It was during his African trip that Chirac [President of France – translator’s note] learned of the sudden death of the Togolese dictator, his friend Eyadema. This bloody dictator held sway for 38 years, eliminating his opponents. He created a reign of terror over his people, who rose up courageously on several occasions. Each time, the Praetorian army, Palace Guard shot at the demonstrators while the militias removed and murdered them.
The army has set up one of the dictator’s sons, who had a long time ago put his family and his men into all the key posts of the regime. Faure Gnassingbé is following in his father’s footsteps. This military putsch was endorsed by representatives, deputies anxious to maintain a regime from which they want to continue to take advantage, profit.
The opposition in Togo and those who lives in exile have called on the citizens to demonstrate against these armed takeovers. They are demanding the annulment of these decisions and the right of the Togolese people to finally take their destiny in their own hands. Demonstrations have taken place in Lomé [capital of Togo – translator’s note]. They have been violently repressed: there is talk of four people killed by the army on Saturday, February 12. The putschists have forbidden all demonstration for two months. Radios stations have been closed. But the opposition has not let itself be silenced.
The French authorities are not ‘neutral’, neither before or now. French troops are permanently stationed in this country which is key to the political, economic and military device of French neo-colonialism, known as ‘French Africa’. They have confined themselves to some diplomatic protests but have avoided taking concrete measures that would put the putschists into difficulty.
The neo-colonial policy of French imperialism has been increasingly denounced by the African peoples. It has led to reactionary civil wars, as in the Ivory Coast, further ruining these countries which have already been very harshly hit by the neo-liberal policies of the IMF, the World Bank and which today inspire those of the European Union.
We express our solidarity with the Togolese people who are courageously standing up against the putschists and who are fighting for their dignity and their right to decide their own destiny.
We denounce this putsch that seeks to keep in place a bloody and corrupt regime.
We denounce the real support that the French authorities are giving to this regime and we demand the immediate end to all form of ‘cooperation’, whether military, economic or political. We make the same demand to the EU.
Communist Party of the Workers of France,
February 15, 2005
Translated from the French by George Gruenthal.
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