Pravda, August 3rd, 1956
Source: Selected Works of Ho Chi Minh Vol. 4
Publisher: Foreign Languages Publishing House
Transcription/Markup: Christian Liebl
Online Version: Ho Chi Minh Internet Archive (marxists.org) 2003
The 20th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union was warmly greeted in the Democratic Republic of Viet Nam as in all other countries and considered as an extremely important historical event. The new measures taken following the Congress in the home and foreign policies of the Soviet Union, the development of the revolutionary energy of the masses pointed out by the Congress, show that the significance of the Congress of builders of communism cannot be fully appraised. It is beyond question that the great programme translated into the targets of the Sixth Five-Year Plan, the raising of all political, economic and social forces of the country as put forth in the Congress, the checking of the personality cult and its consequences, are brilliant successes recorded by the Soviet Union, which allow us to look forward to new great achievements of the Soviet Union in the near future.
The important theoretical principles set forth by the 20th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union on peaceful co-existence between countries with different social systems, on the possibility of preventing war in the present phase, on the multiform character of the transitional period towards socialism in various countries, all these principles have contributed to the consolidation of the forces of peace, democracy and socialism throughout the world.
The Congress also revealed new possibilities and opened new prospects to the working class movement for socialism and to all peoples who are defending their national independence.
The effective struggle against the personality cult as unanimously approved by the 20th Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, exerts a great influence over the whole communist movement. The June 30, 1956 resolution of the Central Committee helps us understand more deeply the question of the personality cult, and that of overcoming its consequences.
Speaking about the conditions required for the admission of various parties into the Communist International, V.I. Lenin pointed out that: “In the present phase, that of fierce internal war, the Central Committee can fulfil its task only if it is organised in the most centralised way, if there is inner-Party iron discipline, almost as rigorous as military discipline, and if the central organ of the Party is influential and enjoys the general esteem of all its members.”
Obviously, Lenin meant that the stage of fierce civil war and the restriction of democracy imposed on the Soviet people were only provisional and had to be abolished as soon as the new regime was consolidated.
However, our enemies hoped to undermine the socialist camp from inside. They made a big error in thinking that their hopes could come true, mistaking the development of socialist democracy for a beginning of disorder and utter loss of spirit of organisation and inner Party discipline among Marxist-Leninist parties.
It is crystal clear that once victorious, socialism can never tolerate the personality cult and its harmful consequences. The energetic measures taken by the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union to do away with the personality cult and its consequences, set a brilliant example of unprecedented political boldness in history. The strict implementation of these measures in no way weakens but consolidates ideological solidarity among builders of communism, centered around the leading nucleus faithful to Lenin. The absolute prestige of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union is more and more enhanced and consolidated. Starting from Lenin's position regarding the question of criticism and self-criticism, the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union clearly stated that it had more concern with the necessity to correct mistakes and educate the party of the working class and of the masses of people, than with the question of “what would the reactionaries say”. Lenin held it as the criterion of a correct and serious Party which is clearly aware of its responsibility and grasps the fact that the future interests of the movement should always come before everything.
Such a policy certainly enhances now as in the future the prestige of the C.P.S.U. in the socialist camp, as well as among the toiling masses of the capitalist countries and dependant countries.
An uproarious campaign of slander, launched by our enemies on the Communist Party of the Soviet Union for having worked out measures to liquidate the consequcnces of the personality cult, proves that they were blind politically; history will confirm it before long. The C.P.S.U. again demonstrates that the most important aspect of self- criticism is to practically and effectively correct one’s errors. The scientific analysis of the conditions engendering errors has the effect of preventing their recurrence. All fraternal parties can draw valuable lessons from the documents of the 20th Congress, the high level of developing further Marxist-Leninism. It is beyond question that the resolutions of the 20th Congress will help brother parties correct their errors and improve their work.
In the struggle to build a peaceful, unified, independent, democratic, prosperous and strong Viet Nam, the Viet Nam Workers’ Party has always grasped the identity between the interests of the struggle for the liberation of all peoples from imperialist yoke and those of the struggle for the liberation of the toiling masses from exploiting capitalism. Therefore, it has been able to lay the foundation for a solid friendship between the Vietnamese people and other peoples such as the Cambodian, Laotian and French peoples. In a wider meaning, in the struggle for national reunification, the Viet Nam Workers’ Party has never isolated itself from the fraternal parties, in its whole practice, it has proved that genuine patriotism can never be separated from proletarian internationalism, and that the fraternal alliance between all fighters for a common cause - liberation of mankind, building of a classless society, peaceful co-existence and lasting peace - is unshakable.
While the imperialists increased their organisation and set up international aggressive blocs such as the S. E. A. T. 0., N. A. T. 0., Baghdad Pact, the Viet Nam Workers' Party has never departed from its policy of cementing relations with the brother parties.
The Viet Nam Workers’ Party is aware that international reaction is hatching big schemes, especially in South Viet Nam and in the whole ”Pacific area” (Taiwan, South Korea. . .). It is also aware that through these plots, international reaction is spearheading its forces at the national liberation movement, at the working class and peasants in Asia; that while carrying out these schemes, imperialism is seeking every means to weaken the ideological unity and fraternal solidarity between the Marxist-Leninist parties of the working class in various countries.
In the present international conjuncture, national features and conditions peculiar to each country become a more and more important factor in the elaboration of the policies of every communist and workers’ party. At the same time, Marxism-Leninism remains the unshakable basis of the common struggle of all parties, exchange of experiences on this struggle keeps its full meaning and questions arising for this or that party is in no way this or that party’s ‘own concern’, but has vital connection with the international proletariat as a whole.
For example, we, Vietnamese people, not only have to define our own methods and measures in the struggle against the U. S. imperialists’ and south Viet Nam administration’s schemes to perpetuate the division of our country and in our struggle to gradually advance to socialism - this is obvious - but, our Party also clearly understands that our activities now and in the coming period cannot be confined within the mere national limit, that these activities are connected by thousands of ties with the general struggle waged by the progressive world, and that the genuine solidarity shown by the socialist camp and the peace-loving peoples throughout the world is as necessary to us as it was formerly, during the Vietnamese people’s resistance war for national salvation.
The 9th plenary session of the Central Committee of our Party, held from April 19 to 24, 1956, made a deep study of the documents of the 20th Congress of the C. P. S. U.. Participating in the work of the Session were members of the Central Committee, secretaries of the Party committees of zones, provinces and important towns and a number of responsible cadres in central organs.
The Viet Nam Workers’ Party has recorded big results in the creative application of Marxism-Leninism to the Vietnamese reality. Our people scored great victories during and after the war, in the consolidation of the completely liberated North, and in the political, economic and social spheres. Besides, the Party could unite in the Viet Nam Fatherland Front all patriots struggling for independence and national reunification through peaceful means.
The resolutions of the 9th plenary session of the Central Committee of the Viet Nam Workers’ Party also emphasised the great significance of the principles of collective leadership in the building and consolidating of the Party, the importance of which was emphasised at the 20th Congress of the C. P. S. U.. In general, our Party has carried out the principle of collective leadership. However, a profound study of it has spotlighted many shortcomings.
We must admit that the personality cult has also existed to some degree in Viet Nam, both inside and outside the Party. Though it has not led to serious errors, yet it has limited the initiative and fighting spirit of the active elements and of the people. We have found manifestations of the personality cult both in leading central and local organs; to overcome these shortcomings, we have decided to improve ideological work in the Party and among the people.
In a recent session, the Council of Ministers highlighted the great achievements made in the carrying out of land reform and in economic rehabilitation, in raising the people’s living standards and in the political consolidation of our people’s democratic State. The Congress also pointed out many shortcomings and errors in the implementation of the policy of alliance against feudal influence in the countryside, in methods of struggle against the enemy of the working class, in the implementation of the finance policy and in the readjustment of organisation.
In the press and at Party meetings, we have constantly called on all Party members to strengthen their ties with the masses and take into account the situation in the South while putting forth and carrying out the Party policies. Our struggle is not yet over. We still have to overcome many difficulties, especially those arising from the partition of our country and the wrong execution of correct policies. We are firmly convinced that these difficulties can be overcome and that we shall be victorious, because our Party enjoys the confidence of the people, the support of the socialist countries and the sympathy of progressive forces all over the world.
By severely criticising Stalin’s errors and by launching a resolute struggle against the personality cult, the 20th Congress of the C. P. S. U. has set us a brilliant example of political boldness and deep confidence in the people. The Viet Nam Workers’ Party considers the cricitism of the personality cult as an eloquent proof of strength, and a great victory of the C. P. S. U. and of the world revolutionary movement.
Our enemy has attempted to make use of the criticism of personality cult to mitigate the influence of the great achievements recorded by the Soviet Union and to blemish the revolutionary movement which is ceaselessly gaining more victories. They try to sow confusion among the communist and workers’ parties and to split the ranks of the toiling people. But their efforts will be set at naught. Like other brother parties, the Viet Nam Workers’ Party is clearly aware that the struggle of the C. P. S. U. and its fraternal aid has a very great significance for the liberation of all peoples. All manoeuvres of the enemy of communism to blemish the Soviet Union and its Communist Party will certainly fail.
We are clearly aware that our common enemy’s clamours only betray their fear in face of new forces and new victories. Faced with the ever more perfidious schemes of the imperialist reactionary influence, now more than ever, we must strengthen and develop ideological unity, solidarity among communist and workers’ parties, and tirelessly struggle to defend the purity of Marxism-Leninism, which is our common treasury; study and apply correctly the theoretical principles of Marxism-Leninism to the realities of each country. We are confident that under the banner of Marxism-Leninism, victory will certainly be ours.