The Belgian Congo has a new name, Zaire, but the same old imperialists are scurrying, around trying to prop up dictator Mobutu’s tottering regime.
When the well organized, highly disciplined guerrilla forces of the Congo National Liberation Front (FNLC) struck mineral-rich Shaba (Katanga) province last May, international headlines suppressed news of revolution and screamed “Whites massacred!” And French and Belgian overseers concocted a phony “rescue mission” to quell the revolt.
Soon after, foreign investors announced the “Mobutu Plan,” which would further garrotte Zaire’s virtually bankrupt economic system.
The Mobutu plan, carefully masked as “international cooperation,” is an imperialist effort to attract more foreign investment and tighten control of Zaire’s finances. Drafted by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the World Bank, the Common Market, and multinational corporations, the plan turns the Bank of Zaire and the total economy over to the IMF.
The chief beneficiaries are the foreign corporations who own Zaire’s copper, cobalt, uranium and diamond mines. The U.S. receives 90% of its cobalt from Zaire, and hundreds of millions of dollars owed to U.S. banks would be lost should Shaba win independence.
Invasion by Foreign Troops
To insure their grip on Zaire, the imperialists recruited troops from Morocco, Senegal, etc., to replenish Mobutu’s disintegrating army. And thousands of Belgian and French soldiers are in training for the role of imperialist cops in Zaire.
These were the forces whose widely touted “rescue” operation crushed the May insurrection. But once the racist hullabaloo receded, the “rescue” was revealed as poorly camouflaged aggression against the Zairian masses.
Airlifted Belgian refugees denied that FNLC guerrillas massacred whites; observers placed the blame on the French soldiers who actually triggered the crossfire which killed both Blacks and whites. Atrocities were perpetrated by Mobutu’s poorly-paid mercenaries, who robbed, ransomed and slaughtered with impunity.
President Carter exploited the situation by defaming Cuba, but could unearth no evidence that Castro’s soldiers participated in the uprising. The only international intervention was the sham rescue staged by the “peace-keeping” imperialist troops.
Surrounded by wealth they do not share, and caught in the vise of starvation and runaway inflation, the Zairian masses are prepared to move dramatically against Mobutu and his colonialist cronies.
The people hate Mobutu, chief executioner of Patrice Lumumba, the martyred leader of Congolese independence. And the Lunda Tribe, their territory split by the borders of Zaire, Angola and Zambia, furnishes the FNLC with strong support. The FNLC is planning a new offensive aimed at wresting government control from the imperialist plunderers and their native henchmen.
Though FNLC poses no political alternative to capitalism, it offers to a desperately exploited colonial people a reform program that has proven dynamic at this stage of the struggle. But only an anti-capitalist revolution will decisively throw out the colonialists and give the country to the workers and peasants now forced to turn all the national wealth of Zaire into foreign millions, while the people sicken and starve.