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
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.
French 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
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.