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(18) Exporting revolutions(2)

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During the Cultural Revolution, the CCP often quoted a slogan by Karl Marx: “The proletariat can liberate itself only by liberating all of humanity.” The CCP preaches world revolution. In the 1960s, the former Soviet Union was going through a period of contraction and was forced to promote an ideological line of retrenching efforts at external revolution. The goal became to peacefully coexist with Western capitalist countries and provide less support to Third World revolutionary movements.

The CCP called this policy “revisionism.” In the early 1960s, CCP Ambassador to the Soviet Union Wang Jiaxiang made a similar proposal but was criticized by Mao as being too friendly to the imperialists, revisionists, and reactionaries, and not supportive enough of the world revolutionary movement. Therefore, in addition to exporting revolution to Asia, Mao also competed with the Soviet Union in Africa and Latin America.

In August 1965, CCP Minister of National Defense Lin Biao claimed in his article “Long Live the Victory of the People’s War!” that a high tide in world revolution was imminent. According to Mao’s theory of “encircling the cities from rural areas” (which is how the CCP seized power in China), the article compares North America and Western Europe to cities and imagines Asia, Africa, and Latin America as rural areas. Therefore, exporting revolution to Asia, Africa, and Latin America became an important political and ideological task for the CCP.


Professor Cheng Yinghong of the University of Delaware wrote the following in his article “Exporting Revolution to the World: An Exploratory Analysis of the Influence of the Cultural Revolution in Asia, Africa, and Latin America”:

In Latin America, Maoist communists in the mid-1960s established organizations in Brazil, Peru, Bolivia, Colombia, Chile, Venezuela, and Ecuador. The main members were young people and students. With the support of China, in 1967 Maoists in Latin America established two guerrilla groups: The Popular Liberation Army of Colombia[, which] included a female company that mimicked the Red Detachment of Women and was called the María Cano Unit[, and] Bolivia’s Ńancahuazú Guerrilla, or National Liberation Army of Bolivia. Some communists in Venezuela also launched armed violence actions in the same period.

In addition, the left leader of the Peruvian Communist Party, Abimael Guzmán, was trained in Beijing in the late 1960s. Apart from studying explosives and firearms, more importantly was his grasping of Mao Zedong Thought, particularly ideas of “the spirit transforming to matter,” and that with the correct route, one can go from “not having personnel to having personnel; not having guns to having guns,” and other mantras of the Cultural Revolution.

Guzmán was the leader of the Peruvian Communist Party (also known as the “Shining Path”), which was identified by the U.S., Canadian, EU, and Peruvian governments as a terrorist organization.

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The leader of the Peruvian Communist Party, Ernesto ‘CHE” Guevara, is greeted by Communist Chinese officials including Mao Zedong on his arrival in Beijing in November of 1960.

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CONGO – DECEMBER 01: Two Congolese soldiers reading President MAO’s LITTLE RED BOOK in December 1966, distributed in Africa by Chinese Communists. (Photo by Keystone-France/Gamma-Keystone via Getty Images)

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