From La Forge
Central Organ of the Communist Party of the Workers of France
November, 1998


The PCRV is 20 years old

For the working class and the people of Upper Volta, October 1998 marked a double anniversary: twenty years of existence of the Revolutionary Communist Party of Volta (PCRV), and ten years of existence of the revolutionary trade union federation CGT-B (General Confederation of Labor of Burkina).

The communists of Volta today can assess with pride the work that they have accomplished. Despite the repression and the difficult conditions, both on the national and international level, in which it was built, the clandestine PCRV is today the most active political Party in Burkina-Faso. Its members are at all the fronts: in the organization of trade union resistance, in the building of unity of the workers and the people, in the fight for human rights and the people rights, in the schools, high schools, colleges, universities... In the countryside, the PCRV supports the class struggles which are developing against the big landowners (President Compaoré is himself a big cotton plantation owner), against the big capitalist enterprises that buy the cotton, furnish the fertilizers and the pesticides, against the government which squanders the national wealth and neglects the maintenance of the water system. In all circumstances, and more and more systematically, the PCRV is intervening under its own name to make its program and slogans known. In all situations of social and political life, it adopts a definite position, propagates a class point of view and presents an alternative.

This situation is followed closely by French imperialism. Assured of being elected President of the Republic on November 15, 1998, in the rigged elections, Blaise Compaoré benefits from its active support: "He enjoys the support of French imperialism for which this reelection is an urgent necessity since, for French imperialism, Captain Blaise Compaoré is a faithful pawn in our country, in the sub-region and in the whole continent. French imperialism, losing speed in Africa, even in its own domain, denounced for its support of the worst dictators on the continent (Mobutu in Zaire, Eyadema in Togo, etc.) has to face the penetration of other imperialist powers, especially the USA, that threaten its private preserves in Africa. More and more of the countries dominated by French imperialism in the sub-region are suffering severe crises, latent or open (Senegal, Mali, Togo, Niger,...) and Captain Blaise Compaoré's country seems stable and can serve as a base for French imperialism to reorganize its presence in west Africa and the whole continent. This is why it actively supported the election of the Captain Blaise Compaoré as the head of the OAU [Organization of African Unity] to increase its sphere of activity."

This apparent stability shows itself to be in fact very uncertain: "A serious political crisis is striking all the institutions of the country, the political parties of the opposition as well as those in power: political and organizational decomposition of the opposition, hidden rivalries within the parties in power where there is only the will of the leader, etc. The political, economic and social criminals set up by those in power at the behest of the imperialists, the IMF and the World Bank, as well as the repressive manner in which the social conflicts are treated by those in power, have provoked a deep split between the rulers and the ruled, between our people and those who rule over them." The reformist opposition is extremely weak: "What awaits the legal opposition is their pure and simple disappearance after the elections."

The situation is tense and complex. The conditions exist for a revolutionary maturation of the crisis, but imperialism and reaction, as experience has shown, do not retreat on their own accord: Sankara's coup d'Etat in the beginning of the 1980s to crush the young PCRV and strangle in the cradle the development of the democratic and anti-imperialist movement, the recourse to reactionary nationalism (the war between Mali and Volta), the many attempts to exacerbate regionalism and tribalism, the politics of large-scale corruption of all the live forces of the country, are the proof. One of the undeniable gains of the revolutionary struggle of the proletariat of Volta led by the PCRV, is to have fought these evils and to have spared Burkina Faso "the throes of misfortune that struck a good number of African countries."

This has been possible because there is a true revolutionary alternative: "During these twenty years of struggle of the Party, the action of the PCRV has changed deeply the face of the class struggle in our country and has created a qualitatively greater leap in the struggle of the proletariat and people of Upper Volta.

"The action of our Party has accelerated the regroupment of class forces, contributing to the formation of a vast pole of revolutionary democracy, due to the organizational work in the fire of struggle that it carried out. Thus, vast sectors of the people have been organized around the pole that the Party formed, against the bourgeoisie and imperialism, thus reinforcing the revolutionary unity of the people around the Party. In all sectors of society, the line of revolutionary class struggle has driven back reformism, class collaboration (trade union, "civil society," youth, etc.). Due to the work of the Party, the degree of the organization of the people has been taken to a higher level. Our society is divided in two big camps with diametrically opposed interests: the camp of the bourgeois and imperialism and the camp of the people led by the PCRV.

The political, ideological and organization struggles conducted over these twenty years have allowed the proletariat and the people to come out on the political scene as an independent political force. The correct tactical and political leadership of the Party has allowed the working class and the people to make big historic turns in a victorious manner. The Party knew, each time, how to propose to the working class and the people the concrete revolutionary alternatives that, brought into play with relentless spirit, have reinforced the camp of the people..."

The communists of the PCRV have come to the place of action in all the battles for the immediate and fundamental interests of the working class and the people. The program of the PCRV, revolutionary, democratic and anti-imperialist, responding to the needs of development of Volta society, is defended today by a very large number of workers who are actually fighting for its realization. The conditions exist for an important reinforcement of the ranks of the Party, assuring it additional means to play its leading role in the current stage of the struggle: the "National Democratic and Popular Revolution," with the perspective of socialism.

We communist militants in France building a genuine Communist Party with the perspective of a revolutionary alternative to the capitalist-imperialist system, greet on two accounts this work and these gains: as a blow struck against our common enemy, French imperialism, but also as a confirmation of the effectiveness and vitality of Marxism-Leninism in the current conditions of the struggle for socialism and communism.

Click here to return to the Volta Index