GUINEA — The miserable reign of Lansana Conte has ended with a growth in poverty, misery and brutality against the African masses in Guinea. His effort to keep power until death has given way to another faction of the Guinean army who seized power at the expense of Conte’s favored general Camara Diarra and Prime Minister Ahmed Tidiane Souare in a coup on Tuesday, December 23.
Captain Moussa Camara, of the newly proclaimed National Council for Democracy and Development (CNDD), seized power in Guinea only a few hours after the announce of Lansana Conte’s death. The following day, he and his colleagues paraded through the streets of Conakry in a show of force. He wasted no time demanding that Prime Minister Souare and Army General Camara Diarra and other government officials turn themselves in within 24 hours or be hunted down.
Captain Moussa Camara denounced the legacy of Lansana Conte on his broadcast to the people of Guinea, but said nothing about imperialist plunder of Guinea’s natural resources — bauxite, gold, diamonds, and incredibly fertile land. Nor did Camara mention the blood sucking robbery of our labor used to produce and extract our wealth for imperialism.
We do not know which imperialist country is behind the new leaders or what the political ramifications or implications are throughout this volatile region of West Africa. However, we do know that this regime change by this military faction is no different from the one that brought Lansana Conte himself to power in 1984 after the death of Sekou Toure.
This coup has been made possible by the betrayal committed by African petty bourgeois forces who lead the main trade unions in Guinea against the African workers. The trade unionist leaders formed a united front against the Conte regime in the midst of an intense general strike of African workers in January and February 2007. They were also united under the banner of opportunism on the other end, as they were calling for the formation of a “national unity government” and the appointment of a civilian prime minister as a compromise with Conte against the interests of the masses. A prime minister was appointed in the person of Lansana Kouyate who was sacked anyway by Conte just a month after his appointment.
The trade union leaders did not unite with the Revolutionary National Democratic Program (RNDP) put forward by the Africanist Movement to hasten in a new struggle for the building the African Socialist International (ASI) in the West Africa region. The building of the ASI in the region would have united all African workers and peasants in one struggle and begin the social transformation of Guinea and of the region that could have deepened the crisis to end neocolonialism there.
The trade union leaders instead gave a life line to the dying Conte government that quite possibly would have been liquidated by the heavy blows of massive mobilization. It is clear that Moussa Camara is in power now because of the treacherous acts of the union leaders that demobilized and confused masses of workers with their compromise with the defunct regime of Lansana Conte.
The only future is in building the African Socialist International
This crisis of imperialism calls for a creation and consolidation of the revolutionary party of the African workers in alliance with poor peasants — the African Socialist International — which will be able to drive the masses’ struggle against the petty bourgeoisie without allowing another section of the bourgeoisie to steal the victory from our struggle.
It must be understood that all of the compradors and bureaucrats of the African petty bourgeoisie are tied to the regime of status quo, be it by elections or by coups. Their primary duty is the protection of imperialism.
The emancipation and reunification of African workers and peasants all over the world into a single thrust for liberation and unification with our land and our own resources can only happen with the African Socialist International, the organization of all African revolutionaries for a united socialist State of Africa. The Africanist Movement is spearheading the construction of the ASI in Guinea and throughout West Africa.
We unite with this RNDP put forward on the ground in Guinea by the Africanist Movement in 2007. Any real change must begin with its immediate implementation. The RNDP calls for:
- All power to the workers and peasants; establishment of a democratic national revolutionary government of workers and peasants.
- Freedom of press, speech, assembly and political association.
- Nationalization of the strategic components of the economy, especially the extractive, mining sector. This will allow the people to begin using the natural resources of Guinea for economic development for the people—for food, clothing, housing, education and development of the economic infrastructure.
- Dismantle and restructure the army under the leadership of a democratic national revolutionary committee of patriotic officers, non-commissioned officers and soldiers.
- Living wages for all workers.
- Establish worker-peasant committees to begin a process of repatriation of all the wealth and resources stolen by members and supporters of the current neocolonial regime and deposited in imperialist banks.
- Immediate investment in water collection, purification and delivery.
- Freedom for all political prisoners and those militants arrested during the insurrection.
- Removal of the borders separating Guinea-Conakry from its neighbors and thereby expanding the economy of the region and allowing for greater economic planning to the benefit of all the people in the region.
- Removal of all military checkpoints requiring identification papers that specify ethnicity.
- Immediate withdrawal of all imperialist troops from the region and their intelligence agencies, including those of the UK, U.S., UN, and EU.
- Immediate withdrawal of all troops brought in from Guinea-Bissau and other mercenaries being used to defend the neocolonial regime.
- Reparations for all the wealth taken from Guinea and the region by imperialist corporations in collusion with the neocolonial regimes.
- Price support for peasant and domestic agricultural production.
- Government support for modernization of domestic agricultural production, including modernization of equipment, supply of fertilizer and seeds, and protection of domestic and regional producers and markets from imperialist corporations that undermine our local economies.
- Clinics and healthcare for the rural and agricultural communities.
- Assistance for the seafood producers, including modernization of the fishing fleet and protection of the fishing coast from imperialist intervention and over fishing.
- Solidarity with African people in Africa and throughout the world who are struggling against imperialism in any form, including neocolonialism.
- Recognition of the right of return for all African people displaced and dispersed from Guinea and Africa by slavery, colonialism and other attacks on Guinea and Africa as a whole by imperialism.
While there are other demands being forwarded by the Africanist Movement to advance the building of the ASI process, these demands are demonstrative of the character of the movement and its intentions.