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Latin American Opinion Censures Soviet Hegemonism

[This unsigned article is reprinted from Peking Review, #7, Feb. 14, 1975, pp. 16-18.]

MORE and more clearly, Latin American countries and people have seen through the ugly features of Soviet revisionist social-imperialism and they have risen to expose and oppose its hegemonic acts. This is a significant development in their current struggle against hegemonism.

Soviet revisionist and U.S. imperialist contention has become daily fiercer in recent years. Taking advantage of U.S. imperialism’s declining position as an overlord in Latin America, Soviet revisionism has been stepping up its penetration and expansion on that continent. It has talked glibly about ”detente” and ”disarmament” and flaunted the banner of ”supporting” and ”assisting” the third world countries in a vain attempt to deceive the people of various countries and cover up its wildly ambitious aim of pushing hegemonism. Its manoeuvres in Latin America and elsewhere, however, have further awakened Latin American countries and people and they have escalated their struggle against hegemonism into fighting not only U.S. imperialism but Soviet social-imperialism as well.

Source of Insecurity

Not to be misled by the Soviet revisionists’ deceitful ”detente” and ”disarmament” propaganda, Latin American countries and people have realized that it is precisely this superpower which talks a blue streak about ”peace” that has up to now refused to sign Additional Protocol II to the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America and has repeatedly sent strategic reconnaissance planes, guided missile cruisers and nuclear submarines to the Western Hemisphere to menace the peace and security of Latin American countries. Since the beginning of 1974, public opinion in many Latin American countries has scathingly exposed and repudiated the Soviet revisionists’ frantic preaching of ”international detente” and ”balanced disarmament.”

The Mexican paper El Nacional pointed out editorially that in the past six years, the United States and the Soviet Union have been waxing eloquent about peace, coexistence and co-operation, promising to reduce their nuclear arsenals, but during the said period they have stepped up nuclear tests and increased their military budgets by a big margin. ”It is these two superpowers that are the source of insecurity in the world,” the paper added. The Argentine paper Mayoria noted that the so-called ”detente” played up by Soviet revisionism and the other superpower was only a ”false illusion,” adding that the ”arms drive of the superpowers has never been carried out in the past, even during the most difficult times of the cold war, with such vigour and dimension as today.” Panorama, an Argentine weekly, carried a series of articles to show that the Soviet Union and the United States paid lip-service to ”detente” and ”peaceful co-existence” merely ”to cloak their intrinsically aggressive diplomacy.” Condemning Soviet revisionism for interfering in the affairs in Cyprus, the Brazilian paper 0 Estado de Sao Paulo said that at the present time, ”any important problem in world politics can be transformed into a weapon in the conflict between the Soviet Union and the United States.”

At the 29th Session of the U.N. General Assembly, representatives from Peru, Ecuador, Venezuela, Mexico, Brazil and other Latin American countries repeatedly exposed the practice of the Soviet Union and the other superpower which use sham disarmament to cover up actual arms expansion and false detente to hide real tension. Ecuador’s representative noted that the propaganda about ”detente” is in a way like an anaesthetic, making people forget the presence of potential hotbeds of conflict in the Middle East, the Gulf Area and other regions. The Venezuelan representative said: Achieving disarmament is a complete illusion so far. Representatives of Mexico and other countries demanded that the Soviet Union and the United States end without procrastination all nuclear tests and discontinue their armament race. The Latin American countries also demanded that the Soviet Union sign Additional Protocol II to the Treaty for the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons in Latin America. Their solemn stand won warm support from the majority of member states. A related resolution was adopted by the First Committee of the U.N. General Assembly. Sticking to its social-imperialist stand, however, Soviet revisionism refused to sign the protocol, thus arousing great indignation and dissatisfaction on the part of many Latin American countries.

Using ”Aid” as a Cover

Latin American countries and people have also become increasingly aware that trade and ”aid” are two important means customarily used by the Soviet revisionists in carrying out their activities of infiltration, expansion and plunder in Latin America and in other third world countries. It is this superpower that often sells its outmoded equipment to developing countries at high prices while reselling at a huge profit the strategic raw materials and certain traditional export goods it has bought from these countries below world market prices, The ”joint ventures” established by ihe Soviet revisionists in some Latin American countries are nothing but ”trans-national companies” with a new label. Their joint investments with Western monopoly groups in Latin American countries are precisely capital exports by social-imperialism. They have also extended the activities of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance—their tool for controlling and plundering small countries—to Latin America under the signboard of the ”international division of labour.” These neo-colonialist practices, however, are being seen through by Latin American countries and people. The Argentine paper No Transar pointed out that the ”internationalist assistance” offered by the Soviet leading group ”is nothing but a dirty trick” and that it follows the same track as the ”Alliance for Progress” of U.S. imperialism. The Mexican paper El Universal said that the two superpowers have never ceased to ”exploit the weak nations within their spheres of influence through the practice of buying cheap and selling dear.” An article in the Guyana journal New Nation condemned the Soviet revisionists for its large-scale munitions trade during the Middle East October War and racking in a fortune by buying cheap petroleum from Arab countries and selling it to European countries at high prices. An article in a recent issue of the Brazilian journal A Classe Operaria pointed out that Soviet revisionism ”disguises itself as a friend of the Arabs,” but in reality its objective, like that of the other superpower, is ”to put this region (the Middle East) under its control in an attempt to plunder its resources and benefit from the strategic advantages it provides.”

The Trick That Fails

Latin American countries and people are the initiators of the current vigorous and concerted worldwide struggle to defend the 200-mile maritime rights. They have seen more and more clearly the true colours of the Soviet revisionists through their repeated tests of strength with the superpowers which persist in maritime hegemonism. With the convening of the Third U.N. Conference on the Law of the Sea last year, Latin American countries started a new wave of struggles against the maritime hegemonism of the two superpowers and in defence of their state sovereignty and maritime resources. Latin American journals carried editorials, commentaries and articles exposing and repudiating the Soviet revisionists’ wild bid for maritime hegemony. They bluntly pointed out that the Soviet revisionists, who style theirs a ”socialist” country and ”friend” of the third world, are in fact, like the other superpower, following an ”imperialist maritime policy” and are opposed to the maritime rights of the third world countries. The Panamanian paper Critica said: ”The two superpowers, Russia and the United States of America, are the leaders of the fierce opposition to the rights of the weak nations.” At the Third U.N. Conference on the Law of the Sea, the representatives of Peru, Ecuador, Mexico, Guyana, Jamaica, Brazil and other Latin American countries, in close unity with representatives from other third world countries, upheld the stand of safeguarding the maritime rights and resources of the developing countries, and exposed and opposed all sorts of manifestations of Soviet revisionism’s maritime hegemony. The representative of the Soviet revisionists resorted to various tricks and even professed to ”agree” to the 200-mile economic zone idea just to try to lure, the Latin American and other third world countries into accepting their acts of maritime hegemony. But their trick failed. As soon as this despicable plot was dished up, it was exposed and repudiated by the representatives of the developing countries in Latin America and other regions.

As the struggles against Soviet revisionist social-imperialism mount daily, leaders of many Latin American countries have called upon the states on the continent to maintain vigilance and fight against the two superpowers’ aggression, interference and plunder. Mexican President Luis Echeverria stressed that Latin American countries should not substitute one dependence for another in the circumstances in which the big interests contend for world hegemony. Peruvian President Juan Velasco Alvarado said: ”We reject all attempts and ideas of hegemonism and all forms of foreign domination—political, economic, cultural and ideological—regardless of the place of origin.” Guyana Prime Minister Forbes Burnham reiterated his opposition to colonialism in all its manifestations. Referring to the negotiations and consultations between the two superpowers, he said: ”We should guard against being led astray.”

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