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Vietnam and the 'Third Communist Front'
Economic and Political Weekly
Vol. 7, No. 39 (Sep. 23, 1972), pp. 1975+1977-1979+1981-1984
Published by: Economic and Political Weekly
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4361853
Page Count: 8
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The North Vietnamese and the NLF, the North Koreans and the Cubans, had nursed the illusion, during the mid-sixties, that the grave situation in Vietnam would bring Russia and China together and make them co-ordinate their efforts to help the Vietnamese. At one point Castro so riled the men in the Kremlin by his forthrightness on Vietnam and other issues, that he came to be known in Moscow as "that Caribbean Viper in our bosom". Not only did he relentlessly condemn Moscow's cowardly policies but he attacked the Chinese leaders in no uncertain terms, calling them "old senile idiots fit to be kept in an old folk's home". But as his country became more dependent on Russian economic bolstering, Castro became totally silent about Moscow's dithering over Vietnam. The result is that now the Vietnamese are the sole frontline fighters against US imperialism, although the North Koreans continue to retain their suspicions about that Holy Trinity trotted out by Moscow and tacitly accepted by Peking - 'peaceful competition', 'peaceful transition', 'peaceful co-existence'. The unity of the 'Third Communist Front' has been disrupted, but the heroic struggle of the Vietnamese people and the spectacle of the largest country in the world, the richest and the most formidably armed, bogged down in an endless war by a poor, non-industrialised but valiant people, continues to be of limitless inspiration to the peoples of Asia, Africa and Latin America.
Economic and Political Weekly © 1972 Economic and Political Weekly