MOZAMBICAN FREEDOM FIGHTER PASSED AWAY AT AGE OF 65

Fox News on May 4, 2018, reported that Afonso Dhlakama, freedom fighter and opposition leader, has died. Excerpts below:

During the civil war that ended in 1992 he lead the [anticommunist] Renamo [Mozambican National Resistance] struggle against the marxist Frelimo party…

…Dhlakama died in the Gorongosa area of central Sofala province, where he was based…tensions have eased in Mozambique in 2017 as Dhlakama met President Filipe Nyusi in Gorongosa to discuss disputes between the two sides.

Comment: When Mozambique gained independence from Portugal in 1975 it lead to socialist rule of Samora Machel. The administration of President Ronald Reagan supported aiding anti-Communist movements in countries aligned with the Soviet Union but Washington did not support the pro-Western Mozambique National Resistance (RENAMO), which wanted market reforms for its country. RENAMO was a democratic movement on the verge of overthrowing a Soviet client state. A RENAMO victory would have shown the world that the Soviet Union and its Brezhnev Doctrine were not invincible.

During the Cold War Jack Wheeler of the Freedom Research Foundation in California was a staunch supporter of the armed struggle around the world for freedom from marxism-leninism. Thomas W. Schaaf Jr. was executive director of the Mozambique Research Center in Washington D.C., which supported Renamo.

American businessmen and evangelical Christian Christians during the 1980s aided Renamo. Supporting institutions were the Heritage Foundation in Washington D.C. and the Free the Eagle group. Renamo also had strong supporters in the US Congress, notably Sen. Jesse Helms (R-N.C.) and Rep. Danny Lee Burton (R-Ind.).

It seems likely that stronger Western support for Renamo in the 1980s leading to victory would have resulted in a more prosperous Mozambique after the collapse of the Soviet Union.

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