GULF OIL: THE STRATEGY TO APPEASE AND OPPRESS

by Randall Robinson, Pan-African Liberation Committee
Brookline Village, Massachusetts, United States
October 28, 1973
Publisher: Pan-African Liberation Committee
9 pages
The report says, in 1968, Gulf Oil Corporation began pumping oil from the Portuguese-held African colony of Angola. Portugal was seven years at war with African freedom fighters and was strapped for funds. Freedom fighters had taken the military initiative in the remaining two colonies of Mozambique and Guinea-Bissau, and Portugal realized she was losing the war in Africa. This was when Gulf Oil made the first large tax and royalty payments to Portugal, enabling Portugal to draw out the war. Anticipating domestic Black protest against its empire-saving assistance to Portugal, Gulf launched the first stage of a comprehensive public relations campaign. The report says the National Newspaper Publishers Association, the 33-year-old group of Black publishers, invited Fred S. Schwend, president of Gulf, U.S.A., to present the NNPA Publisher-of-the-Year Award at its annual meeting in Houston. The report argues that Black journalists should go to Angola, either at the request of their struggling African brethren or perhaps even independently, but not under the paid sponsorship of Gulf. The report says from the sponsorship of Lee Elder in the Nigerian Open to Rev. Leon Sullivan's acceptance for OIC of $50,000 in 1972, nowhere is this dilemma of neutralized leadership more painful than in the case of Rev. Ralph David Abernathy. Abernathy had authorizing the use of his name in news releases and ads planned for major publications urging national support for the now escalating boycott campaign against Gulf, but, in January of this year, he accepted a check for $50,000 from Gulf for the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. The report outlines the history since the 1960’s of African resistance to five centuries of Portuguese colonialism. Petitions and demands to Portugal calling for political independence, especially stimulated by independence in nearby African countries, proved fruitless; thus, in each colony more direct action occurred. The report says in February, 1961 the people ·in Angola led by the Popular Movement for the Liberation of Angola (MPLA) tried to free the growing number of political prisoners incarcerated in the capital city of Luanda; on March 15, an armed revolt broke out in the Northern Angola plantation areas; in 1963, the armed struggle began in Guinea after the PAIGC, had done careful preparatory work, and in 1964 in Northern Mozambique, the forces of the Mozambique Liberation Front (Frelimo), launched the military struggle there. The report says the Portuguese with the help of NATO, South Africa and western corporations, have committed half their annual budget and 150,000 Portuguese troops in an effort to stem the tide of freedom throughout white minority-ruled Southern Africa. Recently, almost fully liberated Guinea-Bissau declared its independence from Portugal, and fighting has now spread to Zimbabwe as the African freedom struggle pushes closer to the Republic of South Africa, the bulwark of minority rule in Africa. The United States, Britain, and West Germany all import substantial proportions of their domestic consumption of certain minerals from Southern Africa. Even with the support of the western powers, the white regimes cannot resist history; Southern Africa will be free in the foreseeable future.  The report mentions Dayton, Ohio, the Organization of African Unity (OAU), African liberation groups fighting against Portugal, Zebra Associates, Inc. (a Black-owned and operated advertising agency), minority communities, Luddy Hayden (a Gulf Community Relations Specialist), the Black community, American corporate investment in Southern Africa, Cabinda, Zaire, Congo-Brazzaville, the State Department, Jack Anderson, raw materials, gold, white rule, and strategic interests. 
Used by permission of former members of the Pan-African Liberation Committee.
Collection: Brenda Randolph Africa archive, Michigan State University Libraries Special Collections