Blaise Compaoré, the president of Burkina Faso who was forced to resign by mass protests on October 31, was more than simply a dictator who had clung to power for 27 years. Compaoré was the leader of a counter-revolution, a traitor, who holds the responsibility for the murder of one of the finest thinkers and fighters of the twentieth century, Thomas Sankara. Compaoré’s coup brought an end to the magnificent Burkina Faso revolution of 1983-87.
Better than any other struggle of last century, the revolution in Burkina Faso proved that slavery was not the inescapable fate of any people, that the road of revolutionary struggle for independence and human dignity was open in even the poorest countries of the world.
For Upper Volta (as the country was known at the beginning of the revolution) was poor by any measure. In 1981…
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