AFRICAN PATRIOTIC ARMED STRUGGLE GROWS IN STRENGTH
Only by persevering in armed struggle at home can any nation overthrow hated vicious colonial rule and win complete national independence and liberation. This is what the broad masses in the African countries, which have yet to achieve independence, have come to grasp profoundly in their protracted struggle against the enemy.
In 1968, the patriotic armed forces of Guinea (Bissau), Mozambique, Angola, the Congo (Kinshasa) and Zimbabwe fought hundreds of battles with Portuguese colonial forces[,] Mobutu's puppet soldiers and the fascist troops of South Africa and Southern Rhodesia – all backed by imperialism headed by the United States. The patriotic armed forces enjoyed the support of the people and, by giving full play to courage in battle and surmounting one difficulty after another, wiped out several thousand enemy troops and extended their sphere of operations in a number of regions. This has greatly boosted the fighting will of the African people. As for the enemy troops, battered incessantly by the patriotic armed forces, morale sank lower and lower and the colonialists found the going in Africa tougher and tougher.
FREEDOM FIGHTERS GREAT
Guinea (Bissau): Freedom fighters expand areas under control. In west Africa, the patriotic armed forces of Guinea (Bissau), fighting guns in hand for more than seven years, pressed on with their victories after having valiantly repulsed the attacks of the Por[t]uguese colonial troops who tried to reoccupy the areas under their control. Beginning from June last year, they won a series of victories in repeated attacks on Portuguese colonial troops entrenched in a number of strongholds in the southern, northern and eastern parts of their country. By October, they had taken ten enemy encampments and strongholds, including Beli, capital city of the Boe region in the east.
The Guinean (Bissau) patriotic armed forces shelled the airport in Bissau, the military and political centre of the Portuguese colonialists in the region, blasting the control tower and three hangars. Two enemy aircraft were destroyed and many damaged. The patriotic forces steadily expanded the areas under their control in the fighting. Apart from Bissau, Bolamo, dos Bijagos and areas on the northern seaboard, reports say, the rest of Guinea (Bissau) has at present virtually come under the control of the patriotic armed forces.
Mozambique: Twelve enemy planes destroyed in one blow. Since their armed uprising in 1964, the patriotic armed forces of Mozambique in east Africa have long controlled vast areas in the two northeastern Provinces of Niassa and Cabo Delgado. During the fighting in 1965, they wiped out more than 1,000 Portuguese colonial troops and extended the fighting from Cabo Delgado and Niassa Provinces to the mineral-rich province of Tete in the west. There they opened a new front and smashed attempts by the Portuguese colonialists to prevent the raging flames of the African people's armed struggle from spreading to the south. On August 10, 1968, the patriotic armed forces mounted an attack on the Portuguese air base in Mueda, destroying 12 enemy aircraft in one blow (see p. 20).
Angola: Over 1,000 colonial troops wiped out in 4 months
,[.] The Angolan patriotic armed forces were the first to embark on the road of armed struggle in the Portuguese colonies in Africa. In 1968, they dealt telling blows to the Portuguese colonial troops in the vast eastern and northern areas. From July to October, they wiped out more than 1,000 enemy troops. Units active in the extensive rural areas of Mexico and Cuando Cubango Districts in the southeast and Lunda District in the northeast struck at the enemy incessantly. In the first four months of 1968, they put out of action 2500 Portuguese colonial troops and captured one Portuguese officer.
Congo (K): Armed struggle heroically carried on. Subjected to ruthless suppression by U.S. imperialism and its lackey Mobutu and shamelessly betrayed by the Soviet revisionist renegade clique, the Congolese (K) patriotic forces heroically carried on their struggle. They recently raided a Mobutu Puppet military outpost in the Kwilu region, inflicting heavy losses on the enemy troops. Their courageous struggle nailed the lie spread by Mobutu, running dog of U.S. imperialism, that the Congolese(K) people's armed struggle has been put down.
Southern Rhodesia: Colonial regime gripped by fear. The frequent operations of the Zimbabwean armed patriots have kept the Smith colonial regime in a state of continuous fear and panic. Shots fired by freedom fighters against South African colonial rule were also heard in South West Africa which is under the tight control of the South African White colonialists. The freedom fighters in South West Africa, reports say, killed 20 of the South African colonial troops in a recent battle.
LEARN WARFARE THROUGH WARFARE
The African patriots learn warfare through warfare. Being constantly tempered in the crucible of fighting, their combat strength has increased and the level of their tactics raised steadily. In many areas, the patriotic armed forces have grown in strength, developing from small contingents of fighters carrying out hit-and-run harassment activities to the concentration of superior forces undertaking planned operations to wipe out enemy effectives. They often apply the tactics of inducing the enemy to go deep into their areas in order to attack and eliminate his troops.
The war has educated the people and the people support the revolutionary war. Chairman Mao's brilliant thought -- the revolutionary war is a war of the masses -- has taken firm root in the minds of the people. More and more African patriots now realize that in their confrontation with the enemy, who is armed to the teeth and enjoys temporary numerical superiority, it is impossible to carry on protracted war or to win victory in the revolutionary war unless attention is paid to mobilizing and relying on the broad masses, particularly the peasant masses who constitute the overwhelming majority of the population in these countries. As it is, a number of African patriots have gone to the rural areas to rouse the masses.
In Guinea (Bissau), Mozambique, Angola and the Congo(K), the patriotic armed forces have set up administrative organs in a number of areas under their control, and in some places they have their own law courts as well. They have also extensively organized militia forces in areas under the control. In some places, the militiamen participate in agricultural production and at the same time assume the duties of defending their villages. They are effective assistants of the guerrillas, serving as guides and messengers, furnishing information and transporting ammunition and supplies.
In some areas, the African patriotic armed forces have helped the people raise their political consciousness by organizing the masses to recall national humiliation at the hands of the alien invaders and denounce the crime of colonial rule. In some areas, [a —Transcriber] number of African women have actively participated in patriotic activities, not only persuading their near and dear ones to go to the front but asking for permission to bear arms in the armed struggle.
The African patriotic armed forces have also paid attention to increasing production, particularly that of grain, in the areas under their control, so that they can wage a protracted struggle by relying on their own resources. In some places, they have developed the educational and public health servic
w[e]s. In the areas under their control, for instance, the Guinean (Bissau) patriots have abolished the exorbitant taxes and miscellaneous levies imposed on the people by the colonialists in the past and have opened up wasteland to develop production in a big way. As a result, rice and other grain output has increased and the handicraft industry has also developed. The guerrilla fighters in Mozambique make a point of working in the fields with the local peasants in areas they control. In some places, the Mozambique armymen and people are able to ship part of their farm produce to neighboring independent countries in exchange for clothing, medicine and other daily necessities. In the eastern part of Angola, the patriotic armed forces have set up peasant's mutual-aid and co-operative organizations and have trained a group of medical workers in areas under their control.
In their protracted war against colonialism, an increasing number of African people have begun to see things more clearly from their own experience and greatly raised their political consciousness. It is now clear to them that U.S. imperialism is their No. 1 enemy. Facts have made it abundantly clear that it is U.S. imperialism which has directed the Mobutu puppet clique to wantonly suppress the patriotic armed forces and people of the Congo (K). It is the same U.S. imperialism which gives vigorous support to the Portuguese colonialists in waging a barbarous war in Africa and tries to prop up their tottering colonial rule. And again it is the same U.S. imperialism which backs the white racist regimes in South Africa and Southern Rhodesia to slaughter the African people in cold Blood. These facts have laid bare still further the fiendish features of U.S. imperialism as the most ferocious enemy of the African people.
The Soviet revisionist renegade clique, U.S. imperialism's No. 1 accomplice, has spread all kinds of revisionist fallacies far and wide in Africa, to cater to the needs of U.S. imperialism. It has tried to disintegrate the African patriotic armed forces by cajolery and bribery and to undermine the African people's patriotic armed struggle. It is common knowledge that over the years the Soviet revisionist renegade clique has been diabolically engaged in selling out the interest of the
c[C]ongolese(K) and to murder Patrice Lumumba and S[s]trangle the legal Lumumba government. It advocates "reconciliation" between the Congolese(K) revolutionaries and the stooges of U.S. imperialism, trying in a thousand and one ways to sabotage the Congolese people's patriotic armed struggle and split the national-liberation movement in the Congo(K). Recently, this clique "restored diplomatic relations" with the Mobutu puppet regime, U.S. imperialism's running dog and Lumumba's murderer, thus once again ignominiously betraying the Congolese(K) people's revolutionary cause.
The lesson of the temporary reverses of the revolutionary cause in the Congo(K) is a characteristic illustration of the fact that the Soviet revisionist renegade clique is another most dangerous enemy of the African people. Therefore, in addition to opposing U.S. imperialism and its lackeys, the African people must wage a resolute struggle against the Soviet revisionist renegade
C[c]lique in order to carry the revolution through to the end.
It is precisely because the enemies confronting the revolutionary African people are not only the Portuguese, South African and Southern Rhodesian colonialists but al
os[so] U.S. imperialism and the Soviet revisionist renegade clique, enemies who are far more vi s[c]ious and cunning, that the African revolutionary people's struggle is protracted, arduous and at time tortuous. But as Chairman Mao, the great leader of the Chinese people, has wisely pointed out: "A nation, big or small, can defeat any enemy, however powerful, so long as it fully arouses its people, firmly relies on them and wage a people's war." We are convinced that the African people, who have a long tradition of struggle against imperialism and colonialism, will eventually crush imperialism, revisionism and all the reactionary forces, heavily weighing them down and win NATIONAL LIBERATION and complete emancipation.