Independent Political Line
Independence takes significance only when countries assume ownership of their issues and their destinies. Countries that are run by remote control buttons, or nongovernmental organizations, or global and/or regional organizations, cannot said to have true independence. Countries, whose people expect from Canadian skies and look forward to USAID grain sacks instead of its harvests; countries whose children grow feeding on foreign milk rather than their own; these countries should never claim they have freedom. Because with every hand extended hand, the body has to bow as well. And this is how Eri-trea differs from the rest: a people relying on its skies and dams as well as its harvests. Its sole path has been an independent political line and true freedom.
“Independence doesn’t imply having a flag to fly!” This concept is reiterated d by many but practiced by few. In the past 21 years, Eritrea, who had to wage an unparalleled struggle and hefty sacrifices for its independence, has garnered immense human and national pride through its high-spirited development drive and exemplary impetus. And its secret is only the independent line loving psyche of its people and leadership. And thanks to this restless mental preparedness, Eritrea chose not to adhere to the path of dependency for a better but temporary way out. Its independent political line helped Eritrea confront the various hostilities and waves of conspiracy, at the same time incurring huge sacrifices and tolerance for the sake of truth and justice.
At the time of the struggle for independence, when liberation movements around the world were switching from one camp to another or from ultra-rightists to ultra-leftists or vice versa, the Eritrean people, under the leadership of the Eritrean People’s Liberation Front (EPLF), stuck to its independent line, never compromising it.
When the Eritrean Liberation Front (ELF) leadership was swaying between Arabic Nationalism, Syrian or Iraqi Baathism and Chinese Communism; noting that the independent political line that would attain the objective of the Eritrean people was being endangered, and that the corrective measures from fighters within the ELF were not working effectively, the EPLF, putting National Independence as its core objective, remained true to its principles and won.
Talking about the EPLF’s Independent Political Line in an interview in the town of Keren during the mid-1970s, then EPLF deputy secretary, Isaias Afwerki, had said:
“We will not consent to becoming tools of the eastern or western camps. We are an organization that put national independence upfront and fight for it. The EPLF chooses not to pretend to be like others or dwell in their choices. We are what we are…”
As recorded in the document “History of the Workers’ Movement in Eritrea,” the EPLF leadership had sent the following message to its members on July 01, 1974, that is 38 years ago:
“Imperialism, in an attempt to exploit labor and natural resources, is plotting to wipe out liberation struggles and revolutionary movements. This doesn’t exclude us. Efforts to crash our revolution are not to be neglected, and therefore our struggle will be harder. And for it to succeed we will need to widen our scopes and work harder…”
When attempts to correct the ELF leadership turned out unsuccessful and meetings unfruitful, then deputy secretary said the following in the official journal ‘Merih:
Your political line, which has compromised its independence and resulted in splintering and civil war, is utterly wrong. We (the EPLF) on our part realize that without a country, our people have no use for political ideologies. No political ideology can be bought at the price of a national objective, which remains our top priority. We would like to inform you that our line will succeed and your will not.”
And indeed, it’s but this approach that confirms the correctness of an in-dependent political line.
When the Tigray People’s Lib¬eration front (TPLF) clique, which suffers from a sickness of inferi¬ority complex, tried to lecture the EPLF (its creator) about battle strategies or ideological theories, the EPLF gave it the following re-sponse:
Date: 4 February, 1979, Sahel
To the leadership of the TPLF
In the destabilized region of the Horn of Africa, the main cause for the instability of the region and the suffering of its peoples is the ex¬pansionist and hegemonic policy of the Addis Ababa regime and the compliant global powers’ strategy of occupation. Hence, in order for the struggle of the peoples to tri-umph the intricate journey needs to be overcome with steadfastness. To fulfill this mission, thus, one of the crucial denominators is to consoli¬date the relations of the peoples’ struggle. Whatever policies pur¬sued or any seemingly marvelous rhetoric made to disrupt these cohesive relations is erroneous. For the EPLF is well aware of its stance, as well as its actions, commit¬ments, and the objective past and future history are testimonies by themselves, as ever, the front is not ready to waste its time and energy by bringing itself into rejoinders and counter responses. Time and history will unfold the truth. This position of the EPLF is historically imperative that will never change with the course of time. By defy-ing the dreams of the expansionists and their accomplice superpowers, in order to ensure the stability and peace along with the cordial demo¬cratic forces in our region, and to secure our peoples’ wellbeing and progress demands sacrifice.
4 February 1979
Deputy General Secretary, EPLF
Any external ideologies or ideas that are enforced from outside should not be acceptable not only to Eritrea but any other country as well. As an independent country, Eritrea has political lines that should be respected by others. Similarly, Eritrea should also respect the lines of others. The Eritrean Political Line apparently poses a bad example of a good one, and doesn’t please our world superpowers; and this we have learned from their open invasions and futile attempts. And the people of Eritrea have told them that no matter the extent and intensity of challenges, Eritreans would always stand firm. And by working even harder, nothing will impede the people of Eritrea from attaining everlasting progress. Because, not being confused by evolving ideologies nor hampered by any impediments, but instead sticking to your independent line and continue towards victory is a healthy approach that the people of Eritrea has mastered and domi¬nated in the past century.
Still, the key to the success of the Eritrean people is this old way: the independent political line.