The Final Call Online Edition


WEB POSTED 09-14-2000


World Mathaba of Libya, which supported liberation movements, plans its future

SIRTE, Libya—"On this historical day and meeting we should reaffirm our existence, we should extend a hand to peace movements," Col. Muammar Gadhafi, leader of the Libyan Great Al-Fateh Revolution, told delegates and heads of state gathered for the 3rd Congress of the World Mathaba. "Mathaba should impose itself on the world arena," he said.

And in doing so, Mathaba will be a balance of power to offset the neo-colonialist efforts of western powers, he said.

Following messages of solidarity by 10 heads of state of Africa and the Caribbean and an introduction by the Honorable Minister Louis Farrakhan, Col. Gadhafi acknowledged that the western press once described the Mathaba members as terrorists, but now many Mathaba members are in power and are received with "red carpet treatment" around the world. "We are not terrorists, we are freedom fighters," he said.

Mathaba (meaning center) convened its First Congress in 1982. With Libya as its headquarters, Mathaba was severely crippled when the UN implemented U.S.-led sanctions against the Muslim country. The conference ended on the eve of the 31st anniversary of the Great Al-Fateh Revolution that brought Col. Gadhafi to power.

Making one of the most well-received statements during the conference, Col. Gadhafi reiterated his call for the establishment of an international bank controlled by the Mathaba as a means of breaking the grip of western and U.S.-controlled financial institutions like the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

He said such a bank would also help developing nations to confront western-dominated globalization.

Col. Gadhafi acknowledged the theme that ran throughout the conference—the need for Mathaba to redefine itself in light of the changing world dynamics. Once an organization that backed morally, financially and physically the liberation movements seeking to overthrow oppressive regimes—ofttimes through armed struggle—Col. Gadhafi said that "after restructuring, (Mathaba) must confront the concept of globalization. The conflict is between us and imperialism. Imperialism wants globalization to be an imperialist one. America wants it to be American globalization. America has a dream and a right to do so," he said.

But he quickly noted the demise of former world powers who sought to oppress and control peoples of the world.

"We will fight to make globalization an international one," he said. "Anybody who wants to work with Africa must work with Africa as a whole, North and South," he said, noting attempts by the west to spark division among Arab-African and sub-Saharan African nations.

Imperialist globalization can be thwarted with the establishment of strong regional trade blocs in Europe, South America, southeast Asia, the Indian sub-continent, the states of the new Russian Federation, Latin America and the African continent, he said.

But, in order to have successful trade unity, there must be regional peace, he noted, calling for Mathaba to be more aggressive in conflict resolution, particularly on the African continent.

With war raging the Congo region, the belly of southern Africa, Col. Gadhafi called for a meeting of Mathaba heads of state and that a committee be formed to visit these regions to put forth proposals to resolve the conflicts. In several references he noted the need for leaders like Min. Farrakhan—who can view the conflicts with an objective eye—to lead the teams that will visit these regions.

Col. Gadhafi noted that the UN had asked Libya to use her vast credibility across the African continent to help secure UN forces in Liberia and to assist in helping to gain the release of hostages in various countries.

In one recent case, Libya helped to secure the release of hostages from Philippine rebels in Jolo. On the day before the conference, the six former hostages—French, German and South African—appeared in Tripoli to thank the Muslim leader for his assistance at a ceremony that took place outside the ruins of Col. Gadhafi’s home that was bombed in 1986 by U.S. planes. That bombing took the life of Col. Gadhafi’s adopted infant daughter.

Col. Gadhafi also called for nations to compensate Blacks for slavery and for compensation to former colonized nations.

Delivering remarks to delegates were: Presidents Kumba Yala of Guinea Bissau; Rosie Douglas of Dominica; Abdoulaye Wade of Senegal; Blaise Compoare of Burkina Faso; Sam Nujoma of Namibia; Yahya Jammeh of Gambia; Idriss Deby of Chad; Alpha Omar Konaré of Mali; Yoweri Musevini of Uganda; and Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe. In attendance was former Nicaraguan head of state Daniel Ortega.

Words of solidarity also were telexed from Palestinian leader Yassir Arafat.

"Allah gives us a parable of a person in a ship and the ship gets tossed about by the wind and waves of the sea and that person in that condition cries out to Allah, making his prayer sincere," Min. Farrakhan said in his introduction of Col. Gadhafi. "The Qur’an says, but when we get him safely to shore, lo, he sets up other gods besides Allah. Surely man is ungrateful.

"All of us benefit from the creation of Almighty God, Allah," he continued. "And because each of us benefit … then all of us owe The Creator a debt of gratitude.

"We are here today to say thank you, first to Almighty God, Allah, for the precious womb of the woman who is the mother that bore the Leader of the Revolution, Brother Muammar Gadhafi. There are none of us in this room who have not benefited from his birth into this world; and there are tens of hundreds of thousands who have benefited because Allah brought Muammar Gadhafi this way," he said.

Min. Farrakhan said Mathaba cannot live up to its role in a changing world until the light of God and knowledge replaces the darkness of the mindset of former colonial masters.

"There’s a surah in the Qur’an called Al Nur (The Light), and it is the light of the sun as it strikes the earth that causes it to make its revolution," Min. Farrakhan said. "There is no real revolution until the light of knowledge strikes our minds and there comes a transformation of the mind.

"The gun can never transform the mind, only greater knowledge can transform the mind. This real revolution is that each of us who are revolutionaries must work to overthrow the government of Shaitan, or the government of the rulers who have dominated our lives from our minds," he said.

Caught in a controversy over land rights, Pres. Mugabe of Zimbabwe—who wants Black war vets to reclaim land from white settlers—noted that while the west is calling for "democracy" in Africa, "the implementation of democracy by Europeans in Africa is dismal."

He called for the pooling of African resources and the establishment of African industries to manufacture finished goods.

Pres. Compoare called for the kind of African unity that broke the sanctions against Libya. "In Ouagad-ougou (Burkina Faso) we called for a stop to sanctions … . That’s what showed Africa that it is free, honorable and has dignity," he said.

The struggle for Mathaba today is an economic struggle to wipe out poverty from the face of Africa, said another veteran of revolutionary stru-ggle, Pres. Sam Nujoma of Namibia.

"Unity is our sharper weapon," he said. "Africa can lead the world … because Africa has enormous mineral resources. We must use our resources to benefit Africans in Africa and the Diaspora."

Calling for an end to coups and bloodshed and an "African solution" to current conflicts, Pres. Alpha Konare of Mali said, "the struggle we fight is based on principles, morals, belief in God and respect for man and life. Those who don’t respect life aren’t our comrades."

"Libya has made great sacrifices. Every device has been used to crush the Jamahiriya, but the people of the Jamahiriya kept their strength and solidarity," said Rosie Douglas, the recently-elected prime minister of Dominica and a former Mathaba board member.

"The influence of Libya and the great Jamahiriya is felt around the world. The democracy advocated her is a popular democracy," he said.

Photo #1-Col. Gadhafi (left) and Min. Farrakhan (right) congratulated Dominca's newly elected Prime Minister Rosie Douglas, a former Mathaba member; #2-Native America delegates confer during speeches.



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