[Marxism] Vietnam's independence and the struggle today

Walter Lippmann walterlx at earthlink.net
Sun Apr 30 10:52:55 MDT 2006

Thirty one years ago today, Vietnam won the war against Washington.
It was just ten years since our first demonstrations against the
War in Vietnam held in Washington, DC, in April 1965. Just a few
thousand, mostly college students, came out for that protest demo.

58,000 U.S. soldiers died in the fruitless effort to keep Vietnam
within the U.S. capitalist world. As today a good deal fewer U.S.
soldiers have died in Washington's effort to occupy and subdue the
people of Iraq. The Vietnam syndrome is very much a part of the 
calculations Washington makes. That's why they don't want anyone
taking photographs of the body bags and coffins on their way back
to the United States today. 

I'll never forget that day! Watching it on television, seeing the
desperate collaborators trying to get on the last planes out of
Saigon (now Ho Chi Minh City!), and being abandoned to their fate
by their former paymasters. The U.S. took little responsibility 
for these people, though eventually they let some some of them
come to the United States. 

There's a small rightist colony of Vietnamese exiles in Orange County, 
Californiaa who fantasize an influence for themselves comparable to
that of their counter-revolutionary Cuban exile friends, but they've
had less luck. Once Washington decided to end its blockade of Vietnam,
they are reduced to trying to prevent Vietnamese government officials
from visiting Orange County. Vietnamese leaders come to Washington as
honored guests. Some U.S. business people, like Bill Gates and others
hope to and are making big bucks in Vietnam today. Some probably just
want to make money. Some perhaps hope that enough divisions can be
sown in Vietnam that its post-capitalist government can be finally
overthrown and complete capitalist freedom installed. We can see what
that looks like in today's Baghdad, Kabul and San Salvador, etc .

Nguyen Cao Ky, one of the last quisling leaders from South Vietnam
who came to the United States with whatever he could grab and also
to avoid facing legal responsibility for his collaboration activity,
has changed his tune and now supports normalization with his home
country. Times change, don't they...

Below is the first of what will be many reports in the Cuban media
in English on last night's nearly four-hour rally in the Revolution
Plaza in the island's capital city. I listened to a good deal of it
from my vantage point in Havana and wanted to make just a few short
comments. Evo Morales came to Cuba and signed agreements there to
join the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA) together
with his Cuban and Venezuelan counterparts. We've already sent out
the texts of the detailed documents which they signed. Together 
they represent a deepening of the continental integration process
which has been going on in Latin America by way of a recent series 
of initiatives including Petrocaribe, Telesur, the Latin American
Medical School in Havana, and numerous others. Washington's effort
to isolate and overthrow the Cuban Revolution, a project which has
been on its agenda for close to fifty years, is countered by many
forces, including the rise of revolutionary leaders to government
power in Venezuela and Bolivia, and of left- and the progressive-
minded governments through most of the rest of the continent, all
of which refuse to participate in Washington's blockade of Cuba.

In addition to the cultural presentation, the assembled thousands
listened to speeches by Evo Morales (first), Hugo Chavez (second),
and Fidel Castro on ALBA and the agreements they made during this
important summit. I saw an ABC television report on this which was
fairely straightforward for U.S. national TV. Wayne Smith explained
that Cuba's expanded oil production, from which Washington's policy
prevents U.S. corporations from participating, isn't due to anything
the Cubans themselves have done. Rather, he pointed to the increase
in the U.S. appetite for oil, and the price of that same oil, as a
key factor. The possibility that Washington might crazily attempt
a military strike against Iran has hightened the need for sources
of oil to satisfy the big hunger for oil in the wasteful society
which is sometimes mislabled "advanced" capitalism in the United
States. In Cuba they're trying to practice economic conservation
while trying to arrange a stable supply of energy to the people 
of the island. 

Venezuela's Hugo Chavez spoke second. His government has declared
strongly that it has no plans to stop sending oil to the United
States, whose companies have found it in their interest to work
with the Venezuelan government, rather than excluding themselves
from it. The crowd in Havana laughed good-naturedly when Chavez
referred to the three leaders present as "the father, the son and
the holy spirit". It's a delicious turn of phrase which Chavez
used more than once last night.

Fidel spoke longer and covered a wide range of topics which I'm 
not going to try to summarize here. The rally went on for about
four hours. He did spend a good deal of time exposing Washington's
hypocritical accusations of terrorist links by Venezuela, Iran and
North Korea while it coddles people like Posada Carriles and keeps
the Cuban Five imprisoned for their efforts to monitor terrorist
activities directed against the island from their sanctuary in
Miami. This has become a bit more difficult in the post 9/11 era
we live in, but Washington is doing its best to continue coddling
these elements, as Fidel pointed out. He spent a good deal of his
remarks discussing U.S. intelligence chief John Negroponte's big
supposedly anti-terrorist apparatus, commenting on its inability
to do anything about Posada.

The world is rather different today with the Soviet Union, a major 
obstacle to Washington's dreams and plans for world dominiation 
broken up, but resistance to Washington today has taken new and 
different forms. Hundreds of thousands marched against the Iraq
occupation yesterday in New York. Millions will march tomorrow in
what will certainly be the greatest May Day mobilization in the
entire history of the United States of America. 

The rise of the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA), 
along with others from Telesur, Petrocaribe, the Latin American 
Medical School and so many others demonstrate that the peoples 
of the world want a better world, are are very actively taking 
steps to bring one about. Continental integration here in the
Western Hemisphere is but one of the ways the struggle today is
definitely continuing. 

Walter Lippmann, CubaNews

Joint Actions in the ALBA Framework Announced

Havana, Apr 30 (Prensa Latina) Cuba, Venezuela and Bolivia will
jointly develop mutual activities as a result of the agreements
signed in this capital, in the framework of the Bolivarian
Alternative for the Americas (ALBA)

In a joint effort to support Bolivia, which is now the youngest
member country of ALBA, Havana and Caracas agreed on Saturday to
immediately remove duties or any type of no-tax barrier to imports
coming from La Paz.

Likewise, Cuba and Venezuela guaranteed La Paz the purchase of
amounts of oily, agricultural, and industrial products that could not
be sold in the market as a result of the Free Trade Agreements
boosted by the US and the European governments.

Havana and Caracas will also offer their financial, technical, and
human collaboration for creating a Bolivian State's airline, as well
as organizing sports events.

The governments of Cuba and Venezuela agreed to promote the necessary
actions to help in the fair demand for the cancellation of the
Bolivian foreign debt, which is a serious obstacle in the anti
poverty and inequality fight.


Chavez Slams LA Leaders´ Alignment with US

Havana, Apr 30 (Prensa Latina) Venezuela's President Hugo Chavez has
slammed the alignment of Peruvian President Alejandro Toledo and
presidential candidate Alan Garcia with the US government.

Addressing the press in Havana on Saturday on the occasion of
Bolivia's joining to the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas
(ALBA), Chavez faced up again the recent verbal aggressions made by
Garcia, who is the Peruvian APRA party's presidential candidate.

Chavez accused the controversial APRA leader of being a candidate of
the US Empire and assured that Garcia and Toledo is the same kettle
of fish.

The Venezuelan president referred a note of protest sent by the
Peruvian government to his country for responding to Garcia's recent

"Garcia called me shameless and I had told nothing to that gentleman,
not even mentioned his name, but as the Peruvian oligarchy and US'
candidate Lourdes Flores did not pass to the second round, now Garcia
is assuming the Empire's candidacy", said Chavez.

The Bolivarian leader said that the White House surely read Garcia
the riot act and told him that the first thing he should do is to
attack Hugo Chavez, Evo Morales and Fidel Castro.


Morales: Time to Free Latin America

Havana, Apr 30 (Prensa Latina) Bolivian President Evo Morales has
urged Latin American peoples and governments to defend unity above
sector or regional interests while saying it is time to set the
region free.

Before over 25,000 people at Havana´s Revolution Square, Morales
slammed administrations such the US and oligarchies that sack Latin
American nations and are far from integration goals.

He hailed his country´s adhesion to the implementation of the
Bolivarian Alternative for Latin American and the Caribbean, on the
occasion of the first anniversary on Saturday of that deal´s signing
between his Cuban and Venezuelan counterparts Fidel Castro and Hugo
Chavez, respectevely.

The statesman asserted that such agreements, including the Peoples
Trade Agreements, benefited Bolivian and American indigenous peoples,
historically marginalized, looked down, humiliated and politically
and culturally excluded.

The Andean dignitary stated that once in office he aims at changing
the horrible exploitation and plundering history of natural


Juventud Rebelde's detailed report on Fidel's speech (Spanish)

A Granma report for Spanish-speakers

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