David Altman altman_d at SPAMhotmail.com
Mon Dec 27 18:44:14 MST 1999

João Paulo Monteiro wrote:

>In 1965, he managed to take hold of some resources and militants of UPA in
>Lusaka where he built a power base. It was here he got in contact with the
>of China. Some of his closest friends got military training there and he
>visited China himself (seeing the "pope", naturally). He may have played
>a time with maoist clothes and concepts (even now,1999, he talks of his
>war as one of "generalized popular resistance"). But the chinese were not
>very demanding politically, anyway. Some time later they were also
>the FNLA, which made no secret of its staunch anti-communism. In 1969, the
>Congress of UNITA saluted the PR of China, "center of world revolution",
>Zedong and his "cultural proletarian revolution". But the maoist outlook
>nothing but a cover for the very real anti-communist, pro-imperialist and
>even pro-colonialist activity.

Savimbi wasn't the only African nationalist parading about in
"Marxist-Leninist" clothing in those days.  Col. Odemegwu Ojukwu, leader of
the Biafran war of independence from Nigeria 1967-70, in hopes of getting
Chinese support for his cause, also made ritual declarations of support for
"People's War" and denunciations of "Soviet Revisionism" (the Soviets were
supporting the Nigerian government).  The cover of the "Ahiara Declaration,"
the main programmatic declaration of the Biafran cause, shows Ojukwu posing
in fatigues a la Fidel.  Rather amusing, since the guy was a
dyed-in-the-wool bourgeois.

I'd hasten to add that I thought the Biafran cause was totally justified and
Ojukwu was an admirable figure in his way.  But a communist he wasn't!

David Altman

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