On the 26th of Ocotber 1972, the then President of the Republic of
Dahomey was deposed in a coup d'etat led by Major Mathieu Kérékou. He deposed a
system in which three members of a presidential council would rotate power. He overthrew the President Justin Ahomadegbé,
who was placed in house arrest until 1981 alongside the other members of the presidential
governing council who were Hubert Maga and Sourou-Migan Apithy.
This year sees the 40th anniversary of the May events of France 1968,
which culminated in the biggest general strike in history, involving
more than 10 million workers. TV programmes and newspaper columns will
mark the occasion but few, if any, will give a real reflection of the
role played by the main actors and actresses, the working class.
In August 1968 Ted Grant drew a balance sheet
of the revolutionary crisis ignited in France with the May events. In this
important article he carefully analysed the main problems facing the
revolution, exposing the treacherous policies of the Stalinist CP leaders, who
gave De Gaulle the possibility to recover from his earlier paralysis, and the
sectarian mistakes of the leaders of the "revolutionary left".
"...the French events
suddenly brought home to me the reality of socialist revolution and how we had
entered a new stormy period, which the tendency had predicted. Within a couple
of years, the Labour government had fallen and Britain entered a convulsive
period including a near general strike. The French events of 1968, after a
short delay, had even found an echo in Britain. Those days of 40 years ago will
return again. This time we can be better prepared. Without doubt, 1968 will be
forever remembered as a political turning point by all those who were touched
by those historic events. That was certainly my experience."
Che Guevara was a dedicated revolutionary and Communist. He was also an
internationalist and understood that to defend the Cuban revolution it
was necessary to spread it to other parts of the world. He attempted
this in Africa and Latin America. This was his strong side. His weak
side was that he saw the revolution fundamentally as a peasant
guerrilla struggle and did not fully understand the central role of the
working class in the socialist revolution.