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Digital Archive International History Declassified

September 21, 1966

TRANSCRIPT OF RECEPTION BY THE C.C. OF THE R.C.P. OF THE GOVERNMENTAL ECONOMIC DELEGATION FROM THE D.R. VIETNAM, LED BY CDE. THANH NGHI, MEMBER OF THE POLITICAL BUREAU OF THE C.C. OF THE WORKERS PARTY OF VIETNAM

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    This document is the transcript of a conversation between Nicolae Ceausescu and member of the Worker's Party of Vietnam,Thanh Ngh, in which Ceausescu expresses satisfaction with the previous Romanian-Vietnamese exchanges and Nghi states that the Democratic Republic of Vietnam will continue to refuse to enter into peace negotiations as long as US President Johnson maintains his Seven Point Peace Program.
    "Transcript of Reception by the C.C. of the R.C.P. of the Governmental Economic Delegation from the D.R. Vietnam, Led by Cde. Thanh Nghi, Member of the Political Bureau of the C.C. of the Workers Party of Vietnam ," September 21, 1966, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, ANR, Fond CC al PCR, Secţia Relaţii Externe, dosar 119/1966, f. 1-18. Translated by Larry L. Watts https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/122579
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[…]

Cde. Nicolae Ceausescu: We are very satisfied with the manner in which our delegation was received in Vietnam, by the fact that the Vietnamese comrades could also on the occasion of this visit take note of the solidarity with the struggle of the Vietnamese people expressed by our people and party. I must say that our comrades returned very enthusiastic by what they saw in Vietnam and about the decision of the Vietnamese people to fight until victory. As we have said many times before, we accord all support to the struggle of the Vietnamese people and we are convinced that victory will be on its side.

Of course, the unity of all of the socialist countries has a very large role in this. With all of the existing divergences between the socialist countries, nonetheless, we consider that they can succeed to achieve a more united activity of all socialist countries in assisting the Vietnamese people. In this direction the Vietnamese comrades can do much; and we can help to a certain degree.

When comrade Brezhnev was here, we insisted very much on this problem, on the necessity of intensifying the assistance for the Vietnamese people from the point of view of political activities and in every way, in order to mobilize peoples against American imperialism. We want to discuss this problem also with the Chinese comrades when they come here. It would be well if we agreed on a meeting of the socialist countries, in connection with the intensification of support for the Vietnamese people.

Yesterday, for example, we spoke with the Shah of Iran and among other things we raised the problem of American aggression in Vietnam. I must tell you that he was in complete agreement that the Vietnamese people should be left to resolve their own problems, without outside interference and that all foreign troops should be withdrawn form Vietnam. This means that more and more peoples understand the justice of the struggle of the Vietnamese people and support it. At one moment he even said: “In the end, if the communists should win in South Vietnam, that is the affair of the Vietnamese; no one must interfere there.” That is what a king said, which means that things are beginning to be understood better.

[…]

Cde. Le Thanh Nghi: On the other hand, we are always vigilent and we are always preparing such that we could in a relatively short time win this battle with the smallest losses. Conducting an armed struggle, we, likewise, seek through all means to coordinate this fight with political and diplomatic activity and we have, likewise, a very elastic attitude in policy.

While the U.S.A. further escalates the bombing of suburbs in the cities of Hanoi and Haiphong, while they intensify the war in South Vietnam, while Johnson stubbornly presents a 7 point peace program, in which the first point affirms that the U.S.A. is determined not to withdraw its troops from South Vietnam, under these circumstances we cannot put down our weapons and there is no other path except that of further combat.

Our political attitude is reflected in a consequent manner in the appeal addressed by comrade Ho Chi Minh on July 17 of this year.

In summary, at the present moment negotiation conditions are not ripe for engaging such negotiations.

So long as the U.S.A. remains obstinate in further conducting its aggression in Vietnam, our only egress is to further conduct our struggle with determination and constant vigilance.

Our position is decisive: the U.S.A. should halt definitively and unconditionally the aggressive war in South Vietnam, should recognize and respect the rights of the Vietnamese people to national independence, and should correctly apply the fundamental clauses of the 1954 Geneva accords. Nevertheless, we also adopt an elastic policy that is manifested in our not rejecting conversations and interviews. We have met with Roling [sic. Ronning] of Canada, with Sainteny of France, and we have also had other conversations.

Our political line elaborated by our party is the same one of preparing for a long-term struggle, with the strategy of a popular war because we are a small country that is fighting against a powerful imperialist country and we must adopt this strategy. Likewise, we are creating favorable conditions for obtaining victory with a decisive character in a relatively short time.

[…]

Cde. N. Ceausescu: I would like to thank you for the greetings transmitted from comrades Ho Chi Minh, Le Duan, Pham Van Dong and the other comrades in the party leadership and, at the same time, I ask comrade Le Thanh Nghi to transmit to comrades Ho Chi Minh, Le Duan, and Pham Van Dong our greetings.

I would like to express thanks for the briefing on the struggle and position of the party and government of the D.R. Vietnam.

Our party, government and people accord a high appreciation for the struggle that the Vietnamese people conduct against the American aggressors as well as for its international significance, and for the significance of this struggle for all of the socialist countries. As the comrades know, our country has expressed its clear position on this problem along many lines. We have accorded and we continue to accord assistance to the D.R. Vietnam and to the Vietnamese people in the struggle that they conduct against American aggression to the extent of our possibilities.

The visit of comrade Bodnaras and comrade Paul Niculescu-Mizil in the D.R. Vietnam, the visit of the Vietnamese delegation in our country at the beginning of 1966, as well as your current visit in our country likewise has a great importance for strengthening the relations between our parties, governments and peoples.

Without a doubt the visit to Vietnam that comrades Maurer and Paul Niculescu-Mizil will be making [on October 3-4, 1966] will constitute a new manifestation of the friendly relations between our parties and peoples, contributing to the develop of those relations.

We would now like to explain our position again, only in broad terms because it is already known. When comrades Maurer and Paul Niculescu-Mizil visit your country they will discuss these problems in greater detail.

I would only like to say that we consider the position presented here by comrade Le Thanh Nghi as justified. There can be no talk of ceding before American aggression whatsoever, and, under conditions in which the American imperialists are intensifying the aggression and bombing the D.R. Vietnam, all of the forces must be mobilized in order to repulse that aggression. Regarding this, the Vietnamese people have the principal role; [but] the assistance of the socialist countries and of the other peoples is also of great importance. We consider that in truth this assistance must be intensified. There are some difficulties that are known, and I do not want to refer to them now; probably, when our comrades go there they will also discuss this. We consider that everything must be done in order to overcome these difficulties, we must assure the possibility for the socialist countries to accord greater and greater assistance in the struggle that the Vietnamese people conduct.

It is right to underscore the decision of the Central Committee of the party in connection with combining the military fight with the political and diplomatic struggle. All paths and all possibilities of struggle must be used. In this regard, from what we know, the Vietnamese people enjoy much sympathy on the part of official circles, governments and peoples. Certainly, an intense political and diplomatic activity could win still more support for this struggle and isolate the American imperialists.

Likewise, what is expressed in the decision, that the conditions must be created in order to make talks possible, is a just position. Talks must be started when the necessary conditions are created, and those conditions can be obtained both through armed struggle and the defeat and repulsion of aggression and through political and diplomatic activity.

It is useful to hold consultations between the socialist countries and Vietnam – I am referring especially to Romania and Vietnam – in order to be able, to the degree of their possibilities, to accord material and political assistance in the struggle conducted by the Vietnamese people. In this manner we can hasten in a real way the possibility of obtaining victory against the American aggressors.

We believe more can be done both regarding the material assistance that we can give and in regard to the political and diplomatic activity, in order to isolate the Americans.

Here, in brief, are several things that I wanted to underscore regarding the information that you have presented to us.

We fully support the position of the Central Committee of the Workers Party of Vietnam, of the government of D.R. Vietnam and we are ready to accord, to the degree of our possibilities, material and political support in this struggle, considering it an international duty of our people and our party that we will fulfill.

[…]