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Digital Archive International History Declassified

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The Algerian Revolution and the Communist Bloc

The onset of the Algerian War of Independence in November 1954 was an important development in the international history of the Cold War. Coming as it did on the heels of the end of the First Indochinese War, the Algerian conflict further emboldened national liberation forces throughout the colonial and semi-colonial world, a region of increasing importance to policymakers in Washington and Moscow. For Soviet and other communists committed to world revolution and proletarian internationalism in particular, the so-called Third World offered infinite possibilities, a fertile ground for the pursuit and realization of their aspirations, including the neutralization of American and other western imperialistic ambitions. This collection reveals how socialist bloc countries aided and supported the Algerian revolution in the early 1960s. (Image: Che Guevara and Fidel Castro meet Algerian President Ben Bella, 1962.)

  • January 28, 1964

    Conversation from [Mao Zedong's] Audience with Representatives of the Algerian National Liberation Front and a Delegation of Legal Professionals

    Mao and visitors from Algeria discuss the Algerian and Chinese revolutions. Mao congratulates the Algerians for their victory against the French and expresses sympathy for the difficulties facing their new nation. He calls for unity between all anti-imperialists, anti-feudalists, and socialists.

  • April 15, 1964

    Conversation from [Mao Zedong's] Audience with an Algerian Cultural Delegation

    Mao and visitors from Algeria discuss the independence and development of their respective countries. The Algerians are eager to learn from Chinese communist policies and history. (Note: the given names of Ding (丁) and Zhou (周) were redacted.)

  • September 20, 1964

    Remarks from [Mao Zedong's] Audience with an Economic Delegation from the Government of Algeria

    Along with discussing other issues, Mao reminds Algerian government officials that they will need the support of ordinary people to develop their new country and consolidate political power.

  • March 30, 1965

    Cable from the Chinese Delegation in Algeria to the Foreign Ministry, 'Main Points of Conversation with Ben Bella '

    Ben Bella shares his views on the revolutionary situation in Africa, particularly developments in the Congo.

  • July, 1996

    A. Bouzid, ‘Summary of Armament during the 1954 Revolution'

    Summarizes the logistical process and efforts of armament for the Algerian revolution, from 1947-1962. Lists the various countries who supplied the Algerians with weapons and ammunition, including Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Libya, East Germany, and China. Outlines, in detail, the processes for transporting weapons across borders, the logistical structure of departments handling distribution and supply of weapons for the revolution, and modes of transport for these supplies.