We are entering the end stage of the 30-year U.S. neoconservative debacle in Ukraine. The neocon plan to surround Russia in the Black Sea region by NATO has failed. Decisions now by the U.S. and Russia will matter enormously for peace, security, and wellbeing for the entire world. Four events have shattered the neocon hopes for NATO enlargement eastward, to Ukraine, Georgia, and onward. The first is straightforward. Ukraine has been devastated on the battlefield, with tragic and appalling losses. Russia is winning the war of attrition, an outcome that was predictable from the start but which the neocons and mainstream media continue to deny.
On Tuesday September 19, the opening day of the United Nations General Assembly, anti-imperialist activists rallied outside the UN Headquarters in New York City to demand that France end its imperialist meddling in West Africa and the Sahel. Organizers with the Party for Socialism and Liberation, the December 12th Movement, Bridging Africa and Black America, and others denounced the neocolonial policies of the European nation and voiced solidarity and support to Burkina Faso, Mali, Guinea, and Niger, which recently underwent coups opposing French neocolonialism. Activists demanded that France end its neocolonial exploits in the Sahel, principally Niger.
On August 14, US-based organizations rallied in front of the BlackRock world headquarters in New York City to demand that the massive investment company cancel the USD 220 million it holds in Zambia’s external debt. Organizations that participated in the action include the Act Now to Stop War and End Racism (ANSWER) Coalition, the Peoples Forum, the Debt Collective, Nodutdol for Korean Community Development, Friends of the Congo, and Friends of Swazi Freedom. For years, Zambia has been stuck diverting public funds to service its foreign debts.
In late July, I visited two settlements of the Landless Rural Workers (MST) on the outskirts of São Paulo (Brazil). Both settlements are named for brave women, the Brazilian lawmaker Marielle Franco – who was assassinated in 2018 – and Irmã Alberta – an Italian Catholic nun who died in 2018. The lands where the MST has built the Marielle Vive camp and the Irmã Alberta Land Commune were slated for a gated community with a golf course, and a garbage dump, respectively. Based on the social obligations for land use in the Brazilian Constitution of 1988, the MST mobilised landless workers to occupy these areas, build their own homes, schoolhouses and community kitchens, and grow organic food.
The patterns of neocolonial intervention in the majority world by the United States and its allies since their victories over Nazi Germany and Imperial Japan in 1945 are very clear. Almost immediately the Western countries started a cycle of bloody aggression against peoples resisting colonialism, followed later by the dependence of most African and Asian countries on the ruthless Western economic system. In all this time, the United States and Europe demonstrated the most crude and brutal determination to guarantee at all costs control of the natural resources required by their capitalist system.
Gold, silicon, oil—with reserves estimated at 2 billion barrels—and above all uranium, are essential for both French nuclear power stations and atomic bombs. They are strategic raw materials for imperialism, which needs to consolidate its dominion at the expense of the southern countries. This is the key to understanding the fibrillation provoked in the United States and especially in the European Union, by the coup d’état in Niger. On July 28, General Abdourahamane Tchiani, head of the Presidential Guard, was proclaimed the new leader of Niger and assumed the presidency of the National Council for the Protection of the Homeland (CNSP), after having ousted the Western-backed President Mohamed Bazoum.
Last week’s military coup in Niger could be a game-changer in the New Cold War if the junta cuts off the uranium exports upon which France’s nuclear energy industry depends, kicks out its former colonizer’s troops from their last regional bastion, and/or requests Russia’s “Democratic Security” assistance. Unlike the patriotic military coups in Guinea, Mali, and Burkina Faso, which were condemned by the West but not considered a threat to its neocolonial stranglehold over Africa, the one in Niger is ringing alarm bells. France and the US strongly condemned this latest regime change, with the first suspending all aid in parallel with the EU while the latter is preparing to follow suit.
At 3 a.m. on July 26, 2023, the presidential guard detained President Mohamed Bazoum in Niamey, the capital of Niger. Troops, led by Brigadier General Abdourahmane Tchiani closed the country’s borders and declared a curfew. The coup d’état was immediately condemned by the Economic Community of West African States, by the African Union, and by the European Union. Both France and the United States—which have military bases in Niger—said that they were watching the situation closely. A tussle between the Army—which claimed to be pro-Bazoum—and the presidential guard threatened the capital, but it soon fizzled out.
The Black Alliance for Peace (BAP) is alarmed that representatives of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) are at the forefront of the call for armed intervention in Haiti calling on Rwanda and Kenya to help lead the charge. Once again the Black Alliance for Peace (BAP) calls on the international community to reject U.S., UN, and CARICOM plans for an armed intervention in Haiti. We have been consistent in our support for Haitian people who view the presence of the United Nations Integrated Office (BINUH) and the Core Group as a foreign occupation. Since 2004, they have suppressed Haiti’s independence and sovereignty.
On May 19, Ghana received the first tranche of a $3 billion, three-year bailout agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Accra had approached the lending agency in 2022 amid a severe cost of living crisis as food prices surged by 122% and the inflation rate breached 50%—the highest in two decades. With its currency cedi having lost over half of its value against the US dollar, and a debt burden that was draining between 70-100% of government revenues, Ghana reached a loan agreement with the IMF in December. This is Ghana’s seventeenth arrangement with the IMF since independence, with each engagement marked by similar policies of austerity which worked to erode the revolutionary vision of the country’s first president, Kwame Nkrumah.
60 years ago, on May 25, Ghana’s first prime minister and president, the anti-colonial revolutionary leader Kwame Nkrumah stood before 31 other heads of African states in the Ethiopian capital of Addis Ababa and declared, “[T]he struggle against colonialism does not end with the attainment of national independence.” “Independence is only the prelude to a new and more involved struggle for the right to conduct our own economic and social affairs…unhampered by crushing and humiliating neo-colonialist controls and interference.” “We must unite or perish,” Nkrumah had emphasized, recognizing that while countries across the African continent were “throwing off the yoke of colonialism,” these successes were “equally matched by an intense effort on the part of imperialism to continue the exploitation of our resources by creating divisions among us.”
The South American nation sometimes suffers from a current account deficit, and relies heavily on imports of oil, technology, and medical equipment. Low revenue from its mostly agricultural exports means that Argentina faces a chronic shortage of foreign currency – and most of the dollars it gets end up flowing out of the country to paying interest on the unsustainable external debt, draining the country’s foreign-exchange reserves and making it difficult to stabilize the national currency, the peso. National elections are approaching in October, and among the presidential hopefuls is far-right politician Javier Milei.
President Biden "brought" leaders of selected African nations to the United States for a summit to “demonstrate the United States’ enduring commitment to Africa," the White House claims. But just days before the meeting, the Biden administration imposed more economic sanctions on members of some excluded nations, a likely attempt to send a warning of what happens to those who do not comply with the US' imperialist demands. The Black Alliance for Peace (BAP) organized a week of actions to coincide with Biden's summit. Clearing the FOG speaks with Rose Brewer of BAP's Africa Team about the long history of US intervention to exploit Africans, steal resources, and suppress liberation movements and how this comes home to impact people and social movements in the US.
On October 7th, in the face of massive and ever-growing demonstrations all across Haiti demanding the uprooting of the right-wing Haitian Tét Kale Party (PHTK) dictatorship, Prime Minister Ariel Henry exploited the fiction of a war between his regime and “gangs” to call for the intervention of foreign troops to expand the colonial occupation of Haiti. In doing so, he was echoing the tweet made the day before by OAS Secretary General Luis Almagro. Within days, the Biden Administration proceeded to draft a UN Security Council resolution calling for the expanded deployment of foreign troops in Haiti. To date, the UN Security Council has not yet passed this resolution, due to concerns voiced by the governments of Russia and China.