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Digital Archive International History Declassified

November 23, 1966

TRANSCRIPT OF INTERVIEWS AT THE CENTRAL COMMITTEE OF ROMANIAN COMMUNIST PARTY WITH THE DELEGATION OF THE VIETNAMESE WORKER’S PARTY

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    This document is the transcript of a conversation between Nguyen Duy Trinh and Nicolae Ceausescu, in which Nicolae Ceausescu reaffirms the support of Romania for the Democratic Republic of Vietnam against American hostility and proposes the increased joint support of the socialist countries as a whole.
    "Transcript of Interviews at the Central Committee of Romanian Communist Party With the Delegation of the Vietnamese Worker’s Party," November 23, 1966, History and Public Policy Program Digital Archive, Stenograma intrevederii la CC al PCR cu delegatia Partidelor celor ce muncesc din Vietnam [Transcript of Meetings at the RCP CC with the Workers Party of Vietnam Delegation], November 21, 1966, Fond CC al PCR, Secţia Relaţii Externe, 150/1966, nr. 2925, 14/XII/1966. Translated by Larry L. Watts https://digitalarchive.wilsoncenter.org/document/122590
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November 21, 1966

On the Romanian side participated comrades: Nicolae Ceausescu, General secretary of the C.C. of the R.C.P., Ion Gheorghe Mauer, member of the Executive Committee, of the Permanent Presidium of the C.C. of the R.C.P., President of the Council of Ministers, Emil Bodnaras, member of the Executive Committee, of the Permanent Presidium of the C.C. of the R.C.P., First Vice-President of the Council of Ministers, Paul Niculescu-Mizil, member of the Executive Committee, of the Permanent Presidium, Secretary of the C.C. of the R.C.P.

Vasile Vlad, chief of section at the C.C. of the R.C.P., also participated in the interviews.

The delegation of the Vietnamese Workers Party was led by comrade Nguyen Duy Trinh, member of the Political Bureau of the C.C. of the Vietnamese Workers Party, Vice-President of the Council of Ministers, and Minister of Foreign Affairs for the D. R. Vietnam.

Hoang Tu, the D. R. Vietnam Ambassador in Bucharest was also present.

Cde. N. Ceausescu: How did you like your visit in Romania?

Cde. Nguyen Duy Trinh: Very much. I thank you very much, comrade General secretary. Five years ago I was in your country for the first time. On the occasion of this short stopover I could observe the great constructions that you have raised in the capital, which proves that living standards have risen much and that you have obtained very good results. [2/3] We are very happy to stop in Bucharest, at the invitation of comrade General secretary Nicolae Ceausescu.

On the occasion of this meeting I would like to address, through you, on behalf of the Political Bureau of our party, of the entire Central Committee of the Vietnamese Worker’s Party the warmest fraternal greetings to the entire Central Committee, Executive Committee and Permanent Presidium of Romanian Communist Party Central Committee.

Cde. Nicolae Ceausescu:

I thank you and I would like to request that you transmit from our party leadership the warmest greetings and wishes for the good health of your party leadership, of the Central Committee, and of comrade Ho Chi Minh personally.

Cde. Nguyen Duy Trinh:

I thank you very much; I will transmit these greetings.

Our party, the Central Committee led by comrade Ho Chi Minh, and our government was very happy to receive the party and governmental delegation lead by comrade Ion Gheorghe Maurer.

The position of your party, the assistance and political, economic and moral support accorded by the Romanian party, government and people to the struggle of our people against American aggression strengthens all the more the existing ties of friendship between our parties, governments and peoples.

Cde. Nicolae Ceausescu:

We are very satisfied with the manner in which the relations between our parties and governments have developed.

The aggression that the Americans conduct in Vietnam and in general the war that is occurring gives special importance to these relations and to a certain degree gives them a certain character.

Although recently comrades Ion Gheorghe Maurer and Paul Niculescu-Mizil were in Vietnam, I believe that it is well that the comrades have stopped to visit us, even for a short time, in order to carry out another exchange of views regarding some problems that have appeared in the meantime. During this time we participated together in the Albanian Workers Party Congress and the Bulgaria Communist Party Congress. At both congresses there appeared issues upon which it is well that we exchange opinions. Finally, in connection with the development of the struggle against American aggression, likewise, it is well that we continually exchange opinions, especially given that also at these congresses certain elements appeared which can aid a better understanding of certain things. These would be the issues upon which I would like, briefly, as much as time permits, to exchange opinions.

Cde. Nguyen Duy Trinh:

We agree with what you have said and we are happy to hear what you have explained to us.

Cde. Nicolae Ceausescu:

I would like to begin with regard to the issue of the struggle against American aggression in Vietnam. I do not want to reaffirm in detail now the position that our party; it is known to you. Comrades Emil Bodnaras and Ion Gheorghe Maurer explained the position of our party when they visited you.

What I would like to underscore now is that we consider that the position of the Vietnamese Workers’ Party is correct and that we support it completely. For us it is clear there can be no termination of the struggle in Vietnam unless the Americans renounce their plans of domination and withdraw from Vietnam. Thus all of the problems regarding the finding of ways and their use for putting an end to the American aggression are tied to the fundamental aim that must be realized. In this context we consider that it is necessary to do everything so that the combat force of the Vietnamese people should increase and so that it can give blows that are as powerful as possible to the Americans.

We consider that one of the principal tasks of the socialist countries is to accord material support from all points of view in order to strengthen the combat force of the Vietnamese people. Herein is included both economic and military assistance.

In the second place we consider that the socialist countries, as comrade Maurer said when he was in Hanoi, must accord a more powerful political and diplomatic support to the Vietnamese people, there should be a better coordination of those two forms of struggle, which can help the Vietnamese people to obtain victory as rapidly as possible.

In connection with this problem we informed you what we had discussed and what our impressions are regarding the meeting that took place in Moscow. I could say that the proceedings of those two congresses – the Albanian and the Bulgarian – strengthened the opinions that we expressed to you after the conference in Moscow. In the discussions that took place in Moscow there was an observable preoccupation to reach what is currently called a “political” solution to resolve the war situation in Vietnam as quickly as possible, and it emerged that this issue was discussed in the meeting between Gromyko, Johnson and Dean Rusk. In the meantime we have received a series of information reports, both directly and indirectly, from different sources, which confirm this and which show that the issue of certain understandings on this problem is in a certain measure already realized.

Cde. Emil Bodnaras:

[Understandings] between the Soviets and the Americans, and between the Soviets and others.

Cde. Nicolae Ceausescu:

This also emerged, at least we were left with the impression that had, in the manner in which the problem of the Vietnamese was raised in the Congress of the Bulgarians. On the other hand, the more realistic capitalist press also seized upon this aspect and appreciated that the issue of assistance to Vietnam and the struggle against the American aggression in Vietnam did not enjoy any special attention at the Bulgarian Congress and that in general the criticism addressed to the American aggression in Vietnam was fairly soft, that it was in any case much weaker than the criticism against the Chinese.

I must tell you – I don’t know what opinion you have, nor have I discussed this with the comrades – I have rather the same opinion about the way the congress went. I do not know what opinion you have, you were there, but I would like to underscore the fact that the requests for achieving a coordination of assistance for Vietnam, at least among the socialist countries of Europe, which at first glance seem to have the aim of intensifying this assistance, from the manner in which the problem was raised especially in Moscow it emerged that the aim of this coordination would not have been entirely that, because almost all who spoke in Moscow – all of the delegations from Europe, in fact, the party leaders expressed a certain doubt about the necessity of such a large volume of assistance and that in any case they were not certain if that assistance was reaching Vietnam or if it was used by the Vietnamese. Of course, one must always look behind the words to the impressions, and our impression was that in this direction there could be certain intentions to further restrict this assistance in certain conditions.

To tell you our most intimate thoughts – to use this coordination to apply a certain pressure upon the leaders of Vietnam. These are the impressions with which we were left after the discussions. Moreover, when connected to the information reports that we have about some of the discussions to which I have referred, it seems that our impressions are not completely lacking in a certain basis.

Regarding the issue of political and diplomatic activities, about this problem we have discussed with many communist parties, including with the leadership of the American Communist Party, with Gus Hall. We must tell you that among the parties with which we have discussed in the last two-three months we have also found the same impression that this political and diplomatic activity is insufficient. Gus Hall declared to us that the action undertaken in the U.S.A. against Johnson’s policies does not find support and sufficient encouragement in the actions undertaken in other states. And this is the reality.

After our delegation, led by comrade Ion Gheorghe Maurer, was in Hanoi they had discussions with the representatives of many countries, including the capitalist countries, especially at the UN and we must tell you that we found virtually no government that has not manifested an attitude of understanding and sympathy for Vietnam. Generally speaking, the issue of persuading the to renounce their aggression enjoys a large audience and finds, in any case, broad support. I must tell you that the problem of ceasing the bombardment of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam finds a very large support in almost all countries and constitutes an issue upon which we consider that under today’s conditions certain results could be obtained. In any case, there is a certain pressure on the part of many governments, even within NATO, which raises the problem of the unconditional cessation of bombing against the Democratic Republic of Vietnam.

We consider that results could be obtained in this regard, if one acts more firmly on both the political and diplomatic planes. Certainly, this would not mean that the aggression was terminated, but it would be in any case a success for the Vietnamese people, for the forces of peace in the entire world.

We have made known to you, and I do not want to repeat now, the discussions that took place between our foreign minister, Corneliu Manescu, Rusk and Goldberg. [Of course,] one cannot place great faith in what they say! According to the appreciations of bourgeois circles in several capitalist countries, Rusk represents the harder, more intransigent line and it seems that these circles are right.

Nevertheless, we consider it necessary, as we expressed in Hanoi as well, to find a way to better unmask the intentions of the Americans and place them in the situation that the unmasking of these maneuvers, if they prove in truth not to be genuine, and probably that will be the case, should appear clearly for public opinion, including among the socialist countries, so that they must renounce the illusion of understandings with the Americans. For this it is nonetheless necessary to act and to create a situation in which these attempts could be unmasked. Certainly, one can unmask nothing with words and because of that we consider that way must be found in which we can put these American proposals to the test.

If the cessation of bombing is achieved, we consider that would be a very good thing. If this is not achieved, it will be a clear unmasking of the Americans, of their rhetoric regarding their so-called “peaceful” intentions. At the same time, this would give those who nurture illusions about these intentions the possibility of seeing that they must not go down that path. There are quite a few who nurture these illusions even among our socialist countries and communist parties.

As you know, two weeks ago Johnson sent Harriman to several capitalist countries – France, England and Italy – in order to explain the position of the Americans. From the information we have from official sources of the respective governments, including from the words of Nenni directly, Harriman tried to explain that they are ready to move to the cessation of bombing if in this regard they could reach a certain understanding with the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. Both the French representative and the Italians have said that they were left with the impression that it is more a maneuver on their part in order to further mask their general policy. But, they said, the Democratic Republic of Vietnam was best placed to unmask this maneuver by putting this intention to the test.

In any case, given the manner in which international events are developing now, in our opinion it is necessary that along with the intensification of the struggle against the American aggression carried out by the people of Vietnam there should be fuller engagement in political-diplomatic activity and that in this regard the initiative must be held by the D.R. Vietnam, and that this initiative should not be left to others. It is better, in our opinion, for this initiative to be in the hands of the D.R. Vietnam. This will have a great importance both in regard to the struggle to win the war and for assuring the independence of the D.R. Vietnam and of the Vietnamese people.

In short, these are several considerations that we wanted to say to you on this topic.

Cde. Ion Gheorghe Maurer:

On this last initiative of Vietnam, in the discussions that took place in Moscow it was underscored with emphasis that the agenda of the conference of European parties and of the parties of the socialist countries of Europe that should be convoked will comprise two points: The first point – European security, which is understandable, because the parties of Europe are participating; and the second point – the Vietnamese problem.

In what measure is it important that all of this initiative remain in the hands of Vietnam and not in the hands of others? In order to assure, as comrade Nicole Ceausescu said, in optimal manner the possibilities of the struggle for liberty and the realization of this struggle for the Vietnamese people.

Cde. Nicolae Ceausescu:

I would like to underscore yet again that we consider that the taking of the initiative by the D.R. Vietnam in the political and diplomatic domain as well will have a great influence also in regards to the clarification of some things in the communist movement, including especially in the socialist countries (I refer to those in Europe), clarification in the positive sense, by showing the true face of American imperialism and the necessity of strengthening the struggle against the imperialists.

I do not believe that it is any secret to you that very many communist parties and leaders of socialist states in Europe, minus Albania, have raised the issue and think that the Vietnamese Worker’s Party and the Vietnamese government have not given proof of understanding. Given that, action in the sense described would give the possibility that this opinion, which is gaining ground, could be clarified and combated, and that would contribute to the taking of measures for increasing and intensifying military and political assistance for D.R. Vietnam and for the Vietnamese people.

Thus, comrades, in brief, we have expressed to you several considerations upon which we have reflected and continue to reflect and which emerge from what we know, from our contacts with communist parties, with governments of the socialist states and with those of some capitalist countries.

It may be that our opinions are not sufficiently documented, that some are merely impressions, but, bearing in mind the good and open relations that exist between our parties and governments, we considered that it was best to tell you how we think about them.

Regarding the second problem, certainly, here it would seem that things are somewhat clearer. Thus, at the Congresses in Albania and Bulgaria this issue appeared in rather brutal form, to put it one way – thus the problem of the unity of the socialist countries, of the communist movement and the issue of an international conference.

These things are known also to you; the sharpness of the discussions and the contradictions that you have felt sometimes more than us because of your specific circumstances. What worries us is that, recently, tied to some events in China, pressures and preparations have intensified for an international conference that in today’s conditions will in fact lead to a formal schism. The character of such a conference in today’s conditions, in our opinion, appears clear enough. In the same manner no serious efforts are made to conceal this intention.

This conference seeks to condemn the Chinese P. R. and the Chinese Communist Party, it leads, as those who desire this thing say, to its international isolation and to the reestablishment of the leading role of the Soviet Union, of the CPSU. On what do we base this analysis? On the discussions we have had in Moscow and on other occasions, and by the way in which the Bulgarian Communist Party Congress developed. Internal problems remained a secondary or tertiary priority and the first priority was the issue of discussing the situation in China, with the condemnation of China, when the idea appeared of an international conference at which the vanguard role of the CPSU and of the Soviet Union in the communist movement should also be discussed. Thus, in essence, the orientation of the future international conference was outlined. That, of course, is our opinion.

In connection with China and with the so-called Cultural Revolution, about which there was much discussion and which stood at the center of the Bulgarian Communist Party Congress, we consider that these are internal problems of the Chinese P.R. and that they cannot constitute an object for discussion in a congress of another party. We cannot say that everything is clear for us regarding what is occurring in China, or that we would subscribe, to the degree that our information is from the media, to these things. These are Chinese problems and if we should raise them in discussion and to give our opinion one way or the other regarding them then we should do so only directly, in discussions with our Chinese comrades, which presupposes that we are well-documented in order to avoid making assessments based only on certain information that, in any case, is not complete, bearing in mind that we know of it only from the press. We consider that the wrong path has been chosen when the problems in China constitute the object of public, international debates because that accomplishes nothing other than to deepen the divergences and schism within the international communist and workers movement. In consequence, one could find things in each and every socialist country with which one does not agree.

Cde. Ion Gheorghe Maurer: Sometimes we find such things at home as well.

Cde. Nicolae Ceausescu:

Others can find them in our country, we can find them in other countries and if we begin taking a certain position and condemning what one or another country does, with which we do not agree, then there will be no such thing as unity among socialist countries. In the end, they are not in the least entitled to be so terribly impressed, as some of the party leaders claimed to be, with regard to what is occurring in China, because there were things in the other socialist countries that were even worse than those in China.

I don’t have to remind you about the trials and death sentences that took place in the period 1948-1953, when dozens and dozens of activists, of party leaders of socialist countries fell in the wake of the Soviet Union after [the purges in] 1936; then there is the tale told by Khrushchev about the way in which the problems of the party were resolved with the army. If the methods used by the Chinese comrades would truly be so impressive, perhaps if they looked to their own homes they would find things more impressive still. To be perfectly sincere, that fact that these events are occurring there is not so impressive. They merely constitute a pretext for the intensification of actions against the Chinese Communist Party. Given the above, wedo not agree with any of this action and we consider it damaging.

We cannot say that we are not concerned also with the manner in which the Chinese comrades proceed on international issues. We have told the Chinese comrades our opinion, especially in regards to the relations with communist and workers parties, and the support of fractional groups within them by other parties. At the Albanian Workers Party Congress this appeared in a form that is now rather worrisome and dangerous. In May, when we spoke here with comrade Zhou Enlai about this problem, we told him our opinion and we explained who, essentially, are these groups that they are supporting – marginal elements, elements that have fought within the party, that supporting them meant in fact to intervene in the internal affairs of other parties, to push for the destruction of those parties. What was comrade Zhou Enlai’s response? “What can we do if they come to us, we are obliged to give them support if they come and request that support.”

We do not share that opinion and we consider that they are mistaken to proceed in that way and that they should stop this activity, stop the support they accord to these groups.

We are also not in agreement, something which I’ve already told you, in regard to the relations with the socialist countries. Certainly, there are divergences, but nevertheless it is not possible to act and to condemn them en masse, to come with judgments just as the Soviet Union judges them, which cannot and do not in any way help to clarify things, but, on the contrary, impede such clarification. We told them: “Who could possibly believe that the Soviet Union is reestablishing capitalism, as you pretend?” Certainly, there are also problems regarding which the Chinese comrades have justice on their side, regarding a series of issues, including the resolution of some things at the international level where the Soviet comrades have not consulted any of the socialist countries; they have not consulted with the Chinese, not with the Romanians, and probably not with others.

In any case, in their activity of finding paths for the resolution of international problems [Moscow] accords greater attention to good relations and direct discussions with the Americans than with reaching prior consensus with the socialist countries. We are not against discussions with the Americans. We know that the Americans have atomic weapons; that the U.S.A. is a powerful country, and it is clear that peace cannot be assured without having relations with the Americans and thus discussion with the Americans. However, we are against any discussions undertaken to the detriment of agreement with the socialist countries on the path to be followed and the purpose, in the final analysis, of these understandings is to ensure unity on the fundamental problems, not on practical issues. Here as well we consider that the Chinese comrades are right, however, not in the manner in which they put the problem because the manner in which they put the problem does not contribute to the clarification and creation of conditions between the socialist countries possibilities are created for jointly resolving these problems. To a certain degree, they impel the Soviet along this path. It is true that Comrade Mao Tse Dong said: “It doesn’t matter! Let them go where they want!” But nevertheless, this is not any way to resolve the problem.

And in regard to interference in the affairs of other parties, likewise, the Soviet comrades proceed no better than the Chinese comrades.

Cde. Ion Gheorghe Maurer: Perhaps better camouflaged.

Cde. Nicolae Ceausescu:

Only that the Soviets are in a more favorable position because they have direct relations with the party leaderships and they also use the international fund[1] in order to impose a certain kind of judgment, a fund to which we and other socialist countries also contribute. They did not reach an understanding, so to speak, with the party leadership. However, they did not back down from supporting Shiga.[2] Also in May comrade Brezhnev was here; I raised the problem of this interference in the internal affairs of the Japanese Communist Party and of his support to Shiga and he responded with almost the same words as Zhou Enlai: “What can we do if Shiga comes to us, should we not given him help?”

Cde. Nguyen Duy Trinh:

According to our information from the Japanese Communist Party comrades, the CPSU no longer supports Shiga. Nonetheless, it continues to support several national movements in Japan.

Cde. Nicolae Ceausescu:

Recently they stopped their direct support, at least to Shiga, but in exchange they act under other forms. At the Bulgarian Communist Party Congress several delegations came to us and complained that very great pressures were being exerted upon them to take a position against the Chinese and to pronounce in favor of an international conference. Thus, interference exists both on the side of the Chinese comrades and on the side of the Soviet comrades. Maybe the cause of their split is that they have not reached agreement on how to share the interference.

Cde. Emil Bodnaras: And this may be the only good thing about it!

Cde. Nicolae Ceausescu:

Given this situation we consider that raising the issue of an international conference at the present moment and in the current conditions would do nothing more than lead to a deepening of the schisms, perhaps to their formal confirmation.

It cannot be said with certitude, but if such a conference of the communist parties took place, it would completely free the hand of the Chinese Communist Party to organize another conference with the groups that gathered in Tirana, with all of the consequences that would flow from that, with the intensification of the fight at the international level. We must not be blind to the fact that the Chinese Communist Party also has a certain influence, prestige and the means for supporting various groups in different countries in their activities.

Given that, we consider that we must do everything in order to impede the holding of an international conference of communist parties under these conditions. It seems that such a conference would not enjoy the participation of communist parties from all of the socialist states. As we discussed also in Sofia, some 6-7 parties would not participate. This means one half of the socialist countries. Taken by population, it is more than the population of China.

Cde. Nguyen Duy Trinh: Thus, the communist members of these parties.

Cde. Nicolae Ceausescu:

In these conditions how would the unity of the world socialist system appear? How could it exercise influence over the development of international life? Besides that, a great number of communist parties from capitalist countries would not participate either. At the Congress of the Bulgarians 73 parties came. I saw this statistic made by a foreign press agency today. At the congress only 32 parties pronounced clearly for an international conference. Certainly, others would also be drawn in, but in any case, not all communist parties will participate. Thus, also from the point of view of the communist parties of the capitalist countries, likewise, a situation of divisiveness would be created. In the final analysis we must also take into account the situation of national liberation movements, which have all pronounced against a conference because they have recognized that it will aggravate the situation and facilitate the activity of imperialism against them.

This is why we consider that we cannot be in favor of an international conference.

We believe that also in this regard the Workers Party of Vietnam could play a more important role.

Regarding the issue of a conference of communist and workers party in Europe, which is under preparation and intended to be organized in the spring of next year, we likewise consider that it is not useful and that it must not take place. It would be better to have this meeting in a different international situation and in a different situation of the communist movement. However, a meeting of communist parties in Europe at this juncture would discuss in the first place the problems of the communist movement, would condemn China and would lead to the deepening of the schism. If at the Bulgarian Communist Party Congress they did not abstain from discussing these problems, can we not imagine what will happen at an international conference?

Given this, we consider that we cannot take part in such a conference.

The problem before us to which we must respond – and here I would like the relations between our parties and our contacts to be closer – is what must we do in this situation? It is not sufficient to say that we are not in agreement with the conference of communist parties in Europe, with the international conference. We must think about this and, if we think more about it, maybe we can find better solutions about how we must act in order to attenuate the divergences and find the path towards reestablishing unity. Of course, we are not laboring under any illusions; things are not easy. Solutions cannot be found that will give results overnight. However, they must be thought of and acted upon in this direction. Here, of course, direct ties with the Chinese comrades, with the Soviet comrades and with the other parties are important, so that this position would not simply be one of saying “no” but would assist in the discovery of ways for resolving divergences.

We accord a great importance in the general direction of direct contacts between parties, direct discussions between parties. I must tell you that if the Chinese comrades would better understand this issue it could aid very much in the solution of the problems. We have discussed with the leadership of many parties, especially in Europe, and with others, likewise, and even where there are some divisive factions supported by the Chinese we have found the desire to have direct contacts with the Chinese comrades and to discuss problems. However, at least from what those leaderships tell us, they have not found this desire on the part of the Chinese comrades. The appreciation that they are only revisionists en masse and that one cannot discuss with revisionists will not resolve the problem. Nonetheless, we believe that, eventually, the Chinese comrades will come to the understanding that they must go along the line of contacts with communist parties, with the leaderships of these parties, just as the Soviet comrades will understand more and more that it is well to renounce certain practices of interfering in the affairs of other parties. They must be helped to understand this thing. It requires time and work, and it seems that life, that events push in this direction.

Cde. Emil Bodnaras: They must be helped here as well.

Cde. Nicolae Ceausescu:

That, comrades, in brief, is how we see the problems of the communist and workers movement at the present moment.

I repeat once more, on these problems we desire to have the broadest exchange of views with the leadership of the Workers Party of Vietnam and to see in truth what we can do in the direction of strengthening unity. We accord a great appreciation to the experience or your party leadership, to comrade Ho Chi Minh, and we believe that a broad discussion on these problems would be timely and useful.

Cde. Nguyen Duy Trinh:

In regard to the resolution of the divergent problems that exist in the international communist and workers movement, do you, on behalf of the Central Committee of the Romanian Communist Party, have any initial ideas that you could present to us so that we could also have a look at them?

Cde. Nicolae Ceausescu:

At the moment we do not only wish to raise this problem with you, but to reflect on it together, both us and you.

Cde. Nguyen Duy Trinh:

We appreciate that the way in which the Romanian Communist Party has phrased the problems is quite correct. The Workers Party of Vietnam is, likewise, very worried about the existence of divergences within the international communist and workers movement and the way in which these events are developing.

As you also know, the Central Committee of our party and especially comrade Ho Chi Minh has spoken much about this problem. At the current moment we find that this problem is very difficult and for the moment our party cannot present specific solutions for resolving the situation; even the way things are developing at the present moment we find somewhat difficult.

We consider that the Fifth Congress of the Workers Party of Albania was an international arena, although in miniature form, but nevertheless an international arena in which the problem of the attacks against the CPSU leadership was raised. The Ninth Congress of the Bulgarian C. P. was in fact an international arena where the attacks were directed against China. At this conference the tendency was observed of pressing further the convocation of an international meeting.

We appreciate that an international conference convoked at the present moment, despite all of the good intentions of the organizers, if we can call it that, such a conference could not lead to cohesion or to an understanding between parties.

Soon the Hungarian Socialist Workers Party congress will take place.

Cde. Nicolae Ceausescu: It will take place in a week.

Cde. Nguyen Duy Trinh:

We are monitoring the direction in which attention will be direction at this congress having in view the speech delivered by comrade Komocsin at the Bulgarian Communist Party Congress. Given that, we consider what you have said is very important.

Based on the statistics that the comrade general secretary presented to us it emerges that at the Bulgarian Communist Party Congress 32 parties agreed to the convocation of an international conference. Nevertheless we find in this a purer trend. It means that the other communist parties pronounced themselves not for an eventual international but for the postponing of that conference.

We agree with the comrade general secretary that at the present moment we must think more in order to seek a certain solution for resolving this situation. I referred only to the last issue that the comrade general secretary presented.

We will report what the comrade general secretary told us about the political role of the Workers Party of Vietnam, of comrade Ho Chi Minh. We will study very seriously what he has told us. At this meeting the comrade general secretary has presented very clearly to us the position of the Romanian Communist Party towards the struggle of the Vietnamese people, towards the problems of the international communist and workers movement.

We express our sincere thanks to the comrade general secretary, to all of the comrades present at this meeting.

We thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the very precious information that you have given us because, in fact, we have not received some of this from other sources.  

Regarding the problem of the Vietnamese. On the occasion of the visit made by comrades Ion Gheorghe Maurer and Paul Niculescu-Mizil at the beginning of October our party expressed its point of view on this problem. After that we found out, likewise, about the communication that comrade Paul Niculescu-Mizil made after the conference of the 9 parties in Moscow.

Now, the comrade general secretary has given us an ample presentation of this event. What we have understood from the exposition of the comrade general secretary and of comrade Paul Niculescu-Mizil from previous visits is that the policy of the Romanian Communist Party is in concordance with our policy and we are in agreement with it. In the first place we must know well the aggressive policy of the American imperialists and the two-faced maneuvers that the American imperialists conduct – on the one hand intensifying and extending the aggressive war in Vietnam, while on the other speaking about peace, about a peaceful resolution of the Vietnamese problem. But just as you have also thought, we calculate that through this the Americans have placed themselves in a difficult situation. They are having certain difficulties even on the battlefront in South Vietnam, both generally speaking and at the level of world public opinion.

As you have also reaffirmed, the fundamental problem in the resolution of the Vietnamese problem is to win on the military front through struggle, and at the same time, in parallel with that military struggle, to better serve the military struggle carried in Vietnam in order to contribute to a greater victory, the political struggle is necessary and very important. We understand, likewise, that in the political struggle we have two aspects: the political struggle conducted by the population in the zone presently occupied by the Americans. In this domain our entire people exerts very great efforts. We place a very great accent on this declared aspect of the political struggle of the population in the zones currently occupied by the enemy, a struggle in which the majority of the social strata have participated. For example, we are speaking of the struggle conducted by the Buddhists of South Vietnam, of the struggle conducted by the youth, by the women of South Vietnam. We have a situation in which the enemy has drawn the people who are fighting against the troops with long hair, thus of troops formed of women. Even within the ranks of the enemy there are very intense struggles. In this sense we can affirm that we have obtained certain results. We have exerted further efforts regarding the policy conducted in the zones already occupied by the National Liberation Front of South Vietnam; we strengthen these zones and develop them in the sense of their consolidation. In the liberated areas we share the land, we apply a social policy and other measures for further increasing the living standard of the population in these liberated zones. We make efforts to further strengthen the already liberated zones, realizing the tasks of democratic revolution. The [second] aspect of the political struggle is engaged on the international level. Along this line our government and party have made efforts and we noted that both you and other socialist countries have helped us in this domain.

In parallel with this armed struggle conducted by our people in Vietnam we developed, similarly, also a political struggle; we must study in detail the modalities of this struggle, including also meetings with political officials of capitalist and enemy countries. All of these measures are undertaken in order to strengthen both our military struggle and our struggle in general.

We consider that this political measure has the primary aim, through the concrete activity that we conduct, to show the justice of the struggle of our people, to draw the support of all social strata of the world who support our position, in order to show, likewise, that our struggle is just and that we truly desire peace in Vietnam. Through this we expose what the Americans say about peace as untrue. Through this struggle we fully exploit the existing contradictions even within the bosom of the Johnson administration in order to separate their ranks even more in order to isolate the most dangerous. This political struggle about which I have spoken has a third goal, that of unraveling even more the ranks of the puppet army and for creating an atmosphere, a tendency toward a true peace even among the ranks of our enemies. The principal goal of these struggles or the political measures that we have adopted have as their aim the further strengthening of our fight. In this domain, what I have thought and what I have understood from what you have said, we are in complete agreement. There are no differences in this regard.

Truly, in the domain of the struggle on the international level we cannot fully use the possibilities that concrete problems at the present moment offer us. On the occasion of the visit by comrades Ion Gheorghe Maurer and Paul Niculescu-Mizil, comrade Pham Van Dong spoke clearly about this problem. Comrade Pham Van Dong said that if the Americans desire to meet with us at the current juncture in which the D. R. Vietnam is bombarded day and night it would be impossible. Just as the comrade general secretary also said, in order to reach a certain measure, we consider that the Americans must immediately and unconditionally, definitively, halt the bombing and the acts of war against the Republic of Vietnam.

On our part, we are exerting further efforts in order to fully use the support given our struggle in different domains. We consider that we could use and apply creatively the teachings of Lenin – that is, a just policy, proven to be just. This is a policy understood to be just not only by the leadership but even by the ordinary masses through its practice. Given that, in order to show that Vietnam is peaceful or warlike in the world arena we must prove this through our concrete deeds. We are constantly proving that we are for peace and our desire is genuine.

I would like to offer several examples in order to show once more that between your position and our positions there is not the slightest difference. We are constantly exerting efforts in order to study the problems further.

Again I thank you from the bottom of my heart for the attention that the Romanian Communist Party and you personally have accorded to this problem.

In regard to the problem of divergences arising in the international communist and workers movement you have presented your opinion on the occasion of our meetings. We consider that this is a serious and very important problem.

We consider that we must continue our just policy on the international plane of exerting efforts for the cohesion of communist and workers parties on the basis of Marxism-Leninism and proletarian internationalism. In order to have a union of all progressive forces in the entire world, first we must unite the efforts of the socialist countries. There must be cohesion between the socialist countries on the basis of Marxism-Leninism and proletarian internationalism. The CPSU and the Chinese C. P. must adopt a basis of understanding. In order to have cohesion between the communist and workers parties, the parties must show reciprocal respect for one another, there should be full equality of rights, without any sort of interference in their internal affairs, they should likewise have perseverance and patience in resolving their litigious problems or misunderstandings between parties.

But what can we do at the present moment? Any international conference supported by some or by others at the present moment would discuss the problem of a formal schism, which would surely aggravate the current situation in which divergences already exist.

At the Ninth Congress of the Bulgarian Communist Party we listened with very much attention to the welcoming speech addressed to the congress by comrade General Secretary Nicolae Ceausescu in which he affirmed that if it was not possible to conduct any activity that would bring the parties together, the Romanian Communist Party would abstain from any actions that would deepen these divergences. We consider that the position of our party is the same and at the present moment we consider that our task is that of barring, of stopping this tendency towards open schism and of exerting further efforts in order to further strengthen the cohesion between parties.

We will further think with all seriousness upon what the comrade general secretary has told us. We consider that the problem broached is a serious problem, which constitutes a warning and a worry for all of the revolutionaries who lead the struggle at the present moment. This causes such concern with our party as well.  Even at the Ninth Congress of the Bulgarian C. P. we heard, likewise, a delegate from a democratic party in Africa expressing similar concerns. We consider that such worries are justified.

In regard to the relations existing between our parties and governments, we are very happy that the existing relations between our parties and governments are good and on the path of developing further. In the first place, the meetings between the party and state leaderships in order to discuss the problems of the current situation are very precious. Such meetings are good because we know that you have other conditions than us, you have many more relations and possibilities than us in this domain. You can see the situation in a broader view than we do. These good relations on the path of developing further reflect the assistance, the support given by the Romanian party and government to our struggle. We consider this assistance to be very precious.

All communists, the entire Workers Party of Vietnam, knows well the declarations in which you as party and as government have taken positions toward the Vietnamese problem. All Vietnamese communists also know your position towards the problems arising in the international communist and workers movement. For the Vietnamese in general, for our party, our government and the entire Vietnamese people the help and support accorded by the party, government and entire people of fraternal Romania is very precious. We have noted, through various forms of assistance, the generosity of the entire Romanian people towards the struggle of our people, for increasing our economic and military potential. This assistance contributes to the strengthening of our forces in the struggle against the American aggressors for our people to fulfill successfully the task of the victorious struggle against the imperialists.

Once more, on the occasion of these meetings, in the name of our Central Committee of the Workers Party of Vietnam, in the name of the government of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam and in the name of the entire Vietnamese people we express our profound thanks for the support and assistance given to our people.

I affirm to you, comrade general secretary, that we will immediately inform our Political Bureau and the entire Central Committee of that which you have communicated to us today, so that they can jointly study it.

We would be very happy if you have any ideas about the manner in which we should proceed in order to stop the divergences, so that they do not lead to schisms. In this order of ideas, we are very happy to study together with you such a measure.

For our part, if we have something to say in this regard we will present it to you first, as was agreed on the occasion of the visits made to our country by comrades Emil Bodnaras, Ion Gheorghe Maurer and Paul Niculescu-Mizil. If ideas for consultation eventually arise, we have our ambassador in Bucharest, you have an ambassador in our country, we can discuss through this path.

Again we thank you from the bottom of our hearts for the information received which we consider very precious. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

Cde. Nicolae Ceausescu:

We thank the comrades for their kind words, for the appreciations made. It is true that the points of view are identical between us and that constitutes a good basis for future activity between our parties and countries. Both our party and yours are among the smaller parties, and our countries are somewhat smaller than others, but I believe that we can undertake something and that we can help to clarify points of view if we act together. This in regard to the international communist and workers movement and the unity of socialist countries.

Regarding the struggle of the Vietnamese people, we have accorded and we will continue to accord you all of the support that we possibly can and we are certain that the Vietnamese people will obtain victory. Let’s do this in such a way that victory is obtained as quickly as possible and with as few losses as possible.

We are completely in agreement with what you have said in regard to the military and political struggle, and in this sense, likewise, there is a unanimous opinion between our parties and countries.

I would like once more to transmit from our part wishes for the happiness of the leadership of the party to you, to your party, to the entire Vietnamese people, and for success in its struggle.

At 1530 hrs I would like us to dine together. Do you agree?

Cde. Nguyen Duy Trinh: With pleasure.

Cde. Nicolae Ceausescu:

Until then if you would like to visit something, although the time is very short? Or if you have any other issue, we can satisfy any desire?

Cde. Nguyen Duy Trinh:

I thank you very much for this meeting.  I thank you very much also for the invitation to dine together. For the time being we have no other issues to discuss.

23.XI.1966

[1] The international fund, also known as the “Moscow Fund,” was administered by the CPSU CC International Department through the World Federation of Trade Unions to finance communist parties in the West, particularly those of France, Finland, and Italy (as well as the United States). Contributions to the Fund were obligatory for all Warsaw Pact members. When created in 1950 the Fund was based in Romania. Bucharest and Moscow clashed over its administration during 1964-1965 and the Fund was relocated to Czechoslovakia in 1966. Romania withdrew from the Fund altogether in 1974.

[2] Yoshio Shiga was expelled from the Japanese Communist Party for his pro-Soviet stance in May 1964, whereupon he began creating a dissident organization.

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