RENAMO (was Unita)

João Paulo Monteiro jpmonteiro at
Fri Dec 31 14:24:28 MST 1999

Louis Proyect wrote:

> Many people, especially disaffected Marxists, claim that the defeat of the
> Nicaraguan revolution and the messes in Angola and Mozambique, are proof
> that socialism does not work. I would argue the opposite. Anglo-American
> imperialism was deathly afraid of success in these poor, marginal
> countries. Nicaragua, whose gross national product was less than the
> American population spends on blue jeans each year, could not survive as an
> example of a society based on human need rather than private profit. That
> example might be coveted by larger and more powerful nations, such as
> Brazil or Mexico. That is why Angola, Mozambique and Nicaragua were punished.

Yes, you are right here Lou.

Of course, I was by no means trying to be harsh on Machel's FRELIMO. All I was
saying is that RENAMO (unlike Savimbi) was an honorable enemy. They stood for the
authority of the traditional chiefs (régulos) and were opposed to any notion of
socialization of the means of production. They stood against mass mobilization of
the country for the building of socialism. This was their position in 1978 and
its the same now.

They haven't flip-flopped through all the ideological spectrum in order to find
the best opportunity to seat their fat asses in power by any means, under any
mask. Dhlakama doesn't have a hundredth of Savimbi's political sophistication,
but we have always known what he stood for. And he keeps his word too.

We progressive folks in the rich countries have a tendency to think, rather
paternalistically, that ultra-poor countries like Mozambique have no conservative
forces, no deeply entrenched social resistances to change and revolution to be
dealt with. Ask our ethiopian friends.

Sure RENAMO has had the backing of the imperialists and the racists (never
nowhere near in the same amounts as UNITA). Should we be crying "foul" for it?
When we will be in a position to have powerful forces gathered behind us, lets
make sure we will put to use every last one of them in crushing our enemies.

Moreover, RENAMO was no doubt our enemy then. Now that FRELIMO is composed of all
these well dressed, corrupt and sell-out leaders, with their cell-phones ringing
and executive plane tickets in hand, I'm no longer so full of loath for the
turdy, awkward RENAMO provincials, the subject of all kinds of jokes in Maputo.
And I'm not even so sure who stands more firmly for the defense of mozambican
national interests and dignity.

Some time next week, I will be submitting a giant post on the socialist
experience in Mozambique (1975-86).

João Paulo Monteiro

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