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October 1, 1978

Policy Statement on the Bulgarian Relations with Angola, Ethiopia, Mozambique, and PDR of Yemen.

Considerations re: 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 if 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 of 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 the Marxist-Leninist theory, rather than by nationalistic 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 back-up was the petty bourgeoisie in the towns and villages, and its representatives among the civil servants and state officials, and, to a certain degree, its representatives among the proletariat, that has not become aware of its class interests and historical 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 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.


  1. On the importance of the economic relations with the countries, the programs for which are already made up.

The problem of 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.; in particular significant 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 the industry, and consumer goods, which our country has to import.

Second, these countries are purchasers of machines and 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 effected by exporting goods and services, such as special equipment, a complex of properties, etc.

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

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


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

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

Major trends in the import must be the following: mineral and vegetative raw materials, and the products necessary to process them initially; major produces of the 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 in terms of export 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 the environment, that will facilitate economic and production cooperation in the future.

Another new perspective trend in the economic, scientific and technological cooperation between Bulgaria and the mentioned so far developing countries is the export of patents and licenses, scientific and technological documentation, consulting services. Investing in our machine-building industry is yet another perspective 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 proved 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 bi-lateral or multi-lateral, with other COMECON countries.



II. Some more specific issues and considerations

  1. Two additional points to the tasks that are to be performed under the comprehensive programs:
  1. 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.
  1. Joint research in science and 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 bi-lateral basis.




[1] The document was prepared in regard of forthcoming T. Zhivkov’s visit to these countries in Mid-October 1978.

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




Policy recommendations for strengthening the political and economic ties between Bulgaria and the countries of the Third World.

Document Information


Central State Archive, Sofia, Fond 378-B, Record 1, File 488. Contributed by the Bulgarian Cold War Research Group, translated by Kalina Bratanova, and edited by Jordan Baev


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