Unraveling the Lumumba Plot: A Fascinating Dive into Cold War History

Unraveling the Lumumba Plot: A Fascinating Dive into Cold War History

Stuart Reid‘s book, ‘The Lumumba Plot,’ is a highly recommended combination of biography and Cold War history. The book delves into the life of Lumumba, his significance as a Cold War martyr, and the historical context of his myth. In this blog post, we will explore the key aspects of the Lumumba Plot and its implications for Congo and the world.

Lumumba: From Mythical Figure to a Complex Leader

After his death, Lumumba became a mythical figure, adopted by the left as a panafrican hero. However, Stuart Reid’s research aims to set aside the myth and focus on Lumumba as a man and leader, exploring his own words and actions. By understanding the true Lumumba, we can gain insights into his significance and the impact of his assassination.

The Concern of the US: Lumumba as an Unreliable Leader

The US embassy in Belgium provided information about Lumumba to Washington, portraying him as unreliable and problematic. They saw him as a charismatic new leader in Congo, which raised concerns about his alignment with the Soviets. This led to a pivotal White House meeting and ultimately, the authorization of Lumumba’s assassination.

UN’s Role in the Congo Crisis: Chaos and Controversy

After Congo gained independence, the country fell into crisis with mutinies, Belgian military interventions, and the secession of the mineral-rich province of Katanga. Lumumba sought military assistance, first from the UN and then from the Soviets. The UN’s goal was to restore order and set up a massive peacekeeping operation. However, the situation became more chaotic, and the UN’s involvement took an unexpected turn.

The CIA’s Role in the Lumumba Plot: Orchestrating Assassination

President Eisenhower authorized the assassination of Lumumba due to his alignment with the Soviets and his threat to kick out the UN. It marked the first assassination authorized by a US President. The CIA played a significant role in the Lumumba plot, supporting a coup financed by the agency. Lumumba was ultimately placed under house arrest, and despite several unsuccessful attempts, he was killed with US support.

Implications of Lumumba’s Assassination: Historical Significance

The assassination of Lumumba in Congo was a major event with significant implications. It shaped US covert operations during the Cold War, becoming a model for subsequent operations. The Kennedy administration, recognizing Lumumba’s power and popularity, had plans to rehabilitate him but was too late. The Lumumba plot also had a lasting impact on Congo, with repercussions for African countries in subsequent decades.

Unraveling the Lumumba Crisis: New Insights and Perspectives

New information has emerged through archival documents and journalistic efforts to uncover the truth. Lumumba’s children, witnesses, and foreign advisors have provided crucial insights into his life and death. The United States’ involvement in Congo during Lumumba’s era remains a topic of debate, emphasizing the need for acknowledgment and apology. The Lumumba Plot is a reminder of the alarmist thinking, ethical lapses, and short-term focus that characterized the Cold War era.


The Lumumba Plot by Stuart Reid sheds light on a crucial period of Cold War history and exposes the complex motivations and actions behind Lumumba’s assassination. It challenges prevailing myths and offers a deeper understanding of Lumumba as a man and a leader. The book underscores the long-lasting consequences of covert operations and the need for transparency and accountability. The Lumumba Plot is a must-read for anyone interested in the intersection of politics, history, and human drama.

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Emily Johnson

Meet Emily Johnson, a rising star in the world of news reporting. Armed with a Communications degree from Harvard University, Emily's writing is a perfect blend of creativity and fact-based journalism. She specializes in human-interest stories, bringing the personal touch that makes every story relatable. Whether it's heartwarming tales or societal issues, Emily is your guide to the trending news you won't want to miss.

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