World Communist Summit

May 28, 1969

Report Outline
Communist Resistance to Soviet Hegemony
History of Marxist Struggle for Unity
Perspectives of International Communism

Communist Resistance to Soviet Hegemony

Opposition to the Communist Summit in Moscow

The communist parties scheduled to meet in Moscow on June 5 will face the challenge of an unprecedented crisis. Never has the split between Chinese and Russian Communists appeared as irreconcilable; never have the divergences between ruling as well as non-ruling Communist parties run deeper. Peking, perhaps in an effort to divert attention from the Moscow congress, agreed that the joint Sino-Soviet commission for navigation of the Amur and Ussuri rivers should meet on June 18 at the Siberian city of Khabarovsk. However, the Chinese simultaneously expressed grave doubts about Moscow's sincerity in proposing these talks.

Although the Russian organizers of the world Communist conference claimed that the “overwhelming majority” of Communist parties favored the meeting, the fact is that six of the parties in power in their own countries are unlikely to be represented. They are the parties in Albania, China, Cuba, North Korea, North Viet Nam, and Yugoslavia. In the global tally of more than 100 Communist parties (including splinter groups affiliated either with the Chinese or the Russians) about 65 support the Soviet Union in its doctrinal struggle with the Chinese. Anxious to build up further support, the Kremlin dispatched President Nikolai Podgorny on a good-will mission to North Korea and Mongolia before the opening of the conference. However, when Podgorny left North Korea for Mongolia on May 19, there was no indication that Pyongyang had been persuaded to send a representative to the Moscow conference.

Opposition to the summit meeting is based on the belief that at best it can only envenom the relations among Communist states and that at worst it could lead to excommunication of Red China and restoration of Moscow as the one and only true standard-bearer of the faith. Even among the parties supporting Moscow there are numerous dissenters who protested the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, who have criticized the internal economic and political development of the Soviet Union, or who are staking out independent positions to safeguard their own sovereignty.

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