis escalated. This announcement increased the isolation of Laurent Gbagbo, the outgoing Ivorian president who continues to hold power.
These days, he has lost representation to the United Nations, access to accounts of the Ivory Coast in the central bank of the States of West Africa (BCEAO), and has been threatened with military intervention by ECOWAS.
This is just another round of two neocolonial leaders in dispute over state control of Ivory Coast.
But this time there has been a deep mobilization of the people for their votes. After the elections, the masses are pushed into the background, except when one side wants to exhibit their strength to their opponent or to international opinion.
This is not an Ivory Coast crisis, just as there is no such thing as a Haiti or Congo crisis! This is a crisis of imperialism!
This is a crisis of capitalism, which was born as a world system through the enslavement of African people and the theft of our resources! This is an imperialist crisis exploding within the artificial borders of Ivory Coast!
But this is not limited to those artificial colonial borders of Ivory Coast, as shown by all the interventions and threats that are being vociferated to Laurent Gbagbo’s faction.
What we may refer to as a French crisis, a U.S. crisis, an ECOWAS crisis, a Gbagbo crisis or an Ouattara crisis are all parts and elements of imperialism sinking into an ever-deepening crisis!CFA franc, a financial genocide pact between France’s rulers and African petty bourgeois leaders
One cannot understand this crisis without looking at the control of the CFA franc by the French government.
The CFA franc is the currency in use in 14 African countries, which was devalued by the French government by 100 percent overnight in January 1993 with complete disregard and contempt for Africa and African lives.
This is not the beginning, but a long history of French assault on African finances. A February 5, 2009 article on Ocnus.net illustrates this:
“One of the primary problems in dealing with the CFA is that it is not within the purview or competence of African officials to regulate the value or changes in the CFA franc. This was the sole responsibility of the French Treasury officials, and now, the French officials seconded to the European Central Bank (ECB). This is a result of an incomplete decolonization by France of its former colonies in Africa.
The article continues, “The monetary policy governing such a diverse aggregation of countries is uncomplicated because it is, in fact, operated by the French Treasury, without reference to the central fiscal authorities of any of the WAEMU states. Under the terms of the agreement which set up these banks and the CFA the Central Bank of each African country is obliged to keep at least 65 percent of its foreign exchange reserves in an ‘operational account’ held at the French Treasury, as well as another 20 percent to cover financial liabilities.
“The CFA zone central banks’ administrative councils are composed of: 16 administrators, two of them French in the BCEAO [Central Bank of the West African States]; 13 administrators, three of them French in the BEAC [Bank of the Central African States]; and eight administrators, four of them French in the BCC.
The article goes on to quote Dr. Nicholas Agbohou, an expert critic of this colonial treaty, who explained how this council works in response to a question about whether the French are a minority on the council:
”Yes, but in reality the paradox is that it is their reduced number that poses problems in as far as the less visible the French in these administrative councils, the more they are able to give the naive Africans the illusion that they (the Africans) are the masters in control due to their numerical strength.
“The sad truth is that this French minority has ‘blocking powers.’ In other words, the French enjoy veto powers on any major decisions taken by the banks’ administrative councils.
“For a decision to be valid at the BEAC, it must be unanimously approved by all the members of the administrative council. At the Comoros Central Bank or BCC, at least five of the eight administrators must approve a decision. At all times, no decision can be approved without the French. France is, therefore, in a position to block any major decisions taken by these banks.
“So if a decision favored by the Comorian representatives at the BCC does not tally with French interests, the French administrators have the power to block it. The way these central banks function, therefore, legalizes and perpetuates the direct intervention of France in the vertebral column of the CFA zone economies.
“Even to appoint the governor of the BEAC for instance, the candidacy is proposed by Gabon, but it must be approved by Paris which seeks to ensure that the governor is malleable and ready to dance to French tunes to the detriment of African economic interests.”
In summary, Dr Gary K. Busch explains in the article the colonial pact between France and its 14 French colonies, “the colonial pact maintained the French control over the economies of the African states; it took possession of their foreign currency reserves; it controlled the strategic raw materials of the country; it stationed troops in the country with the right of free passage; it demanded that all military equipment be acquired from France; it took over the training of the police and army; it required that French businesses be allowed to maintain monopoly enterprises in key areas (water, electricity, ports, transport, energy, etc.).
“France not only set limits on the imports of a range of items from outside the franc zone but also set minimum quantities of imports from France. These treaties are still in force and operational”
Gaullist officials in Paris created the CFA in 1945. The CFA franc remains the currency of eight West African countries — Benin, Burkina Faso, Ivory Coast, Guinea Bissau, Mali, Niger, Senegal and Togo — which make up the West African Economic and Monetary Union (UMEAO).
It is also the currency of six Central African countries — Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo-Brazzaville, Equatorial Guinea and Gabon — which make up the Economic and Monetary Community of Central Africa (CEMAC).
In West Africa, the BCEAO issues the currency, while the BEAC does in Central Africa.
The price of commodities doubled in one night, and the press sold it as a 50 percent increase.Imperialists pass impact of crisis down to Africans
It is the crisis of coffee, cocoa, oil and other products, which are produced not for Africa’s consumption and development, but for France and other capitalist parasitic nations’ consumption and development.
U.S. imperialism has also recognized this crisis and has decided to resolve it by disputing with French imperialism over control of the so-called “French pre carré,” or French colonies.
The U.S. has brought in AFRICOM, a U.S. military solution for U.S. monopoly control of African resources, at the expense of Africa and African people.
But today, the U.S. has undermined the French capacity to exclusively control resources coming from the Ivory Coast.
The arrival on the scene of China has further deepened the imperialist crisis, which can only grow at the expense of European, Japan and North American imperialism.
There is now a fierce competition between Europe, North America, and even India and Brazil for access to African resources. This only aggravates the already existing conditions.
When imperialists decided to bring down the price of cocoa and coffee in the 70s and 80s, knowing very well that Ivory Coast was then a colonial cash crop dependent country, they brought in the so-called experts of the IMF and World Bank who prescribed borrowing money as a way to compensate the huge loss of income due to the cocoa price fall.
Readers have to be aware that price fall means getting more cocoa from African farmers for less. It was an aggravation of colonial relations and conditions at our people’s expense.
The IMF and World Bank chained Ivory Coast with loans to be paid at the highest interest rate and with deregulation and privatization of the national economy as conditions for the benefit of imperialism.
An October 1990 article in Business America states, ”A new IMF program approved in November 1989 and revised in June 1990 is now in place, and is complemented by World Bank structural adjustment loans in the agriculture, energy, and water sectors. The total financing package, including debt rescheduling and exceptional bilateral donor support, as well as financing from the IMF and development banks, amounts to $4.2 billion for 1990 alone.
“Reforms are envisaged which will result in deregulation of the economy, a shift to more market-based systems in the marketing of key export crops, a streamlining and substantial privatization of public sector enterprises, and simplification and the establishment of better control systems for public receipts and expenditures.
“While implementation of the reform program is just under way, the Ivoirian government has appointed an able program administrator and made major personnel changes in key agencies. The selection of honest, experienced people bodes well for the future.”
This is also a crisis of the lack of real African unity in the face of Europe, North America and all new imperialists arriving on the scene.ECOWAS exists, but only in name!
It seems logical to the African Socialist International (ASI) that if the so-called Economic Community of West Africa leaders have to meet, they should meet to have a unified strategy to take control of the price of cocoa and to industrialize the cocoa production and process the cocoa ourselves.
We must realize the importance of the fact that West Africa supplies about 70 percent of the global output of cocoa, with Ivory Coast, Ghana and Nigeria being the biggest producers. This makes West Africa the most economically important cocoa production region in the world.
Ivory Coast alone produces over 40 percent of the world’s cocoa production — a production process that uses intensive, backbreaking labor to supply the chain stores and super markets of oppressor nations.
However, ECOWAS leaders met instead to issue a threat of military action against Gbagbo’s neocolonial faction.
This ECOWAS exists only in name. There is not even a slight base of unity, economically speaking, in West Africa. They are posing!
They are a part of wrong answers to a real problem. We have 54 Africas on the Continent, 54 strategies in the face of a united Europe, North America and now China, as ASI Chairman Omali Yeshitela has often stated.
The crisis in Ivory Coast is a crisis to determine how much cheap chocolate from our nearly free labor could flow into European and North American stomachs, or increasingly into China, Russia and India.French imperialism fighting to escape a certain death in Ivory Coast
It is the crisis of ”Françafrique,” which is nothing but France’s continuing colonial looting of our resources, disguised in the form of black faces speaking with French accents.
France is fighting for its survival. It has been losing its iron death grip over Ivory Coast for some time.
While the U.S., China and others are gaining ground, the French are trying to salvage whatever stolen booty they can.
To prevent or delay this loss of control over Ivory Coast, the French regime of Chirac bombed Ivory Coast, before organizing a war from Burkina Faso that has, since 2002, split the country into two sides.
This recent election was seen by the French as an opportunity to regain lost ground.
France currently has at least 600 companies and 13,000 of its people in the Ivory Coast, and it is attempting to maintain political and economic control of Ivory Coast without appearing to be engaged in direct colonialism.
China is beginning to position itself in Ivory Coast as the go-to exploiter with 20 Chinese enterprises already there. China has cancelled 40 percent of Ivory Coast’s so-called debt and is promising to build hospitals and schools.“Universal African Self-determination is the highest expression of democracy” —Amilcar Cabral
This precious slogan remains true today. The question for Ivory Coast has never been “Who would win the elections?” but rather, “Who fights for African self-determination?”
Neither Ouattara nor Gbagbo stands for African self-determination, which calls for a defeat or an ongoing irreversible strategic weakening of all imperialist forces and their African allies of the African petty bourgeoisie.
These forces run the mines and crop plantations, which until the 1960s were known by their real names: colonies.
Chairman Omali Yeshitela says that there must be a change in the relations of power between the oppressor and the oppressed nations.
There must be a replacement of the existing oppressive State by a people’s State, which will govern on behalf of the majority of workers, peasants and all progressive social forces in the country.
But we have two States in the service of the African petty bourgeoisie in Ivory Coast. This is not new. We had something similar in Angola for a quarter of the century.
The issue is not to support Gbagbo versus Ouattara, or a Muslim versus a Christian, or a northerner versus southerner.
The question is to choose between imperialism, neocolonialism and independence; between a program for democratic revolution or a program for the status quo; between workers’ leadership or neocolonial petty bourgeoisie leadership!
The African Socialist International is opposed to all kind of neocolonial wars.
We are opposed to imperialist aggression in Africa. We will never side with imperialism in the case of military attacks; we will call for the defeat of imperialist aggressors.A revolutionary democratic program and the call for United Socialist States of Africa
Democracy in Ivory Coast, Guinea, Haiti and South Africa or for Africans living inside imperialist centers like the U.S. is a function of the revolution. It is a special type of democracy that does not benefit the oppressors.
It is a democracy that makes the people bigger and bigger and united as one. In contrast, it would force the oppressors and exploiters of Africa to seek cover against the black steam of one billion Africans united in one aim for one nation.
Gbagbo with his Ivorité cannot unite Ivory Coast, because he considers a section of Africans in Ivory Coast as foreigners. Ouattara, as is already understood by many Africans, is a loyal servant of imperialism, an IMF/World Bank technocrat. He is nothing but a docile puppet of imperialism.
The flag independence gained in the 1960s were just the start of mass struggles of one billion African people, a rehearsal for a revolutionary upheaval coming soon in every African country or community in the world, and conducted by the African Socialist International.
This crisis of Ivory Coast can only be resolved with the creation and development of a workers’ party in the driver’s seat of this round of struggle for African national liberation.
The African petty bourgeoisie fought in the struggle of the Sixties so they could access colonial power, to be part of the oppressor white power.
Gbagbo and Ouattara are part of colonial power. They are fighting to keep colonial power as representatives of a petty bourgeois class, despite their differences.
Their differences are due to the fact that they may owe allegiance to different imperialist powers at the present moment.
For the African rulers, independence meant Africanization or sometimes tribalization of the colonial white administration that colonial powers tacitly left.
Sometimes an agreement was reached after a bitter fight between the colonial power and the African petty bourgeoisie, but the result was the same, the handover of the colonial administration to the African petty bourgeoisie.
The end of colonial conditions — presided over by the white and then the black administrations — will only end with a fierce revolutionary democratic revolution.
It is a new and special type of democracy, which requires a new and special type of party. It requires the African Socialist International, which is the party of the workers to access power.
It is a party to end neocolonial power in black face — be it Gbagbo’s face, Ouattara’s face or any black face — and the colonial conditions of African people.There is just one African nation!
One of the most potent weapons to maintain colonial power over African masses is the borders that have been imposed on us and between African people.
As understood by the ASI, there is only one nation — although dispersed because of imperialist machinations — with Africa as its home.
The struggle for African self-determination is the struggle for Africa without borders and united under a single government led by workers in alliance with peasants.
Now, as Chairman Omali Yeshitela of the African People’s Socialist Party has often said, we have entered the era of the final offensive phase of the African liberation struggle. It is an era that requires the workers and peasants to create their own party, which is the African Socialist International.
Ivory Coast workers, peasants and progressive forces must be united around a democratic program for a national democratic revolution, which will end the rule of bureaucrats and comprador petty bourgeois forces like Ouattara and Gbagbo respectively, and establish a people’s State.
The defeat or ongoing strategic weakening of the African petty bourgeoisie and the dismantlement of the neocolonial States in Ivory Coast will be the true measure of democracy.
The people engaging in struggle in their own interests, led by a genuine revolutionary national democratic program, is the starting point if we want to see development and democracy and unity inside Ivory Coast.
- Walking out of the kitchen, I flip the light switch off.
- Boogie: Hey! Who turned out the lights?
- Me: Jesus.
- Boogie: No he didn't. Jesus made the lights.
- Me: Okay...
- Boogie: Jesus made everything.
- Me: No. God made everything.
- Boogie: Jesus helped him.
- Me: Okay...
- Boogie: At school, we read a story about this girl and this boy.
- Me: What?
- Boogie: Yes. It was a girl and a boy and they had a pet snake. And their dad said not to eat something from a tree or they would die.
- Me: He didn't say they would die!
- Boogie: Uh huh! Why else would he say not to eat something? It could be poison! Let me finish.
- Me: Okay.
- Boogie: So their dad said "don't eat it! It's poisonous"." And the girl was hungry because she didn't have any clothes on. Well... she had on... remember when we went to the beach those taaaaall trees with the super big leaves?
- Me: Palm trees?
- Boogie: YES! She made a dress out of palm trees because she probably watches that show you like where the people make clothes and then they walk on a table.
- Me: Project Runway
- Boogie: Yes. So the hungry girl with the ugly dress on was playing and then the snake told her to eat an apple. I don't know why the snake could talk probably the same reason Scooby Doo can talk. Magic.
- Me: yes. Obviously.
- Boogie: So the snake was hungry but he didn't want to get in trouble since Jesus or his dad... I don't know. I forgot. Somebody said they can't eat the apple so he wanted her to eat it first so that he could tattle tale on her and get her in trouble so she can't watch TV or play with her mom's ipad.
- Me: Really?
- Boogie: Yes. So her brother was playing somewhere and saw her eat the apple and he wanted some too so he ate one and then they died!
- Me: They died!?
- Boogie: YES! Jesus told on them because he's everywhere like a ninja.
- Me: Jesus is a tattle telling ninja?
- Boogie: yes who told on his cousins.
- Me: Who told you that they were Jesus' cousins?
- Boogie: Nobody. My cousins are always telling on me.
- Me: Yeah but who said that they were JESUS'S cousins?
- Boogie: Jesus can't have cousins?
- Me: I didn't... never mind.
- Boogie: do you want to hear about the guy who got eaten by a dolphin?