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Article Published in the Inaugural Issue of the Theoretical Magazine Tricontinental,

Organ of the Organization of Solidarity of the Peoples of Asia, Africa and Latin America

August 12, 1967

Two years ago the Organization of Solidarity of the Peoples of Asia, Africa and Latin America was inaugurated in Havana, the capital of Cuba.

It was an event of enormous importance. The aims and ideas of this organization have aroused the sympathy of hundreds of millions of Asians, Africans and Latin Americans and are exerting a profound influence on the great changes taking place in the world today.

The peoples of Asia, Africa and Latin America, who had been oppressed and plundered by Western capitalism and imperialism for centuries, have risen courageously and taken their place on the stage of history. The strong tide of national liberation is rising with an irresistible force. Hundreds of millions of people on the three continents are fighting for their freedom and are struggling to defend the revolutionary achievements they have already won. The colonial system of imperialism is rapidly disintegrating.

Imperialism is making desperate attempts to retain its former positions and regain its lost ground. As the dying hour of imperialism draws closer, the struggle is intensifying further. Thus, the peoples cannot but continue their struggle, holding high the banner of anti-imperialism, until imperialism is totally wiped off the face of the earth.

The newly independent countries which have thrown off the yoke of imperialism are confronted with the very difficult and important tasks of defending their national independence, carrying forward the revolution and aiding the liberation struggle of the peoples still chained by imperialism. The peoples who have won their independence must fight to crush the subversive activities of foreign imperialism and the domestic forces of reaction, tear down their economic strongholds, strengthen the revolutionary forces, set up a progressive social system and build an independent national economy and national culture. Only in this way can they protect the gains of the revolution, achieve the prosperity of their countries and nations and contribute to the common struggle of the peoples of the whole world to bury imperialism.

Asia, Africa and Latin America comprise 71 percent of the world’s land surface. These continents are inhabited by more than two-thirds of the world’s population and are blessed with inexhaustible natural resources. Imperialism has grown and become fat by grinding these peoples down and robbing them of their riches. Even today imperialism is squeezing tens of billions of dollars in profits from these areas every year. Once Asia, Africa and Latin America are completely freed from old and new colonialism, there will not be an imperialist Western Europe and an imperialist North America.

The struggle of the peoples of Asia, Africa and Latin America against imperialism and colonialism is a sacred liberation struggle for hundreds of millions of oppressed and humiliated people; it is also a great battle to cut the life line of world imperialism. This struggle and the revolutionary struggle of the international working class for socialism are the two major revolutionary forces of our times, and they join into one stream which will carry imperialism to its grave.

The imperialists cannot bestow independence upon the colonial peoples. Is there any need to prove the falsity of the imperialists’ declaration that the Western world can help the peoples of the three continents to achieve independence and progress and can coexist with a free and independent Asia, Africa and Latin America? The imperialist leopard cannot change his imperialist spots, and he never will. Imperialism will exploit, oppress and plunder the people until it meets its doom.

The oppressed peoples can liberate themselves only through struggle. This is a simple and clear truth confirmed by history. It is necessary to expose the false propaganda of the imperialists and thoroughly dispel the illusion that they will give up their positions in the colonies and dependent countries with a good will. Where there is oppression, there is bound to be resistance. It is inevitable that the oppressed peoples should fight for their emancipation. As long as imperialism plunders and oppresses small and weak nations by force, it remains an inalienable right of the oppressed nations to rise up in arms and fight against the aggressors.

It is wrong to try to avoid the struggle against imperialism under the pretext that independence and revolution are important, but that peace is still more precious. Is it not true that the line of seeking unprincipled compromise with imperialism only tends to encourage its aggressive actions and increase the danger of war? Peace secured by slavish submission is not peace. Genuine peace cannot be achieved unless a struggle is waged against those who break the peace, unless the slave’s peace is rejected and the oppressors’ rule overthrown. We are opposed to the line of compromise with imperialism. At the same time, we cannot tolerate the practice of only denouncing imperialism but, in actual fact, being afraid to fight it. This is a line of compromise in an inverted form. Both have nothing to do with a genuine anti-imperialist struggle and only help the imperialist policy of aggression and war.

It is most important, when fighting against imperialism, to concentrate the attack on US imperialism, the ringleader of world imperialism. 

By stretching out its aggressive tentacles all over the world, US imperialism has become the common enemy of all peoples of the world. There is no country on earth whose sovereignty is not violated by US imperialism; there is no country which is free from the menace of US imperialist aggression. The US imperialists are brutally suppressing the liberation struggle of the peoples of Asia, Africa and Latin America and constantly perpetrating acts of aggression and subversion to re-enslave the newly independent countries. Bluntly revealing their true colours as gangsters, the US imperialists are waging a war of aggression against a socialist country and interfering in the domestic affairs of other countries by force of arms. Over the past 20-odd years since the end of World War II, not a day has gone by which has not witnessed the flames of aggression and war kindled by US imperialism. US imperialism is, indeed, the most heinous and shameless plunderer known to history. It is the US imperialists themselves who are causing peoples all over the world calling for peace, independence and progress, to unite in a common front against US imperialism.

The peoples of Asia, Africa and Latin America have common interests and are in a position to support each other in their anti-imperialist, anti-US struggle. As long as Africa and Latin America are not free, Asia cannot be free; driving the US imperialists out of Asia will benefit the liberation struggle of the African and Latin-American peoples. Victory over US imperialism on one front will sap its strength and facilitate victory on other fronts by that much. If the US imperialist forces of aggression are defeated in any part of the world, it will be a very good thing for all the peoples of the world. It is necessary, therefore, to form the broadest possible anti-US united front to isolate US imperialism completely, and strike it in unison wherever it extends its talons of aggression, This alone will make it possible to disperse and weaken the force of US imperialism to the maximum and to lead the people with their unquestionably superior power to defeat US imperialism on all fronts.

For more than 20 years the US imperialists have been occupying the southern half of our country. They have enforced colonial rule in south Korea and turned it into a military base for their aggression against the whole of Korea and Asia. In spite of their ignominious defeat in the aggressive war against the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, the US imperialists have not yet given up their aggressive design to conquer the whole of Korea and are unceasingly planning to unleash another war in Korea. The supreme task of the Korean people at this time is to liquidate the colonial system of US imperialism in south Korea, accomplish the national-liberation revolution and reunite the country. For the Korean people to achieve the cause of national liberation, forces must be prepared along three fronts: strengthen the socialist forces in north Korea; increase and augment the revolutionary forces in south Korea; and develop the international revolutionary movement and strengthen solidarity with it. North Korea is the base of the Korean revolution. The successes of socialist construction there encourage the south Korean people in their anti-US, national-salvation struggle and stimulate the preparation of revolutionary forces in south Korea. We are striving to strengthen and develop the revolutionary forces in north and south Korea and, at the same time, to cement solidarity with the international revolutionary forces. The Korean people support the struggle of the peoples of all countries against US imperialism, and regard it as support for their own cause of liberation. We maintain that all the anti-imperialist forces of the world should unite in a joint struggle against US imperialism, and we have been working consistently to achieve this goal.

The US imperialists are more afraid of the united strength of the revolutionary peoples of the world than of anything else. That is why they are resorting to all kinds of tricks to obstruct the formation of an anti-US united front and are using the strategy of conquering small, weak countries one by one. This strategy of US imperialism must be thoroughly frustrated. The Asian, African and Latin-American countries have differing social systems, and there are many parties and groupings with divergent political views there. But all these countries, parties and groupings except the stooges of imperialism—have a common interest in opposing the imperialist forces of aggression headed by US imperialism. The difference in social systems and political ideas can never be an obstacle to united struggle and concerted action against US imperialism. No one must be allowed to divide the anti-US united front or refuse joint action, claiming primary importance for his own specific national or partisan interests. Such an act will only benefit imperialism led by US imperialism and harm the revolutionary peoples.

It is very important in the joint struggle against imperialism to defend the revolution which has already triumphed.

It is an internationalist duty of all the revolutionary peoples to fight to defend the gains of the Cuban revolution. Revolutionary Cuba represents the future of Latin America, and its very existence encourages the peoples of that continent in their liberation movement. The triumph of the Cuban revolution is striking evidence that imperialism is doomed and that the national-liberation revolution and people’s revolution will assuredly triumph in our times. It is for this very reason that the US imperialists hate and fear this small island country so much. They are trying to strangle the Republic of Cuba. The peoples of Latin America and the progressive peoples of the whole world must do everything in their power to foil the US imperialists’ blockade policy against the Republic of Cuba and frustrate their preparations for a military invasion of Cuba.

Today the Vietnamese people’s war of resistance for national salvation against the US expeditionary forces has become the focal point of the anti-imperialist struggle. The US imperialist forces of aggression and the anti-imperialist, peace-loving forces of the world are having a showdown in Vietnam. The US troops are suffering one defeat after another in face of the heroic resistance of the Vietnamese people and are being driven into a corner. Contrary to the expectations of the US imperialists, the Vietnam war has become a grave for the aggressors. The Vietnamese people’s war of resistance for national salvation is another graphic example that a people who are determined to defend their independence and freedom at any cost, and who have the support of the peoples of the whole world, cannot be defeated.

At present, the US imperialists are escalating the war, continuously reinforcing their own military strength in South Vietnam, bringing in more troops from their satellite countries, and perpetrating the extensive aerial and artillery bombardment of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam.

The Vietnamese people, through their heroic struggle, are shouldering the enormous burden of resisting the aggression of the most barbarous and most heinous imperialism of modern times. They are fighting not only to defend their independence and freedom, but also to safeguard world peace and security. Once US imperialist aggression against Vietnam is checked and frustrated, US imperialism will sink like the setting sun and the situation will be more favourable for the peoples of all countries fighting for peace, independence and progress. The peace-loving peoples of the whole world have a duty to give all forms of aid to the Vietnamese people, and the Vietnamese people are entitled to receive it. The peoples of the socialist and the newly independent states and the peoples of all countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America, and the rest of the world should make the greatest efforts to broaden the anti-US united front, to aid the Vietnamese people in their war of resistance for national salvation and, through concerted action, check US imperialist aggression. No one has the right to force a solution of their internal affairs on the Vietnamese people. The US armed forces of aggression must withdraw from Vietnam and the Vietnamese question must be settled by the Vietnamese people themselves.

We must neither underestimate nor overestimate the strength of US imperialism. US imperialism can still commit many crimes. But it is on the decline. Today when US imperialism is behaving most outrageously, its vulnerability is more evident than ever before. The Korean people know what US imperialism is. Our people have fought US imperialism, and defended their country against its aggression. The Korean war showed that US imperialism is by no means invincible, and that it is quite possible to fight it and defeat it. The triumph of the Cuban revolution again proved this truth under conditions which were different from ours. The Vietnamese people’s war of resistance for national salvation also clearly confirms this truth.

US imperialism is doomed to complete destruction. Through a unified struggle against imperialism headed by US imperialism, the peoples of Asia, Africa and Latin America will build a new, independent and prosperous Asia, Africa and Latin America, and will make a great contribution to world peace and to the liberation of mankind.

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