Articles / Policy & Gov't. / Reflections by comrade Fidel Castro / Reflections by comrade Fidel Castro: History cannot be Ignored
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
Reflections by comrade Fidel Castro: History cannot be Ignored
Last October 1st commemorated the 60th anniversary of the Peoples’ Republic of China.
On that historic day in 1949, Mao Zedong presided over the first parade of the Peoples’ Army and the people of China in Tiananmen Square as leader of the Communist Party of China. The victorious soldiers were carrying the weapons taken in combat from the invaders, oligarchs and traitors to their country.
At the end of WWII the United States, one of the powers that had sustained the least amount of material losses in the war, was monopolizing the nuclear weapon and more than 80% of the world’s gold while enjoying considerable industrial and agricultural development.
The victorious Revolution in a country as huge as China, in the year 1949, nurtured the hopes of a great number of colonized countries, many of which would not take much longer in shaking off the imposed yoke.
Lenin had foreseen the imperialist phase of developed capitalism and the role of the colonized countries’ struggle in world history. The triumph of the Chinese Revolution came as a confirmation of that prediction.
The Peoples’ Republic of Korea was created in the year 1948. The first commemoration of the Chinese victory was attended by representatives of the USSR, the country that had contributed more than 20 million lives to the war against Fascism; by those in the Peoples’ Republic of Korea, which had been occupied by Japan, and by the Vietnamese combatants who, after fighting against the Japanese, were heroically fighting the French attempt to once again colonize Vietnam, this time with the support of the United States.
At that time, nobody would have thought that less than four years after that memorable date, with no other link than their ideas, in far-off Cuba the attack on the Moncada Barracks on July 26, 1953 would take place, and just nine years after the liberation of China, the Cuban Revolution would triumph 90 miles away from the imperialist metropolis.
It is in the light of these events that I watched with particular interest the commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the Chinese Revolution. Our friendship with that centuries-old culture, the most ancient of civilizations known to man, is well-known.
In the nineteenth century, tens of thousands of Chinese citizens were sent to our country practically as slaves, duped by the English merchants. Many of them joined the Liberation Army and fought for our independence. However, our ties with China draw from from the Marxist ideas that inspired the Cuban Revolution and passed the difficult test of divisions between the two great Socialist states that caused such damage to the world revolutionary movement.
In the challenging days of the Soviet demise, China, along with Vietnam, Laos and Korea, maintained its fraternal relations and solidarity with Cuba. They were the only four countries that, together with Cuba, held the Socialist banners high during the dark days when the United States, NATO, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank were imposing neoliberalism and plundering the world.
History cannot be ignored. In spite of the enormous contribution of the people of China and the political and military strategy of Mao in the struggle against Japanese Fascism, the United States disregarded and isolated the government of the most densely populated country on the planet and deprived it of its right to participate in the United Nations Security Council; it stepped in with its troops to prevent the liberation of Taiwan, an island belonging to China; it supported and supplied the remains of an army whose leader had betrayed all the agreements signed in the struggle against the Japanese invaders during WWII. Taiwan received and still receives the most modern weaponry from the US war industry.
The US not only deprived China of its legitimate rights but it also intervened in the internal Korean conflict, sending its forces in at the head of a military coalition that defiantly moved forward getting close to the vital points of that great country, and threatened to use nuclear weapons against China whose people had made such a contribution to the Japanese defeat.
The Party and the heroic people of China did not hesitate in the face of the crude threats. Hundreds of thousands of Chinese volunteer combatants launched a vigorous counterattack and made the Yankee forces retreat back to today’s border between the two Koreas. Hundreds of thousands of valiant internationalist Chinese and an equal number of Korean patriots died or were wounded in that bloody war. Later on, the Yankee Empire would kill millions of Vietnamese.
On October 1, 1949, upon its proclamation as the Peoples’ Republic, China had no nuclear weapons or any of the advanced military technology it has today, with which it does not threaten any country.
What would the West say now? The mainstream US press was, in general, hostile. Its major newspapers headlined their editorials with such phrases as: “…little interest for ideology”, “…a show of power”, “Communist China celebrates its 60 years with a military show.”
Nevertheless, it was not possible to ignore the struggle. All the media were reiterating the idea that it was a show of power. The news especially focused on the pictures of the military parade.
They were not hiding their admiration for the wide broadcasting of the parade that Chinese TV offered up for international public opinion.
It did not go unnoticed; rather, it was cause for amazement that China would present 52 new types of weapons, among them the latest generation of combat vehicles, amphibious vehicles, radars, reconnaissance planes and sophisticated communications equipment.
The media highlighted the presence of the DF-31 intercontinental missiles that can strike with nuclear warheads targets located 6,250 miles away, as well as the medium-range missiles and the anti-missile defenses.
The 151 fighter planes, the heavy bombers, the modern means of air surveillance and helicopters took by surprise the avid newshounds and military technicians. “The Chinese army now has most of the sophisticated weapons that make up the arsenals of western countries”, was a statement made by the Chinese Defense Minister and highlighted by the western press.
The 500 armored vehicles and the 60 civilian floats that paraded in front of the mausoleum caused a mighty impact.
The advanced technology was irrefutable proof of the developed military capacity that had started from scratch some decades ago. What was unbeatable was the human factor. No developed western country could have reached the level of precision and organization shown by China that day. With a certain scornful tone, officers and soldiers were described as marching at a pace of 115 goose-steps per minute.
The various forces that paraded there, men and women, did so with unparalleled distinction and elegance. Anyone would find it hard to believe that thousands of human beings could reach such perfect organization. Both the people on foot and those in their vehicles marched past the stand and saluted with hard-to-achieve precision, order and military demeanor.
If such qualities seemed to be the result of military discipline and rigorous practice, more than 150,000 citizens of that huge hive of civilians, mainly young men and women, were a surprise for their capacity to reach en masse the level of organization and perfection attained by their armed compatriots.
The beginning of the celebration and the saluting of the troops by the Head of State and Secretary General of the Communist Party was impressive. One could notice the deep bonds between the leadership and the people.
Hu Jintao’s speech was short and precise. In just under 10 minutes he expressed many ideas. On that day he surpassed Barack Obama’s gift for synthesis. When he speaks, he represents almost five times more population than the president of the United States. He doesn’t have to shut down torture centers nor is he at war with any other state; he doesn’t send his soldiers more than 6,250 miles away to intervene and kill with sophisticated war means; he doesn’t have hundreds of military bases in other countries or powerful fleets sailing the seven seas; he does not owe trillions of dollars or in the midst of an enormous international financial crisis offers the world the cooperation of a country whose economy is not in recession and keeps growing at a high rate.
Essential ideas communicated by the president of China:
“On a day like today sixty years ago, after more than one hundred years of bloody battles waged from the onset of modern history, the Chinese people finally achieved the great victory of the Chinese Revolution and President Mao Zedong proclaimed, on this very spot, the founding of the Peoples’ Republic of China thus allowing the Chinese people to stand tall from that moment on, and the Chinese nation, with a more than 5,000-year history of civilization, to enter a new era of development and progress.”
“The development and progress achieved in the sixty years of the New China has fully shown that only socialism can save China and that only reform and opening can lead to the development of China, socialism and Marxism. The Chinese people have the necessary confidence and capacity to build their country well and to make their due contribution to the world.”
“We adhere firmly to the principles of peaceful reunification…”
“…we shall continue to work, alongside the different peoples of the world, to promote the noble cause of peace and the development of humankind as well as the building of a harmonious world based on lasting peace and common prosperity.”
“History has taught us that the path forward is never smooth, but that a united people that take their future in their own hands will certainly overcome all difficulties, continuously creating great historical epics.”
These are categorical answers to the war-mongering and threatening policies of the empire.
Fidel Castro Ruz
October 6, 2009
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