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in ENGLISH, The White House and the Black Continent, Reaganomics: the African Version.

The White House and the Black Continent

Reaganomics: the African Version


The United States and the other imperialist powers are actively exploiting the economic and financial difficulties of the independent African countries in their struggle to reverse the progressive transformations that have taken place there. The neocolonialist strategy of the White House is aimed at preventing socialist-oriented countries from existing on the African continent, ensuring the maximum integration of African states into the capitalist orbit, and tying the whole of the African "pc-rifery" to the capitalist "centre" with bonds of a new type.

It is in this context that we should consider, for example, a report of the International Bank for Reconstruction and Development (a third of the voting shares in which belong to the United States) which appeared in late 1981 under the title, Accelerated Development in Sub-Saharan Africa: An Agenda for Action. The report was, as it were, a kind of policy statement for the United States' African economic strategy. The development formulas proposed in this document were directly opposed to the policy of progressive socio-economic transformation and increased state control over the economy. In a bid to keep Africa as long as possible as a source of raw material supplies for the industrially developed capitalist states the report referred to the unsuitability for Africa of the theory and practice of scientific socialism and orientated the economies of the African countries to the exclusive development of agriculture and the export of agricultural produce and raw materials. It proposed curtailing the state sector and expanding the use of foreign and national private capital, and considered industrialisation, economic cooperation and integration as something only for the distant future in Africa.

It is hardly surprising therefore that at the 17th Session of the UN Economic Commission for Africa, which was held in Tripoli in April 1982, this World Bank report was sharply criticised by delegations from 20 African countries. They considered the recommendations carried in the report as blatant intervention on the part of the Bank into the internal affairs of the independent states and as an attempt to channel the economic development of the African continent along lines that suited the imperialist powers and cause a breakdown in the Lagos Plan of Action that was adopted by the Organisation of African Unity in 1980. Delegates from Ethiopia, Congo, Libya, Zimbabwe, and Guinea made speeches from principled anti-imperialist positions exposing the intentions of the World Bank and the American administration in Africa and adducing facts to show that US aid to the developing countries is closely linked with its policy for providing all-round support for the reactionary regime in South Africa and destabilising the situation in a number of areas on the continent. They showed that the World

Bank report clearly reflected the intentions of the Western powers to foist their neocolonialist economic doctrine on the African countries in the interest of foreign capital. In the Declaration of Tripoli, adopted at this session following the discussion of the World Bank report, it was noted that the strategy recommended by the World Bank was in complete contradiction to the political, economic and social aspirations of the African people.

The White House has had, of course, plenty of opportunity to subvert the economic and social progress of the African countries, because to a considerable extent the liberated countries have been part of the world capitalist system and tied to it by hundreds and thousands of financial and economic threads. Here, perhaps, of paramount importance are the transnational corporations, which will be considered in greater detail below.

The progressive countries of Africa realise the danger to their political and economic independence that comes from the White House instigated activities of the transnational corporations. Characteristic in this context is the statement that was made by the participants at the 2nd Conference of the Afro-Asian People's Solidarity Organisation which was held in Addis Ababa in April 1982. In a document they adopted entitled "The Strategy of Development and the Transnational Corporations" it was noted that imperialism and the transnationals which are an integral part of it were in recent years increasingly resorting to blackmail, international terrorism, and open aggression in a bid to strengthen their failing positions in the world and continue to extort enormous profits from exploiting the natural and human resources of the developing countries.

The Conference drew the conclusion that since the Reagan administration had come to power in the White House the interests of the transnationals and the US military-industrial complex had increasingly merged. The main global political goals of the White House consist in achieving US military superiority over the socialist camp and maintaining (through military force) the maximum number of developing countries within the sphere of its influence and domination.

The numerous instances of direct aid given to reactionary regimes by the transnationals and their subversive activity in relation to states that refuse to submit to imperialist diktat show that it is primarily monopoly capital that determines the aggressive policies of the Western powers. The fact that the United States has declared many regions of the world as its "vital interests zones" has meant an unprecedented expansion of the transnationals which threatens the sovereignty of states in these regions.

The Chairman of the Provisional Military Administrative Council of Ethiopia Mengistu Haile Mariam pointed out more than once that the transnational corporations were the main obstacle to the economic and social progress of the young developing states. Being an integral part of the imperialist system, monopoly capital does not balk at the use of international terrorism and sabotage in pursuit of its narrowly selfish interests, nor does it stop at plotting against governments that refuse to submit to imperialist diktat. Furthermore it functions as the real initiator of the arms race.



The military, political, and economic methods employed by the White House to oppose the progressive transformations in Africa are backed up by its ideological offensive. Under Reagan the US propaganda machine has sharply increased its activity. It tries to discredit socialism and convince the African people that the democratic, progressive orientation of the liberated states is not the result of the will of their own peoples but due to the socialist countries "exporting revolution".

It has now become fashionable in the United States to talk about a "code of conduct" in international affairs, which boils down to the following, "What's mine is mine and what's not, ought to be". To this essentially aggressive philosophy the Soviet Union opposes its own practice, principles and norms of relations with the young states. There must be:

-Recognition of the right of every nation to decide for itself, without external intervention, its own internal affairs; refusal to attempt any form of domination or hegemony over other states, or to include them within the sphere of interest of any power.

-Strict respect for the territorial integrity of these countries and for the inviolability of their borders.

-Unconditional recognition of the right of each African, Asian or Latin American state to equal participation in international affairs and to have relations with any other country in the world.

-The complete and unconditional recognition of the sovereignty of these states in respect of their natural resources and also the factual recognition of their complete equality in international economic relations; support for efforts to do away with the vestiges of colonialism and eradicate racism and apartheid in conformity with the UN resolutions on this matter.

-Respect for the status of neutrality that has been chosen by the majority of African, Asian, and Latin American states; refusal to involve them in any military and political blocs of the powers.

This is the code of conduct the Soviet Union recognises and observes.


Subversion - Back



Translated from the Russian
Designed by Oleg Grebenyuk
Белый дом и черный континент
На английском языке
Group of Authors: An. A. Gromyko (Editor's Note);
Ye. A. Tarabrin (Ch. I, III, Conclusion); V. P. Kasatkin (Ch. II
IX); V. Ya. Lebedev (Ch. IV); A. Yu. Urnov (Ch V)-
V. S. Baskin (Ch. VI); A. V. Prudnikov (Ch. VII)-
M. L. Vishnevsky (Ch. VIII)
Издательство "Прогресс", 1984.
English translation. Progress Publishers 1984
Printed in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics



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