At the point when former French Prime Minister Charles de Gaulle visited Guinea in 1958 to battle for the endorsement of another French Constitution in an up and coming choice, it was very clear he wasn’t expecting a deservingly stern and threatening reaction from Sekou Toure.
Initiated by Charles de Gaulle himself, the new French constitution tried to make every single French region (counting Guinea) individuals from the new French Community which was then a relationship of previous French settlements (for the most part African). Upon dissatisfaction, be that as it may, France would give the region that casted a ballot “no” freedom.
Toure, who was then the leader of the Democratic Party of Guinea, the biggest and most popular political party in Guinea at that time rejected the new French Constitution
“We prefer poverty in liberty to riches in slavery”, Toure boldly said in his speech when de Gaulle visited Guinea to campaign for its approval.
Take a look at the video below:
Over 95% of Guineans subsequently voted “no” in the referendum making them the only French colony to reject membership to the French Community.
Guinea’s rejection was met with stiff repercussions from France. Though they were granted independence and Toure sworn in as president, France withdrew all forms of financial/ economic aid and recalled all of its technical and administrative officers in Guinea.
The French Community, however, did not stand the test of time as its constitution put restrictions on the autonomy of its territories.
Below is an excerpt of Toure’s transcribed speech: