The following “Reflection” by Fidel Castro, “History Cannot Be Ignored”, is from Granma International:
The 60th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China was commemorated this past October 1.
On that historic day in 1949, Mao Zedong, as leader of the Communist Party of China, presided over the first parade of the People’s Army and the people of China in Tiananmen Square. The victorious soldiers bore the arms seized in combat from invaders, oligarchies and traitors to their homeland.
At the end of World War II, the United States, one of the countries that suffered the lowest material losses in the battle, had a monopoly of nuclear weapons, and more than 80% of the world’s gold, and enjoyed considerable industrial and agricultural development.
The victorious Revolution in a country as immense as China, in 1949, nourished the hopes of a large number of colonized countries, many of which lost no time in shaking off the imposed yoke.
Lenin had foreseen the imperialist stage of developed capitalism and the role that corresponded in world history to the struggle of the colonized countries. The triumph of the Chinese Revolution confirmed that foresight.
The People’s Republic of Korea was created in the year 1948. Representatives of the USSR, which gave more than 20 million lives to the battle against fascism; those of the People’s Republic of Korea, which had been occupied by Japan; and Vietnamese combatants who, after fighting against the Japanese, heroically stood up to the French attempt to re-colonize Vietnam with the backing of the United States, were all present at the first commemoration of the Chinese victory.
Nobody imagined then that, less than four years after that memorable date, without any link other than that of ideas, the assault on the Moncada Garrison would take place in distant Cuba on July 26, 1953 and that, barely nine years after the liberation of China, the Cuban Revolution would triumph 90 miles from the imperialist metropolis.
It is in the light of these events that I observed with particular interest the commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the Chinese Revolution. Our friendship with that country of millenary culture, the oldest civilization known to humanity, is well known.
In the 19th century, tens of thousands of Chinese citizens were sent to our country as semi-slaves, deceived by British merchants. Many of them joined the Liberation Army and fought for our independence. However, our links with China are based on the Marxist ideas that inspired the Cuban Revolution and were capable of passing the difficult tests posed by the division between the two great socialist states, which inflicted so much damage on the world revolutionary movement.
In the difficult days of the disappearance of the USSR, China, like Vietnam, Laos and Korea all maintained their fraternal relations of solidarity with Cuba. They were the only four countries that, together with Cuba, maintained the banners of socialism on high through the dark days when the United States, NATO, the [International] Monetary Fund and the World Bank were imposing neoliberalism and the plunder of the world.
History cannot be ignored. Despite the huge contribution of the people of China and the political and military strategy of Mao in the struggle against Japanese fascism, the United States ignored and isolated the government of the most inhabited country of the planet and deprived it of the right to participate in the United Nations Security Council; it interposed its squadron to prevent the liberation of Taiwan, an island that belongs to China; it backed and supplied the remnants of an army whose chief had betrayed all the agreements signed in the struggle against the Japanese invaders in the course of World War II. Taiwan received and still receives the most modern armaments of the U.S. military industry.
The United States not only deprived China of its legitimate rights: it intervened in Korea’s internal conflict, sending in its forces which, heading a military coalition, advanced defiantly toward the proximities of the vital points of that great country, and threatened to deploy nuclear weapons against China, whose people contributed so much to the defeat of Japan.
The Party and the heroic people of China did not hesitate in the face of the gross threats. In an energetic counterattack, hundreds of thousands of volunteer Chinese combatants forced the yanki forces to retreat to the current limits of the two Koreas. Hundreds of thousands of valiant Chinese internationalist fighters and a similar number of Korean patriots died or were wounded in that bloody war. Later on the yanki empire killed millions of Vietnamese.
On October 1, 1949, on proclaiming the People’s Republic, China did not possess nuclear weapons or the advanced military technology that it now possesses and with which it is not threatening any other country.
What would the West say now? The corporate media of the United States was, in general, hostile. Its principal print media headed their editorials with phrases like: “…little interest in ideology,” “…a show of strength,” “Communist China celebrates 60 years with a military show.”
However, it was impossible to ignore the fight. The idea was reiterated via all the media that it was a show of strength. The news was above all centered on footage of the military parade.
They did not conceal their admiration for the wide coverage of the parade that Chinese television offered international public opinion.
It did not pass unnoticed, but was rather a motive for surprise, that China should have presented 52 new types of armaments, including the latest generation of combat tanks, amphibious vehicles, radars, reconnaissance aircraft and sophisticated communication systems.
The press highlighted the presence of DF-31 intercontinental missiles, capable of striking targets located at a distance of 10,000 kilometers with nuclear warheads, as well as medium-reach missiles and anti-missile defenses.
The 151 hunter aircraft, the heavy bombers, modern means of aerial observation and helicopters surprised avid news seekers and military technicians. “The Chinese army now possesses the majority of the sophisticated weapons that make up the arsenals of the Western countries,” read a statement from the Chinese Ministry of Defense, which the Western press echoed.
The 500 armored tanks and the 60 armored cars that paraded past the mausoleum made a profound impact.
The advanced technology was irrefutable evidence of the developed military capacity, which started from zero a few decades ago. What was unsurpassable was the human factor. No developed Western country could have reached the level of precision and organization demonstrated by China that day. With a certain disdain, there was talk of officers and soldiers marching at 115 goosesteps per minute.
The distinct forces that paraded there, men and women, did so with unsurpassable bearing and elegance. Anybody could have refused to believe that thousands of human beings were capable of achieving such perfect organization. Both those marching on foot and those parading in their vehicles passed before the tribunal and saluted with a precision, order and martialism hard to attain.
While those qualities would seem to have been the fruit of military discipline and the rigor of practices, more than 150,000 citizens from the enormous human beehive of civilians – in their majority young men and women – surprised everyone by their ability to achieve en masse the level of organization and perfection attained by their armed compatriots.
The beginning of the commemoration, and the saluting of the troops by the head of state and general secretary of the Communist Party, was an impressive ceremony. One could appreciate a tremendous identification between the leadership and the people.
Hu Jintao’s speech was brief and precise. In just under 10 minutes he expressed many ideas. That day he surpassed Barack Obama in the capacity for synthesis. When he talks he represents a population almost five times greater than that of the president of the United States. He does not have to close down torture centers, he is not at war with any other state, he is not sending his soldiers more than 10,000 kilometers away to intervene and kill with sophisticated military means, he does not possess hundreds of military bases in other countries or powerful fleets plowing through all the oceans; he does not owe trillions of dollars and, in the midst of a colossal financial crisis, he is offering the world the cooperation of a country whose economy is not in recession and is growing at an elevated rate.
Essential ideas transmitted by the president of China:
“On this day 60 years ago, after more than one hundred years of bloody battles waged since the beginning of contemporary history, the Chinese people finally achieved the great victory of the Chinese revolution and President Mao Zedong proclaimed, in this very spot, the founding of the People’s Republic of China which, from then allowed the Chinese people to stand up and the Chinese nation, which has a history of civilization dating back more than 5,000 years, to enter a new era of development and progress.”
“The development and progress achieved during the 60 years of the New China has fully demonstrated that only socialism can save China and that only reform and openings can permit the development of China, of socialism and of Marxism. The Chinese people have the confidence and the ability to construct their country well and make their due contributions to the world.”
“We firmly adhere to the principles of peaceful reunification…”
“…We shall continue working, alongside the diverse peoples of the world, to promote the noble cause of peace and the development of humanity and the construction of a harmonious world based on lasting peace and shared prosperity.”
“History has shown us that the road of advances is never smooth, but that a united people who take their destiny into their own hands will overcome, without any doubt whatsoever, all difficulties, continuously creating great historic feats.”
They are lapidary responses to the bellicose and threatening policy of the empire.
Fidel Castro Ruz
October 6, 2009
Translated by Granma International