Pundit: African Nations Won’t Follow US ‘Misguided Lead’
President Joe Biden speaks during the closing session at the U.S.-Africa Leaders Summit on promoting food security and food systems resilience in Washington, Thursday, Dec. 15, 2022.InternationalIndiaAfricaLast week, US Vice President Kamala Harris conducted a weeklong Africa tour, including countries such as Ghana, Tanzania, and Zambia. One of the main purposes of her trip was to discuss US-Africa relations, and among other things, demonstrate Washington’s concern over the increasing role of China and Russia in Africa.African countries are not going to follow the West’s “misguided lead” in terms of their national strategies and foreign policy, says Dr. Gerald Horne, professor of history at the University of Houston, Texas, in an interview with Sputnik. Commenting on Harris’ recent trip to Africa, he states that the goal was to warn Africans away from enhancing cooperation with China and Russia. He stresses that it’s ironic, given the fact that the airports she landed in were built or designed with Chinese support. “She was there, supposedly to warn these Africans about the pernicious nature of the People’s Republic of China and its close ally in Moscow. And, of course, being polite, tactful and diplomatic, they listened courteously,” he underlines, adding: “But, certainly they do not plan to follow her misguided lead.”AfricaHarris on Africa Trip to Raise US Concerns Over Influence of China, Russia, Official Says24 March, 12:08 GMTThe historian explains that Africans have plenty of reasons to be suspicious of the North Atlantic countries, and be careful in building partnerships with them. First and foremost, he says, one should remember the transatlantic slave trade. During her visit to Ghana, Vice President Harris went to the Cape Coast Castle, where enslaved Africans were shipped westward across the Atlantic to an uncertain state under slavery. Standing there, “she shed a tear,” he says, but she has way more reasons to do so. Elaborating on his notion, he draws several examples of how Western nations, in particular the US, have meddled in the internal affairs of African countries, forcing them to follow a path and policy that they approve of.
He notes that the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has "had its fingerprints" in many major political changes that happened in the 20th century in Africa, referring to various regime changes, assassinations, and imprisonments of prominent African leaders.
"She [Kamala Harris] should have been shedding a tear about what happened to independent Ghana when in 1966 the US CIA was involved in the overthrow of the regime, led by founding father Kwame Nkrumah," he says.
Dr. Horne alleges that the US was involved in “the liquidation of the founding father” of the modern Democratic Republic of the Congo, Patrice Lumumba. Moreover, some officials, he stresses, even dare to boast about the fact that “they had Lumumba’s blood on their hands.” He mentions US involvement in the events prior to the end of apartheid in South Africa, highlighting that the country “was one of the chief allies’ of this regime. Given all this meddling, he wonders why the North Atlantic countries would expect African nations to support them in their effort to isolate Russia.
"So how these diplomats, so-called, can be surprised by the fact that the Africans would not stand with these North Atlantic pirates in their latest crusade? It boggles the mind. It baffles me altogether," Dr. Horne concludes.
He further states that Western countries continue “to play the same game,” trying to influence African nations’ relations with other states, forcing them to choose sides. In this regard, Dr. Horne highlights that there is a “need of a systematic purge not only of the US State Department, but their equivalents in the North Atlantic community.” He notes that this is the kind of policy the US is conducting in Zimbabwe. At first, the country imposed “stiff sanctions on Zimbabwe because of its land reform that sought to reverse the ill fruits of settler colonialism.” However, now it is going to reconsider its policy, he explains, saying that the underlying reasons for this change include the failure of the initial plan to “oust the ruling party,” as well as the fact that Zimbabwe is rich in lithium, which is now in high demand. It’s particularly critical for the US, he notes, as the country is shipping most of its lithium to China. “And so Washington and its allies are reconsidering their plans. But I dare say that their reconsideration won’t necessarily lead to them getting their grubby little paws into the mineral storehouse that is Zimbabwe,” he underscores.AfricaZimbabwe Thanks Russia for Help in Battling Western Sanctions29 March, 10:35 GMTDr. Horne echoes most of Zimbabwe’s politicians, who condemn measures, which include imposing sanctions on any country as well as its political and economic activity. For example, the country’s Senate Speaker Mabel Chinomona recently stated that Zimbabwe does not support sanctions against Russia and called for a resolution of the conflict in Ukraine in accordance with the UN Charter. She noted that the introduction of restrictions is not the best way to resolve the conflict. Chinomona also expressed gratitude on behalf of her country to Russia for helping it tackle the US-led Western sanctions, saying that Zimbabwe is willing to enhance cooperation with Moscow.