I accommodated practically all of the liberation movements, including those of Latin America.
Everywhere that the struggle for national freedom has triumphed, once the authorities agreed, there were military coups d’etat that overthrew their leaders. That is the result time and time again.
Peace does not include a vendetta; there will be neither winners nor losers.
Colonialism is an idea born in the West that drives Western countries – like France, Italy, Belgium, Great Britain – to occupy countries outside of Europe.
Colonialism is known in its primitive form, that is to say, by the permanent settling of repressive foreign powers, with an army, services, policies. This phase has known cruel colonial occupations which have lasted 300 years in Indonesia.
I’m optimistic because I’m pragmatic: Neither of the two sides, the military government nor the Islamic front, is capable of winning. If they continue to fight, they will both bleed to death.
Algeria is not breaking up.
It is obvious that taking the country from a state of war to being a lawful state won’t be easy.
My life has been a bit special, this is true. I participated in the liberation of my country. I was one of the organisers of its struggle for liberation. I likewise actively participated in all the struggles for liberation.
Yes, I am Algerian of Moroccan origin through my parents, but all my life is Algeria. I was born there.
I am the son of poor peasants who came at a very young age to live in Algeria. I only recently saw the place where they were born, near the city of Marrakech.
Yes, my life is a life of combat; I can say that this has never stopped for a single instant. It is a combat that started for me at the age of 16. I’m 90 years old now, and my motivation hasn’t changed; it’s the same fervour that drives me.
When I was engaged in the struggle for my country, I was very young. My horizons were open.
The French colonisation of Algeria lasted a long time: 132 years.
When someone came to ask us for help, it was sacred. We did not even think twice. We helped them, even if we had only meagre means; we offered them arms, a little bit of money, and in occasion, men.
I think that they participated in something that was not very proper and was very pitiful, not only for the Algerian people, but also for the other people who counted on our support.
From their point of view, I had gone too far. I had to disappear. That is to say, if the Algerian army had not overthrown me, others would have done so.
I can say now: all the combatants who participated in the fight for freedom in South America came to Algeria; it’s from there that all those who fought left. We trained them, we arranged for the weapons to reach them, we created networks.
Che came in 1963, shortly after I had come to power.
With my government, we engaged in bringing our help to fights for national freedom. At that precise moment, several countries were still colonised or had barely overcome colonisation. This was the case in practically all of Africa. We supported them.
In two years, there were 22 military coups d’etat, essentially in Africa and the third world. The coup d’etat of Algiers, in 1965, is what opened the path.
Algeria was therefore only the beginning of something that was in development: this is why I say that it’s the global capitalist system that finally reacted against us.
I am not a Marxist, but I place myself resolutely at the left.
I am a Muslim Arab, in my actions oriented very to the left, in my convictions.
It’s with them that we have constituted a liberation front and brought our logistic support to armies to help their countries come out of colonialism and establish a national internal regime.
These are the multinationals, like General Motors and Nestle; these are the big industrial groups that weigh, on the monetary scale, much more than big countries like Egypt.
In the past, we spoke of poverty, misery only in the south. Now there is a lot of misery, a lot of bad that creates victims in the north as well. This has become manifest: the global system was not made to serve the good of all, but to serve multinational companies.
The liberation movement which I led in Algeria, the organization that I created to fight the French army, was at first a small movement of nothing at all. We were but some tens of people throughout Algeria, a territory that is five times the size of France.
Those who are leftists, once in power, are not different from other parties.