Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line

Workers Congress (Marxist-Leninist)

Defend Kampuchean Communist Party

First Published: The Communist, Vol. V, No. 5, January 22, 1979.
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Paul Saba
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In the three years since its final defeat in Indochina the US news media has gone out of its way to condemn the Kampuchean Communist Party (CPK) as the leading violator of “human rights” in the world today. Allegedly, upwards of 2 million people out of a population of 8 million, were executed at the hands of the “Pol Pot Regime”. Vietnam and the Soviet Union have also jumped on the imperialist bandwagon denouncing the Kampuchean Communist Party as a militarist and dictatorial regime.

But, then, the bourgeois media in the US has always raised its most blatant lies and distortions when socialism scores victories. Trying to save face after its humiliating defeat in Indochina, US imperialism has waged an intense ideological campaign against its former victims in an attempt to keep the truth from the US people. But, no amount of lies can cover up the hypocrisy of the US imperialists, who were themselves the most brutal violators of human rights in Indochina.

In their war of aggression from 1970-1975, over 800,000 Kampucheans were slaughtered by the US war machine. During the first 8 months of 1973 alone over half a million tons of bombs were dropped on Kampuchea. Hundreds of thousands of people were forced to flee the countryside, crowding cities like Phnom Penh to escape the bombing. This is the real story of genocide against the Kampuchean people.


Since the CPK declared victory in April of 1975, the path to socialist construction and defense of the independence and territorial integrity of Kampuchea has remained difficult. No doubt, there have been numerous examples of revolutionary violence against reactionaries, spies, and agents of the CIA and KGB bent on toppling the legitimate government of Kampuchea. But to claim that 2 million people, that is 25% of the population, have been wiped out flies in the face of reality.

In recent months reporters from around the world have visited Kampuchea and not one has seen anything to collaborate these claims of genocide. In fact many reporters concede that these charges came mainly from refugees who fled the country rather than face the difficulties of rebuilding the country after the brutal destruction caused by US imperialism. Many of these people were either from the upper class, high officials, or troops of the fascist Lon Nol regime who benefited directly from imperialist plunder of their country. In addition foreign reporters and visitors reported that there was in fact a strong sense of solidarity and enthusiasm among the people in their camion efforts to rebuild their country.


In their campaign of lies and distortions the bourgeois media in the US has in particular focused on the evacuation of Pham Penh as a sign of the brutality of the CPK. They claim that the whole population was driven out of the city at gunpoint in a sort of “forced march” to toil in the fields from sunup to sundown. The truth of the matter however was that the evacuation of Phnom Penh was absolutely critical for the survival of Kampuchea’s independence.

Even after its defeat in 1975 US imperialism had not for a moment given up its hope to hang on to Kampuchea. The imperialists had planned to use the situation in Phnom Penh to subvert the Kampuchean revolution. Due to US bombing of the countryside the capital city’s population tripled, an increase of over two million, between 1970-1975. It was only through the US airlift that the city was getting food, and starvation was still rampant.

As the liberation of Phnom Penh became inevitable the imperialists and their puppet Lon Nol regime began to set up an extensive network of spies, secret communications systems, and secret arms depots to be used to wage a counterrevolutionary war. The plan was to feed on, and manipulate the discontent and chaos that would surely grow in Phnom Penh after liberation. The CPK didn’t have the technical or administrative ability to airlift food or maintain a city of over three million, the great majority of whom had no means of self support as long as they remained in the city.

On the other hand in the countryside a cooperative agricultural system had already been established in the liberated zones. These cooperatives were capable of feeding the people of Phnom Penh and thereby avoiding widespread famine.

The move to evacuate Phnom Penh therefore was an important tactical decision by the CPK based on a materialist analysis of the concrete conditions. The role of cadre at this time was to educate the people of Phnom Penh as to the importance of the evacuation of the city – not one of coercion as the media makes out. Their task was to assist in making the move as easy as possible both in the city and cooperatives in the countryside.

In contrast to the lies of the bourgeois media the Kampuchean people under the leadership of the CPK made great advances in socialist construction and national defense after liberation in April of 1975.

In the area of national defense the people continue to defend Kampuchea’s independence and sovereignty at great sacrifice. Their revolutionary patriotism is a source of inspiration to all freedom loving people. Likewise Democratic Kampuchea has respected the sovereignty, independence, and territorial integrity of all other countries and provokes no aggression or expansion.

In socialist construction and providing for the material benefits of the people the CPK also scored significant victories. Before liberation poverty, unemployment, illiteracy and widespread disease were rampant. After just 3 years of liberation every Kampuchean is guaranteed an adequate diet. 90% of the adult population can now read as compared to 30% prior to liberation. Education is being combined with the movement to defend and build the country. Health care has also vastly improved. For every 100 families in the cooperative there is a hospital building with three nurses and one pharmacist. Malaria has been almost completely eradicated and prostitution has been virtually eliminated.


While both the imperialists and social imperialists are busy condemning the CPK for its “brutality” and “violations of human rights”, the Kampuchean people themselves continue to rally behind the leadership of their party. Founded in 1960, the CPK has been the consistent vanguard fighter for Kampuchea’s sovereignty and territorial integrity for over 18 years. First fighting both French and US imperialism, and now Soviet backed Vietnamese aggression, the party has won the respect and confidence of the people. Their present heroic resistance to Vietnamese aggression is testimony to the support the CPK enjoys. If the lies and distortions spread by the imperialists and social imperialists were true no amount of coercion could force the Kampuchean people to continue fighting under the leadership of the CPK.