Yesterday in Burkina Faso, Roch Marc Christian Kabore was elected President. Kabore was Prime Minister under the government of Blaise Compaore and served as President of the National Assembly. Compaore was overthrown in a popular uprising in October 2014 after three decades in power.
On October 15, 1987 Burkina Faso President Thomas Sankara was assassinated in a coup led by Compaore. Many involved in last year’s uprising were no doubt inspired by memories of Thomas Sankara.
Commonly referred to as “Africa’s Che Guevara”, Sankara was a pan-Africanist and a Marxist, who took power in 1983. He first renamed the former French colonial Upper Volta to Burkina Faso (Land of Upright Man).
Sankara focused on an agrarian revolution in self-sufficiency, avoiding the IMF/World Bank vampire squid while implementing land reform and import substitution schemes. Three million kids were vaccinated, ten million trees planted, and Sankara embarked on a massive infrastructure program centered on railroads.
Once, he wanted to build a railroad to develop a rare-earth metal mine in but the World Bank refused to loan Burkina Faso the money. So Sankara got a pick and shovel and started building the railroad by hand himself. Soon the entire country was helping to implement Sankara’s New Deal.
Sankara was a man of high moral character, who railed against imperialism and fought for the rights of women, children, the elderly and the poor. He had been informed that his traitorous `friend` Blaise Compaore was plotting to murder him and was asked by the general who informed him if he wanted Compaore to be done away with. Sankara`s response was, “We will not behave like them”.
As African Agenda states, “Sankara used Marxism to uplift the mental attitude of his people, to rid people of the idea that they must bow down to figures in authority and that women are inferior to men. In this way he changed Burkinabe society that had two root causes of its hierarchical nature. One was colonialism and the other was feudal tradition.”
A week before his assassination Thomas Sankara declared, “While revolutionaries as individuals can be murdered, you cannot kill ideas.”
These ideas inspired the October 2014 revolt in Burkina Faso. President-elect Kabore would do well to pay them better than lip service, lest he find his days in Ouagadougou’s finest residence short-lived.
Dean Henderson is the author of five books:Big Oil & Their Bankers in the Persian Gulf: Four Horsemen, Eight Families & Their Global Intelligence, Narcotics & Terror Network, The Grateful Unrich: Revolution in 50 Countries, Das Kartell der Federal Reserve,Stickin’ it to the Matrix & The Federal Reserve Cartel. You can subscribe free to his weekly Left Hookcolumn @www.hendersonlefthook.wordpress.com