Kwame Nkrumah: Neo-colonialism, The Last Stage Of Imperialism, 1965

Lenin Nightingale 
RINF Alternative News

Kwame Nkrunah described the model by which Yankee America would enslave the world and its own people: ‘The neo-colonialism of today represents imperialism in its final and perhaps its most dangerous stage. The essence of neo-colonialism is that the State which is subject to it is, in theory, independent and has all the outward trappings of international sovereignty. In reality its economic system and thus its political policy is directed from outside’. This is as true of the puppet regimes tied to American purse strings as it is for American States choking in the noose of Capitol Hill.


America invaded Iraq on the lying pretext of Saddam Hussein developing ‘weapons of mass destruction’, and replaced the ruling Sunni regime with a Shi’ite one based on narrow sectional interest, and protected by its own praetorian guard. In Syria, America gave arms to Sunni Islamist forces to bring about regime change, creating a de facto fundamentalist state that now encroaches into Iraq. What sublime ironies – the American military bomb New Islamic State (NIS) convoys carrying fighters armed with American weapons, who are threatening the 300,000 barrels of oil a day produced in the Kurdistan (Irbil) region of Iraq by American and British oil corporations – the incessant Western media onslaught on the regime of Bashar al-Assad suddenly stops, as NIS now control the vast deposits of oil inside Syria, thus becoming the ‘new’ enemy.


The Iraqi puppet regime of Nouri al-Maliki has gaoled, exiled, and killed Sunni politicians under the pretext of fighting ‘terrorism’. Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri, Saddam’s former deputy, and a leading Sunni figure in Northern Iraq, stated that NIS had killed the judge who ordered Saddam’s hanging in 2006, a claim reported by Arab news media in June, 2014. Saddam was not hated by everyone, as the Western media pretend: ‘The Inquisiter’ reported a leader of Saddam’s Albu Nasir tribe saying: “We had moved the body (Saddam’s) eight months ago to a safer place. We were afraid something would happen to him”. The tomb is a flower-strewn shrine, and a potent symbol for the Ba-ath party. Al-Douri is reportedly co-ordinating the NIS offensive in Iraq; NIS forces being used as a temporary ally in an effort to restore Ba’ath party rule and privilege – a party which (originally) had ideological objectives of secularism, socialism, and pan-Arab unionism – objectives not compatible with both American corporate exploitation, and NIS ideology. It is not co-incidental that Bashar al-Assad leads a version of the Ba’ath party in Syria. America is bombing a popular insurrection, only a part of which is the conveniently extremist NIS.


The only issue for American colonial imperialists and their British and French running dogs is to secure control of raw materials. They only use ‘humanitarian’ concerns as a smokescreen to this end. They do not intervene when their government of choice murder. A report in the Bolivian Daily Kos (2009) accurately summed up the colonial imperialist indifference to human suffering: ‘Especially during the Cold War, we propped up fascist regime after fascist regime to undermine the supposedly worse threat of communism. Augusto Pinochet in Chile tortured or killed tens of thousands. Videla in Argentina received our help as he fought the Dirty War, in which tens of thousands more were brutally murdered by Nazi techniques, often by escaped Nazis themselves in the government. In Bolivia too, Hugo Banzer attempted to ethnically cleanse the nation, driving the indigenous peoples off their native lands and slaughtering all who would not move. In country after country, we used the supposed ‘domino theory’ of communist progress to explain away our support of murderers. Needless to say, Hugo Chavez’s criticism of the United States is not without historical justification’.


The American junta did not bomb the troops of Hugo Banzer, nor drop food parcels to the dispossessd.The corporate media did not carry ‘bleeding heart’ headlines concerning a 2013 report, circulated by Reuters, about the 4.7 million Colombians who had been forcibly displaced since 1996, the disappearance of 5,000 Colombians, the assassination of over 20,000. These actions were carried out by the Colombian military and their paramilitary allies, who have received over $8 billion of American government and multinational corporation funding since 2000 to carry out ‘Plan Colombia’, another false ‘war on terror’, in which the victims are those who oppose the corporate friendly policies of the Colombian puppet regime.


Steve Kangas analysed the American method of neo-colonialism: ‘CIA operations follow the same recurring script. First, American business interests abroad are threatened by a popular ordemocratically elected  leader. The people support their leader because he intends to conduct land reform, strengthen unions, redistribute wealth, nationalize foreign-owned industry, and regulate business to protect workers, consumers and the environment’.


He gave a timeline of American interventionism: 1953. The CIA overthrows the democratically electedMohammed Mossadegh in a military coup, after he threatened to nationalize British oil. The CIA replaces him with a dictator, the Shah of Iran, whose secret police, SAVAK, is asbrutal as the Gestapo. 1954. Guatemala – CIA overthrows the democratically elected Jacob Arbenz in a military coup. Arbenz has threatened to nationalize the Rockefeller-owned United Fruit Company, in which CIA Director Allen Dulles also owns stock. Arbenz is replaced with a series of right-wing dictators whose bloodthirsty policies will kill over 100,000 Guatemalansin the next 40 years. 1959. The U.S. military helps “Papa Doc” Duvalier become dictator of Haiti. He creates his own private police force, the “Tonton Macoutes,” who terrorize the population with machetes. They willkill over 100,000during the Duvalier family reign. The U.S. does not protest their dismal human rights record.


1961. Dominican Republic – The CIA assassinates Rafael Trujillo, a murderous dictator Washington has supported since 1930. Trujillo’s business interests have grown so large (about 60 percent of the economy) that they have begun competing with American business interests. 1964. Ecuador – A CIA-backed military coup overthrows President Arosemana, whose independent (not socialist) policies have become unacceptable to Washington. A military junta assumes command, cancels the 1964 elections, and begins abusing human rights. Brazil – A CIA-backed military coup overthrows the democratically electedgovernment of Joao Goulart. The junta that replaces it will, in the next two decades, become one of the most bloodthirsty in history. General Castelo Branco will create Latin America’s first death squads, or bands of secret police who hunt down “communists” for torture, interrogation and murder. Often these “communists” are no more than Branco’s political opponents. Later it is revealed that the CIA trains the death squads. 1965. Indonesia – The CIA overthrows the democratically electedSukarno with a military coup. The CIA has been trying to eliminate Sukarno since 1957, using everything from attempted assassination to sexual intrigue, for nothing more than his declaring neutrality in the Cold War. His successor, General Suharto, will massacre between 500,000 to 1 million civiliansaccused of being “communist.” The CIA supplies the names of countless suspects. Greece – With the CIA’s backing, the king removes George Papandreous as prime minister. Papandreous has failed to vigorously support U.S. interests in Greece. 1969. Uruguay – The notorious CIA torturer Dan Mitrione arrives in Uruguay, a country torn with political strife. Whereas right-wing forces previously used torture only as a last resort, Mitrione convinces them to use it as a routine, widespread practice. “The precise pain, in the precise place, in the precise amount, for the desired effect,” is his motto. The torture techniques he teaches to the death squads rival the Nazis’.He eventually becomes so feared that revolutionaries will kidnap and murder him a year later.


1973. Chile – The CIA overthrows and assassinates Salvador Allende, Latin America’s first democratically electedsocialist leader. The problems begin when Allende nationalizes American-owned firms in Chile. ITT offers the CIA $1 million for a coup (reportedly refused). The CIA replaces Allende with General Augusto Pinochet, who will torture and murder thousandsof his own countrymen in a crackdown on labor leaders and the political left. Afghanistan – The Soviets invade Afghanistan. The CIA immediately begins supplying arms to any faction willing to fight the occupying Soviets. Such indiscriminate arming means that when the Soviets leave Afghanistan, civil war will erupt. Also, fanatical Muslim extremists now possess state-of-the-art weaponry. One of these is Sheik Abdel Rahman, who will become involved in the World Trade Center bombing in New York. 1980. El Salvador – The Archbishop of San Salvador, Oscar Romero, pleads with President Carter “Christian to Christian” to stop aiding the military government slaughtering his people. Carter refuses. Shortly afterwards, right-wing leader Roberto D’Aubuisson has Romero shot through the heart while saying Mass. The country soon dissolves into civil war, with the peasants in the hills fighting against the military government. The CIA and U.S. Armed Forces supply the government with overwhelming military and intelligence superiority.CIA-trained death squadsroam the countryside, committing atrocitieslike that of El Mazote in 1982, where they massacre between 700 and 1000 men, women and children. By 1992, some63,000 Salvadorans will be killed.


1983. Honduras – The CIA gives Honduran military officers the Human Resource Exploitation Training Manual — 1983, which teaches how to torture people. Honduras’ notorious “Battalion 316” then uses these techniques, with the CIA’s full knowledge, on thousands of leftist dissidents. At least 184 are murdered. 1991. The Gulf War – The U.S. liberates Kuwait from Iraq. But Iraq’s dictator, Saddam Hussein, is another creature of the CIA. With U.S. encouragement, Hussein invaded Iran in 1980. During this costly eight-year war, the CIA built up Hussein’s forces with sophisticated arms, intelligence, training and financial backing. This cemented Hussein’s power at home, allowing him to crush the many internal rebellions that erupted from time to time, sometimes with poison gas.


The lesson of history is clear: The only brand of democracy acceptable to American neo-colonialists is one that serves American corporations. Thedemocratically elected governments of the Ukraine and Egypt were overthrown because they did not meet this criteria. Politicians in such colonies as the UK and France know they can not waiver from the script of their American colonial masters, for their fate would be clear if they did. If it can be argued that he who supplies the gun is as guilty as he who fires it, the American government is complicit in the mass murder, torture, and suppression of working class people on a historical and worldwide scale. American neo-colonialist regimes involved in mass murder are not sovereign countries, to repeat from Kwame Nkrumah, they are: ‘in theory, independent and (have) all the outward trappings of international sovereignty. In reality (their) economic system and thus (their) political policy is directed from outside’. The American propaganda machine hypocritically floods the world with images of ‘victims’ of those that oppose them, and suppresses similar images that implicate their murderous (independent) friends.


Again, Kwame Nkrunah pinpointed the ‘American method’: ‘Foremost among the neo-colonialists is the United States, which has long exercised its power in Latin America. Fumblingly at first she turned towards Europe, and then with more certainty after world war two when most countries of that continent were indebted to her. Since then, with methodical thoroughness and touching attention to detail, the Pentagon set about consolidating its ascendancy, evidence of which can be seen all around the world. Who really rules in such places as Great Britain, West Germany, Japan, Spain, Portugal or Italy’?


The American neo-colonialists replaced one Afghanistani tribe, the Pashtuns, who supported the Taliban, with ones linked to the government of Hamid Karzai, whose brother was assisted by the CIA to increase the production of opium to finance anti-Soviet and anti-Taliban campaigns. The CIA are exposed as nothing but dope pushers for their corporate masters. The Taliban sprang from American-backed Sunni Salafi fundamentalists, funded by America to attack Soviet troops, the rival imperialist power occupying Afghanistan.

Is it just coincidence that the Libyan ‘rebellion’ started in Benghazi, north of Libya’s richest oil fields? Libya’s leader, Moammar al-Gadhafi, was not an imperialist puppet, and formed alliances with countries fighting American imperialism. His death sentence was certain after he nationalized Libya’s oil. America launched air strikes on Tripoli and Benghazi in 1986, killing 60 people, including Gadhafi’s young daughter. In the same way as the American junta is imposing economic sanctions on Russia because of its support of those who want autonomy in the (carbon fuel rich) Dnieper-Donetsk basin, sanctions were imposed on Libya. Gadhafi attempted to ward off his imminent death by making economic concessions, opening Libya to American and Britsh oil corporations. This was never going to save him – his end came with a bullet in the head, before given a chance of trial, and to disclose what was really said in his meeting with Tony Blair. Not that any trial would have been public, as with Saddam Hussein, sound would have been turned off, the odd isolated image shown, then the inevitable (graphically recorded) hanging. They do not want you to know.

The Western media screamed about how America and its European hirelings, Britain and France (for a slice of oil revenues), should help Libyans overthrow the Gadhafi regime. It does not spend a solitary breath on exposing the brutal treatment doled out to the oppenents of the dictatorships of Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, and Bahrain, the American stooge regimes that spend billions buying American and British weaponry, which includes riot control tear-gas.

The coup d’état in Ukraine installed an anti-Russian regime that seized power using an American controlled fascist militia. It is, of course, entirely co-incidental that eastern Ukraine has vast deposits of coal and shale gas in the Dnieper-Donetsk Basin, and that British Shell Oil signed a 50 year agreement with the Ukraine government in 2013 to exploit this reserve, a similar deal to that agreed with American Chevron. Burisma, the largest private gas consortium in Ukraine holds the licence for the Dnieper-Donetsk Basin, and its Board of Directors includes the son of the American Vice President.


The only White House murmer against the military onslaught eastern Ukranians face from their stooge regime is that Russia could end the conflict by not supporting ‘the rebels’, yet they do not follow this idiom in countries where American supported ‘rebels’ attempt regime change compatible with American interests. Since May, 2014, the Kiev fascist junta has bombed eastern Ukranian cities, destroying residential buildings, shopping centres, schools, day nurseries, and hospitals. Western corporate media do not show the dead laying in the streets, wailing mourners, crying children. The UN has estimated that 110,000 eastern Ukranians have fled to Russia, and 50,000 have sought sanctuary within Ukraine. Instead of ‘bleeding heart’ headlines, there is only silence. The plight of war casualties is only important when they serve American propaganda interests.


Propaganda is the language of American neo-colonialism. “I have the greatest admiration for your propaganda. Propaganda in the West is carried out by experts who have had the best training in the world … in the field of advertizing … and have mastered the techniques with exceptional proficiency … Yours are subtle and persuasive; ours are crude and obvious … I think that the fundamental difference between our worlds, with respect to propaganda, is quite simple. You tend to believe yours … and we tend to disbelieve ours” (A Soviet correspondent, based five years in America). “There is no such thing, at this date of the world’s history, in America, as an independent press. The business of the journalists is to destroy the truth, to lie outright, to pervert, to vilify, to fawn at the feet of mammon, and to sell his country and his race for his daily bread. We are the tools and vassals of rich men behind the scenes. We are the jumping jacks, they pull the strings and we dance. Our talents, our possibilities and our lives are all the property of other men. We are intellectual prostitutes”(John Swinton, Chief of Staff, New York Times, at New York Press Club, 1953). “The media in the United States effectively represents the interests of corporate America, and … the media elite are the watchdogs of what constitutes acceptable ideological messages, the parameters of news and information content, and the general use of media resources” (Peter Phillips, Project Censored, 1998). “The owners of the Washington Post long ago acknowledged that the Post is the government’s voice to the people. In 1981, Katherine Graham, who owns the Post and Newsweek announced that her editors would “cooperate with the national security interests”. National security in this context means CIA (John Stockwell, former CIA official and author). “The corporate grip on opinion in the United States is one of the wonders of the Western world. No First World country has ever managed to eliminate so entirely from its media all objectivity – much less dissent”. (Gore Vidal, novelist and critic). “The ‘corporatization of America’during the past century (has been) an attack on democracy”. (Noam Chomsky, US media and foreign policy critic).


Kwame Nkrumah wrote of the deep web of the American neo-colonial apparatus: ‘Lurking behind such questions are the extended tentacles of the Wall Street octopus. And its suction cups and muscular strength are provided by a phenomenon dubbed ‘The Invisible Government’, arising from Wall Street’s connection with the Pentagon and various intelligence services. I quote: ‘The Invisible Government … is a loose amorphous grouping of individuals and agencies drawn from many parts of the visible government. It is not limited to the Central Intelligence Agency, although the CIA is at its heart. Nor is it confined to the nine other agencies which comprise what is known as the intelligence community: the National Security Council, the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, Army Intelligence, Navy Intelligence and Research, the Atomic Energy Commission and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. ‘The Invisible Government includes also many other units and agencies, as well as individuals, that appear outwardly to be a normal part of the conventional government. It even encompasses business firms and institutions that are seemingly private. ‘To an extent that is only beginning to be perceived, this shadow government is shaping the lives of 190,000,000 Americans’. An informed citizen might come to suspect that the foreign policy of the United States often works publicly in one direction and secretly through The Invisible Government in just the opposite direction’.


He wrote of the use of interest rates as a weapon of neo-colonialism. ‘Another technique of neo-colonialism is the use of high rates of interest. In 1961, the interest rates on almost three-quarters of the loans offered by the major imperialist powers amounted to more than five per cent, in some cases up to seven or eight per cent, while the call-in periods of such loans have been burdensomely short’.


Ukraine owes $13 billion in debt repayments in 2014, and $16 billion before the end of 2015. The IMF are ‘consulting’ with other institutions to raise the $35 billion Ukraine says it needs. The IMF have conducted a ‘fact-finding mission’ in Kiev to “discuss the policy reforms” they would require as part of any loan.That is, the selling of State assets to American corporations, and a permanent policy of a ‘flexible’ workforce shackled to low wages. The fate of working class supporters of the Kiev regime was laid bare by Kwame Nkrumah: ‘In order to make it attractive to those upon whom it is practised it must be shown as capable of raising their living standards, but the economic object of neo-colonialism is to keep those standards depressed in the interest of the developed countries. Their manufacturers naturally object to any attempt to raise the price of the raw materials which they obtain from the neo-colonialist territory in question, or to the establishment there of manufacturing industries which might compete directly or indirectly with their own exports to the territory’. The only living standards raised are those of puppet politicians and local oligarchs.


“None of the European countries takes loans at such rates”, said ex-minister of economics Viktor Suslov in an interview, stating that “the situation with national debt as well as gross national debt is rather complicated because these loans are taken at very high interest rates, currently over 9% annual”. A report in Think Progress (2014) summarised the ‘austerity’ facing working class Ukranians: ‘Ukraine will find itself facing the same economic hardships that have rocked relatively more stable places like Greece, Portugal, and Ireland, such as steep cuts to public services and other economic shocks. Those austerity measures have driven Greece to the brink of collapse and deepened its economic woes far more than international authorities had promised. … Portugal and other smaller struggling nations won concessions from the bailout authorities that are helping buffer working people from further hardship. But as brutal as the debt resolution process has been in those states, none has raised the prospect of an actual war’. Time will tell.


Kwame Nkrumah saw neo-colonialism as the death throes of imperialism: ‘All these examples prove beyond doubt that neo-colonialism is not a sign of imperialism’s strength but rather of its last hideous gasp. It testifies to its inability to rule any longer by old methods. Independenceis a luxury it can no longer afford to permit its subject peoples, so that even what it claims to have ‘given’ it now seeks to take away’. He stated: ‘This means that neo-colonialism can and will be defeated. How can this be done? Thus far, all the methods of neo-colonialists have pointed in one direction, the ancient, accepted one of all minority ruling classes throughout history – divide and rule. Quite obviously, therefore, unity is the first requisite for destroying neo-colonialism … we must encourage and utilise to the full those still all too few yet growing instances of support for liberation and anti-colonialism inside the imperialist world itself.


To carry out such a political programme, we must all back it with national plans designed to strengthen ourselves as independent nations. An external condition for such independent development is neutrality or political non-alignment. … And the preconditions for all this … is to develop ideological clarity among the anti-imperialist, anti-colonialist, pro-liberation masses of our continents. They, and they alone, make, maintain or break revolutions’


On the internal front, it is vital to unite. The American government enslaves its people as surely as it does those of other countries, and uses the same technniques of intimidation and coercion. All peaceful protests are deemed to be potentiallyviolent, and thus fall under the ‘war on terror’ umbrella of deception. Homeland security laws crush dissent The New York Times reported that the FBI ‘used counterterrorism agents to investigate the Occupy Wall Street movement’ … that shows ‘how deeply involved federal law-enforcement authorities were in monitoring the activities of the movement’. The ‘counterterrorism’ arm of government support collecting millions of records about innocent American citizens Executive powers can now indefinitely detain American citizens without due cause or process, or kill them anywhere in the world, including America, if suspected of being a terrorist.

In 1975, the richest 1% owned 22% of America’s wealth. By 1992, they owned 42%. The CIA and the rich are the same people. They share an intense dislike of democracy and regulation, for democracy does not always supply the needs of Corporate America, and regulation is anathema to them. In the words of Steve Kangas, the former Army Intelligence officer found dead of ‘self inflicted’ gunshot wounds, ‘the CIA’s alliance with the elite turned out to be an unholy one. Each enabled the other to rise above the law. Indeed, a review of the CIA’s history is one of such crime and atrocity that no one can reasonably defend it …The most obvious criticism of the New Overclass is that their political machine is undemocratic. Using subversive techniques once aimed at communists, and with all the money they ever need to succeed, the Overclass undemocratically controls our government, our media, and even a growing part of academia. These institutions in turn allow the Overclass to control the supposedly “free” market … all to the detriment of workers, consumers, women, minorities and the poor. We need to fight it with everything we’ve got’.

But this fight should not be against each other. The exploited of the world must unite against the American Overclass, and begin to disentangle its tentacles from their necks, and the exploited includes those Americans who are indoctrinated to believe that their interests are those of their government, which, in reality, despise them. They channel your anger toward scapegoats, and laugh secretly at your susceptibility, your blindness as to the true enemy, which is them. They have sharpened their skills of oppression on the word stage, now it is the turn of those duped by the intellectual prostitutes of the Yankee media propaganda machine.

Unite under the Battle Cry of Freedom!

Unite in the memory of Kwame Nkrumah, Salvadore Allende, and Steve Kangas, and all those murdered by neo-colonial death squads.


lenin nightingale 2014



Kangas S (2013) A Timeline of CIA Atrocites

Kwame Nkrumah (1965) Neo- Colonialism , The Last Stage of Imperialism