Date: October 8, 1968
Source: Kim Il Sung: Let us Promote the World Revolution, Holding High the Banner of Marxism-Leninism and Proletarian Internationalism, the Banner of Anti-Imperialist, Anti-U.S. Struggle, pp. 257-272
Transcription/HTML Markup: American Party of Labor
Public Domain : Marxists Internet Archive (2017). You may freely copy, distribute, display and perform this work; as well as make derivative and commercial works. Please credit "Marxists Internet Archive" as your source.
|Kim Il Sung|
It is nearly a year now since Comrade Ernesto Che Guevara, an indomitable revolutionary fighter and a true internationalist champion bom of the Latin American people, died a heroic death on the battlefield of Bolivia. The Korean people, together with the revolutionary peoples throughout the world, are commemorating the first anniversary of the passing away of Comrade Che Guevara, with a burning hatred for the enemy and in deep grief.
Che Guevara took the path of the sacred struggle to bring freedom and liberation to the peoples, holding aloft the banner of anti-imperialist, anti-U.S. struggle early in his youthhood, and devoted his whole life to the revolutionary cause of the oppressed peoples.
Over a long period up to now since the curtain rose upon the prelude to the bloodstained history of modern bourgeoisie, in which the exploitation camouflaged by medieval religious and political illusions was replaced by a naked, shameless, direct and cruel one and man's dignity turned into an exchange value, numerous Communists and revolutionary fighters on the globe have shed their blood and laid down their lives in the midst of the revolutionary tempest to sweep away all that is obsolete and corrupt and reorganize the whole structure of society in a revolutionary way, to overthrow the upper strata of that cursed old society and prepare the cradle of free and happy, new society. Che Guevara dedicated his precious life to this sacred struggle and thus became an honourable member of the ranks of world revolutionary martyrs.
Che Guevara was an indefatigable revolutionary who was tireless in struggle and a true internationalist champion who was completely free from narrow nationalist sentiments. Throughout his life he showed a fine example of a steadfast revolutionary fighter and real internationalist.
Along with the Cuban revolutionaries led by Comrade Fidel Castro, Che Guevara unfolded a heroic armed struggle, thereby contributing greatly to crushing U.S. imperialism and the dictatorial regime of Batista, its lackey, and attaining the triumph of the Cuban Revolution. In 1965 Che Guevara, burning with revolutionary zeal, left the triumphant land of Cuba to move the arena of his struggle to a new outpost where manifold difficulties and stern trials awaited him. Everywhere he went in Latin America, he organized and mobilized the masses of the people to armed struggles against U.S. imperialism and its minions and fought bravely to the last moment of his life in the forefront.
The revolutionary activities of Che Guevara made a tremendous contribution to further consolidating the triumph of the Cuban Revolution and stepping up the advancement of the Latin American revolution as a whole.
The triumph of the Cuban Revolution is the first victory of the socialist revolution in Latin America and a continuation of the Great October Revolution in Latin America. With the Cuban Revolution emerging victorious, the Red banner of socialism now flies high over Latin America which was regarded as a hereditary estate of U.S. imperialism only until recently, and the socialist camp has extended to the Western Hemisphere and grown in strength a great deal. Today the Republic of Cuba which marches on firmly in the forefront of the Latin American revolution is the lighthouse of hope for the fighting Latin American peoples and throws the rays of victory on the road of their struggle. The triumph of the Cuban Revolution shook the colonial system of the U.S. imperialists to its very foundation in the Western Hemisphere and has thrown the whole Latin America into a revolutionary tempest, forcefully arousing the peoples in this area to the sacred struggle for independence and freedom. The triumph of the Cuban Revolution signified, indeed, the beginning of the disintegration of the U.S. imperialist system of colonial rule in Latin America, the stern judgment on U.S. imperialism which had exploited and oppressed the peoples in this area for a long period and its condemnation to ruin.
Consolidation of the triumph of the Cuban Revolution is not only an important problem which decides the life and death, the rise and fall of the Cuban people but also a key problem which sways the destinies of the general development of the Latin American revolution.
Revolution begins with brilliant successes in one country but undergoes a considerable period of painful throes. The countries whose proletariat has grasped power in the encirclement of international capitalism are not free from the danger of imperialist aggression and restoration of capitalism during the entire historical period of revolutionary transition from capitalism to socialism. The overthrown exploiting classes always attempt to recover their lost positions and foreign imperialists incessantly engage in armed invasion and intrigues and manoeuvres for political and ideological subversion.
The U.S. imperialists and the reactionaries of Latin America deeply hate and fear the very existence of the Republic of Cuba and are manoeuvring stubbornly and maliciously to stifle it. They are working hard to get rid of the Cuban Revolution so as to drive out the "spectre" of Communism haunting the Western Hemisphere and check the liberation struggle of the peoples which envelops Latin America like a prairie fire. While scheming to strangle Cuba by directly mobilizing then- armed forces, the U.S. imperialists are instigating the reactionary Latin American regimes of dictatorship under their domination and subjugation to bring political and economic pressure to bear upon Cuba in order to suffocate her with the policy of blockade.
For the attainment of the ultimate victory of the revolution, the peoples who have gained power in the encirclement of international capital, while reinforcing their own internal forces in every way, should receive solid support from other detachments of the world socialist revolution and should receive broad international assistance from the working classes of all lands and the oppressed peoples of the whole world. In other words, revolutions should take place consecutively in the majority of countries of the world, in several adjacent countries at the least, to replace imperialist encirclement with socialist encirclement, the barriers of imperialism that surround a socialist country should be torn down to open the path of turning the dictatorship of the proletariat into a world-wide system and an end should be put to the isolation of the socialist fortress of one country in the encirclement to form the strong ties of militant solidarity of the international working classes and the oppressed peoples of the world. Only then will it be possible to prevent completely armed intervention by the imperialists and their attempt to restore capitalism, and say that the ultimate victory of socialism has been secured.
As the forces of capital are international, so the liberation struggle of the peoples is an international movement. The revolutionary movements in individual countries are national movements, and constitute part of the world revolution at the same time. The revolutionary struggles of the peoples in all countries have the relationship of supporting and complementing each other and join together in one stream of world revolution. The revolution which has emerged victorious should assist the revolutions of those countries which are not yet triumphant with its experiences and examples and render active support to the liberation struggle of the world's peoples with its political, economic and military power, while the peoples in the countries which have not yet won the revolutions should struggle more actively to defend the victorious revolutions of other countries against the imperialist policy of strangulation and hasten victory for their own revolutions. This is the law of the development of the world revolutionary movement and the excellent tradition already formed in the course of the people's liberation struggle.
The Cuban Revolution is an organic part of the world revolution and, particularly, constitutes the decisive link in the chain of the revolution in Latin America. To defend the Cuban Revolution and to consolidate and follow up its victories is not only the duty of the Cuban people but also the internationalist obligation of the oppressed peoples of Latin America and all the revolutionary peoples of the world. Just as the defence of the gains of the October Revolution in Russia which made the first breach in the world capitalist system was an important question decisive of the fate of the development of the world revolution, so the defence of the gains of the Cuban Revolution which made the first breach in the colonial system of U.S. imperialism in Latin America is an important question decisive of the fate of the Latin American revolution.
It is of great importance for the defence of the Cuban Revolution to advance the revolutionary movement in those Latin American countries neighbouring on Cuba. If the fierce flames of revolution flare up in many countries of Latin America where U.S. imperialism sets foot, the force of U.S. imperialism will be dispersed and sapped as much and the attempts of the U.S. imperialists and their lackeys to strangle Cuba by concentrated force will inevitably fall through. Further, if the revolution emerges victorious in some other Latin American countries, Cuba will get out of the encircling ring of imperialism with which she is confronted on all sides, there will be opened up a favourable phase in the revolutions of Cuba and Latin America, and the world revolution will be stepped up still more.
For a revolution to take place, the subjective and objective situation should be created for it. The revolution in each country should be carried out to suit the specific realities, in which the objective revolutionary situation is created. This, however, by no means signifies that the revolution can develop or ripen of itself. The revolution can always be advanced and brought to maturity only through an active and hard struggle of the revolutionaries. If an active struggle is neglected, only waiting for a favourable situation to arise by reason of the arduousness of the revolution, revolutionary forces cannot be fostered. Revolutionary forces cannot be prepared spontaneously without any struggle, they can be fostered and strengthened only through a hard struggle. If preparations are not made to meet the decisive hour of the revolution by preserving the revolutionary forces against the enemy's suppression and, at the same time, constantly accumulating and building them up through a positive struggle, it will be impossible to win victory in the revolution even when the objective situation has been created. To turn away from the revolution on the pretext of avoiding sacrifices is in fact tantamount to forcing the people to remain in lifelong slavery to capital, forcing them to tolerate for ever the cruel exploitation and oppression, unbearable maltreatment and humiliation, enormous sufferings and sacrifices. In general the acute pain experienced at a revolutionary turning-point is always much easier to endure than the chronic pain caused by the ulcers of old society. The social revolution cannot be achieved as easily as proceeding along a royal road in full daylight, nor can it progress as smoothly as a boat sailing before the wind. On the path of revolution, there may be rough thorny bushes and turns and twists, and there may be temporary setbacks and partial sacrifices. To flinch before difficulties and to hesitate in the revolution for fear of sacrifices is not the attitude befitting a revolutionary.
It is the task for the revolutionaries of each country to lay down a scientifically-motivated, careful way of struggle on the basis of a correct assessment of the internal and external situation and a proper calculation of the balance of forces between friend and foe, accumulate and build up the revolutionary forces by rearing the nuclear elements and awakening the masses of the people in the trying crucible of the revolution, unfolding an active struggle and yet going around the snags and avoiding unnecessary sacrifices at ordinary times, and make full preparations to meet the great revolutionary event. And once the revolutionary situation is created, they should not miss the opportunity to rise without delay in a showdown to shatter the reactionary regime.
The forms and methods of revolutionary struggle, too, are determined not by the wishes of individuals, but on all accounts by the subjective and objective situation created and the resistance of the reactionary ruling classes. The revolutionaries should stand prepared for all forms of struggle, and should effectively advance the revolutionary movement by properly combining various forms and methods of struggle such as political and economic struggles, violent and nonviolent struggles, legal and illegal struggles.
Counter-revolutionary violence is an indispensable means of rule for all exploiting classes. Human history not yet knows an instance of any ruling class submissively turning over its supremacy, or an instance of any reactionary class meekly waiving its power without resorting to counter-revolutionary violence. In particular, the imperialists cling ever more desperately to violent means to maintain their rule as they approach nearer to their doom. The imperialists, while suppressing the peoples of their own countries, check all the revolutionary advance of the oppressed nations in a sanguinary way with their military forces for aggression and plunder against other countries.
In these conditions, the liberation struggle of the oppressed peoples cannot emerge victorious without using revolutionary violence to crush foreign imperialists and overthrow the reactionary dictatorial machinery of the exploiting classes at home that work hand in glove with them. It is imperative to meet violence with violence and crush counter-revolutionary armed forces with revolutionary armed forces. The revolutionary flames now raging furiously in Latin America are the natural outcome of the revolutionary situation created in this area.
The absolute majority of the Latin American countries have been placed under the complete domination and bondage of U.S. imperialism. Pro-U.S. dictatorships have been established in many Latin American countries and the economy of these countries has been turned completely into an appendage to the U.S. monopolies. The U.S. imperialists' policy of aggression and plunder towards Latin America constitutes the major fetters impeding social progress in this area, and has plunged its peoples in unbearable mishaps and distress. The U.S. imperialists and the pro-U.S. dictatorships in Latin America extensively set up various repressive apparatuses including the army and police and suppress all forms of revolutionary advance of the people in a most brutal way.
It is obvious that unless the ill-clad and hungry, oppressed and humiliated people in Latin America bravely rise in arms in the struggle against the oppressors, they cannot attain freedom and liberation.
It is quite justifiable and admirable that under the banner of proletarian internationalism, under the banner of anti-imperialist, anti-U.S. struggle, Che Guevara, together with Latin American revolutionaries, unfolded an active, heroic revolutionary struggle in various Latin American countries with arms in his hands in defiance of sacrifice in order to defend the Cuban Revolution and hasten the day of liberation for the oppressed peoples in this area. The revolutionary peoples of the whole world express deep sympathy with the brave act of Che Guevara who waged a heroic armed struggle together with Latin American revolutionaries. The brilliant example of Che Guevara is a paragon not only for the Latin American peoples in their revolutionary struggle but for the Asian and African peoples in their liberation struggle, and inspires them to heroic exploits.
Che .Guevara is not with us now. But the blood he shed will never be wasted. His name and the everlasting revolutionary exploits he performed will go down for ever in the history of liberation of mankind and his lofty revolutionary spirit will be immortal. There will appear thousands of, tens of thousands of Che Guevaras on the scene of decisive battle in the revolutionary struggle in Asia, Africa and Latin America, and the revolutionary cause which he left unaccomplished will surely be achieved by the struggle of the Latin American revolutionaries and the revolutionary peoples the world over.
Today Asia, Africa and Latin America have become the most fierce anti-imperialist front. Imperialism has met with the strong resistance of the Asian, African and Latin American peoples and suffered the heaviest blows from them. Nevertheless, imperialism is desperately trying to maintain its old footing and regain its lost positions in those areas.
The cause of liberation of the peoples in Asia, Africa and Latin America has not been completed. So long as imperialism exists on the globe and oppresses and plunders the people, the people cannot leave off the anti-imperialist struggle even a moment. The struggle must continue till all shades of colonialism are wiped off the face of the earth once and for all, till all the oppressed and humiliated nations build their independent states and achieve social progress and national- prosperity.
Imperialism will never give up its rule over colonial and dependent countries before it is kicked out. It is in the nature of imperialism to perpetrate aggression and plunder. If there ever is imperialism which is not aggressive, it is no longer imperialism. Imperialism will not change its aggressive nature before it dies. That is why one should dispel all illusions about imperialism and fight it out. Only when a. principled stand is maintained against imperialism and a staunch anti-imperialist struggle intensified, can the oppressed nations win freedom and independence and the liberated peoples check imperialist aggression, consolidate national independence and achieve prosperity for their countries and nations.
U.S. imperialism is the most barbarous and most heinous imperialism of modern times, and it is the chieftain of world imperialism. It is not the Asian and Latin American countries or the African countries alone that have their sovereignty and territories infringed upon by U.S. imperialism or are under the menace of U.S. imperialist aggression. There is no place on the earth to which U.S. imperialism has not stretched out its tentacles of aggression, and where U.S. imperialism sets foot the people always shed blood. The U.S. imperialists pursue the invariable aim to put the whole world under their control. It is to realize this aim that the U.S. imperialists incessantly perpetrate armed invasion and subversive activities against the socialist and newly-independent countries, and brutally suppress the liberation struggle of the peoples of Asia, Africa and Latin America. This wild aggressive design of U.S. imperialism must be frustrated decisively. It is clear that world peace cannot be safeguarded, nor can national liberation and independence or the victory of democracy and socialism be achieved, apart from the struggle against U.S. imperialism. To fight U.S. imperialism is the inescapable common duty and the first and foremost revolutionary task for all the peoples of the world.
For the successful defeat of U.S. imperialism, it is necessary to penetrate into its world strategy thoroughly.
The basic strategy of U.S. imperialism for world aggression at the present stage is to destroy by force of arms the small and divided revolutionary socialist countries and newly- independent countries one by one, while refraining from worsening its relations with big powers and shunning confrontation with them as far as possible and to intensify ideological and political offensive against, and subvert from within, those countries which are weak ideologically and not willing to make revolution but spread illusion about imperialism among the people clamouring only for unprincipled coexistence with imperialism, and desire to live on good terms with imperialism.
On the basis of this world strategy, the U.S. imperialists are increasing their armaments extensively and further reinforcing their military bases and aggressive military alliances to attack the socialist and the progressive countries. The U.S. imperialists have openly embarked on "local war" and "special war" in Viet Nam and some other places, while preparing total war and nuclear war on a large scale.
Simultaneously with this, the U.S. imperialists resort to a new form of cold war to encourage "liberalization" and "democratic development" in certain countries, while running wild to bribe and make a cat's-paw of the cowards within the ranks of the working-class movement who are afraid of revolution. They clamour for the "most favoured nation" treatment and the expansion of the "East-West contact and interchange" and, with this as a means, seek to infiltrate their reactionary ideology and culture to degrade the peoples ideologically, hamper economic development and thus undermine those countries from within. The imperialists are carrying out sabotage and subversive intrigues to tear the newly- independent states away from the anti-imperialist front one by one. While resorting to force overtly, they penetrate into the newly-independent countries with "aid" as a bait and meddle in their internal affairs. The U.S. imperialists whip together the right-wing reactionaries and pit them against the progressive forces, and seek to sway certain newly-independent countries to the road of counter-revolution.
Namely, wielding an olive branch in one hand and arrows in the other, the U.S. imperialists manoeuvre to swallow up the revolutionary countries one by one through armed aggression and subvert the ideologically weak countries through ideological and cultural aggression, combining nuclear blackmail with "peaceful penetration" and repression with appeasement and deception.
The peoples of the whole world should maintain sharpest vigilance against such intrigues and manoeuvres by U.S. imperialism and should be fully prepared to counter enemy's possible aggression of all forms.
In order to develop the anti-imperialist, anti-U.S. struggle vigorously, it is important to cement to the maximum the militant unity of all areas, all countries, all parties, all people and all forces opposing imperialism.
The revolutionary struggles of the Asian, African and Latin American peoples go on closely linked with each other for the community of their desires and aspirations. When Latin America groans under imperialist yoke, the Asian and African peoples cannot live in peace and when U.S. imperialism collapses in the Asian and African areas, a favourable phase will be created for the national-liberation movement of the Latin American peoples, too. The militant unity and close ties of the Asian, African and Latin American peoples will multiply the anti-imperialist, anti-U.S. revolutionary forces several times, scores of times and will become an invincible force which can frustrate successfully the aggression of the imperialists and the united front of international reaction. Therefore, the peoples in all regions where U.S. imperialism is entrenched should pool their strength and strike it hard.
In Asia, Africa and Latin America there are socialist and neutral countries, and big and small countries. All these countries except the puppet regimes of the imperialists and their satellite states constitute anti-imperialist, anti-U.S. forces. Despite the differences of state socio-political systems, political views and religious beliefs, the peoples of the countries in these areas, as the oppressed nations who were suppressed and exploited by the imperialists and colonialists, have the common goal and aspiration to achieve national independence and national prosperity against imperialism and old and new colonialism. The differences of state socio-political systems, political views or religious beliefs can by no means be an obstacle in the way of joint struggle against U.S. imperialism. All countries should form an anti-imperialist united front and take anti-U.S. joint action to crush the common enemy and attain the common goal.
True, there may be various categories of people among those who oppose imperialism. Some may be active against imperialism, others may vacillate in the anti-imperialist struggle, and still others may join in the anti-imperialist struggle reluctantly under the pressure from their own people and the peoples of the world. But, whatever their motives, it is necessary to enlist all these forces except the henchmen of imperialism in the anti-U.S. joint struggle. If more forces, though inconsistent and unsteady, are drawn into the anti-U.S. joint struggle to isolate U.S. imperialism to the largest possible extent and deal blows to it by joint action, that will be a good thing and by no means a bad thing. Those who avoid the anti-imperialist struggle should be induced to turn out in the struggle against imperialism and those who are passive encouraged to be positive in the anti-imperialist struggle. To split the anti-U.S. united front or reject the anti-U.S. joint action will only bring a serious consequence of weakening the anti-imperialist, anti-U.S. struggle.
To fight down U.S. imperialism, all countries, big and small, should strike blows at U.S. imperialism. Particularly important here is that small countries in Asia, Africa and Latin America should give up flunkeyism tended to rely on big powers and take an active part in the anti-U.S. struggle. It is wrong to think that U.S. imperialism cannot be beaten down unless big countries fight it. It would be better certainly if big countries join small countries in fighting against U.S. imperialism. That is why small countries should endeavour to unite with big countries. But, this is by no means to say that no country, unless it is big, can fight and defeat U.S. imperialism. It is too obvious that one cannot make revolution if he depends on big countries and sits idle and that others cannot make revolution for him. Even small countries can defeat big enemy, once they establish Juche, unite the masses of the people and valiantly rise in battle despite sacrifice. This is a very plain truth of our times which has been borne out by actual life.
The experience of the Korean war proved this truth, and the triumph of the Cuban Revolution and the heroic war of resistance of the Vietnamese people against U.S. imperialism and for national salvation have proved this truth.
Moreover, when many countries, though small, pool their strength to fight imperialism, the peoples will be able to beat the enemy however strong he may be, with a decisively overwhelming force. The peoples of the countries making revolution should join efforts to tear left and right arms from U.S, imperialism, tear off its left and right legs and behead it eventually everywhere it stretches out its crooked hands of aggression. The U.S. imperialists are bluffing now, but when the revolutionary peoples of the world join in mutilating them, the U.S. imperialists will become impotent and bite the dust in the end. We small nations should unite and counter the strategy of U.S. imperialism to swallow us up one by one, each chopping off its head and limbs. Such, it can be said, is the strategy of struggle for small countries to defeat U.S. imperialism.
The Korean people have fought against the occupation of South Korea by the U.S. imperialists and for the unification of the country for more than 20 years. The Korean Revolution is part of the international revolutionary movement, and the revolutionary/struggle of the Korean people is developing amid the joint struggle of the peoples of the whole world for peace and democracy, for national independence and socialism. The Korean people are fighting to accomplish their cause of national liberation and, at the same time, are doing everything in their power to accelerate the advancement of the international revolutionary movement as a whole. Our people unite with all forces opposing U.S. imperialism and consistently support the peoples of all the countries in their struggle against U.S. imperialism. We regard it as an important factor in bringing victory to the Korean Revolution.
Imperialism is a moribund force whose days are numbered, whereas the liberation struggle of the peoples is a new force which aspires for the progress of mankind. There may be uncountable difficulties and obstacles and various turns and twists on the way of the liberation struggle of the peoples, but it is the inevitable law of the development of history that imperialism is doomed to ruin and the liberation struggle of the peoples is sure to be crowned with victory. Though the imperialists headed by U.S. imperialism are running amuck in an attempt to check the surging liberation struggle of the peoples, it is nothing but the death-bed tremor of those who are condemned to destruction. The more frenziedly the U.S. imperialists act, the more difficult their position becomes. U.S. imperialism is going downhill and confronted with the fate of a setting sun. The U.S. imperialists will definitely be forced out of Asia, Africa and Latin America by the liberation struggle of the peoples. The great anti-imperialist revolutionary cause of the Asian, African and Latin American peoples is invincible.