First Published: Unity and Struggle, Vol. V, No. 5, May 1976.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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In March, the Congress of Afrikan People sponsored a forum on Angola to discuss the role of the superpowers, the civil war, and the developments in the situation there.
The organizations represented on the panel included, the Revolutionary Workers Congress, Federation of Pan Afrikan Nationalist Organizations, October League, and Congress of Afrikan People. The line struggle that developed on the panel focused on whether to call for the superpowers out of Angola and call for a national unity government or to support the military victory of MPLA.
The questions raised concerning the developments in Angola were: “What kind of real independence can be brought with 10,000 Cuban troops winning battles killing Angolans for Soviet Social-Imperialism?. . .Will the Cubans have to be stationed in Angola permanently to secure MPLA’s “victory”.. .What about the certain guerilla warfare that will now drag on, with USSR & USA each taking part in front and behind the scenes?.. .It was brought out that in the contention between the superpowers which represents the danger of a third world war, that the Soviet revisionists are the main threat in this rivalry.
It was made clear in the struggle against FOPANO, who called for more armed intervention by the Soviet Social-Imperialists in Southern Afrika, which they said they saw as a good thing, that in this period, actually the cry of Pan-afrikanism is being used as a cover for soviet social-imperialism and the Soviet Union is being militantly defended by groups of bourgeois nationalists like FOPANO as well as the All Afrikan Peoples Revolutionary Party, who at a recent forum in St. Louis denied that the Soviet Union was a country of “socialism in words, and imperialism in deeds!”, or that the superpowers must be driven out of Angola before any true liberation and independence can be gained and that the people of Angola and not the Soviet revisionists, must determine which of the liberation movements has the correct line.
The history of Soviet Social-Imperialism in “supporting” national liberation struggles was also exposed, it was explained that these new tsars are not upholding proletarian internationalism, but are practicing imperialist expansionism.
The history of Soviet Social-Imperialism’s line on national liberation struggles is as follows: “The Khruschchov-Brezhnev clique invented the theory that “any small ’local war’ which might spark off the conflagration of a world war” which might even “destroy Noah’s ark – the globe.” Therefore, to “safe guard world peace” and protect “Noah’s ark – the globe,” they have all along opposed just national-liberation wars. (Peking Review, No. 51 p. 12, 1975).
However in struggling against the bourgeois nationalism of FOPANO and its liberalism on the question of Angola, the right opportunism that exists in the communist movement raised its head and also had to be battled with, that is, the opportunism of OL who has proposed that the slogan of “Oppose Superpower War Preparation” be dropped from its coalition work because “the people would not understand it!” This shows how OL bows to (and is an example of) the “vacillation of the petty bourgeoisie,” something Comrade Stalin said we must never do.
The OL never dealt with the questions that were addressed to them on this question straight up, but in its typical liberal fashion, which also characterizes its call on party-building, side stepped these questions and never really dealt with the essence of the line struggle saying “it wasn’t what we had come to discuss.”
A number of genuine criticisms were addressed to CAP in the summation of the forum which we think are valid, which were 1) giving bourgeois nationalist and opportunist “communist” organizations a platform to run their lines, 2) allowing known trots to get up and speak for a certain amount of time, 3) incorrectly handling criticisms raised and 4) not dealing with the question of party building.
We would say here to our comrades from Resistencia and Revolutionary Worker League who in the main raised these criticisms that they all have been well taken and we internally have had discussion of them and determined that in this period of party-building, where propaganda occupies the chief form of activity, it is an error to allow forces of bourgeois nationalism and social-democracy any platform for the running of their bankrupt lines. That to allow trots the mike to speak is to give a platform to police agents and wreckers. The incorrect handling of criticism by the CAP representative on the panel flows from the world view of the petit-bourgeois individualist and has nothing to do with the class stand of the proletariat. On the question of party building, the line of CAP on this question is being summed up and will be put forward in the next few months.
Not having a consolidated position on this question in this period where party-building is the central task, is a reflection of right opportunism, which is the main danger in the communist movement and it is opportunism as Comrade Lenin said that must be struggled against otherwise the struggle against imperialism will be a humbug and a sham.