Sekou Toure, Ahmed

1st President of Guinea 1958-84, architect of independence from France

Price: $50.00

Description:
(1922-1984) 1st President of Guinea 1958-1984, one of the primary Guinean nationalists involved in gaining independence from France. In 1960, he declared his Parti Democratique de Guinee (PDG) to be the only legal party in the state and ruled from then on as a virtual dictator. Nominally re-elected to numerous 7-year terms, Guinea had no other political parties and he imprisoned or exiled his strongest opponents. Born into a poor Mandinka family in French Guinea, he worked for the Postal Services and got involved in labor union activity and studied the works of Marx and Lenin. Touré became politically active working in the Postal Workers Union (PTT), which he helped found, becoming general secretary in 1945. In 1952, he became leader of the Guinean Democratic Party, part of the African Democratic Rally, agitating for the decolonization of Africa. In 1956 he organized the Union Generale des Travailleurs d'Afrique, a common trade union center for French West Africa. In 1956 he was elected to the French National Assembly and Mayor of Conakry. Guinea was the only French colony to refuse to become part of the new French Community on independence in 1958. He blamed 1962 labor unrest on Soviet interference and turned to the US, but relations soured after JFK's death and he feared the CIA was plotting against his regime. During its 1st 3 decades of independence, Guinea became a militantly socialist state, merging functions and membership of the Parti Démocratique de Guinée (PDG) with government institutions. This unified party-state had near complete control over the country's economic and political life. Guinea expelled the Peace Corps and cut diplomatic relations with France in 1965 (renewed in 1975). In 1970, some 350 men with white Portuguese officers from Portuguese Guinea (now Guinea-Bissau) invaded. Toure directed waves of arrests, detentions, and some executions of opposition leaders following the invasion, repulsed after a day. In 1977, after riots against the regime's economic policy, he relaxed restrictions, offered amnesty to exiles, and released hundreds of political prisoners. Ties were loosened with the Soviet bloc as he sought increased Western aid and private investment for Guinea's sagging economy. In 1978 he formally renounced Marxism and reestablished trade with the West. He was elected unopposed to a 4th 7-year term in 1982. 7 x 5 SP, b&w glossy 3/4 standing portrait signed with his "AST" customary signature. With transmittal TLS in French on official letterhead from the President's Chief of Protocol, Toure S. Ben-Daouda, Conakry, January 18 1966, sending the photo.

Condition: Very good
Type:Photograph






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