Imperialist squeeze

BILL CLINTON has announced the formal opening of full diplomatic relations between Vietnam and the US, 22 years after the last US troops pulled out. He reassured the masses in Vietnam that this measure would “extend the reach of freedom.”

While I would like to see this as an entirely pragmatic move by the Vietnamese Communist Party, based upon the recognition that going it alone is a non-starter for the future of socialism and providing a sort of breathing space for the masses, communist honesty forbids such a rose-tinted view. 

I cannot but help feel that a large degree of opportunism and diplomatic internationalism lies behind the recent actions of the Vietnamese Party. For instance, the United States has been exerting great pressure on Vietnam over the ‘missing in action’ American troops, bending over backwards to please the US and participate in the charade of locating bodies, which are almost certainly imaginary. The question is: what will the US offer in return?

In a similar move, the US administration has announced its intention to “normalise” trade with Cuba. This will prove to be the kiss of death for Cuba, as the imperialist dollar will slowly squeeze the life out of the revolution. Tragically for the Cuban revolution, the path of North Korean style ‘self-reliance’ is no option either, as it would lead to its ossification, freezing it in time.

Diplomatic manoeuvres, while obviously a legitimate tactic, will not be able to save Cuba or Vietnam. Only proletarian revolution in the advanced Western capitalist states can guarantee the future of the Cuban and Vietnamese revolutions, and create the conditions for socialism and genuine mass democracy.

Eddie Ford