Frustrated hopes of the Tricontinental

, by  Bachir Ben Barka

The Tricontinental Conference had brought the hope of living in freedom and dignity, breaking the shackles of colonialism and neo-colonial exploitation.

The Bandung Conference affirmed the right of peoples to be liberated from colonial domination and development. It became clear that the "Bandung spirit" had to be extended in a more radical sense, carried more by popular organizations than by governments. Thus, in December 1957, the first "Conference of Solidarity of the Peoples of Africa and Asia" was held in Cairo, which created the Afro-Asian Peoples’ Solidarity Organization (OSPAA). It was no longer the governments that were represented in this organization, but the liberation movements and the progressive and revolutionary parties.

From an Afro-Asian vision we move to a Tricontinental vision by deciding to include Latin America. The International Conference of Solidarity of the Peoples of Africa, Asia and Latin America was held in Havana in January 1966 with the main objective: concrete assistance to the liberation movements of the colonized countries and peoples undergoing oppression apartheid, reactionary regimes and imperialist aggression; foundation of the structures of this solidarity.

Since the announcement of the tricontinental Conference, the reaction of the United States, its European allies and satellite governments in Africa, Asia and Latin America were commensurate with the importance of the event. In the context of the cold war, the Conference was presented as an offshoot of the USSR and China and condemned as "a communist conspiracy".

Political eliminations, killings and assassinations quickly targeted the activists and leaders of the national liberation movements and the revolutionary parties that seemed the most dangerous and who were the bearers of the hopes of the Tricontinental and perhaps the best able to achieve them.

This hecatomb targeted in the revolutionary ranks allows us to legitimately ask the question: what could have been the state of the third world - if not the world - if all these militants, all these leaders had been able to carry out their projects until their term?