Written by Hadi Bah    PDF Print E-mail
Sékou Touré imposed Guinean version of Marxism, with help from France
News - International

After receiving the cold shoulder from France to several conciliatory overtures before and after Guinea's independence, Sékou Touré, a son of Mandingo peasants who barely finished primary school, might have had no choice but return to his Communist influenced past to save himself and his government.

Before Guinea voted "NON," in the September 28, 1958, Touré, under pressure from his own constituents for total independence, pleaded with the French political establishment to fine-tune the referendum's language to include the rights of all peoples to freedom of movement, self-government, independence and self-determination. The pompous French ignored his pleas.

toureFrench reaction after Guinea voted for independence was swift and unforgiving. All economic and development assistance was immediately suspended with French teachers, farmers, doctors and administrators ordered out of the country. In the international arena, France worked to isolate Guinea by convincing North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) allies including the United States to withhold diplomatic recognition.

But Touré ignored the hostile reaction and urged France to become the first country to grant diplomatic recognition to Guinea. After Liberia and Ghana became the first countries to recognize Guinea, Japan and Iraq sponsored her admittance into the United Nations as France continued saying "NON," "NON," and "NON," to Touré's repeated attempts at reconciliation between the two nations.

Prior to gaining political power, Touré, whose peasant roots and limited education did not prevent him from being a great orator, had been influenced by the anti-bourgeoisie and anti-imperialist message of the Parti communiste francais (PCF) when that group was affiliated with the West African RDAs.

When France, with collaboration from Ivorian Félix Houphouët-Boigny began a series of assassination and coup plots against the Guinean regime, Touré, like his friend Fidel Castro of Cuba, was forced to turn to the Soviet Bloc to save his fledgling government. He borrowed from Marx, Lenin, Mao, and Stalin, to create the Guinean version of a repressive "people's revolutionary" government.