Burkina Faso: Thomas Sankara Lives in the Memory of Africans

Source:  TeleSUR
December 21 2019

Photography of Thomas Sankara, Burkina Faso.Photograph of Thomas Sankara, Burkina Faso.
| Photo: Twitter/ @comunistaabdito

This 21st of December marks the 70th birth anniversary of the Pan-Africanist revolutionary who is said to have been the “Che Guevara” of Africa.

On December 21st, African peoples remember the birth of Thomas Sankara, a Marxist revolutionary who became the icon of a collective struggle against the oppression from imperialist nations.

RELATED: Burkina Faso Re-Establishes Diplomatic Relations With China

Thomas Sankara was born in 1949 in the French colony known at that time by the name of Upper Volta, which he would later rename Burkina Faso, which means “the land of upright people.”

While his parents came from a middle class, Sankara would not have been able to afford the costs of a college education. As a result, he chose to enter the military at the age of 17.

Once he began his military career, he contacted Adama Toure, a civilian professor who was known for having progressive, and even radical, ideas.

He invited a few of his brightest students to join informal discussions about international politics, which would have led Sankara to familiarize himself with debates on the African liberation movements.

In 1971, he was sent for officer training to Madagascar where he witnessed several popular uprisings and first read the works of Karl Marx and Vladimir Lenin, which profoundly influenced his thinking.

Years later, Sankara joined the “Communist Officers’ Group,” a secret organization that brought together young officers who were seeking deep social changes in their country.

In 1981, he held his first public position as Secretary of State for Information. A year later, however, Sankara resigned because he disagreed with what he called policies against workers.​​​​​​​

Sankara became President in 1983 at the age of 33 as an effect of a coup d’état organized by Captain Blaise Compaore, who later would have led another coup against the Marxist revolutionary.​​​​​​​

Anti-imperialist

From the presidency, the African leftist leader promoted an anti-imperialist revolution, whose main policies were focused on promoting reforestation, securing safe water, averting famine, and providing education and health to all the population.

During his four years of government, the charismatic leader acquired greater visibility in the context of African international politics.

At the 25th Conference of the Organization for African Unity (OAU), for example, he harshly criticized external indebtedness, which he considered to be one of the new instruments used by developed countries to control the peoples of the world and keep them plunged into poverty.​​​​​​​

“Sankara’s foreign policy was largely focused on anti-imperialism, with his government shunning all foreign aid. He insisted on debt reduction, nationalizing all land and mineral wealth, and averting the power and influence of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank (WB),” local outlet

The leftist leader also privileged the defense of the Non-Aligned Movement, rejected U.S. interference in developing countries, condemned the Soviet intervention in Afghanistan, sympathized with Cuba and Nicaragua, and ​​​​​​​expressed his solidarity with the Palestinian cause.

During his short but fruitful administration, Sankara promoted an unprecedented policy to foster gender equity and free women from the bonds of traditional culture.

“Woman source of life, but also woman object. Mother but a servile maid. Nurse woman but woman excuse. Worker in the field and at home, but figure without face and voice. Woman hinge, woman confluence, but woman chained, woman shadow in the shadow of man,” he said.

After Sankara’s murder in 1987, which his former friend described as just an “accident,” the new regime proudly proclaimed that its main policy objective would be to “rectify” the Burkinabe revolution.

This 15-year-old self-taught engineer is making robots out of his bedroom in Senegal

Fifteen-year-old Cheikh Bamba Diaby is a self-taught robotic engineer –

Africa continues to add to its pool of groundbreaking technological innovations.

The continent also boasts of amazing teens, who are changing the world with their innovations. One of them is 15-year-old Senegalese, Cheikh Bamba Diaby, who is a self-taught robotics engineer.

The Senegalese teen was able to unblock his sister’s mobile phone using tips he learned on the internet.

Pic Credit: BBC

In a bid to fix his sister’s phone without her knowing he had locked it, Diaby went looking for help, but he could not afford the charges. He simply went online and learned how to unlock a phone.

By doing so, he found a passion in developing electronic devices. He now creates robots that perform different tasks using his room as his laboratory.

He has created a motion sensor, a card reader and even an independent car.

Diaby revealed in an interview with the BBC, how he never gave up on electronic devices because of his curiosity.

“My father asked my mother to hide all the electronic devices because I was a stubborn and very curious child,” he said.

Pic Credit: BBC

Diaby said his parents now encourage him to pursue his dream even though they had expressed worry from the start.

Learn more about him from his interaction with BBC’s Alassane Dia in this video:

15-year-old Cheikh was trying to figure out how to unblock his sister’s phone when he discovered a love of fixing electronic devices.

The Senegalese teen is now pursuing his dream of becoming a robotics engineer

Watch video here: https://twitter.com/i/status/1201144418499268609

Cuba and Ghana celebrate 60 years of diplomatic relations

Source:  Cuban News Agency
December 19 2019

Cuban Vice President Salvador Valdes Mes presided over on Wednesday a political and cultural event in Havana to celebrate the 60th anniversary of diplomatic relations between the Republics of Cuba and Ghana.

The event was held at the Latin American School of Medicine (ELAM), where Napoleon Abdulai, the Ghanaian ambassador to Cuba, recalled that on December 23, 1959, Ghana was the first nation in sub-Saharan Africa to establish diplomatic relations with the Caribbean country.

He also recalled the meeting that day in Harlem, New York, between Dr. Kwame Nkrumah, Prime Minister of the then recently independent African nation of Ghana and Commander in Chief Fidel Castro Ruz.

fidel y nkrumah2

The diplomat stressed that in Ghana, Cuban support has been forthcoming in different ways, including security, health and education, and he highlighted the fact that over 4.000 Ghanaians were educated in the Cuban municipality of Isla de la Juventud, with professors from both states, and this year 226 young people graduated from medical school.

For her part, Anayansi Rodriguez Camejo, Cuban deputy foreign minister, stressed that in the six decades of relations between the two countries, they have developed and strengthened in the political, economic and cooperation fields.

Jose Angel Portal Miranda and Jose Ramon Saborido, heads of the Ministries of Public Health and Higher Education, respectively, and Fernando Gonzalez Llort, President of the Cuban Friendship Institute, among other officials, were also present on the Cuban side.

Cubans and Namibians honor Fidel

Source:  Minrex

November 25, 2019

Cubans and Namibians honor the Commander in Chief on the anniversary of his death.

Namibia, November 25th, 2019-

With the presence of Ambassador Sidenio Acosta and Martha Shilyomunhu, principal of the “Fidel Castro Ruz” Elementary School, the members of the Cuban State Mission in Namibia, together with members of the Namibia -Cuba Friendship Association and “Patria” Association of Cuban Residents, paid tribute to the Commander in Chief of the Cuban Revolution three years after his physical disappearance.

In the emotional tribute the historical significance of Fidel was recalled. His revolutionary work was also exalted from the assault on the Moncada Barracks until his death, without leaving out his decisive support for the struggle for the independence of several countries, including Namibia.

During the evening, as every year, Ambassador Acosta delivered, on behalf of the Cuban collaborators and the Embassy, ​​a voluntary contribution to the principal Shilyomunhu, to be used to improve the students’ learning conditions.

The Cuban diplomat highlighted the validity of the revolutionary and emancipatory ideology of Fidel, in an international context where imperialism increases its aggressions against the peoples of the world.

For her part, the Namibia professor deeply thanked the gesture of the Cuban community. She also expressed the pride and commitment which represents for her teachers and students, the fact that the school bears the name of Fidel Castro.

“Fidel Castro Ruz” Elementary School is located in the Katutura neighborhood, the most disadvantaged in Windhoek, capital of Namibia. Around 1200 children study at the school, from first to seventh grade. Founded in 2007, with only 12 enrollment students, today it is a public educational center of national reference.

Related:  Makgone Inaugurates Fidel Castro Primary School

Left:  Fidel and first President of Namibia, Sam Nujoma

 

Marcus Smiles: 126 in the African diaspora granted Ghanaian citizenship

126 diaporans gain ghanaian citizenship 3

126 diaporans gain ghanaian citizenship 4

 

marcus garvey 5

In 1920, the late Marcus Mosiah Garvey, Jr. presented his famous “Back to Africa” program in New York City. The program encouraged the black community living abroad as slaves to return to their homelands in Africa.

It was part of a social movement dubbed the “Universal Negro Improvement Association” (UNIA), which was founded by Garvey in his native Jamaica in 1914. Through this movement, the celebrated Jamaican political leader intensified black enslavement and racial discrimination sentiments.

Upon his immigration to the United States in 1917, Garvey embarked on a mission to spread his “Back to Africa” mantra, despite frequent backlash from the black middle and professional classes.

“I have no desire to take all black people back to Africa; there are blacks who are no good here and will likewise be no good there,” Marcus Garvey told his critics.

But in a very short time, the UNIA attracted a lot of followers throughout Africa, Caribbean, Britain and South America, who empathized with the strong sentiments of black enslavement.

Source:  Marcus Garvey Presents His “Back to Africa” Program in New York

In 1947, a Ghanaian student who had studied ten years in the United States, Dr. Kwame Nkrumah returned to Ghana on the invitation of Joseph B. Danquah, his former schoolmaster. Nkrumah would later become Prime Minister. In his fight for the complete independence for the Gold Coast later to be known as Ghana, Kwame Nkrumah acknowledged his political indebtedness to the political teachings of Marcus Garvey.

kwame nkrumahOn September 7, 1957, Ghana became a free self-governing nation, the first member of the British Commonwealth of Nations to become self-governing. Ghana would later develop a Black Star Line patterned after the maritime dreams of Marcus Garvey. My point here is that the African Independence Explosion, which started with the independence of Ghana, was symbolically and figuratively bringing the hopes of Marcus Garvey alive.

Source:  The Impact of Marcus Garvey, John Henrik Clarke

As long as you are a black man, you are an African – Peter Tosh

Believe Absolutely Nothing the US Government and Media Say About…Anything

Source:  Black Agenda Report

by Glen Ford

Sept 19 2019

Believe Absolutely Nothing the US Government and Media Say About…Anything

In any alliance with corporate oppression and militarism, Black America squanders reservoirs of respect among the Earth’s peoples. We betray ourselves and become Black Gringos.

“The epic struggle for Black self-determination is inseparable from the struggle for peace and a livable planet.”

There was a time, not so long ago, when most Black Americans of all classes were highly skeptical of every word that emanated from the mouths of white folks in power in the United States. A substantial body of Black opinion believed nothing at all that appeared in the corporate media – which, back then, we simply called the “white press.”  It was a wise and healthy skepticism, learned over generations of enduring a constant stream of lies and slander against Black people from politicians and mass media of the two governing parties. These organs and mouthpieces of rich white people’s power were no more to be trusted, as Malcolm X counseled, than “foxes” (Democrats) and “wolves” (Republicans). The logic of the collective Black domestic experience extended to international affairs, as well. We empathized with the “colored” peoples of the world under attack by the U.S. government and media. If white politicians and press lied about us, we knew they were probably lying about their foreign non-white victims, as well. And we were right.

“The organs and mouthpieces of rich white people’s power were no more to be trusted, as Malcolm X counseled, than ‘foxes’ (Democrats) and ‘wolves’ (Republicans).”

Then came the Sixties and our grassroots movement’s victories over official American apartheid. One of the governing parties (the foxes) opened its doors to Black participation, and big business media began putting Black faces in front of the cameras. Racial euphemisms replaced outright slander against Blacks and the lies became more nuanced. But it was not until the advent of the First Black President that African Americans lost much of their traditional skepticism of U.S. government motives, at home and abroad.When Barack Obama threatened to bomb Syria in retaliation for an alleged — and provably false – chemical attack on civilians, in September of 2013, polls showed more Black Americans than whites wanted the bombs to fall. Although only minorities of Americans of all races favored bombing Syria, it was the first time in the history of U.S. polling that Blacks were more bellicose than whites.

Only a decade earlier, in the run-up to President Bush’s 2003 assault on Iraq, the Zogby polling organization had asked a representative sampling of Americans the question: “Would you favor an invasion of Iraq if it resulted in the death of thousands of Iraqi civilians?” Large majorities of white men and nearly a majority of white women were in favor of such an invasion, as were 16 percent of Hispanic Americans. But only 7 percent of African Americans  said, “Yes” – meaning, the U.S. government and media demonization campaign against Iraq had been effective among only a very marginal segment of African Americans. Blacks still empathized with the masses of Iraqi civilians, while whites definitively did not.

“With the advent of the First Black President, African Americans lost much of their traditional skepticism of U.S. government motives, at home and abroad.”

The fact that overwhelming numbers of Blacks also perceived George Bush and his party as hostile to African American lives and interests, certainly made them more empathetic towards Bush’s foreign victims, and the specific reference to “civilians” in the Zogby question is significant. But the erosion of Black internationalism – or, at least, Black American solidarity with other peoples of color in the world – is palpable and inarguable. Two years before the false-flag Syria chemical attack crisis, half of the Congressional Black Caucus voted against a bill that would have halted Obama’s murderous and totally unprovoked bombing of Libya– an African country! – with virtually no protest from Black America.

Obama has retired to the luxurious haunts of the rich and famous classes that he served so well as president. Catastrophically, however, his replacement in the Oval Office by overtly racist Donald Trump is viewed as such an existential threat that much of Black America has made common cause with the FBI, the CIA and the worst warmongers in the Democratic Party in a hysteria to be rid of the Orange Menace. Russiagate is perhaps the most successful psychological warfare operation in U.S. history, and has largely neutralized Black America’s traditional aversion to U.S. imperial aggressions.T he Democratic Party and most of the corporate media have for the past three years been furiously mobilized behind a CIA-instigated “resistance” that is NOT directed against Trump’s pro-rich, anti-Black and poor people policies, but rather seeks to solidify public support for U.S. military and economic domination of the world — an imperialism of planetary terror and blackmail and domestic austerity and deprivation.

“The erosion of Black internationalism is palpable and inarguable.”

Black America cannot possibly achieve anything meaningful by siding with corporate Democrat Foxes and CIA Rattlesnakes in their ongoing coup against the Orange Peckerwood and his legions of crackers. Russiagate is a stealth assault on all who disagree with the corporate narrative and rich people’s version of Truth. The only victors will be the oligarchy of Fat Cats and military-industrial complex Wolves. African Americans are admired the world over as a people that Fight the Power, not as conniving co-conspirators with humanity’s enemies. The Foxes need Black votes to get their turn at stealing the eggs, but their leaders have assured the Fat Cats that there will be no Medicare for All, no dignified minimum wage, no forgiveness of college debt, no Green New Deal, no relief from gentrification and no retreat from half a century of militarized policing and mass incarceration of Black America.

There will certainly be no let-up in the campaign of starvation that has claimed the lives of tens of thousands of mostly Black, brown and indigenous Venezuelans, a bipartisan, 20 year-long aggression; or the Dem-Rep tag-team’s multi-generational siege of Iran, a country that has not invaded anyone in centuries; or the Clinton-Bush-Obama-Trump military occupation of Africa, which has killed more than six million in Congo, alone.

“The Foxes need Black votes to get their turn at stealing the eggs.”

The Foxes want to annihilate Russia, while the Wolves would blot out China. Neither can accept a world in which the U.S. ruling class is not supreme over the planet. In an alliance with such evil, Black America loses more than its soul – we squander the reservoirs of respect that generations of African American fighters for human dignity have earned among the Earth’s peoples. We become Black Gringos, while still at the bottom of the American heap – a most ignominious end to our saga.

We find our real allies in struggle against the Lords of Capital — the Fat Cats that have made our world a killing field. The epic struggle for Black self-determination is inseparable from the struggle for peace and a livable planet. Join the Black Alliance for Peace, the Black is Back Coalition and the Black Agenda Report team at the People’s Mobilization to Stop the US War Machine and Save the Planet, September 20 – 23rd, in New York City.

BAR executive editor Glen Ford can be contacted at Glen.Ford@BlackAgendaReport.com.

South Africa’s election result had few surprises, but one rude awakening

Source:  Quartz Africa
May 11 2019

By Lynsey Chutel

south africa's national electionsFrom left to right: Julius Malema, leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters,
President Cyril Ramaphosa, leader of the African National Congress, and
Mmusi Maimaine, leader of the Democratic Alliance. Reuters

It is no surprise that the African National Congress emerged victorious in South Africa’s general election this week, but the changing profile of its rivals shows that political landscape of Africa’s most advanced economy is beginning to transform radically, to the left and the right. Land is the center of both sides of the debate.

ANC’s worst performance yet

Despite their victory, this is the ANC’s worst performance yet. At 57.5% of the national vote, the ANC continues a steady decline. Despite president Cyril Ramaphosa’s promises of a new dawn, the party couldn’t shake its darker recent past of corruption, slow economic growth and factional fighting. Ramaphosa’s focus on land redistribution and anti-corruption did not quite yield the results the party had hoped and it struggled to hold on to the economic hub, Gauteng.

Its nearest rival, the Democratic Alliance, did not fare much better, earning 20,7% of the national vote, down from 22,23% in 2014. The liberal party maintained its stronghold in the Western Cape, but for the first time since 1994, failed to grow its support. The party’s first black president, Mmusi Maimane, may be out of a job soon, analysts said.

EFF’s huge advance

Julius Malema’s Economic Freedom Fighters party looks set to become the official opposition by the next election, growing its share of the national vote from 6.35% in 2014 to 10,79%. With its leftist policies and the impatient slogan, “Our Land and Jobs, Now!” the EFF not only tapped into the frustration of disenfranchised youth, but peri-urban communities throughout the country.

Ahead of the vote, pollsters analyzed that the Democratic Alliance would bleed conservative votes, to the Freedom Front Plus. The DA itself conceded that the loss of this constituency was “inevitable,” yet the growth of this hitherto fringe party has shocked many in the country.

“It’s part of the repositioning of the party and we will have to learn the lessons from this election,” a member of the DA’s leadership.

For its part, the FF+ made it clear that it represented minorities, positioning itself as the voice for “a new generation of embittered individuals is forming among Afrikaners, coloured and other nonblack people.” And it seems to have worked: party only won five districts in the last election—this year it claimed more than 100 making it the fifth largest party in the country. With 2,4% of the vote, its portion of the win is small, but thanks to South Africa’s proportional representation electoral system, the FF+ will have a louder voice in parliament.

The conservative, right-leaning party campaigned with the slogan “Fight Back,” with a manifesto centered on the principle that “South Africa is teetering on the edge of ruin.” Land and farm murders were among their key issues. The party is “strongly opposed” to expropriation without compensation and described farm murders as “a national crisis.”

“The two biggest parties to grow in 2019 are the FF plus on the far right representing predominantly white Afrikaans communities and the EFF on the far left representing largely black young, economically marginalized youth,” said Tessa Dooms, a social analyst. “The lesson is that the lived realities and the legacies of Apartheid that we have thought would go away over time have not only remained but are becoming politically significant.”

While campaigning overtly on race would be frowned upon in South Africa today, the FF+ is using the Afrikaans language to mobilize coloured South Africans, Dooms told Quartz. Like its rival on the opposite end of the political spectrum, the EFF, the FF+ has tapped into the frustrations of those who feel left behind.

Related:   South Africa: Ruling African National Congress (ANC) Wins With 57% Of Votes  – TeleSUR

 

Diaz-Canel receives President of Ghana

Source:  Granma
April 5, 2019

by: Granma | internet@granma.cu

Diaz y President of Ghana Photo: Estudios Revolución

The President of Cuba’s Councils of State and Ministers, Miguel Díaz-Canel Bermúdez, Thursday afternoon received the President of the Republic of Ghana, His Excellency Mr. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, on an official visit to our country.

During the amicable meeting the two leaders addressed the positive state of the historic bilateral relations their countries share, and reaffirmed the will to promote political ties and collaboration. They also discussed other topics of on the regional and international agenda.

Accompanying the distinguished visitor were the Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Regional Integration, Health, and Education: Shirley Ayorkor Botchwey, Matthew Opoku Prempeh and Kwaku Agyeman-Manu, respectively; and Ghana’s ambassador in Cuba, Napoleon Abdulai.

Also participating on the Cuban side were Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla; the Ministers of Foreign Trade and Investment, Higher Education, and Public Health, Rodrigo Malmierca Díaz, José Ramón Saborido Loidi, and José Ángel Portal Miranda, respectively; as well as Cuba’s ambassador in Ghana, Pedro Luis Despaigne González.

Díaz-Canel: Cuba is making every effort to secure the safe return of Assel and Landy

Source: Granma
April 15 2019

Miguel Díaz-Canel, President of the Councils of State and Ministers, tweeted that Cuba is working tirelessly for the safe return of Assel (Herrera) and Landy (Rodríguez), Cuban doctors abducted in Kenya, this past Friday

Assel Herrera and Landy Rodríguez. Photo: Internet

“Cuba is working tirelessly for the safe return of Assel (Herrera) and Landy (Rodríguez), our doctors abducted in Kenya,” stated Miguel Díaz-Canel, President of Cuba’s Councils of State and Ministers, on his Twitter account, adding, “We share the certainty, with them and their loved ones, that their humanitarian mission will be respected and recognized. We believe in the power of solidarity.”

Foreign Minister Bruno Rodríguez Parrilla likewise tweeted, “I held a telephone conversation with the Kenyan Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mónica Juma. We discussed the abduction of the two Cuban doctors and actions being taken by the government of this country given the unfortunate incident.”

On both of these Twitter accounts, it was made clear that other Cuban doctors are safe and fully informed of every step being taken to rescue their two colleagues.

Assel Herrera Correa is a specialist in Comprehensive General medicine from the province of Las Tunas and Landy Rodríguez Hernández, from Villa Clara, is a surgeon.

A communiqué released April 12 by the Ministry of Public Health stated that channels of communication were immediately established with authorities in Kenya to address the situation, and family members here are being kept informed.

Landy’s mother, Martha Hernández, told Granma, “I have full confidence that sooner than later, my son will return to the heart of his family. The Revolution never abandons one of its children, and this time, it will be the same.”

Despite the overwhelming pain, Martha insisted that solidarity, in Cuba and around the world, supporting the doctors’ freedom is key to their safe return.

She said that, since she heard the news, Party, government and Public Health authorities in the municipality of Placetas and on the provincial level, have kept her informed of every detail.

Assel’s family in Las Tunas is also receiving continuous support and all information available is being provided them.

In a statement to Granma, Grégory Antonio Pérez Héctor, deputy director of Public Health in the province explained that, upon receiving the news, a commission was immediately created, first to visit the home of his daughter, a high school student in the provincial capital, and then his parents in the community of Delicias.

“We have stayed in permanent contact with them, and not only on the part of Health, but political and government authorities, as well. Saturday, his parents were visited by Public Health officials who stayed with them most of the afternoon, explaining everything the country is doing to secure the return of their son. As elderly persons in poor health, they have been assigned the continuous support of a doctor, a nurse, and psychologist.”

Ruciel Tamayo Pérez, head of the clinic where Assel worked, told Granma that every day the administrator on duty visits the home of his daughter, who lives nearby.

“His daughter is finishing twelfth grade and tells us that she wants to be a doctor like her father. We have assured her that our government never abandons anyone.”