Wed | Aug 10, 2022

Norris McDonald | Patrice Lumumba’s death and other shameful imperialist crimes

Published:Wednesday | June 29, 2022 | 12:09 AM
Patrice Lumumba, the independence leader of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the first prime minister.
Patrice Lumumba, the independence leader of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the first prime minister.
Norris McDonald
Norris McDonald

Patrice Lumumba, the independence leader of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and the first prime minister, was brutally murdered and his body burnt in a horrific act of criminal cruelty in 1961.

Only Lumumba’s gold-capped tooth remained to identify him after his body was reportedly burned and dissolved in acid.

What type of human beings, who masquerade as ‘masters of great Western moral values’, could be complicit in such gross inhumanity?

The authors of Patrice Lumumba’s murder were so callous, they kept his gold tooth as a proud memento.


Belgium has finally acknowledged their complicity in this horrendous crime, some 60 years later, by returning Mr Lumumba’s gold tooth to his family.

In 1975 a US Senate investigation cleared the Central Intelligence Agency of any complicity in Patrice Lumumba’s murder but it was established that they helped to finance the overthrow of Lumumba’s government.

In the meantime, there were other well-documented acts of cruel barbarism that occurred in the Congo.

King Leopold II of Belgium controlled the Congo as his personal oppressive domain in which Black Africans under his control were required to meet specific work quotas. If they failed to do so, they were either mutilated, by having their hands amputated, or killed.

“Muzeyi Mivuya, my grandfather, was not the only one who had his hands amputated,” distinguished African journalist Godfrey Olukya revealed.

“I was a small child when I saw many people in my Congolese village with missing hands who had gotten the same punishment from the Belgian colonial masters for failing to produce enough rubber for export to Europe.”

Godfrey Olukya’s shocking February 2, 2022 exposé – in the Anadolu Agency, a European press syndicate – is just an iota, though extremely important, of the over 10 million people who suffered extreme brutality and death to produce bloodstained wealth for Western imperialists.

Have we ever heard of any Western political leader arrested for any international criminal acts?

Oh no! They are too busy finding crimes against other countries and their leaders to investigate their complicity in atrocities committed all over the world.

Godfrey Olukya’s heart-rending family tragedy is a sad tale of neocolonial and imperialist brutality.

Mr Olukya is a reporter for the Associated Press who earned the extremely remarkable distinction of being one of the most read and viewed writers in 2021.


In the meantime, countries such as Jamaica and her leaders, who appear, in my opinion, to be blindly following American or Western ‘diktats’, ought to pay attention to history.

What really does Jamaica have to gain, if as perceived by their actions, to be selling out the ‘country’s non-alignment’?

How will future generations judge the present leaders?

Will future Jamaicans and the world look back with pride as former Prime Minister Bruce Golding did when he admonished Prime Minister Andrew Holness for his attempts to disrespect Michael Manley’s international legacy?

The Hon Bruce Golding correctly reminded Prime Minister Holness that Michael Manley helped to build a proud international legacy for Jamaica.

My dear friends, do you remember Prime Minister Andrew Holness meeting with President Donald Trump in March 2019?

History will recall that, shortly afterwards:

• Jamaica closed her embassy in Venezuela

• Jamaica seized Venezuelan assets that were part of PetroCaribe

The Jamaican government may not have known but America was by then planning ‘Operation Puma’ to overthrow the Venezuelan government.

This was truly a dicey period for the Venezuelan people. They truly needed as much friends as possible. America and her European allies had called Napoleon Juan Guaido Venezuelan ‘interim Head-of-State’.

Great Britain had seized over US$1 billion in gold reserves held in TRUST for Venezuela.

America, after failing to overthrow President Nicolas Maduro government, and now faced with a blow-back of rising oil prices and inflation, is now forced to ‘suck up’ to the Venezuela Government.

And just like how they dumped Mobutu Sese Seko, Manuel Noriega and Saddam Hussein, among others, they have dumped Juan Guaido who they had called ‘interim president’.

America and Europe, therefore, have licensed three companies – Chevron, Eni and Repsol – giving them permission to export Venezuelan oil.

President Nicolas Maduro, as Bob Marley would say, ‘is coming, coming from the cold’.

He recently completed a whirlwind tour of powerful countries such as Turkey, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Algeria, among others, meeting with such distinguished leaders as President Recep Erdogan of Turkey.

Venezuela has come in from the cold but, follow-fashion, trust-deficit Jamaican government, having turned its back on Venezuela, may be left out in the cold.

The country is now being sued by Venezuela for US$50 million from the PetroCaribe deal.


My dear friends, in 1815 Simon Bolivar wrote his ‘Jamaica Letter’, outlining his aspiration for the people of Latin America and the Caribbean.

The historical ties between Latin America and the Caribbean, and other nations, must be one of true friendship and international cooperation, non-interference in others’ affairs and the non-pursuit of imperialist dictates.

Venezuela has long been a true friend to Jamaica, Haiti, Cuba, and the rest of the Caribbean with the PetroCaribe funds; helping to deliver oil at dirt-cheap prices while augmenting the region.

The Russian-Ukraine war, the oil price shocks, and rising world inflationary prices are showing why countries such as Jamaica must pursue a non-aligned, independent foreign policy.

The history of the world has been one in which grave acts of inhumanity have been unleashed on oppressed people worldwide. This must forever remain in our political consciousness.

We need to stand firm, in the name of truth, justice, human dignity and human rights!

Just like how Jamaicans are proud of ‘Jamaica 60’, we must never take the side of the oppressors against that of peoples who are fighting for their national independence.

That is just the ‘bitta’ truth!

Norris McDonald is an economic journalist, political analyst, and respiratory therapist. Email feedback to and