What We Should Know

by Cinque Brown

On May 18th, the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of the Congo- Democratic Republic of Congo (formerly known as Zaire) ended the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) installed Mobutu dictatorship. This 37 year exhibition of theft, murder, corruption and exploitation has finally come to a end.

Since this date, the Western media coverage has been critical and suspicious of the new government and new President, Laurent Kabilia. It is very important that the global (Black) population understand the role that the West has taken and why. It should be noted that Kabilia has called for unity among African Nations. He would like to see ethnic rivalry end and aims to be a major player in transforming the "richest" continent on the planet into a "United States of Africa".

Of course, he must start at home first and he has his work cut out for him. His task will be hard despite the wests' efforts because the ethnic and linguistic character of the people of the former Zaire is highly diverse and complex. The boundaries of the country actually divide numerous ethnic groups. The majority speak Bantu languages of great variety (there are about 700 dialects or local languages), and in the north the people belong linguistically to Sudan. Communication is, however, facilitated by the ability of the people to speak several languages and dialects and by the use of French, which is the official language.

The fact that French and not English is the primary language has hurt his " U.S. appeal". Kabilia, faxed a letter of condolence to the Shabazz family hours before the eulogy memorializing Dr. Betty Shabazz but, it was never read because it took too much time to transfer the document into English.

Kabilia undoubtedly is a student of history and remembers the Last Message of El Hajj Malik El Shabazz on February 15, 1965. Where Malcolm said:

"There is something that you should know and that is, that they realize now on the African Continent. What's is at stake and how much all of these western powers have in common in what they're doing in cahoots with each other behind closed doors. So on the African continent they're training Africans to be soldiers so that they can invade each one of these countries and take it over so that they can turn it over to their rightful people .............. How do you think you would feel right now if some Congolese brothers walked up to you- they look just you...don't think you don't look Congolese, you look as much Congolese as a Congolese does, they got all kind of Congolese over there- how would you feel if one of them walked up and asked you about what your government is doing in the Congo?..... You have no explanation, your tongue stays in your mouth and you have to then go to the extreme to convince them that you don't go along with what the U.S. government is doing in the Congo."

This sort of situation is allowed to happen because most African-Americans know nothing about this region of the globe. The last thing they heard about the Congo was presented in a cinematic format. We have the crazed ape movie by Paramount called "Congo"and we have "When We Were Kings" which is the Muhammad Ali documentary movie. This five star film (my opinion) features the classic boxing encounter between Muhammad Ali and George Foreman known as "The Rumble in the Jungle". The most profound thing about this event was not that it was George Foreman's first loss but that the then, President, Mobutu Sese Seko financed the whole event.

This grandiose, flamboyant act is part of his personality but the fact that he made no profit is also his personality. In fact during his 37 years he has stolen everything possible from the people of the Congo and the country has not profited. The national debt of the country is approximately the same amount that he has tied up in foreign bank accounts.

This aspect of his personality is what led the CIA to select Mobutu as their " man" and lend U.S. support to him, which eventually led to the assassination of the democratically elected and favored leader Patrice Lumumba.

Europeans were accustomed to controlling the resource rich Congo which is 2,344,885 square kilometers and has a labor force of 40,000,000 people. The Berlin Treaty of 1885 (Historical dividing of Africa by European Heads of State) led European mercantilism to believe that Africa would always be for their direct or indirect control. Thus we have seen colonial Africa or dictator supported Africa.

Despite the vast resources of the Congo it's, principal exports are oil-palm products and coffee with additional trading in rubber and cotton products.

The economy is heavily dependent on mineral products, which in the mid-1980s generated about 86 percent of foreign-currency earnings. The mining of copper, cobalt, gold, zinc, manganese, and coal provides many jobs, considerable wealth, and about half of the public revenue. Congo's dependence on mineral exports, however, especially copper and cobalt, makes the country highly vulnerable to fluctuations in international markets. Falling demand and low prices have had significant adverse effects on the economy.

Democratic Congo has manufacturing activities worth about 40 percent of the country's investments. The industries are primarily consumer products destined for the domestic market: beverages, clothing, foods, leather goods, tobacco, chemicals (paint), metal engineering, cement, timber, and river transport equipment.

The western media has demanded much of President Laurent Kabilia despite the complicated situation he faces. This represents a media hoax especially in contrast to our own history as a nation. According to Elombe Brath of the New York Based Patrice Lumumba Coalition "the facts are that the U.S. did not have an election until thirteen years after its 'declaration of independence' in 1776 and have invented reasons to invade other countries 133 times from 1789 until 1917 under the guise of promoting democracy." I think that it is evident that the U.S. has physically "arrested the development" of other countries enough, it is time for us to lend journalistic, technological and verbal support to the re-developing of our brothers and sisters from the Congo to Timbuktu.

What We Should Know by Cinque Brown

© Copyright 1997. All rights reserved. No portion of this work may be duplicated or copied without the expressed written consent of the author.

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