First Published: The Call, Vol. 6, No. 18, May 9, 1977.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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With Soviet-backed mercenaries continuing their invasion of Zaire, the centrists of the Guardian newspaper have thrown themselves into an all-out campaign to defend social-imperialist aggression.
Echoing the fictions of the world-wide revisionist propaganda machine, the Guardian claims that the invasion is an “internal matter,” a “civil war” or a “popular uprising.” The April 27 Guardian goes on to assert, “There is not a shred of evidence” to show Soviet or Cuban involvement in Zaire.
In fact, the evidence of Soviet-Cuban masterminding of the Zaire invasion is extensive. Although Katangan mercenaries from Angola have formed the bulk of the invading force, it has been extensively documented that they are Cuban-trained and Soviet-armed. Two Katangans captured last week by the Zaire army admitted that they had been trained by Cubans.
If there is “no Soviet-Cuban involvement” in the Zaire invasion, why are the invaders rolling through Shaba in Soviet T-54 and T-55 tanks? Why have Spanish-language documents been found on the battlefield, and why have white soldiers been observed fighting with the Black Katangans? Why has the Zairean army captured 6,000 boxes of Soviet-made arms and ammunition?
As to the wild claim made by the Guardian that the Katangan mercenaries have been “politicized” by their “experiences in Angola” and are now “imbued with socialist consciousness,” this is a perversion of revolutionary terms. The chairman of the Organization of African Unity and other African leaders have denounced the Katangan gendarmes as a “band of mercenaries” and “desperadoes” in the pay of foreign colonialists and imperialists.
The Guardian centrists, who earlier admitted that their Katangan “liberators” had a “checkered history,” now resort to the feeble claim that the current invaders are “different Katangans” belonging to the younger generation of the notorious mercenaries.
Actually, all that has changed is that the Katangan gendarmes, formerly employed by U.S. imperialism and Portuguese colonialism, are now getting their paychecks from the Kremlin.
As the Soviet Union has stepped up its aggression in Africa and its frantic contention with U.S. imperialism for world domination, the Guardian centrists have dramatically stepped up their defense of social-imperialism.
During the war in Angola, the Guardian gave total support to Soviet involvement there, although they occasionally admitted that the USSR had its own “self-interests” in Angola. But now even this token criticism of Soviet social-imperialism is gone.
The Guardian’s version of the events in Zaire is indistinguishable from that of the Soviet press. Using the technique of a thief crying “stop thief,” Soviet propaganda has been covering up its own crimes by pointing the finger at “Western imperialism” for “meddling in the internal affairs of Zaire.”
Of course, the U.S. has historically plundered the wealth of Zaire, and in the face of the present situation, has intervened by sending millions of dollars worth of arms to the Mobutu government. But these facts can in no way alter the reality that it is the Soviet Union which is the main aggressor in Zaire.
The Guardian’s headline articles like “Zaire Patriots Fight Imperialism” (where “patriots” mean the invaders, and “imperialism” means only U.S. imperialism) are designed to cover-up the truth, and take the heat off the Soviet social-imperialists.
Another prominent feature of the Guardian’s commentary on Zaire is its slanderous attack on the People’s Republic of China. In an April 20 editorial, the Guardian took the words right out of Brezhnev’s mouth when it claimed that “Western imperialism” in Zaire is “supported by People’s China.” The Guardian says that China has joined the imperialists in trying to stop a “legitimate uprising” by giving support to Zaire.
Not only is the Guardian no “friend of China” as it claims, but it is attacking China for precisely the same reasons and in precisely the same way as the Soviet Union and the revisionist parties around the world. They are trying to discredit China because China is exposing the truth of what is happening in Zaire.
The Guardian attacks China’s principled support for Zaire’s sovereignty and the national rights of third world countries. They believe that any time Soviet and Cuban troops march into a third world country, it is “liberated,” thus leaving the people of that country no voice in the matter. The Guardian has no faith in the masses and upholds the Soviet theory that the only way to get free of U.S. domination in places like Zaire is to rely on Soviet troops.
Following this logic, the Guardian editors, like their friends at TASS and the Daily World, have also launched a broadside attack against the African countries which have come to Zaire’s aid. The Moroccan troops which have helped Zaire are termed an “occupation force” by the Guardian, and other African countries’ support for Zaire is called “reactionary.” The word “reactionary,” of course, is used by the Guardian editors in its Russian definition–meaning anyone who opposes Soviet domination of their country.
The two superpowers are in a fierce scramble for Africa, of which Zaire is only the current hotpoint. The same battle is going on in Zimbabwe, Azania, Ethiopia, and elsewhere.
The people of Africa oppose domination by any foreign power. They are rapidly coming to see through their own experiences that the Soviet Union, like the U.S., is an imperialist superpower, not a “liberator” or “ally.”
No matter how desperately the Guardian and the rest of the revisionist press try to hold back this understanding and turn truth on its head, the people of the world cannot be fooled. The very evidence about Soviet aggression in Zaire which the Guardian tries to pretend “doesn’t exist” is awakening more people to the true nature of the Soviet Union.