First Published: The Call, Vol. 6, No. 17, May 2, 1977.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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April 17 marked the second anniversary of the liberation of Cambodia, now called Democratic Kampuchea. It was on that date in 1975 that the Kampuchean people crushed the Lon Nol fascist regime, which had ruled their country for five bloody years with the backing of U.S. imperialism.
In the past two years, under the leadership of the Revolutionary Organization of Kampuchea, great progress has been made in developing the country, safeguarding the hard-won gains and healing the wounds of war. These victories have been won despite the continued interference of the U.S., which still works to promote sabotage and cause economic pressures against Kampuchea. The gains of the Kampuchean people have also come in the face of U.S. press reports predicting doom, massacres and starvation.
A recent eyewitness account by a Chinese press delegation contradicted all these pessimistic accounts. One writer commented: “Adhering to the policy of taking agriculture as the foundation and the principle of independence and self-reliance, the Kampuchean Government and people have, in the main, achieved self-sufficiency in food grain after working strenuously for a little over a year. This is a wonderful achievement!”
In a speech broadcast over Phnom Penh radio, Kampuchean President, Khieu Samphan, said that agricultural production in the first three months of 1977 “far exceeded that of 1976.” He said that the people now get enough to eat “to take care of their health and fatten them up.” Malaria, he said, is much less of a problem.
“Have these achievements been made possible by machines?” he asked. “No, we have no machines. We do everything by mainly relying on the strength of our people. Though bare-handed, they can do everything.”
The Kampuchean government firmly follows the policy of independence, peace, neutrality, and non-alignment in its relations with other governments. It has stood opposed to all acts of imperialist aggression and interference in the internal affairs of other countries. Kampuchea has also been outspoken in its opposition to all attacks on the third world and has united with the growing third world movement.
On the second anniversary of liberation, Kampuchea is a shining example of what the peoples of a small country can do in the face of imperialism by relying on their own resources. Democratic Kampuchea has been transformed from a country suffering under foreign imperialism into an independent country where the energies of the masses can be released to work in their own interests.