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Louis Armstrong and Spy: How the CIA Used him as a “Trojan Horse” in Congo | Louis Armstrong

It was a memorable night. Louis armstrong, His wife and a diplomat at the US Embassy went out for dinner at a restaurant in Leopoldville, the newly independent capital of Congo.

The trumpet player, singer, and bandleader, who was called Satchmo as a kid, was on tour. Africa It will last for months, organized and sponsored by the State Department to improve the image of the United States in the dozens of countries that have just won freedom from the colonial regime.

Armstrong didn’t know that his host that night in November 1960 wasn’t a political attaché as described. CIA In Congo. He was also able to obtain important information that his fame facilitates some of the most controversial operations of the entire Cold War by spies talking small stories among starters. I was completely unaware of the method.

“Armstrong was basically a Trojan horse for the CIA. It’s really heartbreaking. He was brought in to serve the interests that were completely contrary to his own sense of what was right or wrong. He would have been scared. ” Susan Williams, A researcher at the University of London Institute of Advanced Studies, White MarisA new book revealing the amazing range of CIA activities across Central and West Africa in the 1950s and early 1960s.

Patrice Lumumba, right, then Prime Minister Congo Kinshasa. He was killed within two months of Armstrong’s tour. Photo: Getty

Documents Williams found in the United Nations archives during a five-year study were found by Armstrong’s host, CIA station chief Larry Devlin, and other US intelligence personnel stationed in Congo for strategic access by musicians. A strong and very wealthy state of Katanga, which has recently left, strongly suggests that it used the cover of its visit. The United States sympathizes with the state leaders’ agenda, but has not officially acknowledged the self-declared government there.

The Katanga CIA has received a lot of interest, from high-ranking officials who couldn’t be met otherwise, to important mining infrastructure with 1,500 tonnes of uranium and very likely to be procured. rice field. Armstrong’s tour of Katanga was a great opportunity, so Devlin and others jumped out of the capital with the musician and his famous band. “They needed a cover, and this gave them a cover,” Williams said.

There was something else Armstrong didn’t know about withdrawing from a similar tour to the Soviet Union three years ago in protest of racism in the United States. The CIA in Congo, led by Devlin, was trying to kill the 35-year-old Patrice Lumumba, Congo’s first democratically elected prime minister. He was afraid to lead the country to Soviet camps. Historians now believe that nationalist leaders wanted his country to remain neutral in the Cold War.

Just a mile from where Armstrong and Devlin ate, the charismatic Lumumba was a loyal soldier to Joseph de Silemobutu, a young army chief who worked closely with the effectively seized CIA. Was taken prisoner at his official residence. Power it a few weeks ago.

Within two months of Armstrong’s tour, Lumumba was killed by state officials separated in Katanga. And Belgian police officers.. Mobutu would later strengthen his control over Congo and become a loyal US customer.

Devlin later claimed that the CIA was responsible, saying in a US Congressional investigation that “the Mobutu coup … was arranged, supported, and actually managed by the CIA.”

Armstrong and his band will perform in the outdoor venue (probably Kenya) in the late 1960s.
Armstrong and his band will perform in the outdoor venue (probably Kenya) in the late 1960s. Photo: Susan Wood / Getty

NS Lumumba’s murder It was one of the most notorious episodes of the Cold War and caused anger around the world. While accepting the coup’s responsibilities, the CIA has always denied involvement. In 1975, Devlin said in a U.S. government investigation that government agencies had been trying to assassinate nationalist leaders over the past few months, but stopped their activities long before the actual murder.

However, Williams found evidence that cast doubt on the credibility of Devlin’s testimony. According to a recently released US document, the CIA director sent an agent known as WI / ROGUE to Tizville, a town where Lumumba was imprisoned weeks before his death. Popular politician.

“I can’t say what WI / ROGUE did in Thysville, but at least it would undermine Devlin’s credibility,” Williams said.

The CIA began developing a network of agents, hired helpers, collaborators and clients in Africa shortly after its founding in 1947, based on work done during World War II. By 1960, this vast web consisted of trade union leaders, businessmen, cultural and educational organizations, businesses, and even airlines.

Agencies will be involved in some of the most important events in the post-colonial history of the continent.

In 1962, CIA spies advised racists and officials of South Africa’s oppressive apartheid regime. Nelson Mandela and his imprisonment for 27 yearsThe agency has also been accused of overthrowing Ghana’s first president, Kwame Nkrumah. In the 1966 military coup.

“The tragedy is that Nkrumah and Lumumba in the book and many other African leaders did not oppose the United States. They wanted a friendly relationship with the United States, but they did not oppose the Soviet Union either. Therefore, it was considered an enemy by Washington. The attitude was “Are you with us or against us?” Williams said.

Armstrong, 59 years old when he traveled to Congo, was inspired by his experience in Congo. Real ambassador, Was played and became an album. It expressed some of his own deeply opposed feelings about his participation in US government public relations on the continent.

“I represent the government, but the government does not represent some of the policies I seek,” said the musician of the work.

Louis Armstrong and Spy: How the CIA Used him as a “Trojan Horse” in Congo | Louis Armstrong

Source link Louis Armstrong and Spy: How the CIA Used him as a “Trojan Horse” in Congo | Louis Armstrong

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