HistoryINDEPENDENCE OF Rhodesia
Chou En-lai, when visiting Somalia in February 1964, stated that 'revolutionary prospects throughout the African continent are excellent'. Now some ten years later there appears to be military stalemate between the liberation movements in Angola, Guinea (Bissau) and Mozambique and the 150,000 or more troops maintaining Portuguese rule in those territories. South Africa remains relatively unscathed by such insurgent activity, although she has recently become concerned at the increasing military effectiveness of the insurgents in Namibia (South West Africa), an area she continues to administer in defiance of United Nations' rulings. For the last decade Rhodesia has been faced with recurrent periods of insurgency which have varied in their seriousness.
Rhodesia's political and geographical position gives her a particular strategic importance in the confrontation between white and black in southern Africa. Together with Botswana, Rhodesia provides the most direct physical access into the Republic of South Africa regarded by her enemies as the powerhouse of the whole system of white supremacy. From a political viewpoint it seems improbable that white Rhodesia, unlike South Africa, has either the human or material resources to sustain for any considerable time the luxury of racial privilege dependent upon a system of social and political discrimination; and unlike the situation in Angola and Mozambique, there is no metropolitan power which might agree to come to terms with local realities -even if this took the form of a Portuguese-trained black administration, rather than the leadersAs Che Guevara wrote: 'People must see clearly the futility of maintaining the fight for social goals within the framework of civil debate ... Where a government has come into power through some form of popular vote, fraudulent or not, and maintains at least an appearance of constitutional legality, the guerrilla...