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Down with the French Imperialist Intervention in Côte d’Ivoire!
On Monday, April 4 French soldiers, already in Abidjan as part of “Operation Unicorn”, began attacking the armed forces loyal to Laurent Gbagbo, the outgoing president. As in Libya, the UN – that den of thieves, gave its carte blanche to the attack (in which the UN military contingent also participated) under the pretext, once again, of “protecting civilians". In that case it is difficult to understand why the targets of UN and French helicopters and cannons were, in addition to tanks and rocket launchers, television facilities, or Gbagbo’s residence; and it is even more difficult to understand why the French and UN military and officials have not moved against the hundreds of civilian massacres committed by Ouattara supporters in their conquest of the country!
In fact the French authorities, with the UN behind them thanks to the agreement of the Americans, have decided to give direct military support to the forces of Ouattara, having no doubt discretely supported their offensive, when they marked time during the seizure of Abidjan, the economic capital of Cote d'Ivoire: without external military assistance, the troops of Guillaume Soro – former rebel leader, former prime minister in the Gbagbo government of “national unity ” becoming Prime Minister under Ouattara – have had all kinds of difficulty in scoring a definitive victory, despite the defection of key military leaders, who passed over to the camp of the eventual victor.
In deciding on overt military intervention, Sarkozy’s government is merely continuing a policy followed consistently by all French governments, left or right, alternately using “peaceful” and violent means to serve imperialist interests. The direct involvement of France in the internal affairs of its former rich colony (as in the others) does not date from today; the accession of the Ivory Coast to independence did not cut the bonds of economic dependence which bound it tightly to the old colonial metropole.
Doubtless the French economic presence became less prominent in the decades that have passed due to a national capitalist development and the growing competition from other imperialists (especially American) in its former African “private backyard”; but its presence has recently strengthened following the privatizations imposed by international financial organizations in the service of imperialism (IMF, World Bank). There are currently approximately 600 French companies present in the various sectors of the Ivorian economy of the Ivory Coast: it is the defense of the interests of these companies and nothing else which determines the policy of French imperialism, whether it is in 2002 at the time of the rescue of the Gbagbo regime then faced with the northerner rebels of Soro then of the imposition of a division of power between them, or today in the support for Ouattara. The persistence of the dominance of a particularly rapacious French imperialism in Côte d'Ivoire can only bring about a repetition of suffering and poverty for the masses of this country.
But neither Laurent Gbagbo, Ouattara Alassanne, Guillaume Soro or Konan Bedie (the “heir” to the old autocrat and pillar of Imperial French Africa, Houphouet Boigny), represent any favorable alternative for the masses and proletarians of Côte d’Ivoire, and all represent rival bourgeois factions, linked to economic interests often on a regional or tribal basis, which is demonstrated by their subservience to French imperialism and global capitalism. The “Socialist” Gbagbo delivers demagogic anti-imperialist speeches and he denounces Ouattara as the IMF’s man, but he never stopped favoring the big French did not cease supporting the great French groups like investment and holding conglomerate Bolloré and in February 2008 he concluded an agreement with the “Socialist” Strauss-Kahn, president of the IMF. One month later, it is against the Gbagbo-Soro government that the hunger riots occured…
Ouattara, the rich dignitary from the north, former Prime Minister of Houphouet Boigny, former “African Director” of the IMF, is supported in the name of respect for “democracy” by Western imperialism, commencing with France and the United States, which imposed economic sanctions to put pressure on Gbagbo. Yet in other countries, African or not, fromm Egypt to Niger, Togo and Saudi Arabia, gross and sometimes bloody violations of the beautiful principles of democracy, provoked no reaction on their part; French imperialism talks a lot about “democracy” right now, yet it installed, supported and still supports the worst dictators in Africa.
This democracy, which pretends that all “citizens” are equal and all have the same power to decide, through elections, the politics of their country, is really a hypocritical fiction hiding the exclusive domination of capitalist interests over all economic, social and political life. Just as this fiction is used by the bourgeois because it enables them to dupe the proletariat, so it is used by imperialism as long as it is useful to it!
It is not “democracy” which can bring harmony in Côte d'Ivoire, including eliminating interethnic tensions instrumentalized by the capitalists, to prevent proletarians and the population from having to bear the brunt of the confrontations between bourgeois cliques supported by imperialism; just as it is not democracy which can fight against oppression and exploitation, and prevent imperialist exactions.
Only the international class struggle can provide effective support to the proletariat and the disinherited masses of the so-called “peripheral” countries who find not only their own bourgeoisie and State arrayed against them but also the imperialist powers.. The proletarians of the major imperialist centers have the opportunity to help their class brothers, not by way of humanist charity, but but reviving the anti-capitalist struggle.
Because they alone they can strike at the heart of the imperialist octopus, opening the possibility, in union with the proletarians of all countries, to put an end to global capitalism.
After Libya, After Afghanistan ..., down with yet another imperialist French intervention in Côte d'Ivoire!
For resumption of the international proletarian struggle against capitalism!
Workers of all countries, unite!
International Communist Party
April, 8th 2011
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