- Capitalism and Alternatives -

A word about Marxism in Burkina Faso

Posted by: MDG on October 26, 1999 at 18:30:26:

In Reply to: Good Sense posted by Lark on October 26, 1999 at 16:55:37:

Plenty of communist regimes have 'worked', look agaoin at Kerala, Nicaragua, or Burkina Faso. Many of tehm have been democratic while they were communist and democratic afterward.

This, from the University of Minnesota Human Rights Library:

Country analysts, however, view as a watershed the period from 1983 to 1987, when the Conseil National de la Revolution (National Council of the Revolution) (CNR) came to power under the dynamic and charismatic leadership of Captain Thomas Sankara. That period opened a new chapter
in civilian-military relations in Africa in general, and Burkina Faso in particular. The Sankara government deliberately mobilized the peasants, who constitute the bulk of the society, to participate
in the democratic process. Civil society was also given a boost by the state in the form of empowerment of women, peasants, students, workers and other organizations. Never before were the basic needs of the ordinary Burkinabe as attended to as they were by the Sankara regime.
Certainly it was not a representative democracy, but it was a participatory one.

Saying this should not create any impression that Burkina Faso witnessed a golden age of human rights protection under the Sankara government. Human rights abuses occurred, including cases of
torture, arbitrary detention and other violations. Sankara's revolutionary zeal led him to target certain elements of the society as enemies, and they were persecuted.

In October 1987 Sankara was assassinated during a coup d'etat by his friend, Blaise Campore. After the bloodiest coup in the country's history, Campore installed the country's ninth political regime. Monitors recorded the highest ever number of political assassinations, hit squads and "disappearances" under this regime; one study sets the number of assassinations at about twenty. Burkina Faso during this period ratified international human rights conventions, including the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights in 1984. In addition, the regime adopted a new constitution in 1991. In spite of these formal posturings by the state, the systematic violation of human rights,
including assassinations, continued. There was persecution of university professors and students, and some students of the University of Ouagadougou "disappeared." Arrests, detention, and torture
became a common feature of the political landscape of Burkina Faso under Blaise Campore. The regime's purge of the society resulted in the destruction of the political, legal, administrative, economic, social and cultural order of the country. The regime abused the judicial system in particular, creating revolutionary tribunals which have, more often than not, been used to persecute perceived political opponents. The Mouvement Burkinabč des Droits de l'Homme et des Peuples (The Burkina Faso Movement for Human and Peoples' Rights) (MBDHP) became a the target of state intimidation and threats, as were trade unionists and opposition parties. The press, out of fear, opted for self-censorship.

In response to the general continental search for democracy, Blaise Campore preempted a popular demand by setting up a transitional government and organizing elections. He won the elections,
although the results were disputed. He formed a new government in 1992.

In addition, Burkina Faso suffers from a high rate of illiteracy.

If that's an example of Marxist success, I'd hate to see a failure. Now Lark, before you respond, I would remind you (given the smarmy tone of your last post to me) that you advocate civility elsewhere on this board. Please practice what you preach (note: I use "preach" in its non-religious form).

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