Declaration of the Revolutionary Communist Party of Upper Volta and the Workers' Communist Party of France on the Intrigues of French imperialism against Upper Volta, called Burkina Faso

For twenty months, Upper Volta, called Burkina Faso, has been shaken by a profound revolutionary crisis that developed after the assassination of the patriotic journalist Norbert Zongo and his three companions in misfortune on December 13 1998 at Sapouy. This crisis is based on the profound crisis of the world capitalist imperialist system and in particular of the capitalist system of neo-colonialist domination set up by French imperialism and its local allies with the formal independence of the 1960s. It reveals the total bankruptcy of this systems, which means misery, famine, illiteracy, epidemics and endemics for the people of Upper Volta, in a word, an obstacle to the independence and economical and social progress of Upper Volta called Burkina Faso. 

The present revolutionary crisis is characterized by the development of a powerful popular movement in the cities and in the countryside that involves all the popular strata (workers, pupils in primary and secondary schools, university students, employees, women, youth, merchants, artisans and peasants) against impunity, for political liberties, independence and true progress. This movement has thrown the imperialists into a panic, especially French imperialism, which is the dominant imperialist power in Upper Volta. 

French imperialism, the real enemy of the peoples and in particular of the peoples of Upper Volta and France, is trying to stifle the present popular movement by all means, including open interference in the internal political affairs of the country. Since the beginning of the crisis, the French imperialist State has given massive support in armaments, logistics, training of the forces of repression and constant political support to the regime of Blaise Compaoré to allow him to crush the people in revolt. This political support is expressed by the standpoints assumed by the French Ambassador Portiche, the decoration of those people in power who have been in the forefront of the struggle against the movement and the involvement of Ambassador Portiche in questions such as the organization of municipal elections. In fact, Ambassador Portiche, in his speech on July 14(1), declared: ‘France intends particularly to encourage and accompany Burkina Faso on the road of democracy. This is a long-term task; one must be patient and avoid the ideology of the blank slate [i.e. get rid of the past and begin a new era - translator's note]. Democracy cannot be decreed. The affirmation of democratic values should go together with economic development. How can a people fighting for their survival attain democracy? How can an illiterate people understand democracy? (...) Although it is long and dangerous, the quest for democracy in Burkina has already recorded substantial gains. Significant political reforms have been achieved in the last decade: a status for the opposition, party financing, a new method of voting, a CENI [National Independent Electoral Commission] among the best in Africa, the five-year presidency. The relevance of these reforms will surely be assessed in their application, starting moreover with the municipal elections in which the great majority of the parties are taking part. The leaders of all these political formations should be congratulated for their political sense and their democratic conscience since, in a difficult period, they knew how to place the national interest above a number of contingencies that generally hamper political life.’ 

Clearly, for French imperialism, the people of Upper Volta, as well as the other peoples of Africa, are not ready for democracy, as Jacques Chirac had declared during on of his trips to the Ivory Coast. Those who fight for this democracy would be stateless persons who do not love their country, and finally the numerous bloody and economic crimes that characterize the regime of Blaise Compaoré and, in particular, the quadruple assassination at Sapouy reveal the ‘contingencies’ that mark political life. To emphasize the racist character of this position, the French Ambassador decorated Simon Compaoré and Djibril Bassolet, who are the spearheads of Blaise Compaoré in repressing the movement. Simon Compaoré, mayor of Ouagadougou, is the instigator of the red zones(2) and the one who trains the militias that attack the people. Djibril Bassolet, named Minister of Security, is the one who gassed the demonstrators and ordered the shaving of the leaders of the Collective(3) in April 2000 to humiliate them. 

The attitude of French imperialism to the crisis in Upper Volta called Burkina Faso is directly related to French policy in its colonies and neo-colonies and in particular in its back yard of French-speaking Africa. French imperialism has never tolerated any democratic movement. The democratic movements of the 1940s and 1950s for independence were drowned in blood in Cameroon, in Madagascar; in French West Africa, many patriots were repressed or assassinated (the massacre of Dimbokro in 1950). French imperialism today does not shrink from using any means to preserve its zones of influence, the conditio sine qua non for remaining a world power. 

French imperialism, which is losing ground, is an imperialist power that is one of the most aggressive against the peoples, especially in its colonies and neo-colonies: this was shown in the genocide in Rwanda committed by the regime of Juvenal Habyarimana with the complicity of the socialist government of François Mitterrand, the situation in Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo) where it supported Mobutu until his final downfall, the massacres of the reactionary civil war in Brazzaville between the Sassou and Lissouba clans. This is also the case today in the Ivory Coast where French imperialism is openly interfering in its internal political affairs to try to save its neo-colonial domination. To maintain its back yard, structures of various kinds - military (military bases, secret agreements, ANAD [Agreement on Non-Aggression and Assistance in Defence Matters], etc.) economic (UEMOA [Economic and Monetary Union of West Africa]), political (Council of the Agreement) - are set up to surround the dominated countries in order to shield them from the influence of the other imperialist powers (U.S, Britain, Germany, Japan) and particularly to crush the struggles of the peoples. This neo-colonial policy of France is shown as well in the European Union, which is a grouping of monopolies and imperialist powers that have a strong presence on the African continent. 

This policy has its effects in France itself with the exclusion of immigrant workers who are the object of harassment and repression of all kinds with the problem of the ‘undocumented’ and of savage expulsions. French imperialism thus refuses to accept the consequences of its domination and exploitation of colonial and neo-colonial peoples who, tormented by misery, emigrate to the imperialist centres. 

The Revolutionary Communist Party of Upper Volta (PCRV) and the Workers' Communist Party of France (PCOF), general staffs of the working class and people of Upper Volta and France respectively, salute and support the popular movement that has been developing in Upper Volta called Burkina Faso for twenty months. This movement, which expresses an outpouring of national patriotic struggle for salvation, by its organized, national and popular character, its democratic and revolutionary content, undermines the bases of domination of imperialism, particularly French imperialism, and of the neo-colonial, mafia regime of Blaise Compaoré that is its instrument. The anti-imperialist character of the movement has been shown since the National General Assembly of the Collective, held on July 29, 2000, where the intrigues of French imperialism, through the actions of Ambassador Portiche, were denounced. 

The struggles of the working class and peoples of Upper Volta and France, as well as those of the communists organized in the PCRV and the PCOF, are a fight against a common enemy, international imperialism, particularly French imperialism, which is exploiting and oppressing the French and African peoples, in particular the people of Upper Volta. This struggle has taken concrete form in the solidarity movement that has developed in France since the assassination of Norbert Zongo and his companions. The struggles of the people of France and Upper Volta reinforce and support each other, helping to undermine the bases of imperialism, particularly French imperialism. 

The bonds between our parties, which date back to their formation, are being reinforced through the common struggles of our two peoples and parties for the revolution and scientific socialism. These struggles contribute to internationalist solidarity and proletarian internationalism, indispensable for the victory of the proletariat and peoples against capital. These struggles are part of the general struggle of the International Communist Movement, which is expressed today through the International Conference of Marxist-Leninist Parties and Organizations, the form of statement and organization of this Movement today. 

The Workers' Communist Party of France and the Revolutionary Communist Party of Upper Volta congratulate and encourage the working class and the people of Upper Volta in their heroic struggle against the mafia and criminal government of the 4th Republic of Blaise Compaoré and its imperialist allies, especially French imperialism against impunity, for political liberties, national independence and true social progress. 

August 2000


1) July 14th is Bastille Day, the French national holiday, anniversary of the French Revolution. 

2) Red zones are zones where it is forbidden to enter. 

3) The Collective of democratic and mass organizations and political parties was founded after the assassination of Norbert Zongo. It is composed of workers' trade unions - the collective of the CGT-B (General Confederation of Workers of Burkina), the General Union of Students of Burkina (UGEB), the women's organization Kebayina, the organization of journalists and lawyers, the group of political parties called the February 14th Group (composed of the legal opposition) and the Movement for the Rights of Human Beings and Peoples of Burkina Faso (MBDHP) which launched the Collective. The MBDHP is a member of the International Federation of Human Rights - FIDH. The president of MBDHP, Halidou Ouedraogo, is also president of the Collective. There are several vice presidents: Tolé Sagnon, General Secretary of the CGT-B, Professor Joseph Ki-Zerbo, for the February 14th Group, and others. The PCRV is illegal, so it does not participate as such in the Collective.

Click here to return to the April 2001 index.