I think that they participated in something that was not very proper and was very pitiful, not only for the Algerian people, but also for the other people who counted on our support.
The liberation movement which I led in Algeria, the organization that I created to fight the French army, was at first a small movement of nothing at all. We were but some tens of people throughout Algeria, a territory that is five times the size of France.
My life has been a bit special, this is true. I participated in the liberation of my country. I was one of the organisers of its struggle for liberation. I likewise actively participated in all the struggles for liberation.
Yes, I am Algerian of Moroccan origin through my parents, but all my life is Algeria. I was born there.
Yes, my life is a life of combat; I can say that this has never stopped for a single instant. It is a combat that started for me at the age of 16. I'm 90 years old now, and my motivation hasn't changed; it's the same fervour that drives me.
When someone came to ask us for help, it was sacred. We did not even think twice. We helped them, even if we had only meagre means; we offered them arms, a little bit of money, and in occasion, men.
It is obvious that taking the country from a state of war to being a lawful state won't be easy.
Che came in 1963, shortly after I had come to power.
Those who are leftists, once in power, are not different from other parties.
Colonialism is known in its primitive form, that is to say, by the permanent settling of repressive foreign powers, with an army, services, policies. This phase has known cruel colonial occupations which have lasted 300 years in Indonesia.
I'm optimistic because I'm pragmatic: Neither of the two sides, the military government nor the Islamic front, is capable of winning. If they continue to fight, they will both bleed to death.
With my government, we engaged in bringing our help to fights for national freedom. At that precise moment, several countries were still colonised or had barely overcome colonisation. This was the case in practically all of Africa. We supported them.
Everywhere that the struggle for national freedom has triumphed, once the authorities agreed, there were military coups d'etat that overthrew their leaders. That is the result time and time again.
The French colonisation of Algeria lasted a long time: 132 years.
I am the son of poor peasants who came at a very young age to live in Algeria. I only recently saw the place where they were born, near the city of Marrakech.