Pol Pot


"We will never let Vietnam swallow our country"


Source: Canadian Communist League (Marxist-Leninist), Kampuchea Will Win!: An eyewitness account by the last foreign delegation to visit Kampuchea (Cambodia) before the Vietnamese-Soviet aggression[1]. Canada, 1979, pages 17-19.
Transcription/Markup for Marxists.org: Juan Fajardo, January 2020.




The League delegation met with Kampuchean Prime Minister Pol Pot in Phnom Penh, Dec. 29 [1978 -marxists.org], just before the massive Vietnamese-Soviet invasion. We had a three-hour interview. The following are excerpts from his remarks.


The Vietnamese aggression against Kampuchea "is not a border conflict between Vietnam and Kampuchea," Pol Pot told us. "It is part of the Vietnamese and Soviet strategy to dominate Southeast Asia, Asia and the rest of the world. Vietnam wants to become a regional power allied with the Soviets. "

He explained how the revisionist Vietnamese leadership is trying to dominate the smaller countries in Southeast Asia under a Vietnamese-controlled "lndochinese Federation." Vietnam has already succeeded in occupying neighbouring Laos with 50,000 troops, a force larger than the Laotian army itself.



Pol Pot explained how Vietnam had tried to infiltrate the Communist Party of Kampuchea, attempted numerous coups and stirred up border troubles. He told us that four assassination attempts had been made on the lives of Party leaders since 1975. "But the CPK is solid," Pal Pot said, "and we will always refuse to be slaves of Vietnam. We have a people who are united, and if it takes 10, 20 or 100 years, we will never let Vietnam swallow our country."

Blocked in all its attempts, Vietnam launched its first big offensive in December 1977. "They pillaged our rice, killed inhabitants and razed buildings to the ground," he said.

After 17 days of aggression, the Vietnamese invaders were pushed out of Kampuchea January 6, 1978.

Throughout 1978, Pol Pot explained to us, Vietnam set about organizing another invasion but was not able to attack immediately because of its serious internal difficulties.

He described how the Vietnamese were short five million tons of rice to feed about two million Vietnamese who were starving following widespread flooding. Politically, Pol Pot told us, the Vietnamese leaders face internal political opposition, including armed struggle from movements like the oppressed Khmer Krom ‒the Kampuchean minority living in the Mekong Delta region.

Militarily, he said, the Vietnamese lacked the forces to attack. At that time they particularly lacked air power.

“It was in this situation of serious difficulties that the Vietnamese leaders threw themselves into the arms of the Soviets. They signed a military pact with them and joined the COMECON economic alliance," Pol Pot explained.

Vietnam has become the Cuba of the East. Soviet and Warsaw Pact advisors poured into Vietnam to help operate the Soviet-supplied planes, tanks and heavy artillery. Moscow spent $2 billion in "aid". On our trip around the country, we saw Soviet guns and tanks captured from the Vietnamese.


"Strategically they (the Vietnamese -ed.) cannot take Kampuchea," Pol Pot told us. "Confronted with the leadership of the CPK, a united people and an army steeled through many years of fighting the US, they cannot win."

"Tactically," he said, "we must be very vigilant. The enemy can penetrate, especially under the cover of heavy air power, artillery and tank forces. As the war drags on Vietnam will face many problems."

"We stand on protracted war and we are confident of victory.

The US attacked us ferociously; Lon Nol had tens of thousands of troops against us; the Thieu-Ky army invaded us ‒and we won." Pol Pot concluded, "Our defence contributes to the defence of sovereignty, peace and stability in Southeast Asia, and the entire world ... We must all do our best to block the plans of expansion of the Vietnamese and Soviets."


[1] See https://www.marxists.org/history/erol/ca.secondwave/ccl-kamp-win.pdf