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Fulbert Youlou

Fulbert Youlou is President of the Republic of Congo-Brazzaville, from 21 November 1959 to 15 August 1963. First President of a newly independent Congolese Republic, Abbé Fulbert Youlou was not only exceptional in his status as a statesman, but also an excellent writer and, above all, a visionary whose analyzes were of a somewhat prophetic character.

The personality of Fulbert Youlou escapes Western criteria of appreciation because Those who try to define their contours are often incapable of taking into account the specificity of the African context in which he lived, deeply rooted. On the other hand, in view of his apparent joviality, his good nature, and certain whimsical aspects of the man, who displayed a militant anti-communism, Fulbert Youlou was constantly mocked by his adversaries.

In May 1957, the "Abbot" entered the government of the Middle Congo, as Minister of Agriculture. He animates the Congolese section of the Democratic Rally (GDR), the Democratic Union for the Defense of African Interests (UDDIA), whose emblem is the Cayman, because, according to a tenacious legend, one of these saurians appeared in Fulbert Youlou during a mystical vision he would have had near the Foulakari Falls. In November 1958, following violent riots in Pointe-Noire, Fulbert Youlou succeeded Opangault as President of the Governing Council and decided to transfer the Congolese capital to Brazzaville.

The first President of the independent Congo-Brazzaville, Abbé Fulbert Youlou, was a confident Pan-Africanist. The sole appellation of his Political Party testifies to that. It was called “Democratic Union for the Defense of African Interests”. Step by step, he concentrated all the powers in his hands, trying an authoritarian experiment facilitated by the fact that his fellow citizens did not dissociate his political power from his religious power. In June 1962 he obtained full powers following a vote of the assembly and in August of the same year announced the creation of a single party.

The resignation of President Fulbert Youlou on August 15, 1963, after three days of strikes, demonstrations, and rioting, marked an important turning point in the country's political orientation. Sub¬sequent governments have designated the three days of civil dis¬turbances that ended the Youlou government as national holidays, calling them the three days of glory (les trois glorieuses), a term designated as the title of the national anthem by the 1970 Constitution.

During the four years of the Youlou government, the country's policy was closely aligned with that of President Charles de Gaulle's France and with the moderate states of Africa. Some of the more militant African leaders, as well as groups of Congolese students studying abroad, characterized Youlou as a "neocolonialist" and criti¬cized his government for keeping the country economically dependent upon France.

With the fall of the Youlou government and the subsequent installation of a "government of technicians" headed by Alphonse Massamba-Debat, the political orientation shifted to an alignment with the so-called revolutionary states of Africa. The doctrine of "scientific socialism" was proclaimed as the guide for public policy, and institutions embracing socialist principles were established. Although this doctrine was not explicitly defined, it appeared to involve government control of the economy. As the consolidation of internal political control progressed, there developed an increasing emphasis on the establishment of diplomatic and economic ties with Communist states.

Despite his perspicacity and greatness as a human being, the politician he was, was forced to resign and then forced to go into exile in Spain. This man, who had fought against the celibacy of the priests, And who had several children of different women, was accused of dissolute morals, and were given an incalculable number of sentimental adventures. He was laughed at his clothes, accusing him of having his cassocks cut off from Parisian haute couturiers, rumors which helped to accredit his successors, when, in August 1970, the Directorate General of Cultural Affairs of the Congo organized in Brazzaville an exhibition of Fetishes and clothes presumed to have belonged to Fulbert Youlou. He died on May 5, 1972.





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