Obi Egbuna Jnr Simunye
Africans who are no strangers to church on Sundays, if asked how many times their pastors quoted the books of Matthew and Luke concerning judgment or if it is possible to recall the exact number of testimonies where the question “Can I get a witness” was posed, more than likely the answer would be they lost count many moons ago.
Whether Africans at home and abroad use the 42 Principles of Maat or the 10 Commandments in the King James Bible as the cardinal principles concerning how they conduct their lives on a daily basis, when it comes to engaging our former colonisers and enslavers, the time has come to tell them to their faces: “Thou shall not evangelise.”
The recent re-election of Comrade Nicholas Maduro in Venezuela’s presidential election and the inevitable outcome in Zimbabwe, where the entire planet will watch President Mnangagwa score a one-sided victory, is a sharp reminder that Mother Africa and her children in the Americas are completely unfazed by the US-EU imperialist narrative that we are politically, militarily or spiritually uncivilised.
When President Mnangagwa offered to meet with all the opposition parties in Zimbabwe, for the purpose of discussing how the harmonised elections must proceed by stressing peace and transparency, it was done because of Zimbabweans’ standards and expectations, not to satisfy our former colonisers and enslavers.
What came as no surprise, immediately after the resounding one-sided victory of Cde Maduro was made official, the neo-colonialist and neo-liberals outfit known as the Lima Group that consists of Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Mexico, Panama, Peru and Saint Lucia, announced they would not recognise the results.
This reactionary chorus of nations comes as no surprise, especially since US Vice President Mike Pence prior to the Venezuelan elections scheduled a press conference and made the following requests of the Organisation of American States: “We call on members of the OAS to suspend Venezuela from the Organisation of American States, this is an institution dedicated to democracy.”
Vice President Pence followed up that request with: “The time has come to cut off Venezuelan corrupt leaders from laundering money through your financial systems. The time has come to enact visa restrictions to prevent Venezuelan leaders from entering your nations.”
The OAS is also guilty of using scare tactics against Cde Maduro and the Venezuelan people earlier this year. They attempted to push a resolution demanding that the presidential elections be cancelled altogether, which was rejected by Venezuela, Nicaragua, Bolivia, the Dominican Republic and El Salvador.
Venezuela’s deputy foreign minister to North America Samuel Moncada accused the OAS of promoting violence and instability in Venezuela. The OAS in partnership with US imperialism were attempting to rebound from having a resolution killed last year in Cancun, Mexico, at an OAS meeting of regional foreign ministers that was aimed at stopping Cde Maduro from autocratically adopting what they called a Cuban-style constitution, thanks to Bolivia, Nicaragua, St Vincent and the Grenadines, St Christopher and Nevis and the abstentions of Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Grenada, Trinidad and Tobago, Antigua and Barbuda.
This caused a reporter from the rightwing newspaper the Miami Herald to pose a question: “How could a few tiny Caribbean islands defeat a resolution that was backed by the United States, Canada, Mexico and Argentina and 15 other major countries in the region?”
Exactly 24 hours after the election in Venezuela, President Trump issued an executive order that blocked any US transactions in Venezuelan government assets, debt, equity or collateral, the objective being to make it virtually impossible for Venezuelan diplomats to liquidate assets in the US.
President Maduro responded to this diplomatic heresy by expelling the top US diplomat in Venezuela and after showing the imperialist mouthpieces the door, he stated emphatically on national television “the empire doesn’t dominate us here”. He has also called Mr Brian Naranjo, who was deputy charge d’ affaires and head of the CIA in Venezuela and accused him and his boss Mr Todd Robinson of pressuring anti-government aspirants not to participate in the elections.
Cde Maduro’s courageous stand challenges progressive and revolutionary forces worldwide to acknowledge what is glaringly obvious; it has always been extremely difficult to distinguish US-EU imperialist diplomats from their intelligence agents, and it is financially cheaper for politically inept opposition to boycott elections that they have no chance of winning in the first place. It is extremely challenging for US-EU imperialism to condemn a president in the Americas, who rose from the ranks of a bus driver to his nation’s top trade unionist and eventually a democratically elected president. It is for that reason Venezuela’s enemies can never say Cde Maduro is not a man of the people.
For some of our sisters and brothers in the United States who have a sociological and anthropological fascination with Latin American politics and Spanish-speaking Africans, which cause them to either undervalue or blatantly ignore political developments in Mother Africa, we must share a formula with each and every one of them. Nicolas Maduro Moros = Emmerson Dambudzo Mnangagwa/ Venezuela = Zimbabwe.
The tactic of US-EU imperialism using the OAS to demonise and isolate Venezuela is identical to how they used to have Zimbabwe suspended from the Commonwealth 16 years ago, after Zimbabwe showed its self-deterministic posture that best defines the First, Second and Third Chimurenga and withdrew from this body altogether.
Because diplomatic bodies like the OAS and the Commonwealth are apologists for colonialism, imperialism and slavery, it is no coincidence that nations like Zimbabwe and Venezuela will incur their wrath, but more importantly, have the resolve to weather the storm and cannot and will not be pushed around.
Stylistically, both Presidents Mnangagwa and Maduro are behind-the- scenes politicians who have the arduous task of replacing two iconic and extremely charismatic leaders, the late commandante Hugo Chavez and Robert Gabriel Mugabe, whose articulation of their country’s and continent’s plights mesmerised audiences in every corner of the world.
It appears to be a sign of the changing times that the faces of political parties in Africa and Latin America with an anti-imperialist pedigree are no-nonsense and all business, and are equally committed to neutralising imperialism externally and removing the dead weight of their parties internally.
We hope this serves as a lesson to veteran grassroots organisers, who are guilty of allowing charismatic leadership to dictate how they rally around supporting these nations.
When commandantes Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez were alive, Cuba and Venezuela were without question the top two political hangouts in Latin America.
Zimbabwe was either too far, or Africa’s most feared nation by US-EU imperialism was not a priority, because many forces who claim to be either progressive or revolutionary treat Mother Africa as foreign policy or another part of the solar system.
What this means in echoing the rhetoric of US-EU imperialism on the Zimbabwe question illustrates a self-hatred that appears to have a bottomless pit.
Recently the National Conference of Black Lawyers who in the past supported the historic land reclamation programme -an appeal condemning, denying Zimbabwe access to the Global Fund to fight the rise of HIV-AIDS and an appeal condemning US-EU sanctions on Zimbabwe – refused to endorse a project creating a resource pool for Cuban HIV-AIDS doctors to send a 4 000-member HIV-AIDS brigade to Africa, push for Cuban doctors to practise inside US borders on native American reservations, prison infirmaries and places where hospital and clinics have been shut down and sending medical and technical equipment to Cuban doctors in Zimbabwe.
The reason given was the treatment of the LGBT community in Zimbabwe. It was explained to the NCBL that the LGBT question and dynamics in Zimbabwe stems from their role as regime change agents working with US-EU imperialism to dispose of President Mnangagwa and ZANU-PF.
We all make a clear distinction between cultural and political icons like Langston Hughes, James Baldwin and Bayard Rustin, who were homosexuals, and the war criminal J. Edgar Hoover, who was the scum of the earth. We say to the NCBL, in Zimbabwe, regime change agents are treated equal regardless of their sexual orientation.
After their victories Zimbabwe and Venezuela need our most genuine and heartfelt efforts, not opportunist and undelivered proclamations who have lost the knack for true solidarity.
May the sword that Commandante Hugo Chavez gave former Zimbabwe president Mugabe be treated like the wooden stake driven through the hearts of vampires.
Obi Egbuna Jnr is the US correspondent to The Herald and External Relations Officer of ZICUFA (Zimbabwe Cuba Friendship Association). His email is [email protected]