BY LUIS MADRID:
Pathfinder Press has just added three new French-language pamphlets and one in Spanish to its revolutionary arsenal.
Published in early August, these four titles were produced in time to be sold at the 15th World Festival of Youth and Students. Young people at the festival who were hungry for literature explaining a revolutionary working-class perspective on the big questions facing humanity, purchased hundreds of Pathfinder books and pamphlets at the event, which was held in Algiers, the capital of Algeria.
Three of the new titles include speeches by Thomas Sankara, the central leader of the 1983–87 revolution in the West African country of Burkina Faso, formerly known as ‘Upper Volta’.
One title in French is “Nous sommes les héritiers des révolutions du monde” (or “We are Inheritors of the Revolutions of the World”). The 82-page pamphlet contains a selection of five speeches by Sankara, given during the revolution.
In August 1983, an uprising in Burkina Faso established a popular revolutionary government led by Thomas Sankara. From the outset, this government sought to organize and mobilize the peasants, workers, women, and youth of the former Upper Volta -- one of the poorest countries in the world -- in a confident and ambitious effort to combat hunger, illiteracy, and economic backwardness, which had been imposed on them by imperialist domination.
The speeches include major excerpts from the Oct. 2, 1983 “Political Orientation” speech, which Sankara presented on behalf of the National Council of the Revolution; “Freedom is conquered”, his October 1984 address at the United Nations General Assembly meeting; and a speech to the First International Tree and Forest Conference held in Paris in February 1986. It also includes “French Allows us to Communicate with other Peoples in Struggle”, also given in February 1986, at the first international summit of governments of French-speaking countries, held in Paris.
These five speeches are a powerful introduction to the uncompromising political trajectory led by Sankara in advancing the interests of the toilers during the four years of the revolution. In October 1987, he was assassinated in a dirty military coup that put an end to the popular revolutionary government.
One week before his death, speaking about the legacy of fearless Argentine-Cuban revolutionary Ernesto Che Guevara (co-leader of the 1959 Cuban Revolution), Sankara remarked that although individuals can be killed, “You cannot kill ideas.” Given on the 20th anniversary of Guevara’s death at the hands of the U.S.-backed Bolivian military, and backed by cold-blooded C.I.A. ‘field operatives’, Sankara’s tribute is included as the last item of the new pamphlet.
“L'émancipation des femmes et la lutte de libération de l'Afrique” and “La emancipación de la mujer y la lucha africana por la libertad” are editions in French and Spanish, respectively, of a March 8, 1987, speech published in English as “Women’s Liberation and the African Freedom Struggle”. In this speech, given on International Women’s Day, Sankara not only explains the specific challenges faced by the struggle for women’s liberation on the African continent, but offers a Marxist explanation of the development of class society. He describes the origins of women’s oppression and charts a political course for the struggle to eradicate it.
The fifth new title is “Pathfinder est né avec la révolution d'octobre” by Mary-Alice Waters. This French-language pamphlet is a translation of “Pathfinder Was Born with the October Revolution”. A Spanish edition was published last year.
“Revolutionary-minded workers and farmers, and youth attracted toward them, don’t primarily need interpreters or intermediaries,” argues Waters. “They need the words themselves, presented accurately and completely, translated honestly and clearly,” adds Waters, president of the New York-based publisher: “That's what Pathfinder does!”
Promotional material on these titles is being sent to bookstores, distributors, libraries, and publications that handle French and Spanish literature. Pathfinder supporters around the world are also discussing promotional possibilities in their local areas.
Information contained in these "Sankara posts" was gotten from personal and various other sources on the Internet.
Bikoture, I'm yet to reply to you -- on a more “personal” level -- regarding my own personal thoughts/convictions, if any, on Scientific Socialism and the like …
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