Having achieved independence in 1957, Ghana was a possible role model or precedent setter for other black African countries, none others of which achieved independence until 1960 or later. Kwame Nkrumah, who led his country to independence and served as its first president, is today regarded by Ghanaians as a national hero, but Ghanaian historians agree that he had serious shortcomings, including the capacity to spend money foolishly and to behave arbitrarily. Lyndon Johnson’s government was justifiably concerned at Nkrumah’s growing friendship with Communist countries, including the Soviet Union, the People’s Republic of China, and Cuba. It pondered various courses of action: feigned indifference, reductions in foreign aid, and a coup d’etat. Each presented difficulties. The problem resolved itself when the Ghanaian army ousted Nkrumah in February 1966 as he traveled to Hanoi as a self-appointed mediator between the Johnson administration and Ho Chi Minh. The new Ghanaian government was so supportive of US foreign policy that many suspected US involvement in the coup, but evidence for that is lacking.
|Keywords:||Ghana, Africa, Cold War, United States, Soviet Union, China|
Professor Emeritus, Department of History, Political Division, Laurentian University, Sudbury, Ontario, Canada
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