Samia Nkrumah: the ongoing need for true African unity

Source: Daily Maverick
November 29  2018

The notion of real, undiluted Pan-Africanism — all of Africa united into one nation — seems like a throwback to a bygone era, in a world increasingly obsessed with borders. But to Ghanaian politician and activist Samia Nkrumah, the dream is very much alive. It was her father, the towering African icon Kwame Nkrumah, who first articulated the vision of a unified continent. His daughter is adamant that it remains the best way to lift Africans out of poverty.

Rebecca samia nkrumah.jpg

When last did you hear an African leader speak earnestly about the project of unifying all African countries into one vast nation?

In South Africa, Pan-Africanism has slipped from a once-cherished ideal of the liberation movement into ideological obscurity. The EFF claimed, upon launching, to be espousing what they called “radical Pan-Africanism” — but their leaders have been accused of making xenophobic utterances in public, including Floyd Shivambu’s questioning of former minister Malusi Gigaba’s citizenship and Julius Malema’s suggestion that former president Jacob Zuma’s son Duduzane was “not a proper South African”.

As the 2019 elections approach, South African politicians of all stripes look to be exploiting an apparently widely felt hostility to nationals of other African countries encroaching on local borders.

On Thursday afternoon, as Daily Maverick sat down with Samia Nkrumah, the DA released a statement containing a number of poorly substantiated alarmist claims about South Africa’s border insecurity, including that “there are people coming across the border to collect social grants and shop in South Africa before returning across the border”.

Kwame nkrumah 2.jpgIt’s a far cry from the situation Samia’s father Kwame Nkrumah envisaged when he laid out his vision of Pan-Africanism as the continent’s first post-independence black head of state.

“He would be very, very disappointed,” Nkrumah says.

But for Nkrumah, Pan-Africanism remains not just a romantic ideal but an increasingly urgent necessity.

The 58-year old Ghanaian needs less than a minute of discussion to launch into an impassioned argument for the ongoing need for true African unity. Not the version half-heartedly championed by the African Union, which she describes as “paying lip service” to the concept — but a mighty African nation, bringing together the continent’s countries in a political arrangement somewhat akin to that of the United States.

“One government, 55 states,” Nkrumah summarises.

“States cede a little sovereignty to the union government on essential matters, such as the economy, foreign diplomacy, and defence. They submit to collective decision-making.”

She says that African countries which are hesitant to embrace diluted sovereignty should consider one simple question.

Better to cede to a union than to foreign powers

“To what extent are we fully sovereign nations now? Our economies are dictated from the outside. Better to cede to a union than to foreign powers.”

Nkrumah is under no illusions: xenophobia is rife all over the continent, she says, not just in South Africa, and is consciously fomented by African politicians as a way of diverting attention from domestic issues.

“But what matters to people is unemployment; poverty,” she says. “You don’t solve those problems by blocking people from coming in. Proper economic integration could address these problems of unemployment and deindustrialisation. We will definitely be in a stronger position economically; able to borrow on better terms.”

To Nkrumah, Pan-Africanism is only partly an ideological vision.

“It’s a political decision for our economic survival,” she says.

Nkrumah is in Cape Town to deliver the keynote speech at the Open Society Foundation’s 25th anniversary celebration of its work in South Africa. She hasn’t visited South Africa much before, and says that one reason why she accepted the invitation to speak is that she admires the country’s ability to reach a political consensus after apartheid.

From this perspective, she sees South Africa as a microcosm of what would need to be achieved in order to bring about one Pan-African nation:

“Having people who look differently, think differently, but manage to live together for the country’s development”.

Nkrumah is a successful politician in her own right, having become the first woman in Ghana to lead a political party. It is clear, however, that she sees her political identity as inextricably bound up with that of her much-admired father. It is an association she wears as a badge of honour rather than a burden.

She refers to her father mostly by his full name, and always with a kind of understated reverence.

“For me, Kwame Nkrumah is also my leader. I’ve studied his books. When it comes to political activity and Pan-Africanism, he is my mentor,” she says.

Laughing, she adds: “I’m a Nkrumah-ist by conviction, not just by birth.”

Although Nkrumah has stepped away from party politics in Ghana for the time being, she intends to stand for a parliamentary seat in 2020 — though hints she will do so under the umbrella of a new political formation rather than the party she has previously served, the Convention People’s Party.

Africa needs more women in political office

She is adamant in her belief that Africa needs more women in political office. One political party that she thinks could benefit from the impact of greater numbers of female leaders is the EFF, whose development she has watched with interest from Ghana.

“By and large I am positive that the influence of more women could change this style of political representation,” she says. “What we need is more consensus.”

Referring specifically to EFF leader Julius Malema, she says:

“Some of us are also radical in our thinking, but don’t come across like that — not because we are afraid, but because we want people to understand why we are fighting. We need a big chunk of the population to agree to do things differently. We reached that consensus to end colonialism, and to end apartheid.”

Pan-Africanism for a new generation

When she leaves Cape Town, it is to head back to Accra to convene a gathering of Pan-African federalist movements. There, she says participants intend to strategise on ways to popularise the concept of Pan-Africanism for a new generation.

Asked to deliver a pitch to the people of South Africa as to why they should embrace the idea of relinquishing sovereignty to a unified African nation, Nkrumah pauses for a minute to gather her thoughts, and then leans forward.

“If you look at the past few decades, you will find that the good things that happened on the continent happened when we stood together. One is the end of colonialism. It came to an end because African states stood together and supported each other,” she says.

“Today we can identify our challenges as marginalisation, poverty, the inability to reach our potential. The quickest and most effective way of beating those challenges is in political and economic unification. There is a big chunk of the population in South Africa that needs a stronger, wealthier, more industrialised African nation to deliver basic needs.”

Nkrumah spreads her hands and shrugs.

“If I were a leader, I would be happy to be part of a bigger nation, and cede some sovereignty, rather than come and tell my people: ‘I’m sorry, I can’t help you’.” DM2

 

The selflessness of Cubans is endless, boundless – M’membe

Source:  The Mast

By  on September 27, 2018

DR Fred M’membe says late revolutionary icon Fidel Castro was a true Pan Africanist. The Socialist Party (Zambia) 2021 presidential candidate says the “selflessness of the Cubans cannot be written in one sentence, on one page, in one book” because “it’s endless, it’s boundless.”

Pan AfricanismToday
During the just ended 3rd annual conference on Pan Africanism Today held in Winneba, Ghana, Socialist movements honoured six individual veterans and two organisations for their contribution to the struggles of the masses against imperialism and capitalism.

Ghana’s founding president Kwame Nkrumah was honoured posthumously for the foundation he laid on promoting Pan Africanism.  Others were Fieldmore Mapeto from South Africa, also posthumously, who was instrumental in the African National Congress’ liberation movement; El Harif Abdalah, a Moroccan revolutionary who has been detained several times for fighting for the rights of the people of Western Sahara; Dr Nkrumah’s disciples: G. A. Balungu and Capt Kugu Chigata, who were both instrumental in defending the spirit of Pan Africanism.

The conference also honoured Frantz Fanon, and Cuban internationalists, who participated and died in the liberation struggles of many African countries such as Angola and Congo DR; and members of the Polisario Front in Western Sahara, a movement that keeps resisting Morocco’s annexing of their land.

Dr M’membe, the SP Deputy General Secretary, who handed the Cuban award, said any Pan Africanism that excludes Cuba was not Pan Africanism.
“This joyous evening [Saturday] brings with it also sad memories. It reminds us of the pain our comrades had to endure, it reminds us of death, but on top of that, it also reminds us of betrayal,” he said.

Dr M’membe noted that over 2,000 Cubans perished in defence of the independence of the African continent and much more so of Angola paving way to the independence of Namibia, and freedom in South Africa.
“Sometimes one wonders what these internationalists died for, especially when one looks at the banditry that is in Angola, the corruption that is in South Africa – how people have enriched themselves very quickly for the freedom that so many people died for,” he said.

“Comrades, armed struggle is not an easy thing. When you enlist to be a combatant, you are enlisting to die and the possibility of death is extremely high. Thousands of combatants, internationalists, passed through our continent and many of them died. We cannot forget both the deaths and the betrayal. Comrades you cannot talk about Pan Africanism without the Cubans. Any Pan Africanism that excludes Cuba is not Pan Africanism. Today, when we talk about Pan Africanists, the name of Fidel [Castro] is always and will always be high on that list. Fidel was a Pan Africanist. Che was a Pan Africanist. Commandante Raul [Castro] is a Pan Africanist.”

Dr M’membe said all the Cuban combatants that passed through Africa, that passed through Cuito Cuanavale (Angola) were Pan Africanists.
“We are not just honouring Cubans here, we are honouring Pan Africanists. But these Pan Africanists we are honouring this evening have something unique to teach us, that were taught by Fidel. Fidel made it very clear that those who are not ready to fight for others will not be able to fight for themselves,” he said.

“The Cuban Revolution has survived close to 60 years of a blockade and all sorts of provocation, intimidation, threats and so on because they were able to fight for others and die for others. They died for us and because they were able to die for us, they were able also to defend their homeland of Cuba, the land of Jose Marti, the land of Fidel and we can say the land of Che and the homeland of all revolutionaries, heart of all revolutionaries. This honour to the Cubans comrades, reminds us also not only the captain we honoured here, it reminds us also of all the revolutionaries that fought in Cuito, SWAPO combatants, our comrades from uMkhonto we Sizwe, including Fieldmore and some of them died.”

Dr M’membe said the occasion reminds “us of Chris [Hani], it reminds us of so many things, it reminds us of the battles that we continue to wage but today we are not waging it against the Apartheid regime.”

“We are waging that battle against our fellow comrades. People who were our comrades, people we shared trenches with, people we shared suffering with, people we never thought can be our enemies,” he said. “Comrades, the selflessness of the Cubans cannot be written in one sentence, on one page, in one book. It’s endless, it’s boundless. We, who have remained on this continent have no right whatsoever to be ungrateful to the Cubans. We have a debt to pay, not necessarily to the Cubans, but to humanity as Fidel taught us. This gathering should put us on that path for the repayment of this debt to humanity.”

Dr M’membe told the Cuban delegation that was among the 400 participants from 60 countries from around the world that attended the conference, that it was a great honour to honour the Cubans.

“Comrades, you have come 8,000 kilometres from the Island. When talk of the island, we revolutionaries we talk of one island, we only knew of one island for a very long time and that was only Cuba,” said Dr M’membe. “We didn’t know that there were many other islands, we only knew one island.”

Uncovering a C.L.R. James treasure trove


Paul Buhle is the authorized biographer of C.L.R. James and responsible for numerous books, including The Young C.L.R. James, co-edited with Lawrence Ware and drawn by Milton Knight. Here, he reviews C.L.R. James and Revolutionary Marxism, a collection of essential, but often little-known, essays by the legendary Trinidadian Marxist.


 

C.L.R. James speaks in London's Trafalgar Square in support of the Ethiopian anti-colonial struggleC.L.R. James speaks in London’s Trafalgar Square
in support of the Ethiopian anti-colonial struggle

THE SMALLISH crowd of C.L.R. James’ admirers at the time of his 1989 death was notable for its scattered global character, its sports fans, its Pan African devotees and also its socialists with Trotskyist leanings.

From India to the Anglophone Caribbean, from the UK to Canada, James continued to hold readers rapt with Beyond a Boundary (1963), a history of cricket that was also a quasi-memoir of youth in Trinidad during the first decades of the century. Early and late, he had worked and written for anti-colonial movements.

The socialist part of his life remained, at his passing, the least understood. This volume of essays and documents, reprinted by Haymarket from a rather obscure publication in 1994, restores to readers a valuable and interesting text that is both relevant today and a part of socialist history that is barely understood.

Its editors, Scott McLemee and Paul Le Blanc, are past masters of left history relevant to the subject and volume: Le Blanc with an updated essay on James in Left Americana and McLemee with a separate volume titled C.L.R. James On the Negro Question.

Let us turn quickly, in this brief review, to the matter at hand: James’ own view of Revolutionary Marxism.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Socialism

THE INTRODUCTION and Afterword both highlight an essential point: James’ history of the Haitian revolt, Black Jacobins (1938), very much inspired by Leon Trotsky’s History of the Russian Revolution, opened up the unknown saga of slave uprisings, but also of mass production in what amounted almost to modern agri-factory conditions.

So few whites managed so many slaves that much of the skilled labor–the thinking on the job–was inevitably carried out by slaves themselves, a vital point. They had already made history (in the most valuable economic site of the time) and did again in their revolt, without being guided by any nonwhite movement or party.

The same C.L.R. James wrote, around the same time, A History of the Negro Revolt, a powerful if smallish book, and World Revolution, a thick volume described in the UK, where it was published, as a “Bible of Trotskyism.”

James had by that time become a most unique Trotskyist, ready to remove himself from Britain to the U.S. in 1939, and he remained a singular Marxist and world figure for the next 60 years, until his passing.

The most unique and hitherto little-seen essays in this book come from the 1940s Trotskyist press. James was not the only luminous intellectual of these circles, nor did he become a leader of more than a small faction (with his partners, Raya Dunayevskaya and Grace Lee) within the diverse and divided Trotskyist field.

James had in his writing, nevertheless, a remarkable sweep, resting upon a view of civilization at large, a striking originality of thought and, of course, a special feeling for the potential of African Americans within the left and society at large.

I am not so sure that he was well served by being a vigorous debater (I remember anarcho-ecologist Murray Bookchin, another former Trotskyist, saying to me in 1970: “That James…he could HOLD A POSITION”), because so much energy went into disputations. But a fresh reading of these mostly wartime texts lends a fine view of global society seeking to wrench free of war and capitalism.

It also shows us what socialist prose can be: James is marvelously fluent, on almost any subject, and he offers readers deep insights without talking down to them. Any young writer today would benefit from studying how James uses his prose, how he dedicates his sweeping intellect to the particular tasks of socialist transformation, and how he lets us understand his own depth without becoming pedantic in the slightest.

Scott McLemee, in the Afterword, closes in part by acutely suggesting that James had a proto-New Left view, an observation that we might adjust to 2018.

James was very firm in his understanding that the institutions of liberalism were passing into crisis, and that the “state capitalist” (his phrase for Stalinist) societies had no answer for this crisis. He did not (quite) live to see the Eastern Bloc fall, but he would have understood that only a mighty movement from below, marked by direct mass action as well as strategic planning, could finish off a class system.

Following Lenin, James insisted that the socialist society creates itself in no small part by breaking up the state–as he thought, late in his life, that Polish Solidarity was doing; a renewal of the promise to him, of the Hungarian Revolution of 1956, and of course, the Russian Revolution itself.

– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Trotskyist

DOUBTLESS THE most familiar text reprinted here is “The Revolutionary Answer to the Negro Problem,” a resolution prepared for the 1948 convention of the Socialist Workers Party.

It is, for me, above all an appeal to socialists themselves to watch the masses in motion, in politics and daily life, and to grasp what they are doing as radical potential–something socialists lost in theoretical speculation have often been prone to miss when it comes to music, sports and other seemingly non-political actions. James also, of course, anticipated Black Power.

Least familiar to the general reader is certainly “Trotsky’s Place in History.” No summary will do justice to the spirit of this essay, and I believe that many readers of SW will come away from it with conclusions richer than my own.

But consider that James, himself a historian of great significance, is seeking here to put Leon Trotsky’s work in the light of the great 19th century historians Gibbon and Michelet, also in the light of Marx’s Eighteenth Brumaire, concluding that The History of the Russian Revolution “will remain a bridge between the long line which leads from the Old Testament and Homer, the Greek tragedy, Dante and Cervantes.”

All this James attributed to the strengthening of ordinary humans’ growing confidence in themselves, their right and their capacity to reorganize the world.

James’ actual criticisms of Trotsky, here and elsewhere within this volume, are appropriately modest and helpful, but come down to the kindly observation that if Lenin loved the rough play of political warfare, Trotsky would rather spend his time in his study, as the remarkable scholar that he was.

He could be wrong on particulars, but–to borrow a phrase he directed at other Trotskyists–if Trotsky was mistaken, on the Stalinized Russian state in particular, he was never confused.

There is so much more here in the pages of this volume that readers will readily find their own favorite essays, likely their own favorite sentences and paragraphs–because James’ prose so often sparkles with style and also with complications.

A small complaint: I do not think his criticism of Herbert Aptheker, the Communist historian of African American life, is entirely fair. By dint of research on slave revolts, Aptheker went far in a field with little existing scholarship. Later generations of left-wing scholars, notably Robin D.G. Kelley, have lauded Aptheker’s strengths, acknowledging his weaknesses.

This seems no matter of great significance to the rest of Revolutionary Marxism. Readers of C.L.R. James will relish what they find here and look elsewhere for the other works of James, early and late.

The voices of the Haitian slaves rising up have yet to be heard fully, but future revolutionary generations of every culture will yet hear them–of that we may be sure. They will thank James for his contribution on this and other subjects, and we thank Scott McLemee and Paul Le Blanc for their efforts in making this unique anthology available.

Remembering Muammar Qaddafi and the great Libyan Jamahiriya

Source: sfBayView
October 20 2017

by Gerald A. Perreira

The execution of Muammar Qaddafi and those who fought alongside him and the destruction of the Libyan Jamahiriya is one of the greatest crimes of this century.

remembering Qaddafi 1Circa 1970: Muammar Qaddafi with members of the Free Unionist Officers who l
ater formed the Revolutionary Command Council. Far right is Abu-Bakr Yunis Jabr
who, at 71 years of age, was captured alongside Qaddafi at the Battle of Sirte.

Oct. 20, 2017, marks the sixth anniversary of the martyrdom of Muammar Qaddafi, revolutionary Pan-Africanist and champion of the Global South. This day also marks the sixth anniversary of the historic battle of Sirte, where Qaddafi, along with a heroic army, including his son, Mutassim Billal Qaddafi, and veteran freedom fighter Abu-Bakr Yunis Jabr, fought until their convoy was bombed by French fighter planes. Wounded and demobilized, they were captured by Qatari scavengers and executed by Al-Qaeda operatives.

The courageous men of the original Free Officers’ Union, who were guides and leaders of the then 42-year-old Al-Fatah Revolution, demonstrated extraordinary revolutionary fortitude, heroism and audacity in the face of their enemies. As young men in their 20s, they overthrew the Western-installed Libyan monarchy and ushered in the Jamahiriya and, as elders in their 70s, they refused to leave Libya and instead fought to the bitter end, on the frontlines, alongside their people.

Their example will forever shine as an eternal light in the hearts of all those who struggled alongside them to build the closest thing to a real democracy and a United States of Africa that modern history has ever seen. The execution of Muammar Qaddafi and those who fought alongside him and the destruction of the Libyan Jamahiriya is one of the greatest crimes of this century.

Those responsible, including Nicolas Sarkozy, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, David Cameron, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and Emir Tamin bin Hamad Al Thani should be tried for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

A coalition of the wicked, comprising U.S./NATO forces, the semi-feudal Arab regimes of Saudi Arabia, Qatar, United Arab Emirates and Sudan, and a rag-tag bunch of monarchists and al-Qaeda-linked terrorists inside Libya, who had been working with the CIA and M15 for decades, was assembled and united in their goal. For them, total destruction was the only solution.

remembering Qaddafi 2.jpgOctober 2011: A ravaged Sirte is evidence of the ferocity of the heroic battle staged by loyalist forces against the invaders. – Photo: AP

Refusing Qaddafi’s attempt to negotiate a peaceful solution

Every attempt was made by Qaddafi and his supporters to negotiate a peaceful solution, including inviting international observers into the country to see for themselves what was really taking place, something the imperialists could not allow to happen. This was their golden opportunity to destroy Qaddafi and the Jamahiriya, a plan they had been waiting to execute for years.

There were mass uprisings on either side of Libya, in Tunisia and Egypt. The West had already coined the term “Arab Spring” and was busy hijacking revolts elsewhere. Time was of the essence. In fact, in what can only be described as a frenzy, they may have set a world record for the speed with which they managed to push through the illegal resolution at the U.N., their cover for the invasion.

The fake news and false narrative machine was in full swing. Within 24 hours, U.N. bodies had transformed Qaddafi from a person about to receive the U.N. Human Rights Award into a man killing his own people. The Jamahiriya was targeted for destruction and nothing was going to stop them.

Foreign forces, including the CIA, Dutch Marines, French and Sudanese military personnel, Qatari Special Forces, Al Qaeda fighters – facilitated by the Saudis, as they are facilitating Al Qaeda in Yemen today – were all in place weeks before the staged protests began in Benghazi in February 2011. This was a well-planned and coordinated operation.

‘Sometimes the enemy is the best teacher’

Kwame Ture, revolutionary Pan-Africanist and former executive member of the World Mathaba, opined that sometimes the enemy is the best teacher. He instructed us to study the enemy’s strategy and tactics and to remember that the enemy only goes after those whom they deem to be a real threat to their imperial interests. Pan-Africanist and former president of Guinea Ahmed Sekou Toure said, “If the enemy is not bothering with you, then know that you are doing nothing.”

remembering Qaddafi 3.jpgHeroes: the millions of armed Libyan men and women who stepped up to defend their Revolution

The forces of U.S.-E.U. imperialism were always bothering Muammar Qaddafi. They were bent on discrediting, demonizing and finding a way to obliterate him and the Libyan Jamahiriya from its inception in 1969 until they finally achieved their nefarious objective in 2011.

Results of a sinister imperialist game plan

Referring to Qaddafi as “the mad dog of the Middle-East,” Ronald Reagan, in a nationwide broadcast, said that Qaddafi’s goal was “world revolution,” claiming that he (Qaddafi) was promoting “a Muslim fundamentalist revolution, which targeted many of his own Arab compatriots.”

There is an African saying: “Mouth open, story jump out.” What Ronald Reagan was describing sounds like the imperialist plan. It was Ronald Reagan who welcomed leaders of the Afghan Mujahadeen, who were fighting the Soviets at the time, to the Oval Office and referred to them as Jihadi freedom fighters.

Today as we face Al Qaeda and their various offshoots, including the infamous ISIL, we are witnessing the devastating results of this sinister imperialist game plan. Ever since the days when the British colonial forces facilitated the creation of the Wahhabi kingdom of Saudi Arabia, the imperialists have encouraged, supported and funded the growth of Islamic fundamentalist groups.

remembering Qaddafi 4.jpg

Libyans prepare to retake Ajdabiya on March 16, 2011.

They understood that this was imperative if they were to counter the resurgence of an Islamic theology of liberation, in the revolutionary tradition of Abu Dharr al Ghifari, and as propounded in contemporary times by outstanding Islamic thinkers, such as Muammar Qaddafi, Ali Shariati, Kaukab Siddique, Ayatollah Mahmoud Taleghani, Muhammad Iqbal and Mahmoud Ayoub.

 

Islamic liberation theology

Again, we can learn from the enemy. Just as the imperialists and right-wing Christian fundamentalists waged an unrelenting war against the Social Gospel Movement and Christian liberation theology, as articulated by revolutionary theologians such as Gustavo Gutierrez, Miguel Bonino, James Cone and Enrique Dussel, they knew very well that Islamic liberation theology must be countered.

The enemy understood the power of this theology in terms of its ability to act as a bulwark against the imperial hegemon. They knew that this authentic and revolutionary Islam would prevent them from exercising control over an awakened Muslim world.

The enemy understood the power of this Islamic theology of liberation in terms of its ability to act as a bulwark against the imperial hegemon. They knew that this authentic and revolutionary Islam would prevent them from exercising control over an awakened Muslim world.

Reagan was right about one thing: Muammar Qaddafi indeed had a goal of world revolution – it was a revolution that would put the tenets of Islamic liberation theology into practice. Qaddafi’s conception of this revolution was holistic. His revolution would challenge every aspect of Eurocentric epistemology and its inherent racism.

The Libyan revolution was more than a social, political and economic revolution; it was nothing short of a spiritual and cultural revolution. This confounded not only the imperialist powers but also their reactionary Arab satraps.

The World Mathaba

The World Mathaba, established by Muammar Qaddafi in 1982, had as its stated mission, “to resist imperialism, racism, fascism, zionism, colonialism and neo-colonialism.” The Mathaba denotes a place where people gather for a noble purpose.

remembering Qaddafi 5.jpgThe Libyan people were an armed people and Qaddafi often moved among them with minimal security only present to control the crowds that wanted to greet him and shake his hand. Repressive dictators do not arm their people.

Based in Libya, it became a meeting place for revolutionary and progressive forces from all over the world. Similar to the House of Wisdom in Baghdad, which became a major intellectual center during the Islamic Golden Age, and the University of Sankore in Timbuktu, where scholars of the day converged to discuss and debate ideas and formulate new ideas, the Mathaba became a forum for the advancement of a Third Universal Theory beyond Capitalism and Communism.

Prior to the Mathaba, the only international formations for progressive and revolutionary organizations had been the Soviet dominated Comintern, which demanded an ideological allegiance to Marxism-Leninism and the Socialist International that brought together social-democratic parties. The ideological rigidity of these two international formations excluded organizations and movements that rejected Eurocentric ideologies, including many Indigenous and Pan-African organizations who found a home in the World Mathaba.

Through the Mathaba, Qaddafi assisted all those who were fighting for liberation and self-determination, regardless of whether or not it was in Libya’s geo-political interests to do so. Under Qaddafi’s visionary leadership, material assistance and moral support was provided to the oppressed from every corner of the earth, regardless of religion or ideology.

All were helped – from the Roma people of Eastern Europe to the Kanak people of New Caledonia in the Southwest Pacific to the Rohingya people, who are presently being ethnically cleansed by the Buddhist chauvinists of Myanmar, and who the U.N. recently referred to as “the most friendless people.” What the hypocritical U.N. body failed to mention was that they once had a friend in Muammar Qaddafi.

A sacred duty

remembering Qaddafi 6.jpg

What we knew all along is now a substantiated and indisputable fact: There was never a mass uprising in Benghazi or anywhere in Libya. The Libyan people in their millions made it clear that they supported the Al-Fatah Revolution.

Qaddafi noted on many occasions that the Libyan Revolution had a sacred duty to help all those who were in legitimate need and suffering persecution, since this was in accordance with the teachings of the Quran, which was Libya’s Constitution. The bedrock of Islam is to enjoin that which is good and condemn that which is wrong and unjust. Any Muslim, regardless of their interpretation of Quranic teachings, will admit that the Quran clearly states that the weakest response to injustice is to hate it in your heart, the second weakest response is to speak against it and the strongest response is to oppose it in every way possible.

A spiritual revolution

Leader of the Philippine based Moro National Liberation Front, Nur Misuari, in a lecture he delivered in 1990 at the Green World Institute in Tripoli, explained that inserting the word “Islamic” into the name of a country or organization, like the “Islamic Republic of Pakistan” or “Moro Islamic Liberation Front” did not make the country or organization Islamic.

Declaring yourself an “Islamic” country like Saudi Arabia and Qatar does not make you Islamic. To be a truly Islamic society and nation, there has to be a spiritual revolution – a revolution that raises the spiritual consciousness of the people; a revolution that counters the false Islam that the oppressors promote, that abolishes capitalism and the semi-feudal social relations sustained by the ruling elites in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the UAE and Sudan.

To be a truly Islamic society and nation, there has to be a spiritual revolution – a revolution that raises the spiritual consciousness of the people; a revolution that counters the false Islam that the oppressors promote, that abolishes capitalism and the semi-feudal social relations sustained by the ruling elites in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, the UAE and Sudan.

This is why Qaddafi was such a threat to the imperialists and their Muslim surrogates. He was not only propounding dangerous ideas, he was building a new society – a Jamahiriya – a state of the masses, a real democracy based on the revolutionary teachings of the Quran, which, according to South African political scientist Themba Sono, “created conditions for the many to rule themselves.”

Sono goes on to explain: “For Qaddafi, this is part of the natural order in which the majority rules themselves rather than for a minority to exercise power over a majority … Qaddafi denies that the emanations from the activity of electoral participants can never be called rule, not only because such rule would be unethical and thereby unstable, but also because it would contradict the very essence and fundamental tenet of democracy, which is, to be tautological, that, naturally, free people must and can rule themselves.”

It was a dangerous precedent that the imperialists could not allow to continue.

As Sono notes in his book, “The Qaddafi Green Syndrome: Shaking the Foundations”: “Qaddafi does not care to investigate whether or not the people are capable of ruling themselves, for he asks the question, how do we do that without giving the people not only the right but the opportunity to do so? Who is to know beforehand and therefore to decide a priori that the people are not qualified to rule themselves?”

Dangerous ideas indeed

Applying the principles of Qaddafi’s Third Universal Theory transformed Libya from one of the poorest countries in the world to not only one of the most prosperous countries in Africa but, in many respects, one of the most prosperous countries worldwide. Facts and figures substantiate this claim.

remembering Qaddafi 7.jpgDuring the invasion of Libya, 1.7 million people – 95 percent of the population of Tripoli and one third of the entire population of Libya – gathered in downtown Tripoli in what has been called the largest demonstration in world history to support Qaddafi and the revolution. Syrians living in Libya can be seen in the center of the photo waving the Syrian flag. – Photo: Mahdi Darius Nazemroaya

Libya had no foreign debt and actually deposited payments from oil revenue into the bank accounts of its citizens. As is by now well documented, Libyans had access to free quality healthcare, free education from nursery through university level, rent free housing, free electricity, subsidized food – a very high standard of living.

Imperialists hate these types of precedents. What if, upon seeing these achievements, other nations decided to disregard the Western-style systems of governance and the neo-liberal capitalist model that simply widens the gap between the haves and have-nots?

What if countries in Africa, seeing Libya’s advancement and prosperity, decided to rid themselves of the bogus liberal democratic tradition that empowers 1 percent of humanity to rule over 99 percent? What if others decided to reject the multi-party electoral circus, designed to divide and fragment our countries along ethnic and tribal lines and, instead, opted for a Jamahiriya or State of the Masses?

Once asked by a journalist, what was the one thing he wanted to achieve most in his lifetime, Qaddafi replied, “to change the world.” And he was coming close.

Muammar Qaddafi and the empowered Libyan Jamahiriya were leading the movement to establish a United States of Africa, with a united military and a single currency, a dinar backed by Africa’s gold reserves. This would have actually dethroned the U.S. dollar and shifted the global economic imbalance. This would have indeed changed the world.

Muammar Qaddafi and the empowered Libyan Jamahiriya were leading the movement to establish a United States of Africa, with a united military and a single currency, a dinar backed by Africa’s gold reserves. This would have actually dethroned the U.S. dollar and shifted the global economic imbalance.

So, on Oct. 20, 2011, the Satanic forces that had been at war with Qaddafi and the Libyan Jamahiriya from its inception in 1969, dealt their final blow to the man known to revolutionaries throughout the world as the Brother-Leader and to revolutionary Muslims throughout Africa and the world as the “Commander of the Faithful.”

‘If they get past Libya, they are coming for you …’

Six years later and the fallout from this criminal act is still being felt everywhere. Key development projects throughout Africa, financed by Libya, have all grounded to a halt. Saudi Arabia and Qatar, key players in Libya’s demise, are now busy grabbing large tracts of land in Africa. This would not have been possible if Qaddafi was alive.

remembering Qaddafi 8.jpgThousands of Libyan loyalists and migrants from other African countries languish in prisons.

The expansion of AFRICOM, the expansion of U.S. military bases, and the building of new military bases by the Chinese and the Turks in Africa would also not have been possible if Qaddafi were alive. Indeed, there would have been a fierce resistance to the current recolonization and re-carving of Africa if Muammar Qaddafi were alive and the Libyan Jamahiriya were flourishing as before.

Of course, the urgent need to recolonize an Africa that was awakening to its own power and ability to unite and self-determine was the very reason for the overthrow of Qaddafi and the Libyan revolution. It is not surprising that the French led the charge. In March 2008, former French president, Jacques Chirac said, “Without Africa, France would slide down into the rank of a Third World power.” As early as 1957, long before he became president, Francois Mitterrand said, “Without Africa, France will have no history in the 21st century.”

Libya has been transformed into a dysfunctional neo-colonial entity, where an array of militias squabble over territory and spoils. Its vast landmass has become a safe haven and training ground for ISIL and other Al-Qaeda offshoots.

Thousands of Libyans and other African nationals are still detained without trial in what can only be described as concentration camps. Many have been tortured and executed in these same camps, their only crime: being Qaddafi loyalists. Those now in control of Libya hated Qaddafi’s Pan-African objectives. They are Arab supremacists and are persecuting Black Libyans and other African nationals.

Africans who once travelled to Libya to work and send back much needed funds to their families are now crossing the Mediterranean. Entire boatloads of people, including women and children, are drowning as they make the perilous journey.

Africans who once travelled to Libya to work and send back much needed funds to their families are now crossing the Mediterranean. Entire boatloads of people, including women and children, are drowning as they make the perilous journey.

Our ancestors were once captured and forced on to boats against their will. Many perished during that crossing. Today, we are clamoring to secure a place on boats that are not even seaworthy to escape the conditions created by our former enslavers. Many are still perishing.

Qaddafi would often lament, “The world shakes, but it doesn’t change.”

Workers from as far afield as the Philippines, India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, China, Turkey, Germany, England, Italy, Malaysia and Korea lost their jobs.

The entire refugee crisis across Europe is a result of the destruction of the Jamahiriya.

remembering Qaddafi 9.jpgMuammar Qaddafi is remembered with love and held in high esteem by Black
people in Africa and throughout the Diaspora, including in the U.S.

The push to establish a United States of Africa, which prior to Libya’s demise was a dynamic and energized initiative, is presently a dream deferred. Revolutionary Pan-Africanism has suffered a huge setback.

Today’s African leaders, with the exception of a few, are only good for talking Pan-Africanism in the halls of the African Union headquarters. Outside of these confines, they are committed to maintaining the old neo-colonial relationships that keep Africa in bondage.

We salute you

On this day, all those who resist oppression and tyranny worldwide, salute the great freedom fighter and our Brother-Leader, Muammar Qaddafi, and the other revolutionary leaders of Al Fatah. We pay homage to their dedicated and life-long struggle for human emancipation and dignity. We are forever inspired by their steadfast and courageous fight to the end, and by their unwavering faith in, and service to God.

We are grateful for their undying love for the African continent and all of humanity. We salute the millions of Libyan men and women who heroically resisted the invasion of their country and who continue to suffer to this day.

We stand in solidarity with the family of Muammar Qaddafi and the families of all the martyrs. We stand in solidarity with the thousands of political prisoners inside Libya and the more than 1.5 million Qaddafi loyalists exiled from their country.

We commit our full support to the struggle being waged by the patriotic and nationalist forces to liberate and unify Libya once again. For the Green revolutionary, death is not the end but the doorway to a new beginning. Martyrs never die.

Gerald A. Perreira is chairperson of the Guyanese organizations Black Consciousness Movement Guyana (BCMG) and Organization for the Victory of the People (OVP). He is an executive member of the Caribbean Chapter of the Network for Defense of Humanity. He lived in Libya for many years, served in the Green March, an international battalion for the defense of the Al Fatah revolution, and was a founding member of the World Mathaba, based in Tripoli, Libya. He can be reached at mojadi94@gmail.com.

Pan African solidarity with the Cuban people

Source:  Pambazuka News

A Statement by the North American Delegation to the 8th Pan African Congress on the passing of Comrade Fidel Castro Ruiz

PanAfrican Wire

The Pan African Congress – North America

His anti-imperialist policies, socialist initiatives and strong internationalism have earned him a lasting place in world history.

November 30, 2016

 

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The North American Delegation to the 8th Pan African Congress would like to express its solidarity with the Cuban people at the moment when Comrade Fidel Castro joined the ancestors. For over 60 years Comrade Castro gave leadership to first a rebellion and then a revolution after which he was appointed as Prime Minister and later as President and Commander-in-Chief of Cuba, First Secretary of the Communist Party of Cuba and Secretary General of the Non Aligned Movement. His anti-imperialist policies, socialist initiatives and strong internationalism have earned him a lasting place in world history.

Leadership 

Noted for many of the internal social policies which addressed the quality of life for Cuban people such as increasing the literacy rate to 98% and decreasing the infant mortality rate to 1.1%, Comrade Castro and the Communist party of Cuba gave leadership to the peoples of the Caribbean, Central and South America. Castro was an undying opponent of all forms of colonialism and provided moral and political support to the Puerto Rican Independence movement.

Unswerving support for the anti-colonial struggles

Among the African descendants, Fidel will be remembered for his unswerving support for the anti-colonial struggles.  Soon after the decisive victory of the revolution, in the early 1960s Comrade Castro and the revolutionary leadership introduced a call for a “Marshall Plan” type program for Latin America. To counter this, the John F. Kennedy administration launched the Alliance for Progress to stifle the progressive initiatives of Cuba to support the oppressed of the American hemisphere.

Fidel y malcolm 5.jpgIt was among African Americans in the USA where the solidarity was manifest in numerous ways. Castro encouraged African Americans to visit Cuba, as a non-discriminatory country, and provided refuge for Pan African revolutionaries such as Robert Williams. Up to today, Assata Shakur is being protected in Cuba by the Cuban state. His visit to Harlem in 1960, talks with Malcolm X and other African-American leaders reaffirmed the growing ties between the two communities.

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A decade later he was one of the first to support President Salvador Allende against the right-wing elements of the Chilean military. In many ways it was the solidarity of the African progressive forces that cautioned the USA against an open invasion after the Bay of Pigs debacle in 1961. After that it was reported that there were over 600 attempts at the life of Comrade Castro by the US intelligence services.

Deep and abiding ties to Africa

Comrade Castro had deep and abiding ties to Africa, beginning with his connections to the African descendent community in Cuba. After visits in the 1970s to Guinea and Algeria, he led Cuba to become a member of the Non-Aligned Movement, and encouraged revolutionary movements everywhere, including Vietnam and Palestine. Comrade Castro actively supported the liberation forces of Africa and sent military advisers to assist Angolan President Agostinho Neto in 1975. Cuba then strengthened its support of the revolutionary forces in Mozambique and Southern Africa. In 1977 Comrade Castro was able to tour Algeria, Libya, Ethiopia, Somalia, Tanzania, Mozambique and Angola and in each country was warmly greeted as a true friend of African liberation.

fidel-y-neto-2During the period of the Reagan and Thatcher counter-revolution, the CIA and apartheid intensified their efforts to crush the freedom fighters in South Africa and Namibia. When the United States and South Africa increased their support for the forces of UNITA in Angola and the MNR in Mozambique, the Cuban government dispatched over 25,000 troops to Angola which led to a major victory at Cuito Cuanavale. Fidel Castro personally worked with the commanders on the ground, and his military clarity during the battles at Cuito Cuanavale led to the decisive victory. This was the battle that changed the history of Africa and ended white minority rule in Namibia and South Africa. Afterwards Castro rightly stated that, “The history of Africa will be divided into before and after Cuito Cuanavale.”

Support for Reparations

Comrade Castro supported the Global Reparations campaign and his support for the position of the Caribbean position at the World Conference Against Racism in Durban in 2001 shifted the position of most of the progressive forces in Latin America to support the reparative claims of African descendants in the Americas. Pan Africanists remember Fidel Castro and the Cuban revolutionaries for their strong support for the health programs in Africa at a moment when the IMF and the World Bank called on governments to cut health expenditures. It was this tradition which was manifest in 2014 when Cuba dispatched thousands of doctors to West Africa to assist Africans in containing the Ebola virus.

raul-bids-farewell-tomedical-brigade-heading-for-sierra-leone

The North American delegation of the Global Pan African movement salutes the bravery and focus of Comrade Fidel as we pledge to continue the fight against capitalism and racism.

fidel sierra maestra.png

 

Hasta la Victoria Siempre!  Patria o Muerte!  Venceremos!

Stop Foreign Intervention in Africa (STOPFIIA) Conference

Source:  Rising Continent
February 28, 2015

Stop Foreign Intervention in Africa (STOPFIIA) conference at SOAS on 26/02/15

stopfiia-5STOPFIIA organising group arranged a conference that was held at the School of Oriental and African Studies on Thursday 26/02/2015 in LONDON.

Organizers see foreign intervention in Africa as all the actions taken by foreign powers in Africa which are harmful to Africa and Africans and which are intended to secure the interests of those foreign powers.

This does not only take a military form. It is also economic and as result, African countries have been suffering from foreign control of their key economic resources and Western economic prescriptions.

Not one IMF success story in Africa

These economic policies have been in the form of IMF and World Bank programmes, otherwise known as “Structural Adjustment Programmes” or “Suffering African People” for the last 40 years. Yet, there is not one African success story of such economic intervention under the guise of such IMF and World Bank dictates.

stopfiia 6Intervention in Africa also occurs on the cultural and intellectual level

Intervention in Africa also occurs on the cultural and intellectual level by which foreign ideas, theories, perspectives and paradigms are often consciously and unconsciously imposed on the African continent. This is cultural imperialism from which Africans have yet to free their minds.

Stop Foreign Intervention in Africa, are activists who are opposed to foreign intervention in Africa

Ideas and suggestions of participants to the mentioned conference include:

1) A campaign to make companies pay reparations

Make a campaign to make companies (like Barclays Bank) involved in operations that are exploiting the DRCongo’s resources and exacerbating the loss of African lives and sexual violence against African women, pay reparations to the Congolese people; provide funding for the treatment and rehabilitation of victims. Similarly, Shell and other culpable corporations can be made to pay reparations to Nigerians for its environmental destruction of the Niger Delta. Etc.

stopfiia 72) A campaign for African unity-adoption of a Pan-African identity among all Africans

Make a campaign for African unity, to override the tribalism, barriers and ethnic divisions among Africans so we can encourage adoption of a PAN AFRICAN IDENTITY among all Africans.

stopfiia-23) Unity around fighting imperialism from a socialist Pan Africanist perspective

Unite around the issue of fighting imperialism, as imperialism is the real issue. The fight is against the imperialist capitalist international order. It is the capitalist world that creates the widening gap between the super-rich and the rest of the world. We fight from a socialist Pan-Africanist perspective.

stopfiia 84) A self-serving elite

Our exploitation is being facilitated by self-serving elite. Without a clear ideology we go nowhere and socialism is the consensus ideological basis to operate from.

stopfiia-35) Focus on the basic needs of the majority of Africans

Focus on campaigns that will meet the basic needs of Africans and African resource management for the benefit of the people. For instance 2/3rd of Africa is rural and yet only 10% of Africa’s investment is into agriculture. We can make a campaign for African governments to change this. What is Africa to be? Is its model of progress/development to be agriculturally based (and rural), industrialised (and urban), etc.?

stopfiia-12 6) A campaign to boycott purchase of drugs from pharmaceutical companies – promote indigenous herbal medicine

We must not lose ordinary people with difficult language. Ensure to focus on easy, tangible solutions or actions. Campaign to boycott purchase of drugs from pharmaceutical companies, and promote African indigenous herbal medicine.

stopfiia 17) Target actions against those companies harming Africa where we are based

Target action against Britain and British companies, since this is where we (participants and organizers of the conference) are based and Britain’s intervention in African is particularly detrimental to our continent. Make an awareness campaign to educate people on the fact that intervention is detrimental (many of the public believe intervention is beneficial to Africa).

8) Develop a campaign to educate and inform

Make information campaigns to educate on: What does it mean to be intervened? Campaign to expose the role of the elite that are corrupt, facilitate the intervention by foreign interests, and are unable / unwilling to protect their own citizens (as in case of Nigerian military against Boko Haram). A petition is a good means of informing and raising awareness and discussion of the issues. The anti-war campaign has to be connected with.

Black History Month: “Colonial and Suppressed Peoples of the World, Unite!” . . . Kwame Nkrumah

Kwame Nkrumah

The historic declaration of the 5th Pan-African Congress of Manchester, addressed to “The Colonial Peoples of the World”, drafted by Nkrumah, Manchester, 1945.

We believe in freedom and the right of all peoples to govern themselves. We affirm the right of all colonial peoples to control their own destiny. All colonies must be free from foreign imperialist control, be it political or economic. The Continue reading