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Burning Spear News

Ali Bongo versus Jean Ping: Two loyal neocolonial stooges vie for State power in Gabon

Oct 18, 2016
Luwezi Kinshasa, Secretary General of the African Socialist International. This editorial also appears in the October 2016 of The Spear


Ali Bongo (R) and Jean Ping (R) are both long-time servants of imperialism. They struggle over who can better serve white power!

 

The recent August elections have cut open the French neocolonial contradictions based on sucking the blood of Africans in Gabon for centuries. The highly-contested August 27, 2016 elections between Ai Bongo Ondimba and Jean Ping were an assault on African people’s consciousness and future, particularly the African working class.

The two candidates not only belong to the same African petty bourgeois neocolonial class that served loyally to former president Omar Bongo’s neocolonial rule. In addition, they are both members of the Gabonese Democratic Party (PDG), and are in-laws with some direct blood connection.

Ali Bongo is the son of the late president Albert Bernard Bongo, aka Omar Bongo, who died in Spain in 2009. Omar Bongo, like most of Africa’s Negro presidents, died abroad where he went to seek treatment.

They die abroad, most times in Europe, because of their failure to invest and develop a modern national medical care system in Africa.

Jean Ping at one point lived with the influential Pascaline Bongo, the oldest daughter of Omar Bongo, and they had two children together.

Jean Ping, a son of a Chinese immigrant and an African mother, is a petty bourgeois career politician who served under Omar Bongo as a loyal minister between 1990-2008.

Ping was in charge of several ministries: Information, Posts and Telecommunications, Tourism and Recreation, Minister of Mines, Energy, and Hydraulic Resources, Foreign Affairs, Cooperation and La Francophonie.

He became the Chairman of African Union commission between 2008-2012.

During the elections that followed the death of Omar Bongo in 2009, Ali Bongo with his Gabonese Democratic party (PDG) was declared winner with 41 percent of the vote against Andre Mba Obame and Pierre Mamboundou who each got 25 percent of the vote. The opposition claimed that Ali Bongo cheated and stole the elections. Days of violence ensued. Sarkorzy’s France then openly and actively supported Ali Bongo’s grab for power.

This time the outcome of the contest was too tight to call for a clear straight winner. According to BBC world news, “The official election result gave Mr. Bongo a second seven-year term with 49.8 percent of the vote to Ping's 48.2 percent––a margin of 5,594 votes.

Ping won in six out of nine provinces but disputes the result in Bongo's home province of Haut-Ogooue, where turnout was 99.93 percent and 95 percent of votes were for the president.

Turnout in the other provinces was between 45 percent and 71percent, according to Gabon's interior ministry.”

France and U.S. are displeased with Ali Bongo’s opening to the Chinese capital

No one should be fooled by France and the U.S.’ call for recount of the votes in each polling station. They are aimed at pressuring Ali Bongo to open up neocolonialism more to them than to the Chinese.

The imperialist are never concerned about the vast majority of the 1.8 million people who live in abject poverty despite the obvious fact that Gabon’s abundance of resources and their relatively small population should have made it easy for the government to satisfy the basic needs of clean water, food, clothing and housing.

France’s rulers and media are busy claiming victory in the recount of the vote as French’s rulers congratulated Jean Ping before the official proclamation of the elections.

This is in contrast to their silence on the recent re-elections of murderers Sassou Nguesso as president of Congo-Brazzaville and Paul Kagame as the president of Rwanda, both of whom violated and changed their respective constitutions to extend their neocolonial rule with full support of the U.S., France , Britain and the rest of the world capitalist parasites.

Jean-Marc Ayrault, the French Foreign Affairs minister announced the French government position, “The results were published yesterday, there is a doubt about their sincerity…It is appropriate that the recourse is exerted, within the respect of the law and the framework of a transparent and impartial procedure.

“With the European Union, France calls for the publication of results for each individual station.”

Gabon is one of the key “cash and credit cards” that sustains France today

Gabon’s name comes from Portuguese gabão, a type of clothing worn by Portuguese sailors that resembles an estuary. This Portuguese word was borrowed from the Arabic word, qaba.

Gabon as a French colony began to be consolidated in 1839 when the French tricked Antchoué Komé Rapontcombo, an African ruler, in an area around today’s Libreville, the capital of Gabon, to sign away our land to the French colonialists.

“Nearly 14,000 French nationals now live in Gabon, where France, its main economic benefactor, has nearly 120 companies (about 200 SMEs) and a military base of 450 soldiers.” www.le monde.fr.

Gabon has been producing for France: oil, manganese (2nd world producer after South Africa), uranium and timber.

Gabon, for over 60 years has been dominated by the French Elf oil company which exists as a government inside the government of Omar Bongo’s 42 years of neocolonial rule.

It is from Elf that French politicians got extra resources to run their political campaigns regardless of the traditional French political left and right splits. Mitterrand from the “Parti Socialiste (PS) and Chirac from the Conservative Rassemblement Pour la Republique (RPR) both received undeclared money from Elf oil company. This system of corruption at the very heart of modern French politics today is directly linked to the elections results in Gabon.

The electoral crisis is the direct consequence of the colonial pact.

French colonial pact must go!

An ONG known as “Transparence Internationale” has initiated an inquiry into embezzlement of funds by rulers of Equatorial Guinea, Gabon and Congo-Brazzaville, while saying nothing on French imperialists’ daily theft of African resources.

We recognize the criminal character of the African petty bourgeois rulers, but it cannot be done in the white imperialist courts. It must be done in the courts of the African nation led by the revolutionary African working class.

Everything must begin with the destruction of the colonial pact as a key component of the neocolonial “franceafrrique” scheme of which Gabon and their buffoon leaders are a clear, concrete example.

Colonial Pact allows French government to keep an “estimated s nearly $500 billion of African countries’ money in its treasury and will do anything to keep it...France allows them to access only 15 percent of the money in any given year.

“If they need more than that, they have to borrow at commercial rates from the remaining 85 percent––of their own money­­––that is held hostage by the French Treasury.” The Burning Spear newspaper.

With the rise of the African anti-colonial movement, to avoid what it deemed mistakes of trying to maintain direct colonialism in Algeria and Vietnam where French imperialism was defeated, French president Charles De Gaulle offered the newly created African petty bourgeoisie to join the “French Community” which only Guinea leader Sekou Toure rejected.

The French Equatorial Africa (AEF) was divided into small non-viable countries which included today’s Congo-Brazzaville, Cameroon, Central Africa Republic, Gabon and Chad. Gabon was first forced to become independent by De Gaulle.

French white power put in power Leon Mba, a comical figure who said that every Gabonese has two parties France and Gabon. At Mba’s death in 1967, he was replaced by Omar Bongo who ruled the country for 42 years until his death in 2009.

Under French supervision, Gabon was the rear base used by the Biafra’s secessionist to carry out armed struggle against the Central Nigerian State between 1966 and 1970.

At its independence in 1960, Gabon had half a million people. Today, there are only 1.67 million people in the country.

The population density changed from 1.96 people per square kilometre to 6.7 in 2015. Gabon, with its natural resources and small population, is a place where no one should to starve.

African workers in Gabon, need our own organization to smash the petty bourgeois rule of Ali Bongo and Jean Ping as part of the process of building a united and free Socialist Africa, free from white power domination. This is the only way to have a genuine democracy.

Down with Bongo neocolonial rule

Down Ping alternative neocolonial rule

Destroy the colonial French pact 

 

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