CHAPTER FOUR: THE MODERATES
For many years the United States has been financing and supporting the expansion of international Communism around the world through measures which have been presented to the American people as ways of fighting Communism. Foreign aid is probably the most obvious example. President after president has told us that we have to send billions to various Communist and pro-Communist countries in order to win them away from Soviet domination. We have shipped them military equipment, trained their officers in our military schools, sent them machine tools, built whole factories and power dams for them, and sold them subsidized wheat. Our political leaders have shrewdly borrowed the required money from our children and grandchildren who will be saddled with these debts for many generations to come. The record is truly fantastic. But the most incredible part of all is that this whole operation, which has been so necessary for Communist success, has been sold to Americans as a way of opposing Communism. A glance at a few issues of the People's World or the Worker or other Communist periodicals will cause even the skeptical to realize that our foreign aid is very near and dear to the hearts of Communists everywhere. The only criticism one finds of our foreign aid program in the Communist press is that it isn't as large and doesn't grow as fast as the Communists want. One of the prime reasons they advocate foreign aid even to countries that are not yet totally Communist but are merely in the socialist (or transitional) phase, is that it helps to destroy private enterprise and strengthen socialism within these countries. The money must never be allowed to be used to develop private industry. It must be used only for government projects. For instance, back in 1955 when the Communist party of India formally announced its support of Nehru, the Communist Daily Worker carried a description of the event. Toward the end of the article it quoted Ajoy Ghosh, general secretary of the Communist party in India, as saving: "We want foreign aid coming at a governmental level and not with a specific purpose." He further said Indians should be "free to use the aid for anything we want."1
That, however, is another story. It is mentioned here merely to point up a recognizable pattern that has developed over the past few years regarding certain United States State Department policies. This pattern is involved with convincing the voters that a particular policy of the State Department or the United Nations is in the best interests of the United States when, in reality, it is just the opposite. There is no better illustration of this than the circumstances surrounding United Nations and Washington support of the so-called "moderate" central Government that emerged after Lumumba's death. To tell that part of the story, however, it is necessary to take a closer look at Antoine Gizenga.
Gizenga was a minor personality in Congolese politics until he was invited to Prague, Czechoslovakia, for Communist cadre training.2 When he returned, he became one of Lumumba's strongest supporters and worked closely with him to implement plans for the Communist take-over of the whole Congo. When Lumumba was arrested and then killed, Gizenga set himself up as Lumumba's successor. He established a Communist regime in the neighboring province of Orientale and gathered all of Lumumba's followers around him. The Soviet and Czechoslovakian diplomats and consular officials who were kicked out of Leopoldville by Colonel Mobutu popped up in the Gizenga stronghold of Stanleyville where they quickly received official accreditation. The Soviets lost no time in announcing to the world that they now recognized Gizenga's regime as the "only legitimate Government of the Congo."3
With this background in mind it may still come as a shock to some to recall that at this point the United Nations swung its full support and influence behind Gizenga and did everything it could to hamper Colonel Mobutu and President Kasavubu. This is doubly hard to justify because Mobutu and Kasavubu represented the central government, which had called in the United Nations in the first place. Gizenga's little Communist satellite of Orientale province was just as much secessionist as Katanga province had been. But the United Nations made no effort to end Gizenga's secession. It passed no angry resolutions in the Security Council. It initiated no massive troop movements. In fact, as has been pointed out, it used what few troops it did have in Orientale province to protect Gizenga and his followers. Stewart Alsop, writing in the Saturday Evening Post, described it this way:
While all this was going on, Moise Tshombe was making efforts of his own to reunite the Congo along the federal lines previously discussed. On February 28 he met with a representative of the central government and one from Kasai province. There was immediate agreement on basic principles and the conference ended with all three signing a mutual defense pact to prevent the establishment of what they referred to as a United Nations "regime of tyranny."5 On March 8 Tshombe convened a second conference, this time expanded to include virtually every Congolese leader of importance except the Communist Gizenga. Complete agreement was reached in record time. At the conclusion of the third day, the conferees issued a communiqué revealing that they all endorsed Tshombe's basic plan calling for a "community of Congolese states." There was to be a central government at Leopoldville in a neutral zone similar to the District of Columbia. Kasavubu was to remain president, serving on a council of states made up of the presidents of the member states. Foreign policy, a general internal policy, currency and military affairs would come under jurisdiction of this council of states. There were to be no customs or immigration barriers between the states. It was obviously fashioned very closely after the American pattern of government. In a final telegram to Dag Hammarskjold, the Congolese leaders warned that the dispatch of more UN troops to the Congo would "aggravate tension" between the United Nations and the Congolese population. Tshombe said at the conclusion of the conference, "We have resolved our problems ourselves and now we want both West and East to leave us alone." The Soviet news agency Tass responded by denouncing the meeting as "a conference of puppets and traitors."6
Here was a giant step toward unity and the restoration of order in the Congo. The United Nations, however, was not pleased. For one thing, it was upset over the form of the new union, maintaining that it was much too decentralized. For another, its man Gizenga was not at the conference. Consequently, the UN ignored the whole thing, as though pretending the conference never took place.
United Nations troops and armaments continued to roll into the Congo--most of them to Katanga--just as rapidly as U.S. Air Force Globemasters could bring them. Congolese leaders began to see the handwriting on the wall. Few of them had the strength of conviction that Tshombe possessed, and the weaker ones began to wonder if perhaps it might not be safer to go along with whatever the United Nations wanted. Finally, on April 17, 1961, the United Nations, in spite of its promise not to intervene in the internal affairs of the Congo, pressured Kasavubu into signing an agreement which directly repudiated the principles agreed upon by the Congolese leaders. But Tshombe did not find this out until six days later when he arrived at a third conference of Congolese leaders. The atmosphere had changed completely. Kasavubu and some of the others no longer spoke of a confederation of states. Their demands were now identical with those of the United Nations. Feeling completely betrayed, Tshombe walked out of the conference and prepared to return to Katanga. As he arrived at the airport, however, he was arrested without any pretense of legality and thrown into prison. A few days later, Tshombe was formally charged on four counts of high 'treason, two of which were punishable by death.7
Tshombe was kept in prison for two months. At no time was he allowed to see his attorney. He apparently was not subjected to physical torture, but be was, nevertheless, kept in solitary confinement. He was given no exercise, nothing to read, and no one with whom to talk. A few months previously the United Nations had provided extravagant military protection for Patrice Lumumba and had loudly protested when he was arrested by Colonel Mobutu's men. Now that Tshombe was in jail, however, things were different. There were no protests or offers of protection. In fact, the world's self-proclaimed champions of justice and human rights remained strangely silent.
The enemies of Katanga expected Tshombe's arrest to set off a power struggle among his supporters back home. They reasoned hopefully that a new shuffle would possibly bring to the top someone more pliable and more willing to go along with United Nations policies. They were wrong on two counts. First of all, the strong man in the number two spot and the most likely to take Tshombe's place was Godefroi Munongo who was, if anything, more like Tshombe than Tshombe himself. Also, Tshombe had earned such complete respect and loyalty from his followers that the expected power struggle never happened. His cabinet and parliament closed ranks in his absence and proclaimed their solidarity. Posters began appearing on the streets of Elisabethville with huge pictures of Tshombe and the words "He suffers for us. Let us be worthy of him."
It was fortunate for Tshombe that Lumumba was no longer top wheel in the central government. Otherwise, he would never have been seen again. But Kasavubu, even though he was now dancing to the UN tune, was not a vicious person. He was merely a weak politician who wanted to be on the winning side.
Tshombe, however, still maintained the loyalty of his followers, and with the personal intervention of Colonel Mobutu he was finally released on June 22. Joyous mayhem broke out in Katanga when the news was received. A few days later, he was back at work with more determination than ever. There was an ominous note of anticipated tragedy in Tshombe's voice as he addressed the national assembly: "We shall see to it that the Katangese Nation shall endure. Let the enemies of Katanga know that they have to deal with a people."8
Turning our attention back to the United Nations "moderates" in the central government, a new figure appears. He is Cyrille Adoula, former associate and supporter of Patrice Lumumba. He claims that he is not a Communist, but on December 28, 1957, he wrote:
Being a socialist I am for the transformation of the present society. And for this I conceive the collectivisation of the means of production. In order to attain this goal, I see only one means: the struggle of the classes, the permanent class struggle.9
Since the Communists advocate exactly the same thing, and since they also frequently refer to themselves as socialists instead of Communists, the distinction is not particularly reassuring. But what a man does is far more important than whether or not be may have been formally issued a membership card. If he does the work of the Communists, even unknowingly, he is just as dangerous as the most devoted and disciplined party member.
On August 2, 1961, the Congolese parliament approved Cyrille Adoula as the new premier. One of his first official acts was to invite all the Russian and Czech diplomats to return their Communist embassies to Leopoldville--which they did. Next, it was announced that Antoine Gizenga, leader of the Communist faction in Stanleyville, had been appointed to the number two spot of vice-premier. It is not clear just how much Adoula had to do with this appointment since Mr. Sture Linner (United Nations representative in Leopoldville) has publicly claimed personal credit for persuading Gizenga to accept the position.10 Nevertheless, on August 16 Adoula visited Gizenga in Stanleyville to work out plans for their new government. A few days later they both spoke publicly and embraced each other for news photographers. Gizenga announced that he was dissolving his provisional government in favor of the new coalition and added, "The government will have to follow the Lumumba line . . ."11 Soon afterward, Moscow radio announced that the Adoula regime would put into operation "all decisions previously made by Lumumba's govemment."12
The position of minister of the interior--which includes complete control of the police--was filled by another Prague-trained Communist, Christophe Gbenye. Gbenye had previously served under Gizenga and was the man who was directly responsible for instigating the murder, rape and terrorization of European residents in Orientale province.13
Counting heavily on the UN to bring Katanga's secession to an end, the central government appointed Egide Bochely-Davidson as the chief administrator of Katanga province. Bochely-Davidson was not only a Communist, but a member of the Soviet secret police.14 As the Newark Star-Ledger explained on September 24, 1961:
When addressing the General Assembly of the United Nations, Adoula was careful to let everyone know exactly where he stood. He referred to the late Lumumba as his "national hero" and to Gizenga as his "good friend."16
This was the government that high officials in the UN and in Washington were piously describing as "moderate." The same State Department that refused to allow Tshombe to visit the United States and even went as far as to cancel the visa of the head of the Katanga Information Service in this country, rolled out the red carpet for Adoula. The following statement by G. Mennen Williams, State Department spokesman for African affairs, is typical of the kind of black-is-white pronouncements that have become all too common from State Department officials:
At about the same time, Mr. George Ball, undersecretary of state, solemnly told a Los Angeles audience that Katanga's independence "can only place in jeopardy the success of our efforts in the Congo as a whole, threaten the entire Congo with chaos and civil war, and lead to the establishment of a Communist base in the heart of Central Africa. The armed secession in Katanga plays into the hands of the Communists. This is a fact that all Americans should ponder."18
President Kennedy held a special luncheon in Adoula's honor at the White House. Rising to present a toast, Kennedy said:
1. "Indian Communists Back Nehru Position," Daily Worker (June 30,1955), p. 2.
2. Senator Thomas Dodd, Congressional Record (September 22, 1961).
3. Schuyler, p. 240. On July 17, 1961, a small patrol of Katangese soldiers removing a- UN roadblock were fired on by UN troops. Two Katangans were killed and the rest fled into the bush. In anger, Interior Minister Munongo called a press conference and, pointing his remarks at the lack of support for Katanga from the United States, threatened to call on Soviet Russia for assistance. No one took it seriously, however, least of all the Soviets. Radio Moscow replied by calling Munongo and Tshombe "lackies and murderers with blood-stained hands." Even-Conor O'Brien admitted that in the West, Munongo's statement was a windfall for politicians who were under fire from the so-called right wing for betraying anti-Communist Katanga. Nevertheless, in Elisabethville and throughout Katanga, posters showing an African with a spear and a map of Katanga, and the words "Katanga, shield of Africa against Communism" remained in place. Munongo had lost his temper but aside from that, life went on as before.
4. Senator Thomas Dodd, Congressional Record (September 8, 1961). Also, O'Brien, pp. 96, 99.
5. Hempstone, p. 134.
6. Ibid., pp. 134-139. Also, O'Brien, p. 98.
7. Hempstone, pp. 143-147. Also, O'Brien, pp. 99, 127.
8. O'Brien, p. 115.
9. Presence Africaine (December 28, 1957). As quoted by Michel Sturdza, World Government and International Assassination (Belmont, Mass., American Opinion, 1963), p. 11.
10. Senator Thomas Dodd, Congressional Record (August 3, 1962).
11. Schuyler, p. 268.
12. Lessing, p. 143.
13. Senator Thomas Dodd, Congressional Record (September 8, 1961).
14. Ibid., (September 16, 1961).
15. Article entered in the Congressional Record by Senator Thomas Dodd (September 13, 1961). The Communist record of Gizenga, Adoula's vice-premier, was so well known that it embarrassed western supporters of the regime. As his pro-Communist bias became more and more difficult to conceal, it was decided to "arrest" Gizenga as proof of the central government's anti-Communism. Supporters of UN policy in the non-Communist world received much mileage from this maneuver. What most people were not allowed to learn, however, was that Gizenga was quietly set free soon afterward. According to Philippa Schuyler, his "prison" was a comfortable villa by the sea. Even Adlai Stevenson refrained from saying that Gizenga was in jail. In an article distributed by the UN association in Los Angeles, he is quoted as saying that Gizenga had been under "house arrest." See "Stevenson Answers Critics on Congo," Los Angeles Times (February 10, 1963).
16. "Adoula Receives Royal Welcome," the Tablet (Brooklyn, February 17, 1962). As this book is going to press, the elections in the Congo are nearing. Since the basic sentiments of the masses of Congolese people (as distinguished from many of their leaders) are anti-Soviet, the Adoula regime has recently put on a rather convincing show of anti-Communism in its public pronouncements. It has even expelled the Communist embassies from Leopoldville. Whether or not this appearance of anti-Communism will be dropped after the elections or whether it represents a true stiffening of Adoula's political backbone, will remain to be seen.
17. Department of State Bulletin (November 26, 1962), pp. 804-806.
18. Department of State press release #893 (December 19, 1961).
19. Department of State
Bulletin (February 26, 1962), p. 335. Shortly after the assassination of
President Kennedy in 1963, President Johnson addressed the General Assembly of
the United Nations and confirmed that the change in chief executives had in no
way altered the official United States attitude toward the UN. President Johnson
said, "More than ever we support the United Nations. . . ." The only
noticeable difference was that the-New England twang had been replaced by a
Texas drawl. See "Text of Johnson's Speech to UN," Los Angeles Times
(December 18, 1963), sec. 4, p. 2.