Korea and Cuba: Successful meeting builds on friendship

A joyful and well attended barbecue and social was held in Saklatvala Hall on a hot Saturday in late July. The event is prepared annually by the Communist Party of Great Britain (Marxist Leninist) and marks two important occasions in the history of the working class and anti-imperialist struggle, both of which happened in the summer of 1953. The first is the occasion of the victory of the Korean people over US imperialism and second is the anniversary of the storming of the Moncada Barracks by Fidel Castro and Cuban revolutionaries which signalled the beginning of the end for the US-aligned dictator Batista.

The CPGB-ML already has excellent relations with both the Communist Party of Cuba and the Workers Party of Korea, and delegations of the central committee of the CPGB-ML have met and forged close relations with the central committee’s of these respective parties in recent years. In 2012 a party-to-party delegation met in Havana and this year our comrades spoke with high ranking members of the Workers Party of Korea whilst attending the awesome spectacle which was organised in Pyongyang to mark 60 years since the first victory over US imperialism in the Korean war.

Whilst the Chairman and International Secretary of the CPGB-ML were in Pyongyang for these celebrations, an equally celebratory mood prevailed in Saklatvala Hall. Barbecue food was prepared and served up all afternoon along with good beer and wine, and a hearty curry was prepared in the kitchens for the evening meal.

Once the sun had reached its zenith people packed into Saklatvala Hall itself to listen to speeches from Hyon Hak-bong, the Ambassador of the DPRK to Britain, Ranjeet Brar a central committee member of the CPGB-ML, fraternal greetings were brought from the People’s Liberation Front – Sri Lanka, and then comrades from the CPGB-ML south London branch played a number of revolutionary songs along with the Korean youth who sang a number of very popular songs from the war time.

A wonderful exhibition of photographs and information about the war in Korea were put on display by the Korean Embassy staff and comrades gathered round the boards throughout the day to see and read about the hardships inflicted upon the Korean people. From both the exhibition and in the speech of the Ambassador comrades learnt about how the slaughter which was perpetrated by US imperialism in Korea with the help of its fascist puppets led to the deaths of 1 in 6 Koreans and devastated the entire Korean peninsula. Rather than bend to the will of US imperialism the Korean workers and peasants, led by the outstanding Marxist Leninist freedom fighter Kim Il Sung, allied with over 1 million communist volunteers from China on the ground and covertly with scores of brave Soviet airmen in the skies, the united forces of the socialist camp gave a stinging military defeat which to this day is a bitter memory for US imperialism. So infuriated is the United States by the fierce independence and steadfast loyalty to the cause of the working class by the Workers Party of Korea they continue to aggressively pursue a belligerent and dangerous game in Asia which seeks to provoke an incident, keep tensions high and the threat of war ever present.

Following a showing of the classic film ‘Who started the Korean War?’ which revealed the true facts behind the US imperialist inspired invasion of north Korea, and a ‘Question and Answer session‘ from Comrade Hyon Hak-bong, Comrade Ranjeet gave a presentation from the CPGB -ML. In his speech he spelt out the ongoing threat to peace in the region as a direct result of the stationing of many thousands of US soldiers in occupied south Korea and the existence of unknown hundreds of nuclear missiles. That imperialism seeks domination not democracy is clearly seen by its ongoing occupation of one half of Korea and its wishes to keep the country torn in two.

Ranjeet spoke eloquently about the inspiring example set by Fidel Castro and the Cuban communist revolutionaries, who along with other brave patriots keep the flame of socialism burning brightly in the Caribbean and Latin America. If we really wish to pay proper homage to these brave fighters, and if we intend to work for the same goal of overthrowing imperialism and liberating the toiling masses, we must build up a strong communist party with links amongst the masses and guided by an advanced theory which can guide the working class in its struggle. Comrades were urged to do all they could to build up the CPGB-ML and the hosting of another successful BBQ and social was a perfect time at which to reflect upon all the good work which had been done in making a start on re-forging an organisation which cherishes and seeks to bring back the militant and revolutionary outlook and goals of the old Communist Party of Great Britain.

When the formal part of the meeting was concluded the songs performed by the Korean children were a real delight. The embassy staff recalled how some of the songs were sung by Korean soldiers in the trenches as they battled the imperialist invaders. Despite this most of the tunes had an overwhelmingly positive and upbeat mood which surely reflects the optimism communists and revolutionaries have even in the most despairing conditions and in the face of an overwhelmingly powerful and vicious enemy. When the music was all done and finished a rousing rendition of the Internationale was sung by all those present which brought to a conclusion the proceedings. Many comrades stayed around for more food, drink and general socialising and reflected on a fantastic, inspiring and informative day of proletarian internationalism!