[This issue of Peking Review is from massline.org. Massline.org has kindly given us permission to to place these documents on the MIA. We made only some formatting changes to make them congruent with our style sheets.]
[This article is reprinted from Peking Review, #4, Jan. 21, 1966, pp. 19-25.]
The conference witnessed a sharp struggle between two lines. It marked a tremendous upsurge and victory for the Afro-Asian and Latin American peoples’ cause of solidarity against U.S. imperialism. It was a damning exposure and heavy defeat for the new Soviet leaders’ capitulationist and divisive schemes.
THE 13-day First Afro-Asian-Latin American Peoples’ Solidarity Conference closed on January 15 in Havana. Around 500 delegates from 82 countries and regions with more than 60 observers and over 70 guests attended the conference.
Strong voices were raised for unity among the people of the three continents in opposition to the policies of aggression and war of imperialism headed by the United States and in support of,the Vietnamese people’s struggle against U.S. aggression and for national salvation and the popular anti-imperialist struggles in all other countries. These voices combined to form an irresistible force that frustrated the plots the Soviet delegation tried to peddle under the cloak of sham anti-imperialism and sham unity.
After 13 days of struggle and heated debate, the joint efforts of the great majority of delegates to the tri-continental conference won a major victory for the line of firm unity in opposition to imperialism—a line which reflects the will of the more than 2,000 million people in the three continents. The Khrushchov revisionists’ attempts to manipulate the conference and peddle their spurious “united action” to promote their capitulationist and divisive line were thoroughly exposed and firmly rejected. They failed, too, in their attempt to control the tri-continental anti-imperialist solidarity organization and to liquidate the Afro-Asian People’s Solidarity Organization in order to bring the national-democratic movement in the three continents into the orbit of U.S.-U.S.S.R. co-operation for world domination.
The general declaration adopted at the conference points out in clear-cut terms that the present international situation is favourable to the anti-imperialist revolutionary struggles. It roundly condemns U.S. imperialism as the sworn enemy of the people of the world and an international gendarme. It proclaims in stirring words: it is right to make revolution and combat imperialism. The oppressed nations and peoples have the right to wage popular armed struggles to defeat the aggression and armed suppression by imperialism and its lackeys.
The resolution on Vietnam adopted at the conference condemns U.S. imperialism’s criminal aggression against the Vietnamese people, exposes the “14-point” hoax of the Johnson Administration, and strongly denounces the U.S. aggressors’ “peace offensive” as a trick to cover up their scheme for a wider war.
The organizational resolution adopted at the conference defeats the long pre-meditated plan of the Khrushchov revisionists to liquidate the Afro-Asian People’s Solidarity Organization which already has a history of eight years’ struggle against imperialism.
The conference also adopted a general political resolution and a number of other resolutions. These resolutions express firm support for the just struggles of the peoples of the three continents against imperialism, colonialism and neo-colonialism headed by the United States and reflect the firm will of the people of the three continents to make revolution and combat imperialism. Only a few resolutions adopted contained views contrary to the legitimate desires of the people of the three continents.
The great majority of delegates came to Havana with a common purpose, namely, the first tri-continental peoples’ solidarity conference should be a conference against imperialism, colonialism and neo-colonialism headed by the United States, and a conference to condemn U.S. imperialism and express solidarity with the struggles of the peoples and particularly with the Vietnamese people’s struggle to resist U.S. aggression and save their country.
It was decided at the preparatory committee meeting that a new item of the agenda: “Support for the Heroic Struggle of the Vietnamese People Against U.S. Imperialist Aggression, for the Liberation of South Vietnam and the Reunification of the Whole Country” was to be added to the first item: “The Struggle Against Imperialism, Colonialism and Neo-colonialism” and listed as first point of the first item on the agenda.
The great majority of the 72 delegates who took the floor at the conference expressed support for the Vietnamese people in their struggle and condemned the United States by name for its policies of aggression and war.
In the light of the situation in their own countries, the delegates condemned U.S. imperialism for its monstrous crimes in Asia, Africa and Latin America:
It is “escalating” the war of aggression in Vietnam;
It has intensified the war of aggression against Laos;
It threatens and violates the territory of Cambodia;
It has sent troops to occupy Thailand;
Together with British imperialism, it has created “Malaysia”;
It works hand in glove with the Right-wingers in Indonesia to suppress the progressive people’s forces;
It occupies China’s territory of Taiwan;
In collusion with the Japanese militarists, it has manufactured the “Japan-ROK treaty” which threatens the security of the Asian people;
It co-operates with the Soviet Union in arming the Indian reactionaries to carry out expansion against India’s neighbours;
It has turned Israel into a base for aggression against the Arab people;
In collusion with old colonialism, it suppresses by force of arms the national-liberation struggle of the Congolese (Leopoldville) people;
It has encouraged British imperialism to support white colonial rule in Southern Rhodesia;
Through its partners in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization it supports the British and Portuguese colonial authorities and strengthens their rule in the southern part of Africa;
It has been subverting and imposing a blockade against Cuba and occupies the Guantanamo base;
It has sent 40,000 aggressor troops to suppress the uprising in the Dominican Republic;
It fosters reactionary puppet governments in Latin America to maintain the rule of U.S. monopoly capital there.
The accusing voices of the delegates swept across the Gulf of Mexico to shake the North American empire.
About 30 of the speakers advocated people’s armed struggle to defeat the aggression and armed suppression by imperialism and its lackeys. Many delegates condemned the United Nations as a tool of U.S. imperialism for its aggressions in Asia, Africa and Latin America. They criticized the views of peaceful coexistence with U.S. imperialism and exposed certain people who have recently preached collaboration with U.S. imperialism and “united action” with the reactionaries.
In sub-committee discussions, many delegates demanded that documents to be adopted at the conference should reflect the situation of the anti-imperilalist struggle of the people of the three continents, especially the situation of their anti-U.S. imperialist struggle. They opposed peaceful coexistence or any form of collaboration with U.S. imperialism and waged tit-for-tat struggle with the Soviet delegation and its handful of followers.
Under these circumstances, the conference adopted a fairly good general declaration. In the course of its drafting, many erroneous views which failed to reflect the fervent anti-imperialist feelings and fierce anti-imperialist struggles of the people of the three continents were rejected after repeated struggles and consultations. The correct views of the Chinese, Korean, Japannese and other delegates were finally accepted. The general declaration thus reflects the main current of the conference and records its keynote.
However, there was also an adverse current which clashed fiercely with the main current. Even before the opening of the conference, the Soviet delegates had widely proclaimed their intention to push their capitulationist “peaceful coexistence” line at the conference and energetically engaged in divisive manoeuvres. After its opening, they stepped up their activities, sometimes working behind the scenes, sometimes coming out into the open to peddle their contraband goods. This was the cause of the successive scenes of intensive struggle both inside and outside the conference hall. Like the weather in Havana in those days, dark clouds alternated with bright sunshine over the conference.
Speaking at the conference and sub-committee meetings, most of the delegates in strong terms condemned the U.S. aggression against Vietnam, supported the Vietnamese people to the end in their people’s war against U.S. imperialist aggression, exposed the recent U.S. “peace talks” conspiracy, especially Johnson’s 14-point plan and condemned any collaboration with U.S. imperialism on the Vietnam question.
Many delegates pointed out that the Vietnam question could be settled only in accordance with the five-part statement of the South Vietnam National Front for Liberation and the four-point stand of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam—especially the withdrawal of all U.S. and satellite troops in Vietnam.
As strong condemnation of U.S. imperialist aggression against Vietnam resounded throughout the conference, the Soviet delegates found it expedient at times to make a few remarks against the United States. But they evidently came to Havana with a purpose of their own at a time when the United States was launching a massive “peace offensive” and the Soviet Union was carrying out intensive activities in many capitals in its support. What the Soviet delegates did at the conference was: minor attack in words but major help in deeds.
Afraid to speak in strong terms against U.S. aggression in Vietnam and to expose the scheme of U.S. aggressors to hang on in south Vietnam, the Soviet delegates simply called for “the achievement of peace in Vietnam,” which was but an echo of the fraudulent U.S. call for “peace talks.” A Soviet delegate said in an undertone, “the U.S. imperialists hypocritically talk about negotiations,” but that very sentence was deleted by the Soviet news agency TASS when it released his speech. Such tricks only accentuate the Khrushchov revisionists’ service to the Johnson Administration’s “peace talks” hoax.
Looking upon themselves as benefactors, the Soviet delegates said nothing about the invaluable contributions made by the Vietnamese people’s anti-imperialist patriotic struggle towards the revolutionary struggles of the people of the whole world. Instead, they kept on boasting of the Soviet “aid” of aircraft, rockets and other modern weapons for Vietnam. On the pretext that certain countries were unable to send aid materials to Vietnam, the Soviet delegates proposed the founding of an international aid-Vietnam fund organization. All this had aroused discontent among the delegates.
Indonesian and other delegates immediately called attention to the fact that the Vietnamese people’s victory in their fight against U.S. aggression was primarily a result of their own struggle, which was supported by other countries. It was not only a matter of the socialist countries supporting Vietnam, but of the Vietnamese people by their courageous struggle supporting all other peoples of the world. He also said that it was not only the rich who were qualified to aid Vietnam.
The Chinese delegate pointed out that it was the bounden internationalist duty of the socialist countries to support Vietnam. He queried: Why should there be any international fund organization as suggested by the Soviet delegates? Why must the Vietnamese people receive aid from other countries through such an international organization, and be deprived of their right to receive aid directly from other countries? Wasn’t this an obvious attempt to bring the aid of the peoples of the three continents to Vietnam under the control of such an organization?
The Chinese delegate vehemently pointed out that in seeking to mislead the world, the Soviet delegates had played up the question of transport for Soviet aid supplies to Vietnam. In so doing they were repeating the lie spread by a Soviet journal that China had obstructed the transit of material for Vietnam.
The Soviet delegates’ fuss over the question of aid to Vietnam failed to achieve their ulterior purpose. Instead, this only made it clear that the Soviet Union wanted to use aid as a means to intervene in Vietnam to obtain capital with which to bargain with the United States, and to stir up anti-China sentiments at the conference and bring about a split in the name of “united action.”
The common desire of the great majority of delegates to the conference was to lift the revolutionary struggle against imperialism in the three continents to new heights through the conference. From the very beginning, however, the Khrushchov revisionists did their best to impose their capitulationist line of “peaceful coexistence” at the conference and to bring the liberation movements in the three continents into the orbit of the U.S.-U.S.S.R. collaboration for world domination. The Soviet paper Pravda in an article published on the day the conference opened asserted that the struggle “for peaceful coexistence of states with different social systems,” “for the prohibition of nuclear weapons and means of their delivery” and “for universal peace,” “will be the main subjects of discussion at the Havana conference.” The Soviet delegation then proceeded to present just such contraband at the conference.
At the political committee meeting, the Soviet delegates insisted on inserting a passage on so-called “peaceful coexistence” into the committee’s draft general resolution. They did not call for opposition to imperialism headed by the United States but urged that “all nations, big or small, should take peaceful co-existence as the foundation of their inter-relations.”
Delegates from China, Indonesia, Japan, Malaya, the Congo (L), Southwest Africa and other countries and regions firmly opposed the imposition of this erroneous line on the peoples of the three continents. The Chinese delegate said that the tri-continental conference should discuss the question of unity of the peoples of the three continents in the struggle against imperialism and not the question of peaceful coexistence. It is absolutely wrong to refrain from opposing imperialism and instead speak vaguely about so-called peaceful coexistence among big and small countries. Can Vietnam and the Dominican Republic coexist peacefully with the United States? The Congolese (L) delegate asked emotionally: The Congolese people are even denied the right of existence, how can there be any talk of peaceful co-existence? The delegate of Southwest Africa said: The tri-continental conference is not the United Nations or a hotchpotch conference. Peaceful coexistence is out of the question here; it is a choice between struggle or capitulation. We will certainly not capitulate! The Uganda delegate said that the attempt to stress peaceful coexistence at such a conference showed the designs of certain people to bring the struggle for national liberation into the orbit of “peaceful coexistence” and “general and complete disarmament” to hamper the advance in the struggle against imperialism. He asked: “You harp repeatedly on peaceful co-existence. Does this mean that you want everybody to stop supporting Vietnam’s war of resistance against U.S. imperialism and instead compromise with the United States?”
Strong opposition from a large section of the delegates prevented the Soviet delegate from inserting so-called peaceful coexistence into the general political resolution. The meeting decided to delete this passage from the draft resolution. But the struggle did not end there. As the political committee meeting went on from 9:30 p.m. on January 11 to 6:00 a.m. the next day, a document on so-called peaceful coexistence was put forward suddenly in the form of an extraordinary draft resolution.
In the ensuing harangue, the followers of Khrushchovism supporting the motion resurrected all the rubbish Khrushchov peddled in his time. One speaker said that in the present nuclear weapons era mankind had to choose either peaceful coexistence or a big nuclear war, and we chose peace. He claimed that “peaceful coexistence” was essential to revolutionary struggle, a new form of struggle for liberation. With the Soviet peace policy, he said, the hands and feet of imperialism could be bound while the liberation struggle in many places could be victorious under the help of the Soviet Union.
This incensed the delegates of many countries. The Uganda delegate said that the conference should discuss opposition to U.S. imperialism, the common enemy of the peoples of the three continents. Can our extensive talk about peaceful coexistence check the U.S. imperialist aggression against Vietnam? he asked. If the conference passed such a resolution, it would alienate itself from the broad masses of people of Asia, Africa and Latin America. The Nepalese delegate said that relations between states lay within the sphere of diplomats, and we should discuss the question which concerned us, the struggle against imperialism. The delegate of Bechuanaland said that the people of his country had never known the imperialist powers to respect the sovereignty of small countries. The delegate of Southwest Africa spoke emotionally and loudly: we resolutely oppose the publicizing here of the monstrosity called peaceful coexistence in whatever colour it was painted.
Amid roars of protest, the chairman put the draft resolution to a vote. China, Indonesia, Japan, Korea, Malaya, Thailand, Nepal, Pakistan, Uganda, Southwest Africa, Bechuanaland, and Basutoland voted against it. The Soviet Union, India and other countries voted in favour of it. Many other delegates abstained. According to the rules of procedure, any resolution must be adopted by a two-thirds majority, if no unanimity can be reached through consultation. However, the chairman of the meeting declared the resolution adopted without even giving the number of votes cast in favour of it.
Another strange circumstance is worth mentioning. As the marathon meeting lasted from 9:30 in the evening till 9:30 the next morning, many people had left the meeting room to go to bed. However, a minute before the vote was to be taken, there was a sudden rush into the room of a large number of “voters” whose sleepy look clearly showed that they had just been roused fxom bed. They raised their hands without even fully opening their eyes. In this way, the chairman declared the “peaceful coexistence” resolution adopted.
Many delegates expressed discontent at the adoption of such a resolution by the militant tri-continental conference.
Gabriel Yumbu, leader of the Congolese (L) delegation, angrily declared that to adopt such a resolution was to spoil the fruits of the conference, and implied the recognition of Mobutu. This was not conducive to the cause of the Congo and the whole of Africa. By insisting on imposing this document on the conference, the Soviet delegates have made themselves antagonistic to the people of the three continents who are firmly against imperialism and want to carry out revolution. They have thus once again shown that they are following a line of sham anti-imperialism and real capitulation.
At the meeting, many delegates strongly charged that the United Nations is an instrument of U.S. imperialism for committing aggression against the people of the three continents.
An Indonesian delegate said: We must further unmask the nefarious imperialists who are using the United Nations as a tool for dominating the whole world and deceiving the people.
A Pakistan delegate said: The United Nations is still being dominated and utilized by the imperialist powers. It continues to deprive the Chinese people of their legitimate seat in that organization. Its intervention in Korea, Pakistan, Kashmir and the Congo (L) has complicated matters in these places and this is only beneficial to the imperialists and colonialists.
However, the Soviet delegates and their followers did not miss a single opportunity at the meeting to justify the United Nations in order to meet their need to use that organization as a market place between the United States and the Soviet Union for concluding transactions to dominate the world. They took up the cudgels whenever anybody attacked the United Nations.
At the committee meeting for discussing urgent problems the Dominican delegate called for a denunciation of the United Nations because it failed to defend the people’s right to self-determination and to put a stop to the military interventions in Africa, Asia and Latin America. This had in fact reduced the organization into an instrument of colonialism and neo-colonialism, he said.
The Soviet delegate at the meeting said nothing. The delegate of the African National Congress (South Africa), who often spoke in support of the Soviet delegate, came forward to defend the United Nations. He said that nobody should denounce the United Nations because many Asian and African countries were represented on it.
The Chinese, Korean, Congolese (L) and other delegates made scathing attacks on the United Nations. The Chinese delegate expressed unreserved endorsement of the Dominican draft resolution and pointed out that by adopting the resolution for a “cease-fire” in the Dominican Republic under joint U.S.-Soviet sponsorship, the United Nations had legalized U.S. armed aggression against that country. The Korean delegate condemned the United States for using the United Nations as a signboard in its aggression against his country. The Congolese (L) delegate indignantly charged: “The United Nations has come to our country, but what has become of our Lumumba? What has become of our Republic of the Congo? I know all these things. I know how the U.N. representative was overjoyed when Lumumba was murdered. We all know what sort of organization the United Nations is.”
Before the vote was taken, the delegate of the Dominican Republic demanded that the Soviet delegate clarify his stand. The Soviet delegate hurriedly replied that he agreed with the view of another delegate who suggested a certain “modification” in the wording so as to avoid calling the United Nations an “instrument of colonialism and neocolonialism.” When at last the draft resolution of the Dominican delegate was put to a vote, the Soviet delegate voted against it.
At another meeting of the urgent problems committee, the delegate of the African National Congress (South Africa) tabled a draft resolution on South Africa. It called on the peoples of Asia, Africa and Latin America to “carry out all resolutions of the United Nations.” This further enraged the delegates. The Chinese delegate asked: Does this mean that the Chinese people should carry out the U.N. resolution which branded China as an “aggressor”? The Congolese (L) delegate demanded to know whether the Congolese people should betray their own motherland. Under the pressure of the delegates for a clarification, the delegate of the African National Congress at the next day’s session had to agree to delete that paragraph.
At that time, the Soviet delegate suddenly became bold and insisted that the African National Congress was the sole organization engaged in underground struggle in South Africa. “So please adopt the resolution as they demand,” he said. This added fuel to the anger of the Venezuelan, Brazilian and other delegates. Under the accusing fingers of the majority of the delegates, the delegate of the African National Congress had to declare once again that the said paragraph should he deleted. Only then was the debate closed.
While the political committee was drafting the general political resolution, the Chinese delegation pointed out emphatically that the resolution should, in compliance with the demand of many delegates, expose and denounce the United Nations as an instrument for aggression. The Indian delegate put forward an amendment in an effort to defend the United Nations. But he failed to advance any convincing arguments. Finally, the following passage was included in the general political resolution: “The conference accuses the United Nations of having allowed itself to be used more than once by U.S. imperialism as an instrument of its policy of aggression against the national-liberation movements and against other countries such as the Congo, Korea, and Santo Domingo. It also condemns the United Nations manipulated by the United States for having deprived the People’s Republic of China of its legitimate seat in this organization.”
The overwhelming majority of the delegates voiced the desire of the people of the three continents to unite against their common enemy, imperialism headed by the United States. Wu Hsueh-chien, leader of the Chinese delegation, said: “At a time when a fierce struggle is going on between the aggressive forces and the forces against aggression we should unite all genuinely anti-imperialist forces to fight against imperialism, colonialism and neo-colonialism headed by the United States.”
However, the “united action” demanded by the Soviet delegation at the meeting is quite another matter. Its aim is to take advantage of the legitimate desire for unity of the people of the three continents to impose on the conference the Soviet line of collaboration with the United States for world domination, under the hypocritical slogans of “united action” and “a common fight against the enemy.”
In the course of the conference, many things had happened which clearly showed that all the endless talk of the Soviet delegation about “unity,” and “co-ordination” was designed to cover up their own capitulationism and splittism. But they failed dismally. The ugly nature of their so-called “united action” was utterly exposed.
The Chinese, Indonesian, Japapese and other delegates all demanded to know with whom the Soviet delegation wanted to take united action and against whom this united action was to be directed. The leader of the Chinese delegation Wu Hsueh-chien raised ten “why’s” in his speech to the conference. But the Soviet delegation did not dare to utter a single word in reply to the ten questions.
Nevertheless, they answered them with their actions. The Dominican and Cambodian delegates, for instance, resolutely opposed at the conference any sort of co-operation with U.S. imperialism. The Cambodian delegate tabled a draft resolution at the committee for discussing urgent problems, calling on all countries which love justice and peace to refuse to co-operate, in political, diplomatic, economic and cultural fields, with the U.S. Government and all governments which energetically support its policy of aggression against Indo-China. When the resolution was put to a vote, the Soviet attitude was an adamant no.
Where does the Soviet delegation stand, people ask, on the sharp issue of opposing co-operation with imperialism?
Also at the committee for discussing urgent problems, the Indonesian delegate put forward a draft resolution for condemning the Indonesian reactionary army leaders’ suppression of the progressive forces. Far from endorsing this resolution, the Soviet delegate went so far as to oppose the inclusion of this draft resolution in the agenda of the committee. Doesn’t this sufficiently prove that the Soviet delegate was standing on the side of the Indonesian Rightists?
In discussing a draft resolution advanced by the Palestinian delegate, delegates of the Portuguese colonies suggested the addition of a call for “breaking off all relations” with Israel. This suggestion had the support of most of the delegates. But the Soviet delegate was opposed to the severance of “all relations.”
Similar instances are too numerous to be cited one by one. No wonder that after the committee discussions, an African delegate said: What the Soviet delegates have in mind is now clear to all. An Asian delegate said: Whenever anybody attacks the United States, the Soviet delegates would come forward to defend it. Isn’t it amply clear whom the Soviet delegates want to unite with and whom they are against?
The Khrushchov revisionists’ slogan of “united action” also finds its expression organizationally in the demand for the establishment of a new Afro-Asian-Latin American organization to be controlled by these revisionists themselves and affiliated with organizations under their thumb, such as the World Council of Peace. Their aim is to abolish the Afro-Asian People’s Solidarity Organization and undermine the Afro-Asian people’s cause for unity against imperialism. To this end, the Khrushchov revisionists raised a hue and cry for “enlargement” of the Afro-Asian People’s Solidarity Organization into a tri-continental organization.
For quite a number of years, the anti-imperialist organizations in Asia, Africa and Latin America had exchanged views on the question of convening a solidarity conference of the peoples in the three continents. The Executive Committee of the Afro-Asian People’s Solidarity Organization meeting in Gaza in December, 1961, recommended that representatives of the Afro-Asian-Latin American anti-imperialist organizations make preparations for the convening of a tri-continental conference. The Third Afro-Asian People’s Solidarity Conference held in Moshi, Tanzania, in February 1963, decided to convene a tri-continental conference in Havana and to set up an 18-nation preparation committee. The Fourth Afro-Asian People’s Solidarity Conference held in Winneba, Ghana, in May 1965, approved the holding of the First Afro-Asian-Latin American Peoples’ Solidarity Conference in Havana in January 1966.
For quite a long time, the Khrushchov revisionists had tried to prevent the convening of the tri-continental conference, for reasons best known to themselves. But in the past year they suddenly changed their attitude and shifted to the tactics of energetically participating in, manipulating and controlling the preparatory work in an attempt to erase the anti-imperialist character of the projected conference. They tried hard to bar the representatives of the genuine anti-imperialist forces in the three continents from attending this conference. They even kept outside the conference hall some representatives of genuine anti-imperialist organizations who had already arrived in Havana after overcoming diverse difficulties.
On the eve of the opening of the tri-continental conference, the Soviet and Indian delegates rushed up and down the hotel Havana Libre and tried to collect signatures demanding a meeting of the Executive Committee of the Afro-Asian People’s Solidarity Organization in Havana. It was said that they intended to propose at the committee meeting the “enlargement” of the Afro-Asian People’s Solidarity Organization into a tri-continental organization. In other words, they wanted to “bury” the Afro-Asian People’s Solidarity Organization in Havana. But the signature drive quickly proved abortive.
The Chinese delegation in a letter to the member countries of the Executive Committee of the Afro-Asian People’s Solidarity Organization resolutely opposed any illegal convention of a meeting of the committee during the tri-continental conference, thus crushing the Soviet and Indian delegates’ plot.
After the opening of the conference, the head of the Soviet delegation took the floor and put forward an official proposal on the establishment of a tri-continental organization. In sub-committees, they advocated “permanent co-operation” and “close relations” between the various mass organizations of the three continents on the one hand and the World Council of Peace and other Soviet-controlled international organizations on the other.
Many other delegates, out of a desire to strengthen the solidarity of the peoples in the three continents in their anti-imperialist struggle, also looked forward to the establishment of a tri-continental organization. But the overwhelming majority of them were against the abolition of the Afro-Asian People’s Solidarity Organization.
The Soviet, Indian, and a small number of other delegates insisted that the conference adopt a resolution on “enlargement” of the Afro-Asian People’s Solidarity Organization into a tri-continental organization. The Indian delegate said: “After the water of small rivers has flown into a big one, the existence of these small rivers is no longer necessary!” His argument was repudiated by many other delegates. The Indonesian delegate said: If after the establishment of a bigger regional organization the smaller ones must be abolished, didn’t it mean, that the Arab League must be abolished since the African people’s organization has already been established? Should the Pan-African Union of Journalists be abolished after the establishment of the Afro-Asian Journalists’ Association?
The Chinese delegate pointed out that in recent years the Afro-Asian People’s Solidarity Organization had contributed a great deal to the national-liberation struggle in Asia and Africa. To abolish the Afro-Asian People’s Solidarity Organization would split the Afro-Asian solidarity movement and seriously threaten the tri-continental solidarity movement.
The conference’s organizational committee after discussions turned down all proposals for the abolition of the Afro-Asian People’s Solidarity Organization. Thus the Soviet delegates suffered another defeat.
The Soviet delegates’ sabotage activities against Afro-Asian-Latin American solidarity reached a new height on the eve (January 14) of the closing of the conference. In disregard of the resolution already adopted, they insisted on forcing their way into the Executive Secretariat of the tri-continental organization. Before this, delegations from various countries had already met separately, consulted with each other and decided on the composition of the Executive Secretariat of the Afro-Asian-Latin American Peoples’ Solidarity Organization, the establishment of which had earlier been approved by the tri-continental conference. The members from four Asian countries were to be Korea, southern part of Vietnam, Pakistan and Syria. At the meeting of the heads of the Asian delegations held on January 14, the Soviet delegation suddenly moved to annul the list of names of Asian secretaries already agreed upon through consultation. It even unabashedly recommended itself to be a member, saying: “Whatever responsibilities the Asian people want the Soviet Union to shoulder, it is always willing to do so.” This action of the Soviet delegation enraged the delegations of Asian countries. The head of the Laotian delegation Vongvichit repeatedly asked: Was the list of names passed on January 13 valid or not? He insisted that the list already approved should be taken as a decision of the conference. The Japanese delegate pointed out that international conferences had never witnessed such a precedent: A resolution was to be reversed right after its adoption. From five in the afternoon till past midnight, the Soviet delegate made one difficulty after another on that issue. He was compelled to withdraw his demand only when he found himself unanimously condemned by the delegates of China, Japan, Indonesia, Nepal, Cambodia, Laos, Korea and south Vietnam.
The tri-continental conference was the scene of a serious struggle: the struggle between two lines. Should one resolutely combat imperialism, colonialism and neo-colonialism headed by the United States or practise peaceful coexistence with them? Should one firmly support the Vietnamese people in carrying through their people’s war against U.S. imperialist aggression to the very end or lend a hand to U.S. imperialism’s “peace talks” plot? Should one severely condemn and expose the United Nations as an instrument of U.S. imperialism for aggression or gloss over the fact that the United States and the Soviet Union are using the United Nations as a market place for bargaining at the expense of the people of the three continents? Should the people of the three continents form the broadest possible united front against imperialism headed by the United States or should one take the so-called “united action,” and put the continuously rising national-liberation struggles in the three continents into the orbit of U.S.-Soviet collaboration for world domination? Should one abolish the Afro-Asian People’s Solidarity Organization with an eight-year-old anti-imperialist tradition in favour of a new organization to be controlled by the Khrushchov revisionist clique for pushing their erroneous line, or should one promote the Asian, African and Latin American peoples’ solidarity movement on the basis of safeguarding the Afro-Asian People’s Solidarity Organization and its anti-imperialist tradition?
The outcome of the struggle shows that thanks to the joint effort of the delegates from the three continents, the Khrushchov revisionists have suffered a crushing defeat in their attempt to put across their erroneous line at the conference and their intrigues to sabotage the Afro-Asian solidarity movement and to control the tri-continental solidarity movement. Their true features of sham anti-imperialism and real capitulation, sham support and real betrayal, sham unity and a real split were once again completely unmasked and this has taught the people of the three continents a new lesson by negative example.
The tri-continental people’s solidarity movement ran into various difficulties at its very outset. But in accordance with the will of the people of the three continents, the movement is sweeping forward with irresistible momentum, overcoming one difficulty after another, and is triumphantly carrying forward its task of opposing imperialism headed by the United States and striving for national liberation.
— HSINHUA CORRESPONDENT
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