After 32 years of Despotic rule and multi-billion-dollar plunder in Zaire, CIA-installed dictator Mobutu Sese Seko has been vanquished at last.
Led by Laurent Kabila, who called himself a Marxist in his younger days, the rebel forces swept through the country to an enthusiastic welcome in the capital, Kinshasa. In the months before Mobutu’s fall, the capital’s residents paralyzed the city with general strikes and demonstrations.
The U.S. supported Mobutu for three decades in return for favors like providing the CIA with air bases to wage war against revolutionary Angola. Suddenly, it is now fretting about democracy in Zaire (renamed the Democratic Republic of Congo), pressuring Kabila to hold elections and to investigate charges of massacres during the insurgency.
But maintenance of Western control, not democracy, is of course the real concern of the U.S. and France (Congo’s main foreign exploiters) and the other imperialists. The world’s biggest producer of industrial diamonds, Congo is rich in resources that also include copper, gold, and cobalt.
So far, the capitalists have nothing to fear from Kabila, who has already met cordially with U.S. officials (including the CIA), avowed his commitment to “free trade,” signed a number of business deals with eager multinationals, etc.
But they may still have something to fear from Congo’s workers and peasants. Having shed blood to dislodge the parasite Mobutu, will they accept Congo’s continued despoliation, even if less flagrantly corrupt, under Kabila?