Historic World Events / October / The Cold War comes to Africa, as Guinea gains its independence
The Cold War comes to Africa, as Guinea gains its independence

The Cold War comes to Africa, as Guinea gains its independence

The former French colony of Guinea declares its independence on October 2, 1958, with Sekou Toure because the new nation’s initial leader. Guinea was the only real French West African colony to choose comprehensive independence, instead of membership in the French Community, and quickly thereafter France withdrew all aid to the brand new republic.

It quickly became apparent that Toure would pose a problem for the United States. He was fiercely nationalistic and anti-imperialist, and significantly of his wrath and indignation was targeted at the United States because of its alliances with colonial powers such as for example Great Britain and France and its own refusal to openly condemn the white minority government of South Africa. More troubling for U.S. officials, however, was Guinea’s open courting of Soviet help and money and signing of a military help agreement with the Soviet Union. By 1960, practically 1 / 2 of Guinea’s exports have already been likely to eastern bloc nations and the Soviets had committed huge amount of money of help the African republic. Toure was also intrigued by Mao’s communist experiments in China.

Toure played the Soviet Union and the United States against 1 yet another to find the aid and trade he desired. While Guinea’s relations with the United States got off to a rocky start (American newspapers routinely described the country as “Red” Guinea), matters enhanced through the Kennedy administration when Toure refused to support Soviet aircraft desperate to refuel on the solution to Cuba through the missile crisis of 1962. In 1975, Toure changed course and permitted Soviet and Cuban aircraft to utilize Guinea’s airfields throughout the Angolan civil war, he then once more reversed position by revoking the privileges in 1977 and moving nearer to France and the United States.

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The issues of U.S. officials a lot more than communist influences in Guinea, and the up-and-down partnership with Guinea were but precursors of other issues the United States would face in postcolonial Africa. As Guinea along with other former colonies accomplished independence throughout the post-World War II period, Africa became another battleground in the U.S.-Soviet conflict.

Source: History