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Digital Archive International History Declassified

October 01, 1978


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    Policy recommendations for strengthening the political and economic ties between Bulgaria and the countries of the Third World.
    "Policy Statement on the Bulgarian Relations with Angola, Ethiopia, Mozambique, and PDR of Yemen.," October 01, 1978, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Central State Archive, Sofia, Fond 378-B, Record 1, File 488. Obtained by the Bulgarian Cold War Research Group.
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Policy Statement on the Bulgarian relations with Angola, Ethiopia, Mozambique and PDR of Yemen, October 1978[1]

1. On the political significance of the relations between the People's Republic of Bulgaria with Angola, Ethiopia, Mozambique, the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen.

In political terms expanding and deepening our relations with the developing countries is very important. These relations provide the most powerful means of actually strengthening the union between socialism and the national liberation movements, and thus the anti-imperialist potential of these newly-liberated countries, and reinforcement of their socialist development, and thus the expansion of the world socialist system.

The political course that Angola, Ethiopia, Mozambique and the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen are most likely to follow is to establish a people's democratic power with the majority participation of the radical political forces; the latter are guided in their activity mainly by Marxist-Leninist theory, rather than by nationalist and religious views. Such a power might be expected to carry out the functions of the dictatorship of the proletariat. We are aware of the fact, however, that these countries have just undertaken the deep restructuring of society; therefore regressive turnings are likely to happen.

The situation in the developing countries nowadays is particularly complicated and antagonistic; there has been a growing gap between them in terms of their political development, as well as other spheres of social life.

Nasser's and the Baasist [2] centrist model of social development proved to be less sustainable and viable. This political model resulted in the rise of political regimes, whose social backing was the petty bourgeoisie in the towns and villages, its representatives among the civil servants and state officials and, to a certain degree, its representatives among the proletariat, who have not yet become aware of their class interests and historic mission.

In ideological terms, these regimes, despite manifesting some evolutionary development, adhere to a specific mixture of socialist, nationalist and religious views.

One of the options of these regimes' evolutionary development was presented by its so called “right variant,” which was the case with Egypt, i.e. a re-birth (re-establishment) of the bourgeois social order on a state and capitalist basis.

Considerable importance is nowadays attached to the issue of integrating these countries within the socialist system of the world economy. That is why getting these countries involved in the socialist international division of labor is assuming the significance of an issue of the highest priority for Bulgaria's foreign policy.

We must actively contribute to this process and support all political forces whose endeavors are directed at building a socialist society. These countries are willing to overcome the misinterpretation of socialism as a social order, providing for the development of a large state-owned sector of the economy and a cooperative form of agriculture, while preserving at the same time the petty bourgeoisie and the middle bourgeoisie in towns and villages. We must help these forces adopt a Marxist-Leninist ideological stance and political views. We do have accomplishments in this respect.

2. On the importance of economic relations with the countries, the programs for which are already developed.

The problem with our economic relations with Angola, Ethiopia, Mozambique and the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen and their part of and share in Bulgaria's foreign trade is of growing importance nowadays. Of particular significance is the issue of meeting these demands of their national economies that determine the tasks and trends of our trade cooperation.

First, these countries are a major source of raw materials for industrial and consumer goods, which our country has to import.

Second, these countries are consumers of machines, equipment and other industrial items.

Third, it is relatively less difficult for Bulgaria to settle payments for the imports from these countries, since payment may be arranged by exporting goods and services, such as special equipment, a complex of properties, etc.

Moreover, cooperation with these countries will provide an extra impulse for the economic integration of the socialist countries on a multilateral basis and for the coordination of tasks and functions within COMECON.

Taking into account the specific opportunities to further expand and deepen economic relations with the developing countries, we must admit that their share in Bulgaria's foreign trade has to increase considerably within the long run up to 1999 - 2000, bearing in mind the priority of the economic integration of the socialist countries, including our country.

3. The effectiveness of relations and cooperation between Bulgaria and Angola, Ethiopia, Mozambique and the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen.

This is undoubtedly the next problem of extreme significance that must be given due attention when discussing the programs.

Major trends for importing must be the following: mineral and vegetative raw materials and the products necessary to process them initially; major produce from tropical agriculture, and tropical and subtropical materials and products; industrial goods, in which the developing countries have gained a competitive edge against the capitalist ones.

Major tasks of exporting must be the following: establishing such industries that will contribute to meeting the demands of Bulgaria's economy and also help the newly-liberated countries and multi-lateral trade (Bulgaria and the other COMECON countries/ developing countries). A major trend in providing assistance by exporting to these countries must be to create an environment that will facilitate economic cooperation in the future.

Another new prospective trend in economic, scientific and technological cooperation between Bulgaria and the so far mentioned developing countries is the export of patents and licenses, scientific and technological documentation, consulting services. Investing in our machine-building industry is yet another prospective trend, since through imports Bulgaria will be supplied with raw materials from the developing countries, including the development of deposits by providing compensations.

Other more traditional forms, such as trade agreements and Bulgaria's assistance in building industrial and agricultural properties, should be further developed and improved, since they have previously proved to be fruitful forms of cooperation.

It is also necessary that our organizations be prompted to more actively participate in the setting up of joint ventures in commercial and manufacturing companies; the latter may be bilateral or multilateral, with other COMECON countries.


II. Some more specific issues for consideration

8. Two additional points to add to the tasks that are to be performed under the comprehensive programs:

a) We should back up Angola, Ethiopia, Mozambique and the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen by political and diplomatic means, and help them enhance their position and role in the Organization for African Unity and the Movement of the Non-aligned Countries.

b) Joint research in science, technology and academic studies of the major issues of the revolutionary process under the conditions of the adopted pro-socialist orientation must be carried out on a bilateral basis.


[1] The document was prepared for the forthcoming T. Zhivkov's visit to these countries in Mid-October 1978.

[2] BAAS – Ruling political parties in Syria and Iraq.

[Translated by Assistant Professor Kalina Bratanova; Edited by Dr. Jordan Baev]


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