On Nov. 11, 1965, Mr. Smith announced in emotionless tones that Rhodesia had declared independence from Britain rather than bow to pressure from London for concessions toward the black majority.
"We have struck a blow for the preservation of justice, civilization and Christianity, and in this belief we have this day assumed our sovereign independence. God bless you all." -
Condemnation of the rebellion heaped up. The United Nations applied international sanctions intended to cut off Rhodesia from the rest of the world in 1966.
Mr. Smith would not bend. "No African rule in my lifetime," he said. "The white man is master of Rhodesia. He has built it, and he intends to keep it."
As he aged, he remained bitter that, in his view, successive outside powers including the United States, South Africa and most of all Britain had broken promises, betraying Rhodesia’s white minority and its leaders in the name of political expediency.
"And in all honesty, what had Rhodesia done to deserve all of this treachery?" he wrote in his 1996 memoir, Bitter Harvest: The Great Betrayal. Returning to his prophecies of economic decline under black majority rule, he added in a 1998 postscript to the book: "I think I can correctly comment: I told you so. History records that my predictions have materialized."
Why Rhodesia is in Ruins