Hundreds killed as cyclone sweeps Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe

Survivors clinging to buildings in the district of Buzi, Mozambique Photo: INGC

A terrible tragedy is unfolding in the southeastern African countries of Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Malawi. On March 15, Cyclone Idai hit the Mozambican port city of Beira and went inland.

An estimated 2.6 million people may be affected. The United Nations believes that Cyclone Idai “may be the worst ever disaster to strike the southern hemisphere.” (Guardian, March 19, 2019)

Mozambique President Filipe Nyusi declared three days of national mourning. The president said the death toll in Mozambique may exceed 1,000 people.

At least 400,000 people are homeless as almost all of Beira is flooded. Almost a hundred people were killed in Chimanimani, Zimbabwe. Electricity exports to South Africa from Mozambique’s Cahora Bassa dam were disrupted.

Cyclones in the Indian Ocean are what hurricanes are in the Caribbean. Capitalist climate change has been increasing the intensity of these storms.

Mozambique is the third most vulnerable country in Africa to climate change, according to the Global Facility for Disaster Reduction and Recovery.

Reparations now! Lift the sanctions!

Over 68 million people live in Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. All three countries were exploited as European colonies. Like all African nations, they deserve reparations for centuries of genocide.

Britain occupied Malawi and Zimbabwe while Portugal ruled Mozambique.  

Africans were kidnapped from Mozambique and enslaved. When the people of Mozambique fought to free themselves from Portuguese rule, the Pentagon supplied napalm bombs and other weapons to its NATO ally Portugal.  

Portugal was then under the longest lasting fascist regime in Europe. Africans fighting for their own freedom also helped kick this hated government off the backs of the Portuguese working people.

The People’s Republic of China has offered to help Malawi, Mozambique and Zimbabwe.

So what is Trump & Co. going to do? The U.S. capitalist government can give over $3 billion annually to the Israeli apartheid regime occupying Palestine, but it let Black people drown and starve in New Orleans.

Instead of helping, the U.S. is continuing its economic sanctions that have hurt the people of Zimbabwe, just like it does against Cuba and Venezuela.

Zimbabwe’s “crime” is that African farmers took over land stolen by European settlers. That’s what should have happened, but didn’t, to Southern plantation owners following the U.S. Civil War.

On Saturday, May 25 — African Liberation Day — people will march in Washington, D.C., to demand the lifting of sanctions against Zimbabwe. Organizing to build this demonstration and going to D.C. is also a way to demand aid for all the cyclone’s victims.

For more information, contact the December 12th Movement at 718-398-1766 or send an email to

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