A Letter From Paris

A Letter From Paris

You ask me about Messali Hadj and the MNA. This is an extremely complicated story and I hesitate to take any categoric position.

It would seem that the French government recently thought of using the MNA and Messali as a counterweight to the FLN and that this project took shape just when the Evian negotiations appeared to be set.

In my eyes, and from the French standpoint, the reasons for this are entirely natural and even legitimate. The FLN is tied to the International Communist bloc and includes an internal tendency whose orientation, thought and funda• mental political conceptions have nothing in common with democracy and everything in common with Communism of the Moscow variety (Fidel Castro). Under the circumstances, de Gaulle, who has taken a stand in favor of Algerian independence, now seems concerned about the nature of that independence. He is trying to assure the future in terms of French economic interests on the other side of the Mediterranean, in particular the Sahara, and also in terms of resistance to Soviet and Chinese pressure on Africa.

Paris is operating under a double hypothesis: first, that the MNA has a potential mass base in Algeria. This claim does not appear to be false, but i...

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