Published Mar 2, 2011 4:50 PM
Africa continues to be the most underdeveloped continent, despite having the world’s most abundant mineral wealth.
The United States in 1847 created Liberia as a place to send freed African-American slaves. Eventually it became the biggest rubber plantation in the world. In the late 19th century, most of the rest of Africa was carved up by the European colonial powers, including Germany, Britian, Portugal, Spain, Italy, France and Belgium. By the time of World War I, Africa was nothing more than a gigantic plantation, with hundreds of millions of African peoples made into virtual slaves and their resources ripped off to help enrich European and U.S. capitalists.
After World War II, anti-colonial struggles spread like wildfire throughout Africa, bringing forth dynamic African leaders at the head of campaigns for independence and sovereignty from their former colonial oppressors. T hese heroic leaders included Patrice Lumumba, Amilcar Cabral, Samora Machel and Kwame Nkrumah.
Libya had been an Italian colony until Italy’s defeat in World War II. After the war, the U.S. and Britain set up a monarchy in Libya under King Idris I. Moammar al-Gadhafi was a military officer when he led a coup in 1969 against the monarchy. This led to the nationalization of Libya’s oil and social gains for the Libyan people.
In recent years, however, U.S. sanctions and military aggression against the Gadhafi regime led the government to make concessions and agree to austerity measures demanded by imperialist banks, all of which fueled unrest in the population.
On top of this growing imperialist intervention and pressure, the capitalist media are carrying out a vicious, vindictive campaign against Gadhafi, characterizing him in demonizing, racist terms like “mad dog.” Such terms are never used to describe former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak or other U.S. puppets in the Arab world, from Saudi Arabia to Jordan to Bahrain.