Research Note on Djibouti & military bases

Djibouti’s geostrategic location 

With a small population of under a million, located between Somalia, Eritrea, and Yemen, Djibouti occupies a strategic location adjacent to the Bab el Mandab Strait, situated at the mouth of the Red Sea, which is a critical corridor for international shipping.

Djibouti is the third smallest country on the continent’s mainland, but given its geographic  location it is easy to see why the US, France, Great Britain, Japan, and Saudi Arabia and China, agree that Djibouti is the place to be. It is little known that the only Japanese military base in the entire world is located in Djibouti City. This tiny African port state hosts military bases belonging to Italy, France, the United States, China, and Saudi Arabia at a very little distance from one another. Russia and India too have strong interests in setting up military bases there.

Power projection

Yet much of the international discourse about Djibouti focuses on its relationship with China. The spectre of Chinese hegemony is raised in a scenario whereby China is described as operating at an advantageous position in Djibouti because of deep economic ties and financing infrastructure projects. And then this is extended by strategists into part of a push for great power dominance.

Western analysis emphasises the perspective of strategic manoeuvring from China secured by major investment projects in Djibouti. The infrastructure projects include the Djibouti-Ethiopia Railway project, Djibouti-Ethiopia Water pipeline, and it is stressed, importantly the Chinese-operated Dolareh port. The importance of the port is said to be, not only does it boost the Chinese Belt and Road initiative but also its military goals in the region. 

As summarised by France24:

“In many ways the relationship between Djibouti and China is a case study in how Beijing is using its global infrastructure investment strategy, the Belt and Road Initiative, to aggrandise its economic influence and strengthen its position as the top investor in Africa – a major geopolitical priority, with its booming economies and populations.”

The Chinese People’s Liberation Army Support Base is located by the Port of Doraleh to the west of Djibouti City. The base was formally opened on August 1, 2017. It is designated a supply centre for their peacekeeping and humanitarian missions in the region.

To the south of the city are several, more substantial, foreign military bases, including :

Camp Lemonnier, a former military base established as a garrison for the French foreign Legion, is a Naval Expeditionary Base, situated next to Djibouti–Ambouli International Airport in Djibouti City. It is the largest American permanent military base in Africa on a lease that ends in 2044. Camp Lemonnier is home to more than 4,000 personnel – mostly part of the Combined Joint Task Force – Horn of Africa.  The US  hosts visiting British military personnel as well. 

The United States has established a second base at Chabelley Airfield for Drone operations since 2018. This has reduced aviation congestion at Lemonnier with conventional air force operations

Base Aerienne 188 (French Air Force). France, former colonial power over Djibouti, signed the 2011 Defence cooperation treaty that sets out the operational facilities granted to stationed French forces, which make up Frances largest military base abroad with some 1,450 troops, warships, aircraft and armoured vehicles in Djibouti. France hosts German & Spanish military forces.

Since 2011 the Japan Self-Defense Force Base Djibouti has 1,200 troops and is situated next to Camp Lemonnier. Japan’s Djibouti base is dedicated to curbing piracy, but also imports the Indo-Pacific power rivalry to the Gulf of Aden and the western Indian Ocean. A decade later, the pirates have been largely defeated, but Tokyo intends to expand its Djibouti base.

 Italy’s establishment of a Djibouti base came at the same time as the launch of the European Union Naval Force (or Operation Atalanta) to protect vessels from armed piracy at sea off the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean. This infrastructure is the first real operational logistic base of the Italian armed forces outside the national borders and has approximately 300 personnel.

Sunni Arab states like Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, who are concerned about the expanding influence of the Shiite-led Iran, have been taking an interest in Djibouti as a base to prosecute their war in Yemen. Djibouti is a longstanding ally of Saudi Arabia. In 2016, it followed Riyadh’s lead and severed relations with Tehran. Djibouti is also a member of the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen. The alliance launched a military intervention in Yemen in 2015 to support the country’s internationally recognized government and fight the Iranian-backed Yemeni rebels, the Houthis (also known as the Ansarullah movement).

The UAE already has military bases in Eritrea and Somaliland, an autonomous region of Somalia that has yet to achieve international recognition. Saudi Arabia and the UAE’s rival Turkey – a key ally of Qatar – has its biggest overseas military base in Somalia’s Mogadishu where more than 10,000 Somali soldiers receive training. 

India, as an alternative to Indian military presence in Djibouti, has secured strategic military bases in Oman, Singapore and Seychelles. It maintains a twin track strategy working on options for securing a military base of operations in Djibouti and Japan and India are discussing India’s use of Japanese military facilities in Djibouti.

Benefits?

So far, the land lease business to international players for these foreign bases both provide income and it is argued a degree of protection from external aggression.

 The United States pays $63 million annually for ten-year lease on its base, while the Chinese reported to be paying $20 million a year besides the billions they are investing in building a railway, a port, an industrial park, and banks.

With very little in the way of natural resources or human capital, Djibouti’s government “has spared no effort to translate geopolitical fortune into commercial and political advantage,” says Matthew Bryden, the director of the think tank Sahan Research. There is an unproven argument raised that in the case of Djibouti, the leasing of multiple bases can be presented as a sign of skilful foreign policy.

“The aim is clear: Like Singapore, harness its unique geography astride a major commercial shipping route to become a global logistics, services, and trans-shipment hub in a world shifting toward Asia and the Indo-Pacific.”

Who can view Djibouti’s economic policy prospects of emerging as an important commercial hub in the Horn of Africa positively? While Djibouti handles an estimated 90% of landlocked Ethiopia’s maritime trade, and the foreign bases seen the form of cash, infrastructure, and economic opportunities arise from a very dependent and unsustainable economic model of development unless investment in an internal economic structure and activity is a priority.

Djibouti could be walking a fine line between neutrality and opportunism, says analysts. A dispute with the Dubai-based DP World pushed the UAE to fund ports and military bases in both Eritrea and Somaliland. After Djibouti reduced its diplomatic status with Qatar, the latter removed its peacekeeping forces from the Djibouti-Eritrea border, raising tensions of a renewed border dispute. And with the arrival of the Chinese, any friction with Western powers who are just a few miles away from each other might test the limits of Djiboutian diplomacy.”

Hosting military bases of different flags can pose a threat to the country’s ability to make independent decisions on political, economic, and social policies. The various – and sometimes conflicting – interests of international actors may influence the policy-making processes.

The western emphasis on China’s role, ironically given their own neo-colonialist practices, points to a situation of such economic dependence that Djibouti “risks threatening its autonomy”.

Like any other developing nation, Djibouti’s capacity to act independently has already been limited and overshadowed by the economic international order dominated by a few rich countries. Dependency on foreign loans could provide a leverage for others to influence and intervene in the country’s various domestic and international affairs. There are plenty of precedents that global actors toil to redesign domestic political divisions in the country in order to bring their own loyal ruler to power.

Not that it gets much mainstream western media attention, the country risks becoming a “nest of spies” where the international powers based there can watch each other closely. This congestion might also lead to friction among these powers, turning Djibouti into an arena of great power contention. 

Content Listing

Floating around the internet is a 4 volume English language compilation entitled “The Collected Writings of the Communist Party of Peru 1968-1999” comprising some 1116 pages. A few are in Spanish. It has been seen in pdf and epub file format. Production wise it has some obscure last lines on various articles where the spacing and setting is off but the entries seem to be of released material from the CPP. No formal identification to its production is evident.

This contents listing is a research aid to the material.

Ho Chi Minh

The MLM publishing house, Foreign Language Press has embarked on producing a new three volume edition of the Selected Works of Ho Chi Minh. The first volume was made available in 2021.

In “The Path Which Led Me to Leninism” Ho Chi Minh describes the excitement of reading Lenin’s writings on colonialism (although the recollection comes from 1960, he is referring to his experiences in 1920).  Ho’s early writings attacks “the hydra of western capitalism” for “stretching its horrible tentacles towards all corners of the globe.” He accuses the French of hypocritically talking about a “civilizing mission” while bringing “misery, ruin, and death” to their colonies. He criticizes the French Socialist Party for silence in the face of these policies and applauds the Communist International for taking up the colonial question. As he explains, “Uncle Ho” embraced Leninism because it offered a “path to liberation” for the Vietnamese people. But there is more than nationalistic motive when Ho describes Leninism as “the radiant sun illuminating our path to final victory, to socialism and communism”.

Ho Chi Minh, real name Nguyen Tat Thanh (1890-1969), Vietnamese Communist leader and the principal force behind the Vietnamese struggle against French colonial rule. He came to symbolise Vietnam’s struggle for independence. His personal qualities of simplicity, integrity, and determination were widely admired, not only within Vietnam but elsewhere as well. In the struggle to complete the liberation of Vietnam, Ho died before the withdrawal of US forces, and defeat of the Saigon regime it had bankrolled and militarily underpinned.  He died on September 2 at the age of seventy-nine.

The revolutionary internationalism and national liberation that motivated the commitment that this outstanding communist displayed throughout his life was evident in the commemorative issue of Vietnam magazine that marked his funeral in 1969.

Bank Holiday fun : Pub crawl with Karl

Wilhelm Liebknecht (1826-1900) participated in the Paris rising of 1848 and was subsequently gaoled in Switzerland for his part in a republican revolt before being exiled to Britain in 1850.

There he met Karl Marx, becoming a family friend, sharing country walks and trips to Hampstead Heath. As his recollection of one raucous evening on Tottenham Court Road reveals, Marx and Liebknecht also enjoyed a drink.

Liebknecht returned to Germany in 1862, becoming a leading figure in the new German Social-Democratic Party and member of the Reichstag.

One evening, Edgar Bauer, acquainted with Marx from their Berlin time and then not yet his personal enemy […], had come to town from his hermitage in Highgate for the purpose of “making a beer trip.” The problem was to “take something” in every saloon between Oxford Street and Hampstead Road – making the something a very difficult task, even by confining yourself to a minimum, considering the enormous number of saloons in that part of the city. But we went to work undaunted and managed to reach the end of Tottenham Court Road without accident.

There loud singing issued from a public house; we entered and learned that a club of Odd Fellows were celebrating a festival. We met some of the men belonging to the “party,” and they at once invited us “foreigners” with truly English hospitality to go with them into one of the rooms. We followed them in the best of spirits, and the conversation naturally turned to politics – we had been easily recognised as Germany fugitives; and the Englishmen, good old-fashioned people, who wanted to amuse us a little, considered it their duty to revile thoroughly the German princes and the Russian nobles. By “Russian” they meant Prussian nobles. Russia and Prussia are frequently confounded in England, and not alone of account of their similarity of name. For a while, everything went smoothly. We had to drink many healths and to bring out and listen to many a toast.

Then the unexpected suddenly happened…

Edgar Bauer, hurt by some chance remark, turned the tables and ridiculed the English snobs. Marx launched an enthusiastic eulogy on German science and music – no other country, he said, would have been capable of producing such masters of music as Beethoven, Mozart, Haendel and Haydn, and the Englishmen who had no music were in reality far below the Germans who had been prevented hitherto only by the miserable political and economic conditions from accomplishing any great practical work, but who would yet outclass all other nations. So fluently I have never heard him speak English.

For my part, I demonstrated in drastic words that the political conditions in England were not a bit better than in Germany [… ] the only difference being that we Germans knew our public affairs were miserable, while the Englishmen did not know it, whence it were apparent that we surpassed the Englishmen in political intelligence.

The brows of our hosts began to cloud […]; and when Edgar Bauer brought up still heavier guns and began to allude to the English cant, then a low “damned foreigners!” issued from the company, soon followed by louder repetitions. Threatening words were spoken, the brains began to be heated, fists were brandished in the air and – we were sensible enough to choose the better part of valor and managed to effect, not wholly without difficulty, a passably dignified retreat.

Now we had enough of our “beer trip” for the time being, and in order to cool our heated blood, we started on a double quick march, until Edgar Bauer stumbled over some paving stones. “Hurrah, an idea!” And in memory of mad student pranks he picked up a stone, and Clash! Clatter! a gas lantern went flying into splinters. Nonsense is contagious – Marx and I did not stay behind, and we broke four or five street lamps – it was, perhaps, 2 o’clock in the morning and the streets were deserted in consequence. But the noise nevertheless attracted the attention of a policeman who with quick resolution gave the signal to his colleagues on the same beat. And immediately countersignals were given. The position became critical.

Happily we took in the situation at a glance; and happily we knew the locality. We raced ahead, three or four policemen some distance behind us. Marx showed an activity that I should not have attributed to him. And after the wild chase had lasted some minutes, we succeeded in turning into a side street and there running through an alley – a back yard between two streets – whence we came behind the policemen who lost the trail. Now we were safe. They did not have our description and we arrived at our homes without further adventures.

This account is from the book Karl Marx: Biographical Memoirs. written by Wilhelm Liebknecht some 40 years after the event. First German edition, Nuremberg, 1896; first English translation (by E Untermann), 1901. Reprinted by Journeyman Press, London, 1975.

Post-it note news items

  1. New Australian Communist Blog Founded

May 2022

The appearance of a new Australian Maoist blog, The Waterhole was welcomed by the Swiss publication, The Red Flag:

A new blog, under the title The Waterhole, has been founded by Australian Marxist-Leninist-Maoists. We call the attention of our readers to this new development in the international communist movement. In recent months, new anti-revisionist organisations and websites have been formed in Germany, the USA and Australia, which shows the advances being made in the struggle of the communists of the world against the dogmato-revisionist trend.

On their blog, the Australian colleagues write:

The Waterhole is a Communist blog. Its audience is the Australian revolutionary movement, and it aims to serve the interests of the multinational proletariat and the Aboriginal nations in their struggles against Australian imperialism. It is completely opposed to the revisionist parties that dominate the Australian revolutionary movement. We believe the primary task of the Communists in this country is to establish a Red Faction capable of analysing Australian society and preparing for the refounding of the Communist Party of Australia. We believe that only through a revolutionary war against Australian imperialism will the multinational proletariat, the Aboriginal nations, and all who are oppressed, ever achieve peace and freedom.

We whole-heartedly greet the efforts of the Australian colleagues to struggle for the formation of such a Red Faction and for the refounding of the Communist Party of Australia. We have no doubt that all the pebbles on the path of the Australian revolution shall be crushed and that our colleagues will fulfill their goals.

The blog of the Australian colleagues can be found here: https://thewaterholeaus.wordpress.com/

DEATH TO REVISIONISM! UNITE UNDER MAOISM!

Switzerland, May 2022
EDITORIAL BOARD THE RED FLAG

  • Long Live Red May Day

The Waterhole reproduced “Long Live Red May Day “ , the joint international declaration released by many Marxist-Leninist-Maoist parties across the world stating ”It represents a positive development towards a new Communist International.” It was originally published by Maoist Road at maoistroad.blogspot.com

Signatories

Communist Party of India (Maoist)

Communist Party of Turkey/Marxist-Leninist

Construction Committee of the Maoist Communist Party of Galicia

Maoist Communist Party – Italy

Communist Party of Nepal (Revolutionary Maoist)

Communist (Maoist) Party of Afghanistan

Communist (Maoist) Party of Afghanistan – Shola Jawid

El Kadehines Party – Tunisia

Maoist Revolutionary League – Sry Lanka

Revolutionary Communists (RK) Norway

Revolutionary Collective Britain (Formerly RVM)

Red Road Maoist Group of Iran

Communist Party of Switzerland (RedFraction)

 Poder Proletario Organización Partidaria MLM Colombia

 Maoist Kommunist Party Turkey/NorthKurdistan

  •  Split on American blog

With nothing posted at https://struggle-sessions.com  since December 2021, this explanation was provided via the Swiss-based internet site, The Red Flag:

The dogmato-revisionist, White-chauvinist and patriarchal clique in the USA, which stood behind the blog Struggle Sessions and which was exposed time and again by revolutionaries in the USA and abroad, has been expelled from the U.S. Maoist movement. This is according to a document which was sent to us by U.S. supporters of the international communist movement.

In the light of these new developments in the struggle against dogmato-revisionism in the USA, we want to draw the attention of our readers to a new organisation which has emerged in the United States as a result of the struggle against opportunism — the Proletarian Feminist Research Group. In a recent statement, this group declared:

The threat of bourgeois co-optation of the women’s struggle takes two main forms:

1. That of the liberal-reformist response to out-and-out reaction, which has escalated its attacks on the democratic rights of women and transgender people; the liberal-reformist trend sees the solution to the oppression of women and transgender people to be found within the system of bourgeois democracy.

2. That of the revisionism which dominates the International Communist Movement, and whose backwards lines have crept unopposed into the Maoist tendency itself; this trend wears a variety of masks, but always fails to present a dialectical materialist approach to the women’s struggle or provide a proletarian class line capable of leading it, and thereby liquidates the vanguard role of communist politics.

We consequently see the urgent need for a theoretical intervention to disambiguate the correct line for the women’s and transgender struggles […].

We whole-heartedly greet this new and important advance in the struggle for proletarian feminism in the U.S. communist movement, which is necessarily part of the struggle for refounding the Communist Party of the USA on the basis of Marxism-Leninism-Maoism. This is an important blow against the patriarchal-chauvinist, dogmato-revisionist line in the USA, which used to be represented by the clique behind Struggle Sessions, and which is a specifically U.S. reflection of the dogmato-revisionist trend at the world level.

The U.S. colleagues further write:

We consequently see the urgent need for a theoretical intervention to disambiguate the correct line for the women’s and transgender struggles, and to oppose the wrong ideas which inform the mechanical-materialist, chauvinistic and petit-bourgeois postmodernist positions which have been taken up by a wide set of so-called Maoist groupments across the ICM (and which are exemplified by the German and Swiss milieus, respectively). We are also aware that variations upon these lines have become commonplace within other sectors of the Maoist tendency here in the so-called United States, especially in those groups concentrated around the Struggle Sessions leadership and the eclectics of the former MCP-OC.

The effort made here to take up the struggle against the German expression of the dogmato-revisionist trend, which was first initiated by the Swiss communists through their expulsion of the «Committee Red Flag» revisionists from Switzerland in 2020, is noteworthy. However, the colleagues make a mistake when they refer to the Swiss communist movement as having «petit-bourgeois postmodernist positions» on the women’s and queer questions. This assertion should be substantiated and developed in the form of a Marxist polemic concerning the position paper of the Swiss communists on the question, «Marxism and Queer Emancipation», and the U.S. colleagues should not refer to an opinion piece written by an individual supporter of the Swiss communist movement, which does not necessarily represent the line in formation of our movement. We hope that the U.S. colleagues will follow these claims up with an actual debate, so that these important questions of the General Political Line of the international communist movement can be resolved through struggle, and not through empty accusations and rumour-mongering.

We would welcome a polemic by the U.S. colleagues. We are not afraid of being proven wrong in a debate over these important questions, which must be solved in a scientific manner if the world revolution is to win victory; neither should the American colleagues be afraid of being proven wrong by us. The only correct policy for achieving the reunification of the international communist movement is to «Let a thousand flowers bloom, let a hundred schools of thought contend!». The old revisionist clique which was expelled from the U.S. communist movement always used opportunist tactics, such as empty phrases about «secrecy», spreading rumours behind closed doors, and refusing to establish secure lines of communications with us, in order to avoid engaging with our viewpoints. It is now time for the American colleagues to prove that they have truly broken with dogmato-revisionism by giving up on this sectarian practice and openly engaging in the struggle between the two lines in the international communist movement.

The blog of the American colleagues from the Proletarian Feminist Research Group can be found here: https://proletarianfeministresearchgroup.wordpress.com/

DEATH TO REVISIONISM! UNITE UNDER MAOISM!

Switzerland, May 2022
EDITORIAL BOARD THE RED FLAG

  • Intervention on the question of uniting under maoism

The Red Flag EDITORIAL BOARD has made an intervention, posting in February 2022, “a polemic against the dogmato-revisionist strategy put forward in the document “A Proposal Concerning the Balance and General Line of the International Communist Movement”.

The October Road Is the Only Path of the Socialist Revolution in the Imperialist Countries – The Red Flag (the-red-flag.org)

Another contribution posted online was an article discussing Mao Zedong’s final contribution to marxism — his thesis that “the bourgeoisie is right in the Communist Party” – titled, Once Again, Yanan

  • Status of Red Flag

As a result of the struggle between two lines in our Editorial Board, in January 2022,The Red Flag website was formally adopted as the organ of the Communist Party of Switzerland (Red Faction). It began in March 2021 as a revolutionary online news site, journal and marxist-leninist-maoist archive. It claims to represents the most consistently revolutionary journalism in Switzerland, its name from The Red Flag, the organ of the Communist Party of Switzerland for French-speaking Switzerland. The same name has been used by Communist Parties all over the world — from the Communist Party of Germany through the Communist Party of China to the Communist Party of Peru — and it thus represents an international revolutionary tradition to which we are proud to belong.

  • Name change in Spain

The American Tribune of the People website sough to inform its readers of developments with the Spanish Workers Party (Marxist-Leninist) by summarize and contextualize a statement by the Maoist Communist Party (PCM, Partido Comunista Maoista) of the Spanish State on the Second Congress of the Workers Party (Marxist-Leninist). An unofficial translation of the full document by David Martinez is available on the Marxist-Leninist-Maoist online newspaper, Communist International, here: Spanish State: Chronicle of the II Congress of the Maoist Communist Party

In early December, the Workers’ Party (Marxist-Leninist) [Partido (Marxista-Leninista) de los Trabajadores], a revolutionary organization based in the Spanish State, held their Second Congress. In January, the group released a report of the event which celebrated the important fact that the organization had voted to adopt Marxism-Leninism-Maoism as its guiding ideology and had taken the historic step of changing its name to the Maoist Communist Party (PCM, Partido Comunista Maoista).

The II Congress began by reading greetings from other proletarian organizations who sent their best wishes for a successful gathering, which the PCM appreciated, saying it “demonstrates the important work of international relations that we have been doing.”

The discussion of adopting Maoism, or Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, as the guiding ideology of the organization was the main debate of the Congress. Maoism is the third and higher stage of the proletarian ideology, developed since the time of Karl Marx, who theorized and defined Marxism in the mid 1800s through the rigorous study of philosophy, history, and human society, applying his ideas to the revolutionary movements of his era. Marxism was developed further by Vladimir Lenin, the leader of the Russian Revolution and Chairman Mao, the leader of the Chinese Revolution.

PCM say the Congress conducted “important ideological work that would allow the two-line struggle to emerge and the militancy to express itself freely to show its opinions, to evaluate the work of the outgoing Central Committee and to mark the future of the organization.”

As part of this meeting, PCM studied and assessed the International Communist Movement and “the organizations that have claimed to be Maoist. We have been formed by studying the TKP/ML [Turkish Communist Party/Marxist-Leninist -Ed.], the CPI (Maoist) [Communist Party of India (Maoist), -Ed.], the Communist Party of the Philippines… and, especially, the Communist Party of Peru [PCP, Partido Comunista del Perú, -Ed.].”

The PCM highlighted that, “It was the PCP who initiated the first people’s war after the death of Chairman Mao Tse Tung, and it was Chairman Gonzalo who synthesized Maoism as the third, new and higher stage. Our Party, together with Maoism, has assumed the universally valid contributions of Chairman Gonzalo, considering that they form an indispensable part of the proletarian ideology.”

Chairman Gonzalo is the leader of the PCP who was killed by the Peruvian State under the orders of US imperialism last September, after 29 years of imprisonment and torture. Through his application of Chairman Mao’s lessons to the People’s War in Peru, Gonzalo led the work to define Maoism and fought for it to become the ideology of the International Communist Movement. The PCM’s adoption of Maoism is yet another advance for the ideology and for the World Proletarian Revolution, and a testament to Gonzalo’s immortal leadership.

The PCM focused on studying the question of Protracted People’s War, Mao’s proletarian military strategy developed during the Chinese Revolution. PCM said, “we have decided to assume the Protracted People’s War as the universal method for the seizure of power. We are fully aware that this is only a declaration of intentions, therefore we have to study and learn about its materialization and development in imperialist countries.”

The question of nations is an important one in the Spanish State, where multiple national struggles have been waged against Spanish Imperialism. At the Congress, PCM established in their analysis, “that in the Spanish State there are four nations, the Spanish, the Catalan, the Basque and the Galician. This leads us consistently to defend the right of self-determination of the nations.”

“The mass line has played a particularly relevant role in the Congress,” the PCM said. The mass line is another of Chairman Mao’s immense contributions to revolutionary theory, which establishes that the masses are the makers of history, and revolutionaries must draw their ideas from the masses, evaluate these ideas through their theory, then carry out and test them alongside the masses.

The PCM expressed it would follow the principle of the concentric construction of the three instruments of the revolution: the Party, the Army, and the United Front, which is an alliance of revolutionary and progressive organizations led by the Party. The PCM, taking up the contribution of Chairman Gonzalo, said this will be done with a “militarized Communist Party” at the center.

The PCM says that a key principle of its mass work will be to organize working women “on the oppression suffered by working women under capitalism, giving it a marked class character and a revolutionary commitment.”

While adopting the name of the Communist Party, the organization emphasized it could not really be considered a Communist Party at this stage, stating “we are a Marxist-Leninist-Maoist organization that is clear that it is not the vanguard Communist Party. Having this question clear, our Party fights for the reconstitution of the Communist Party of the Spanish State.”

To conclude, the PCM expressed their revolutionary optimism and readiness to take on their important tasks, quoting The Communist Manifesto, written by Marx and Friedrich Engels, which states:

“The Communists disdain to conceal their views and aims. They openly declare that their ends can be attained only by the forcible overthrow of all existing social conditions. Let the ruling classes tremble at a Communistic revolution. The proletarians have nothing to lose but their chains. They have a world to win.

“Proletarians of all countries, unite!”

  • Canadians sent greetings

Among the greetings to the Spanish congress were a Canadian ‘group’ the COMMUNIST WORKERS FRONT (ORGANIZING COMMITTEE). Born out of a split in the Revolutionary Student Movement (RSM), the Red Fraction of the RSM (the Greater Toronto Area and Vancouver sections) on the eve of May Day 2021, the Red Fraction announced its dissolution and the formation of the Communist Workers Front (Organizing Committee).

“We are an organization of workers from across Canada, uniting in struggle to build a Communist Workers Front that serves the reconstitution of the Communist Party of Canada for People’s War. We envision a mass front that welds the working class into a revolutionary force, mainly at the point of production and secondarily among the unemployed. We will make this a reality through creative application of the ideology of the working class: Marxism-Leninism-Maoism–Gonzalo Thought, principally Gonzalo Thought.”

Greetings to the Founding Congress of the Maoist Communist Party of the Spanish State

Late last year, the Communist Workers Front (Organizing Committee) sent a letter of greetings and congratulations to the newly founded Maoist Communist Party (PCM) of the Spanish State. The PCM was born at the 2nd Congress of the Workers’ (Marxist-Leninist) Party, held last December, marking an important advance in the struggle to reconstitute the great Communist Party of Spain. The Congress adopted Marxism-Leninism-Maoism and the contributions of Chairman Gonzalo as the ideology of the organization, contributing another victory to the forward march of Maoism around the world. A new name was adopted for the organization, now known as the PCM. Today, in the spirit of internationalism on the eve of another red May Day celebrated by the proletariat of Spain and Canada alike, we are happy to publicize our letter to the Spanish comrades.

On behalf of the Communist Workers Front (Organizing Committee) [CWF(OC)], we wish to congratulate you comrades of the Workers’ (Marxist-Leninist) Party of Spain [P(ML)TE] for successfully convening your 2nd Congress. This Congress will undoubtedly mark a major milestone in the two-line struggle within your organization toward the reconstitution of the Communist Party of Spain.

The Unity of the Proletariat of Spain and Canada

We are honoured to have been asked to write a greeting toward this important event. We would like to open by remarking on the historical unity between the proletariat of Canada and Spain. In the 1930s, thousands of Communists, workers, and other progressives from around the world volunteered for the People’s War against fascism and the completion of the democratic revolution being waged by the Spanish proletariat. Among these, as many as two thousand would come from Canada, including Comrade Norman Bethune. The bulk of the volunteers from Canada would be organized into the Mackenzie-Papineau Battalion as a part of the XV International Brigade. Of all the volunteers from Canada, at least 721 would be martyred, mingling the blood of the proletariat of Spain and Canada together in the fight against fascism as part of the world proletarian revolution. We greet your congress in the vein of this historical unity and with the hope of sparking two-line struggle between our two organizations as part of the process of reunifying the International Communist Movement and reconstituting the Communist International.

The Similar Development of the CWF(OC) and the P(ML)TE

The CWF(OC) and the P(ML)TE have a similar origin in the rebellion of the youth against revisionism. In Spain, the culmination of the organizational split from the various revisionist organizations was carried out by the Communists-in-formation of Spain in 2018, several years before our own, with the constitution of the Communist Youth and later the P(ML)TE.

On the part of the Communists-in-formation of Canada, this process culminated in mid-2021.1 Our organization has emerged out of the struggle against the former “Revolutionary Communist Party” (RCP) led by the liquidator Joshua Moufawad-Paul who attempted to strangle the revolutionary line in Canada that had been developing for years among rank-and-file members of the “RCP” and the “Revolutionary Student Movement”.2

Having gone through a similar process in our formation as the P(ML)TE, we recognize the immense struggle that has been waged internally to consolidate yourselves ideologically and politically in order to break with revisionism on an organizational level. This process is especially important today as we are faced with the general counter-revolutionary offensive (GCRO) of imperialism, revisionism, and reaction that tries to liquidate Marxism and prevent the outbreak of the new great wave of world revolution. The formation of the P(ML)TE and the convening of its second congress around the question of Maoism has already dealt a major blow to the GCRO.

This congress is especially important as it concerns the adoption of Maoism and the universally valid contributions of Chairman Gonzalo by the P(ML)TE. The successful adoption of this ideological line will further consolidate unity within the international communist movement. In 1982, the Communist Party of Peru began the campaign for Maoism. Its purpose was to place Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, principally Maoism as the sole command and guide of the world proletarian revolution (WPR). This campaign has been met across the world and has seen the start of the process of constituting and reconstituting militarized Communist Parties for People’s War and the development of the revolution under this ideological line where it has already been initiated. Internationally, this campaign has seen the deepening of two-line struggle toward the unified Maoist international conference and the reconstitution of a militarized Communist International that will lead the WPR to its final victory. By convening a congress with Maoism as its centre of discussion, the campaign for Maoism has been given new strength in Spain and by extension the campaign is strengthened internationally.

Since 1982, the international proletariat have more and more armed themselves with Maoism and applied it in class struggle and two-line struggle producing new lessons. The most important among these experiences has been the People’s War in Peru. The Communist Party of Peru under the great leadership of Chairman Gonzalo synthesised Maoism as the third, new, and higher stage of Marxism and applied it to the concrete conditions of Peru producing Gonzalo Thought. While Gonzalo Thought was originally synthesised in and for the concrete conditions of Peru, it has been shown to contain many universally valid and indispensable contributions such as the militarization of the Communist Parties, Guiding Thought, Unified People’s War, etc. The importance of these contributions have been seen in the initiation and development of the People’s War in Nepal, up to Prachanda’s liquidation, as well as in the driving role they are playing in the international unity of Maoists and in the constitution and reconstitution of the Communist Parties of the world. This growing importance of Gonzalo Thought has been summarized by the Communist Party of Ecuador – Red Sun (PCE-SR) as follows:

We are principally Maoists because we consider that we are entering a stage of inflection and leap, where in countries, particularly in the third world, where the weight of Gonzalo Thought is ceasing to be incidental and becoming decisive in politics and ideology.3

We agree with this assessment by the PCE-SR completely and hope to wage further two-line struggle with the P(ML)TE around the question of the universally valid contributions of Chairman Gonzalo, which we hold must be understood today as Marxism-Leninism-Maoism–Gonzalo Thought, principally Gonzalo Thought.

It is important to note that the universally valid contributions of Chairman Gonzalo are nothing new to Spain and can be seen as early as 1987. The Communist Party of Spain (PCE) was one of the first Parties in the world to adopt Marxism-Leninism-Maoism, principally Maoism as their ideological basis. The PCE would even sign a joint statement with the Communist Party of Peru upholding key contributions of Chairman Gonzalo such as the militarisation of the Communist Party. We are confident that the proletariat of Spain will seize upon this great legacy and develop it with the reconstitution of a powerful militarised Communist Party guided by MLM-GT, the Guiding Thought of the Spanish Revolution and initiate People’s War in Spain yet again.


  1. Communist Workers Front (Organizing Committee). “Destroy the Old and Build the New with Gonzalo Thought as Our Weapon!” 30 April 2021.
  2. Communist Workers Front (Organizing Committee). “Documents from the Split in the Revolutionary Student Movement.”
  3. Communist Party of Ecuador – Red Sun. “Some Comments on the Document ‘On Maoism Itself’ of the RCP of Canada.” Unofficial English translation by Struggle Sessions, 5 October 2020. Also available in Spanish.

Published May 11, 2022

  • Demise of Canadian PCR

Without fanfare or much explanation the Revolutionary Communist Party of Canada, founded as a party in Quebec in 2006, announced its demise last year. The party, supported by J. Moufawad-Paul, suffered an internal split in 2017, resulting in two competing factions: the PCR-RCP (Central Committee) and the PCR-RCP (Historical Direction). The PCR-RCP (Central Committee) retained control over fronts such as the Revolutionary Student Movement (that also split), as well as the rest of the party membership. It later set up a new website, leading to two competing websites of similar names. The PCR-RCP (Central Committee) announced its dissolution on November 5, 2021.

  • Amongst polemical maoist reflections there has been
  1.  Kenny Lake of the US journal  Kites  surveys and the limitations of a variety of political lines adopted in America by those seeking social change. His observations on Pac-man politics  compliments an earlier polemic on Tin Man Maoism  .
  2. These snappy titles are in vogue – Canadian blog M-L-M Mayhem!  used Straw Personing Maoism. Its true that in the imperialist metropoles Maoism still must prove itself and in Critique of Maoist Reason JMP indicate the heterogeneity within Maoism and issues that indeed needed to be worked out, so he is rightly miffed when supposedly critiqued when “that requires actually reading the source material you are claiming to critique rather than represent them through second and third hand sources, filling in the blanks as you go.” JMP’s text is published by Foreign Language Press, a MLM publishing enterprise https://foreignlanguages.press
  • Another split, a new Nepalese party formed

In Nepal, the fractious communist movement saw a  New Party Formed From Split In Chand Led CPN .

 Kathmandu, May 9, 2022:The Netra Bikram Chand-led Communist Party of Nepal (CPN) has split formally with a dissident leader of the party, Dharmendra Bastola forming a separate party named the CPN (Majority), accusing that the “Chand-led faction is getting stuck in the quagmire of parliamentary politics.” According to Bastola, the new party was formed after “rejecting the conspiracy of some of the party’s central members” to trap the party in the parliamentary system by contesting the local polls from the UML’s election symbol.

Bastola said that the new strategy of his party was to complete the scientific socialist revolution and by carrying forward the slogan of prosperity and independence of the country.

“After the Biplav [Chand]-led faction was tempted to take some central members to the polls under the UML symbol, we decided to form a new party by continuing the goal of completing the democratic revolution,” Bastola said.

Literature List: UK Anti-Revisionist Material

The pdf shared is not a catalogue of British-related material drawn from the online archive provided by the Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line.

It contains other material produced around, and within the anti-revisionist Marxist-Leninist movement, and a listing or related material that provides background reference information to that movement without being an exhaustive bibliographical guide (or for bibliophiles, a checklist).

 However, even given those limitation it provides a signpost to the literature produced, and a springboard for any research on the origins and developments within Britain’s anti-revisionist movement from the 1960 to the new century.

Literature List

Research note: Indonesian exile in Tirana, Beijing, Moscow


Draws on material curated by Jürgen Schröder  at the mao-project website, the core information provided in the Wikepedia article, Indonesian Communist Exiles in Albania (2021) and that in an article by Prabono Hari Putranto,  API: An Indonesian Journal of the late 1960s–1970s from Albania . Other sources acknowledged in text. Further documentation available at the Indonesia section of Encyclopedia of Anti-Revisionism On-Line  https://www.marxists.org/history/erol/indonesia/index.htm    e.gJustus Maria Van der Kroef (June 1977). The Indonesian Maoists: doctrines and perspectives. School of Law, University of Maryland.


In Indonesia, in September 1965 the rumours of a coup d’etat being organized by the Council of Generals, indicate that the Army generals will move on October 5, 1965, the national celebration day of Defense.

The so-called September 30th movement against the coup plans of the generals is formed by the communists, under the leadership of Lieutenant Colonel Untung, the commander of the 3rd Sukarnos’ bodyguard. It goes public with a press release and tries to eliminate approximately 60 generals, but only succeeds with six, rather unimportant ones. Progressive officers with the support of the PKI want to eliminate the ‘Against the People’ side of state power, which leads to a right-wing coup. The PKI then claimed that Sukarno would not allow all communists to be killed. In reality, the chairman of the PKI, D.N. Aidit, Lukman and other leaders of the PKI and the trade unions were amongst those brutally murdered in widespread massacres unleashed by the military.


The Indonesian Tribune published in its January issue (No.3) the self-criticism adopted by the Political Bureau of the Cen­tral Committee of the Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) in September 1966. The self-criticism entitled “Build the PKI Along the Marxist-Leninist Line to Lead the People’s Democratic Revolution in Indonesia”, says that the disaster which has caused such serious losses to the PKI and the revolutionary move­ment of the Indonesian people after the outbreak and the defeat of the September 30th Movement has lifted up the curtain which for a long period has hidden the grave weaknesses of the PKI.

An editorial in Hongqi [Red Flag], No.11, 1967, People of Indonesia, Unite and Fight to Overthrow the Fascist ­Regime, commented

“… the Political Bureau of the In­donesian Communist Party sums up the experience and lessons of the Party in leading the Indonesian people’s revolutionary struggle, criticises the right opportunist errors committed by the leadership of the Party in the past, points out the road for the Indonesian revolution, and lays down the principles for future struggle.” [i]

The Banned Thought website, notes that the PKI self-criticism, republished by Beijing’s FLP in a pamphlet “People of Indonesia, Unite and Fight to Overthrow the Fascist Regime”, (Peking: FLP, 1968), was co-authored by Sudisman, (the fourth-ranking PKI leader before October 1963) assumed the party’s leadership and led the Political Bureau after the murder of the Aidit by the Army during the 1965 massacres.

“Apparently the full document (which is not included in the pamphlet from China) specifically blames Aidit for the revisionist road after 1951 and the resulting catastrophe. But the ideological thrust of the self-criticism is against the so-called Bandung theses, a revisionist line that led to uncritical support of Sukarno among other things. Sudisman himself was arrested by the fascist regime in December 1966, put through a show-trial in 1967-68, and then executed. This PKI self-criticism was publicized internationally, especially by another Political Bureau member, Jusuf Adjitorop, who was based in Beijing after 1965.”

He was in China when the 1965 massacre occurred part of a sizeable delegation that had travelled to the People’s Republic of China to participate in the anniversary celebration of the Chinese Revolution. Others had left Indonesia to study in Eastern Europe, including Albania. Despite the terror inside Indonesia, the party’s skeleton apparatus continued to function in exile.

The PKI self-criticism that emerged from militants in China was distributed internationally, this was publicised in broad terms by oversea ML organisations in the Federal republic of Germany, the  KPD / ML-ZK, summarised the new program as the three banners:


– Building a ML Party free from subjectivism, opportunism and revisionism,
– armed agrarian revolutionary struggle of the people under the leadership of the party and
– revolutionary united front against feudalism, bureaucratic imperialism, based on the class alliance of the workers with the poor peasants under the leadership of the party.  [ii]

In the aftermath of the massacres, revisionist lies and their defamation of the People’s Republic of China was evident in  their portrayal of the counterrevolutionary coup d’état in Indonesia in 1965. In their historical falsification, they claimed that it was the Mao Tse-tung ideas that disarmed the Indonesian Communist Party and then plunged it into a coup adventure. “The tragic consequences of the events of September 30th, which were inspired by the ‘ideas of Mao tse-tung’, showed the damage that Beijing’s adventurous policies can do to the national liberation movement.”

German Maoists protested that:

“The social-imperialists are now unscrupulously twisting the facts and presenting the desperate attempt by progressive sections of the army under Lieutenant Colonel Untung to fend off the counterrevolutionary coup as the real cause of the counterrevolution. We recognize the core of this argument again: whoever leads the fight against fascism is calling fascism on the scene. Anyone who aggressively fights imperialism must reckon with its annihilation by imperialism.

The lesson: If the Communist Party does not prepare itself and the people in good time and on all sides for the path of armed struggle, it will subject the masses to imperialist rule. The Indonesian example shows who is going this way. The lesson that the Indonesian CP itself has drawn from its defeat is just as clear: Maintaining friendship with the modern revisionists’ means giving up the resolute struggle against imperialism. ” [iii]

In addition there was criticism of the Soviet Union’s stance of maintaining a normal and political trading relationship (in much the manner China was criticised for in relation to the military coup in Chile in 1973). The Communist League drew a direct connection when in February 1974, the KB publishes the third revised edition of the brochure “Chile from ‘peaceful transition’ to fascist military dictatorship” with the article “How the Indonesian CP criticized its mistakes after the fascist military coup in 1965” [iv]

 Very quickly a union delegation from the SU arrives in Indonesia in January 1967 “to exchange views on common interests” in the aftermath of the military smashing the PKI’s trade union organisation. The ‘Komsomolskaja Pravda’ in an article on Indonesia (in March 1967 1967) argued , it is early to judge the policies of the new Indonesian government, but if the current leaders see to it that the country does not fall under imperialist influence, Indonesia deserves a leading place in the modern world. “

Following the massacres of half a million people, members and sympathisers of the Partai Komunis Indonesia/Indonesian Communist Party (PKI) by Indonesian military and civilian allies in 1965-6, those communists and progressives aboard wisely stay there avoiding the murderous repression of the Suharto regime that saw between 600,000 and 750,000 people were imprisoned.

For exiled members and sympathizers [v] of the pro-Chinese Communist Party of Indonesia (PKI) there was a dilemma of where they should be based to rebuild the opposition to the military regime. Beijing was an option rejected as the dominant view was that neither the Chinese government nor the PKI wished for the party would be perceived as too closely linked to China. The seemingly unlikely choice of the Albanian capital Tirana offered a number of positive possibilities. It was a friendly environment for the PKI who had opted not to condemn the Albanian party at the 22nd Congress of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union in 1961.  The PKI could operate in a supportive political environment, indeed In March 1967 Radio Tirana  broadcasts in Indonesian twice daily. (Radio Tirana discontinued its Indonesian broadcasts in 1991).

Geographically Albania was close to other centres of exiled Indonesian student activists across Eastern Europe. In the early 1960s, scholarships had been offered to Indonesians to study in countries such as Rumania, Czechoslovakia, Bulgaria, the Soviet Union and Hungary and, by September 1965, hundreds of Indonesian students had received scholarships to study in the Eastern bloc.

Tirana was already a destination for Indonesia party members studying and working in the capital. A political presence made clear at the 5th congress of the Party of Labour of Albania (PPSh) in November 1966. The PKI delegation at the congress was led by Jusuf Adjitorop, a candidate member of the PKI politburo before the coup.  He survived the purge of PKI by being in China for medical treatment prior to the coup.

In his address to the Albanian party congress, Adjitorop called for the reconstruction of PKI under the banner of Marxism–Leninism and Mao Tse-Tung Thought, calling for protracted armed struggle of the peasantry to overthrow the rule of Suharto and Nasution. [vi]

According to Prof. Justus van der Kroef there were about forty Indonesian communists staying in Tirana in the early 1970s, around half of them organized in the Persatuan Peladjar Indonesia (‘Indonesian Students Association’). The Tirana-based group were assumed to act as spokespersons of the party. [vii]

An English-language bimonthly journal, Indonesian Tribune, was issued from Tirana. The publishing house of Indonesian Tribune was called Indonesia Progresif (‘Indonesian Progressive’). The Persatuan Peladjar Indonesia (‘Indonesian Students Association’) in Albania published the journal Api Pemuda Indonesia (‘Flame of Indonesian Youth’).

Swie Siauw Poh and Ernest Pinontoean were key organizers of the Tirana group. The writer Chalik Hamid, who had travelled to Albania to study journalism before the coup, was one of the members of the group that produced Indonesian Tribune and Api Pemuda Indonesia and worked as translator for Radio Tirana. He stayed in Albania until 1989.

The account given  to journalist Martin Aleida who interviewed Chalik Hamid, in Tirana,  had API  started by Anwar Dharma, an ex-correspondent of the PKI’s  Harian Rakjat (People’s Daily) in Moscow who had  reported on his unwarranted expulsion by the Soviet authorities due to his critical views towards them (Dharma 1966). Anwar Dharma then moved to China and was instructed by the Delegation of the Indonesian Communist Party in Beijing to go to Albania to start there a publication in Indonesian and in English. After his arrival in Tirana, Anwar Dharma also initiated an Indonesian programme for Radio Tirana. (Chalik Hamid was one of Anwar Dharma’s first contact persons in Tirana, and it was him who taught Dharma to speak Albanian).

Chalik Hamid on his role in Albania suggested it is not entirely correct to say that it was an official command from the PKI as the party was already disbanded. The PKI’s remnants in Beijing at that time, even in the publications of API never called themselves as PKI but as Delegasi CC PKI (‘The Delegation of CC PKI’)  [viii]

“API – Api Pemuda Indonesia” (‘Flames of Indonesian Youth’) had two different editions of API were issued, one in the Indonesian language, the other in English and/or French, both with differing contents and The Indonesian version is published monthly, but the English/French edition bi-monthly.

Indonesian Tribune and Api Pemuda Indonesia were the two main organs of the pro-Chinese PKI. These publications were illegal inside Indonesia, and one could be arrested for possessing a copy

The political ideology of API which was already stated on the title page Marxisme – Leninisme – FMTT is discussed in every issue of API. There is a section called Belajar Marxisme – Leninisme – Fikiran Mao Tje Tung (‘Learning about Marxism – Leninism – Thoughts of Mao’) which usually contains translated works of Marx, Lenin or Mao and sometimes also an analysis of their works.

 The magazine had a section called Komentar Radio Tirana (‘Commentaries of Radio Tirana’) which provided insights about some particular issues which were trending at that time. In March 1967 Radio Tirana started to broadcast in Indonesian twice a day, therefore it seems likely that this section was a highlight of the broadcasting materials of every month. 

INTERNATIONAL SOLIDARITY

Tirana was also convenient for communication with solidarity organizations operating in Western Europe. For example, in the Federal Republic of Germany, solidarity is practiced at universities, for example in Munich (1967/ 1968), later also in Tübingen (1969) and in Heidelberg (1969),

A group, the Indonesia Working Group, in Cologne were active and  Indonesians in Berlin regularly published Mengabdi Rakyat as a bulletin to oppose the New Order regime. [ix] The Indonesian Revolutionary Group (GRI), from Berlin, were students organising in the Federal republic of Germany.

Representatives of the Indonesian youth group in the FRG built working relationship with local German the Marxist-Leninist  K-Groups, Rote Fahne reports their presence In Cologne when the KPD held a major rally at the end of its 1st party congress (June 26, 1974) with 6,000 people.

Solidarity activities in protest to the two-day visit of the Indonesian President Suharto to the Federal Republic of Germany in September 1970 were organised by exiled Indonesians, their supporters and German Maoists such as the KPD / ML local group Frankfurt call for a demonstration , an Indonesia Teach In was organised  in Bonn and awareness raising material published such as  at the University of Tübingen were the student Marxist-Leninist groups distributed an article “The Indonesian people in the anti-fascist struggle “. [x]

The KPD / ML carried an article in Roter Morgen  on “10 years of fascist dictatorship in Indonesia. Heroic armed struggle of the Indonesian communists”. [xi]

Next door Indonesians in the Netherlands, partly due to its past colonial links to the region, had established communities and developed solidarity networks that saw the Tirana produced API distributed by mail to Indonesia; safer to post from non-Eastern bloc states , such as the Netherlands. Daraini’s study refers to several Dutch organizations: Indoc, and an organization initiated by the founder of Indonesian Studies in the Netherlands, Professor Wim Wertheim I (1907-1998) to support the struggle of human rights’ issues in Indonesia under the governance of New Order,    Komitee Indonesië, a solidarity group with the oppressed and democracy activists in Indonesia, and PPI Amsterdam. The latter student organization was renowned for being progressive in comparison with another, similar student organization. PPI Amsterdam at that time published a bulletin called Berita Indonesia (Indonesian News) distributed to various places including Australia and the USA.

Solidarity activities around Indonesia from 1975 became conflated with campaigning on the issue Indonesian aggression in East Timor e.g. Tapol in the UK promoting human rights, peace and democracy in Indonesia, established in 1973 by Carmel Budiardjo, a political prisoner in Indonesia . [xii]

June 1976 saw a three-day international conference on East Timor and Indonesia begins in Bonn: “The organizers were the Journal of Contemporary Asia (Stockholm / London) and the Bonn Committee for the Independence of East Timor.”  [xiii]

The experience of exile elsewhere _ Beijing

The exile community in China was quite diverse and consisted of PKI members and sympathisers, students who had been studying in the Eastern bloc and in the Soviet Union, and pro-Sukarno people. On 30 September 1965, there happened to be a 500-strong Indonesian delegation in China for celebrations of China’s national day, 1 October, which marked the twenty-sixth anniversary of the Chinese Revolution.

Some members of this politically diverse delegation stayed in China but not all. The Beijing contingent grew as many PKI members left the Soviet Union for China due to splits inside the PKI. In China, a separate party leadership emerged, known as the Delegation of the Indonesian Communist Party. Mirroring Sino-Soviet rivalries, the Delegation urged Indonesian leftists in the USSR to join them in China. Hundreds did so. These rival factions were separated by mutual distrust until they each disbanded toward the close of the cold war.

“There were debates among party members about ‘what had gone wrong’ with the PKI, including questions about why there had been no resistance to the military purges. Older PKI members from the pre- Aidit period (before 1951) argued that the party leadership had placed too much trust in President Sukarno and that, by operating wholly as a legal party, the leadership had exposed the membership to grave dangers of political repression. Debates within the exile community in China exposed the inter-generational differences in political experience and these were testament to the growth and development of the PKI as a mass party between 1951 and 1965. The situation led to dissatisfaction among the exiles and added to the uncertainty of their stay in China.”  [xiv]

Taomo Zhou’s study [xv] looked at this issue.

For  members of the Indonesian and Filipino Communist Parties living in China during the Cultural Revolution, political upheavals in their home countries—the September Thirtieth Movement in Indonesia in 1965 and the Plaza Miranda Bombing in Manila in 1972—turned their originally temporary travels abroad into long-term exiles. The rise of anti-communist, authoritarian regimes led respectively by Suharto and Marcos made it unsafe for these exiles to go back and stranded them indefinitely in another land.

The foreign policy pivot at the start of the Seventies saw the 1972 Sino-US rapprochement, and China redirected its foreign policies and retracted its support for foreign revolutionary forces. As China sought normalization of diplomatic relations with Suharto’s Indonesia and Marcos’ Philippines, the exiles’ very existence became an embarrassment to Beijing.

The Chinese government moved them in the early 1970s from Beijing to Nanchang, 1250 km away, the provincial capital of the landlocked Jiangxi in southeast China. Taomo Zhou observed that as for the exiles, many had left for Western countries by the early 1980s. The Indonesians who stayed became naturalized Chinese citizens and some even transformed themselves into devoted advocates for Deng Xiaoping’s “socialism with Chinese characteristics”.

Living in Moscow

David Hill has explored the phenomenon of Indonesians living in the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics (USSR) when the military regime came to power in their homeland. [xvi] Moscow was a popular destination for Indonesian students in the late 1950s and early 1960s when the Soekarno regime pursued both socialism and close ties with the Soviet Union.  By mid-1965 when General Suharto seized power in the country and began his purges on communists, several thousand Indonesian students were enrolled in various courses in Soviet universities.

With the rise in Jakarta’s New Order under Major-General Suharto after  October 1965 saw thousands of Indonesians abroad effectively isolated. Faced with detention or execution if they returned home, Indonesian leftists and other dissidents became unwilling exiles. Several thousand Indonesians were then studying in the USSR, where they were one of the largest foreign nationalities in Soviet universities and military academies.

  After the 1965–66 purges in the Soviet Union, as in the Indonesian Students Association in Czechoslovakia (Perhimpunan Pelajar Indonesia, PPI) there was a split between the pro- and anti-Suharto camps. Those ideologically inclined decided to move to China. The most influential grouping of Indonesians who remained in Moscow after 1965 was known as the Overseas Committee of the Indonesian Communist Party. They echoed the Soviet positions, calling  the KPI line before the coup on September 30, 1965, the Chinese line and advocated the united front with Sukarno and Suharto.   Around 2,000 choose to stay in the Soviet Union. Revisionist supporting Indonesian exiles in Moscow published a Russian-Bahasa Indonesia journal in the 1970s titled OPI, an abbreviation of the organization’s title Organisasi Pemuda Indonesia. The journal focussed on Indonesian politics and the role of young people.

 There were fragments elsewhere and Vannessa Hearman writes of “The last men in Havana: Indonesian exiles in Cuba” . A small group of six Indonesians exiled from Suharto’s New Order regime who settled in Cuba from the early 1970s onwards. [xvii]


[i] See Five Important Documents of the Political Bureau of the CC PKI (marxists.org)

[ii] Roter Morgen No. 8, Hamburg 1970

[iii] Rote Fahne No. 34, Berlin January 14, 1972

[iv] KB: Chile from the ‘peaceful transition’ to the fascist military dictatorship, Hamburg 1974

See also :  Dharma, Anwar (1966): Soviet Revisionists’ Shameless Collaboration with Indonesia’s Fascist Military Regime Condemned. Beijing Review No. 42, 14 October 1966, 30–32

[v] Knowledge of the Indonesian exile communities did not grow until the 2000s attracting some academic research. The life stories of how they found themselves in exile and the social and political issues they faced are appearing in studies

Hill, D. T. (2008). Knowing Indonesia from Afar: Indonesian exile and Australian Academics (pp. 1–13).

Hill, D. T. (2010). Indonesia’s exiled Left as the Cold War thaws. Review of Indonesian and Malaysian Affairs, 44(1), 21–51. 70

Hill, D. T. (2014). Indonesian Political Exiles in the USSR. Critical Asian Studies, 46(4), 621–648.

Sipayung, B. A. (2011). Exiled Memories: The Collective of Indonesian 1965 Exiles. International Institute of Social Studies.

 Ibnu Nadzir Daraini (2017) Imagining the Homeland: The use of the Internet among Indonesian Exiles in the Netherlands

[vi] Communist and Workers’ Parties and Marxist-Leninists Groups Greet the Fifth  Congress of the Party of Labour of Albania held in Tirana from November 1 to November 8, 1966.  Tirana: The Naim Frasheri Publishing House 1966

[vii] Van der Kroef (1977)

[viii] API: An Indonesian Journal of the late 1960s–1970s from Albania

[ix]  Daraini (2017) p22

[x] Roter Pfeil/ Red Arrow  No. 10, Tübingen September 29, 1970.

[xi] Roter Morgen No. 41, Dortmund October 11, 1975, p. 7

[xii] https://www.tapol.org/news/international-solidarity-movement-east-timor-weapon-more-powerful-guns

See: https://etan.org/ifet/support.html  and https://timorarchive.ca/.

[xiii] Workers’ Struggle No. 83, Hamburg June 28th, 1976, p.47

[xiv] Hearman (2010) p.90

[xv] Reluctant Revolutionaries: Indonesian and Filipino Communist Exiles in the People’s Republic in the Wake of Sino-US Rapprochement

[xvi] David T. Hill (2014) Indonesian Political Exiles in the USSR, Critical Asian Studies, 46:4, 621-648, DOI: 10.1080/14672715.2014.960710.

David Hill,  Emeritus Professor of Southeast Asian Studies and Fellow in the Asia Research Centre at Murdoch University in Australia

[xvii]  Hearman V., “The last men in Havana: Indonesian exiles in Cuba”  Review of Indonesian and Malaysian Affairs, vol. 44, no. 1 (2010), pp. 83–109.


140. Research Note~ response to 1973 coup

Organisations big and small commented on the 1973 coup, pamphlet after pamphlet and article after article of in-depth analyses devoted to Chile came from all varieties of the political left, where the minutiae of Allende‘s brief tenure were forensically examined. Such analyses conclude with different emphasis that revisionism, reformism and nationalism can only lead the working class into a fascist blind alley. More than 3,000 people were killed in the first months following the coup. More than 200,000 were arrested. Subject to illegal detention, torture and other human rights abuses, their children stolen and 30,000 people disappeared before the dictatorship finally ended in 1990.

To read more download here

Chile , China & diplomatic silence

The friendly relations between China and Allende’s Chile, followed by diplomatic silence and business-like relations with Chile under Pinochet broke an unspoken contract that revolutionaries without power expect better of Socialist states they admire and defend.

The international communist movement gets conflated with behaviour of regimes negotiating the currents of international relations in a hostile imperialist dominated world. Historical precedents abound of disillusionment and sense of betrayal engendered by the pragmatic nuisances and decisions taken from Brest-Litovsk onwards.

Former regime supporters of different political currents  can name their own pivot event that shredded the bounds of friendship and solidarity : non-aggression pacts, suppression in Hungry, peaceful co-existence, the Sino-India border war, invasion of Czechoslovakia, Sri Lankan revolt, war in the Horn of Africa, three world theory, the occupation of Kampuchea, teaching Vietnam a lesson or the silence over Chile. The tapestry of issues is beyond this simple chronology of articles in the English language edition of Peking Review on Sino-Chilean relations and the aftermath of the 1973 military coup.

Continue reading    Friendly relations   

Of related interest

English edChile: An Attempt at “Historic Compromise”

Compass Points North

Reaching Out: Global Maoism

58. Global Maoism

45. Guilty to the charge of promoting revolution

Research Note: Tron recalls……

Tron Øgrim (1947–2007) was, during the 1960s and 1970s, the International Secretary and political ideologue of the Norwegian AKP(m-l), Arbeidernes Kommunistparti (marxist-leninistene). He left the organisation in 1984. He died on May 23rd 2007.  Still fondly remembered.

hqdefaultBEWARE fifteen years have passed, these rough working notes are digests of internet postings & email musings, “was there, remember some of it. [This] only very rapid jottings of the type I would never publish – more like talking in the bus…”  So not fair to attribute this as a source to Tron, not a quote but more or less what he said as it is an edited version of what Tron was understood to be saying, and he can’t be held responsible for any misinterpretation and the linguistic tiding up. Links and Italics are added working notes otherwise the rest derives from my man in the north. Postings were largely date from 2003/4 and gathered here ( and download)  as notes on

Maoism and the World Communism Movement