The Weekly paper of the New Communist Party of Britain
Week commencing 21st December 1979

Thanks to the Soviet Santa

The tide has turned for the people of Kampuchea.

The nation which suffered most of all in the suffering seventies is going into the eighties expecting more than they dared hoped for through the years of right-wing dictatorship, American domination and then Pol Pot.

It is, said a Kampuchean representative in London, thanks above all to the Soviet Union.

He acknowledged that important help had come from international agencies and nationally from Governments and charities.

By far the most though. he said, had come from the Soviet Union and Vietnam.

Famine has now been checked. A good harvest and food aid from abroad could not by themselves have done that. One heritage of Pol Pot had been a destroyed transport system.

The Soviet Union had supplied between 300 and 400 trucks just to carry food relief around the country. Much work had been done in the year since the victory over Pol Pot to restore the country's roads, railways and river transport systems.

“Education and health services are being restored”, he said. “Industries are being re-commissioned but the main emphasis must still be on agriculture and fishing.

“More land is being brought under cultivation. Kampuchea is rich in fish, in its lakes and rivers, and in the sea around. Restoring the fishing industry must be a priority”.

Each province in the south of Vietnam had “adopted” a province in Kampuchea and was supplying implements and the necessities of daily life. , Soviet aid amounted to "10. million. Such things as medicines and baby food were being brought in on a regular air-lift. Bulkier supplies including food, oil products, lorries, tools, utensils and clothing were being carried in by sea.


That may be good news for the rest of the world but not, it seems, for the Americans whose cold-blooded intervention in Cambodia/Kampuchea was the root cause of the country's misery.

President Carter's misinformation agency, the CIA, is busy pumping out its black propaganda, claiming that the Soviet Union and Vietnamese are “manipulating” the Kampuchean people with their aid and that the Kampuchean authorities are obstructing international aid projects.

The lie direct to those accusations came this week from the men on the spot.

An American recently returned from Kampuchea, Kirk Allman, of the Church World Services, disagreed entirely with his President.

“For the State Department the Vietnam War is still not over”, he declared in disgust.

Oxfam's representative on the spot, Mr Geoffrey Busby, disposed of a State Department claim that only 15 international relief workers had been allowed in, and that they were virtually confined to Pnomh Penh.

There were many more workers than that State Department figure, he said, and Oxfam teams had travelled to areas some 100 miles from Pnomh Penh.

“We are satisfied with the help given by the Kampuchean and Vietnamese authorities”, he said. "The State Department reports are not, consistent with Oxfam's experience”.


The myth that the Soviet Union and other Socialist countries lag behind the capitalist world in aiding the developing countries is hard to die.

A little resuscitation work was carried out on that myth this week by the United Nations' High Commissioner for Refugees, who claimed in Japan that his organisation got most of its funds from other sources.

In fact, of course, the Socialist countries are the true source of real aid for the developing world, not just by the example of what Socialism has done and can do but in direct material help of the most vital kind.

They are true practitioners of the adage - also being followed by Oxfam with its Blue Peter raised money in Kampuchea - that better than giving a man a fish for one meal is to give him a fishing line so he can feed a family for life.

Rather than cans of baked beans American-style, the Soviet Union and other COMECON countries provide the wherewithal not only to grow the beans but to make the cans to put them in.

Latest figures show that COMECON is providing aid of that kind to 78 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Economic projects number 3,560, of which 2,685 are already operating.

These projects include food factories, power stations, steel mills, metallurgical plants, railways, even complete agro-industrial power projects for transforming a whole country-side, such as the giant Euphrates scheme in Syria.

Even the USA, it seems, is not averse to profiting from Soviet know-how. Despite the newspaper propaganda about Soviet dependence on foreign technology, the flow is mostly the other way round.

More licences have been granted by the Soviet Licensintorg Agency, which might be called an inventions import- export business, than it has acquired from abroad.

In the last week alone, licensing arrangements made between the Agency and US companies have opened up prospects for reducing America's smog problems and providing enormous quantities of cheap power by the Soviet-designed MHD system.