“We will show the world what black people can do when they work in freedom, and we shall make of Congo the pride of Africa”
Fifty five years ago, agents of the Belgian secret services and the CIA put the body of patrice Lumumba in a barrel of acid and made it disappear. Congo could have been headed towards a democracy but, on the contrary, it was led to one of the worst African dictatorships in the XX century.
He was the first Head of State of the Democratic Republic of Congo. He wanted the decolonization of his country from Belgium and to completely destroy the European colonialist power present in Africa, to eradicate the violations and pillages that his country had endured for centuries.
In 1958, Patrice Lumumba decidedly started the struggle for the decolonization of Congo using the scarce possibilities of social action that weren’t repressed by the Belgian colonial authorities. So, he created the Congolese National Movement, which supported the creation of an independent and secular State, with unitary political structures that could help overcome the tribal differences and create a national sentiment.
After the independence of Belgium in 1960, Congo held elections and Patrice Lumumba, leader of the independentists struggle, won the presidency with a nationalist and leftist programme.
Lumumba could not prevent that the withdrawal of the Belgian army gave way to political conflict with military pronouncements, attacks on white-skinned population and generalized disturbances.
The rebellion was especially serious in the mining region of Katanga, which declared itself independent under the leadership of Tschombé. Lumumba denounced that this secession had been promoted by the Belgian government to defend the interests of the mining company that operated in that region.
Lumumba asked the UN for help, and the international organism responded by sending a small contingent of blue helmets who were incapable of restoring peace and order. Therefore, he resorted to the Soviet Union, and this was seen as a direct threat by Western powers.
The then President of the U.S., Eisenhower, then gave the order of eliminating Lumumba.
And for that, he sent CIA agent Frank Carlucci, who would then be Secretary of Defence under the administration of Ronald Reagan.
A coup d’Etat overthrew Lumumba in September 1960. He was tortured and shot by Belgian mercenaries, who dissolved his body in acid and disseminated his remains so that he could not be recognized.
Until very recently, in November 2001, the Belgian Parliament did not acknowledge the government’s responsibility in the murder of Patrice Lumumba.
He was murdered because of the great political and ideological struggle that he carried forward to propose unity as an instrument for the liberation of the African people, of the colonial yokes that were vigent by the time he began his struggle and that are still in place, such as the neocolonialism that was then being born and the North-American imperialism that was beginning to enter the African countries to add to the pillagers of the riches of the continent.
The ideas of Patrice Lumumba constituted a threat to the Western potencies that exploit the African people. Half a century later, US authorities acknowledged their implication in the overthrow and murder of the Congolese leader. Seen at a distance, his struggle is the same one that we are fighting today in Our America for a true independence.