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The hypocrisy of the American empire: the case of sanctions on apartheid South Africa and Russia

                    “Somoza may be a son of a bitch, but he’s our son of a bitch.”

       President F. D. Roosevelt (about the brutal dictator of Nicaragua)

When the UN general assembly voted in November 1963 to impose oil embargo on apartheid South Africa, besides the apartheid regime itself, the only countries in the whole world who voted against the resolution were US, UK, France, Spain, and Portugal.  

                                (UN General Assembly Resolution 1899(XVIII), November 13, 1963)


For the Anglo-Saxon dominated American empire lead by the US and its de facto 51st state (the UK), sanction has nothing to do with democracy and human right but is a self-serving hypocritical tool applied only to those who stand in the way of American domination of the world. An excellent example of this is the case of South Africa under the apartheid regime of John Vorster, and Russia under President Putin.

When ANC (African National Congress) freedom fighters cut telephone or power lines of the vicious apartheid regime, for imperial America these freedom fighters were cowardly terrorists who should be condemned in the strongest terms possible, their terrorism being fighting an Anglo-Saxon dominated white supremacist regime heavily subsidized by the American empire. On the contrary, when Ukrainian saboteurs blow bridges or assassinate journalists, for imperial America these Ukrainian saboteurs are brave freedom fighters who should be lauded for their heroism and who should be helped in every and all ways possible, their heroism being fighting Russia the American empire loves to hate.

And why does imperial America hate Russia? Imperial America hates Russia, not because of its system of government, but only because, when Russia is led by a nationalist leader like Vladmir Putin, it can refuse to be subservient to imperial America and imperial America can do nothing about it. Had the western puppet Boris Yeltsin taken Crimea and Donbass back to Russia, he would no doubt have had imperial America’s covert blessing (if not outright support), and the narration of imperial America’s mainstream media like BBC and CNN would no doubt have been justice done to Russia instead of annexation by Russia.  In all likelihood, Russia under Yeltsin would have been supplied western weapons to wadge war in Ukraine, just as Saudi Arabia is supplied western weapons to wadge war in Yemen.  Being, as President Roosevelt said, imperial America’s “son of a bitch”, Yeltsin could have been as “son of a bitch” as he wanted to be and not face imperial America’s disapproval, let alone wrath.

When the non-western world lead by the permanent security council members Russia and China, and the non-aligned movement lead by India and Ghana moved in full force to apply severe sanctions on apartheid South Africa, the western world lead by Ronald Regan and Margaret Thatcher vehemently opposed the move, arguing that sanctions would hurt black south Africans much more than whites, as if Regan and Thatcher ever cared for blacks. 


“(Sanctions on apartheid South Africa are) the way of poverty, starvation and destroying the hopes of the very people …whom you wish to help” (Margaret Thatcher)

“(Sanctions on apartheid South Africa would) feed white consciences outside South Africa, not black bellies within it” (John Major, foreign minister under Margaret Thatcher).


On the contrary, when it comes to Russia, all nations of the American empire (US, UK, western Europe, Australia, Japan, and South Korea) were quick to imposed unprecedented sanctions, arguing that Russians will revolt against President Putin only if they are made to suffer severely under severe sanctions.

When the apartheid regime of South Africa viciously murdered 69 peaceful protesters in Sharpeville and the UN security council resolved to condemn the regime (Resolution 134, April 1, 1960), France and United Kingdom abstained.  However, when it comes to Russia, these two abstainers are livid that African countries abstained in the UN resolution to condemn Russia. France’s Macron had the arrogance to call African countries “hypocrites”, only because they did what his own country exactly did several decades ago.

When the UN general assembly voted in November 1963 to impose oil embargo on apartheid South Africa, besides the apartheid regime itself, the only countries in the whole world who voted against the resolution were the UK (the largest investor in apartheid South Africa), US (the second largest investor in apartheid South Africa), France (the third largest investor in apartheid South Africa) as well as Spain and Portugal (who still had colonies in Africa).   Even after 25 years, when the UN general assembly voted on November 20 (1987) for oil embargo on apartheid South Africa, the US, UK, and France troika still voted a resounding NO.

However, when it comes to Russia, these very western countries are threatening cash-strapped African countries with severe consequences should they say no to western sanctions and buy Russian oil, while allowing their own richest companies like Shell to buy Russian oil at bargain prices. The US ambassador (Linda Thomas-Greenfield) had the arrogance to effectively say that, unless African countries strictly adhere to the west’s rule and obediently do what the west tells them to do, they should expect to be spanked, if not whipped.


We caution (African) countries not to break sanctions … they stand the chance of having actions taken against them.” (Linda Thomas-Greenfield)


Here lies another sinister agenda of the Anglo-Saxon dominated American empire which has become increasingly common in recent years, especially since the onset of the Ukraine war.  To drive a wage between Black Africa and Black America, the American empire purposely makes sure that a Black American is at the front and center of every unpopular decision by the empire (like in the UN security council), and that every disparaging or condescending statement on Africa and Africans is directly attributed to a Black American.   African should better be aware of this sinister ploy of the ever-sinister Anglo-Saxon and not fall prey for it. The Anglo-Saxon can conquer only the divided and has no equal at dividing along fault lines and weakest links.


Mesfin Arega


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