Vietnam and the World Struggle
for Freedom

(Message to the Tricontinental)

Published April 1967

In April 1965 Guevara left Cuba to lend his leadership abilities as a guerrilla commander to revolutionary struggles in other parts of the world--from the Congo to Bolivia. The following undated message was addressed to the Organization of Solidarity with the Peoples of Asia, Africa, and Latin America (OSPAAAL, also referred to as the Tricontinental), which was established following a January 1966 conference in Havana. It was published on April 16, 1967, in a special inaugural edition of Tricontinental magazine, published by the Executive Secretariat of OSPAAAL. It appeared there under Guevara's title, "Create Two, Three . . . Many Vietnams, That is the Watchword."

"It is the hour of the furnace, and the light is all that can be seen."
-- Jose Marti

Twenty-one years have elapsed since the end of the last world conflagration, and various publications in every language are celebrating this event, symbolized by the defeat of Japan. A climate of optimism is apparent in many sectors of the different camps into which the world is divided.

Twenty-one years without a world war in these days of maximum confrontations, of violent clashes and abrupt turns, appears to be a very high number. All of us declare our readiness to fight for this peace. But without analyzing its practical results (poverty, degradation, constantly increasing exploitation of enormous sectors of humanity), it is appropriate to ask whether this peace is real.

The purpose of these notes is not to write the history of the various conflicts of a local character that have followed one after another since Japan's surrender Nor is it our task to recount the numerous and growing instances of civilian strife that have occurred in these years of supposed peace. It is enough to point to the wars in Korea and Vietnam as examples to counter the boundless optimism.

In Korea, after years of ferocious struggle, the northern part of the country was left submerged in the most terrible devastation in the annals of modern war: riddled with bombs; without factories, schools, or hospitals; without any kind of housing to shelter 10 million inhabitants.

Dozens of countries intervened in that war, led militarily by the United States, under the false banner of the United Nations, with the massive participation of U.S. troops and the use of the conscripted South Korean people as cannon fodder. On the other side, the army and people of Korea and the volunteers from the People's Republic of China received supplies and advice from the Soviet military apparatus. The United States carried out all kinds of tests of weapons of destruction, excluding thermonuclear ones, but including bacteriological and chemical weapons on a limited scale.

In Vietnam a war has been waged almost without interruption by the patriotic forces of that country against three imperialist powers: Japan, whose might plummeted after the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki; France, which recovered its Indochinese colonies from that defeated country, disregarding the promises made at a time of duress; and the United States, in the latest phase of the conflict.

There have been limited confrontations on all continents, even though on the Latin American continent there were for a long time only attempts at freedom struggles and military coups d'etat, until the Cuban revolution sounded its clarion call, signaling the importance of this region and attracting the wrath of the imperialists, compelling Cuba to defend its coasts first at Playa Giróon and then during the October crisis.

The latter incident could have touched off a war of incalculable proportions if a U. S. -Soviet clash had occurred over the Cuban question.

Right now, however, the contradictions are clearly centered in the territories of the Indochinese peninsula and the neighboring countries. Laos and Vietnam were shaken by conflicts that ceased to be civil wars when U.S. imperialism intervened with all its power, and the whole region became a lit fuse, leading to a powder keg. In Vietnam the confrontation has taken on an extremely sharp character. It is not our intention to go into the history of this war either. We will just point out some milestones.

In 1954, after the crushing defeat [of the French forces] at Dien Bien Phu, the Geneva accords were signed, dividing Vietnam into two zones with the stipulation that elections would be held in eighteen months to determine who would govern the country and how it would be reunified. The United States did not sign that document, but began maneuvering to replace Emperor Bao Dai, a French puppet, with a man who fit their aims. He turned out to be Ngo Dinh Diem, whose tragic end--that of a lemon squeezed dry by imperialism--is known to everyone. (1)

In the months following the signing of the accords, optimism reigned in the camp of the popular forces. They dismantled military positions of the anti-French struggle in the southern part of the country and waited for the agreement to be carried out. But the patriots soon realized that there would be no elections unless the United States felt capable of imposing its will at the ballot box, something it could not do even with all its methods of electoral fraud.

The struggles in the southern part of the country began once again, and these have been gaining in intensity. Today the U.S. army has grown to almost a half-million invaders, while the puppet forces decline in number and, above all, have totally lost the will to fight.

It has been about two years since the United States began the systematic bombing of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam in yet another attempt to halt the fighting spirit in the south and to impose a conference from a position of strength. At the beginning, the bombings were more or less isolated occurrences, carried out in the guise of reprisals for alleged provocations from the north. Then their intensity and regularity increased, until they became one gigantic onslaught by the U.S. air force carried out day after day, with the purpose of destroying every vestige of civilization in the northern zone of the country. It is one episode in the sadly notorious escalation.

The material aims of the Yankee world have been achieved in good part despite the valiant defense put up by the Vietnamese antiaircraft batteries, the more than 1,700 planes brought down, and the aid in military supplies from the socialist camp.

This is the painful reality: Vietnam, a nation representing the aspirations and hopes for victory of all the world's disinherited, is tragically alone. This people must endure the pounding of U.S. technology--in the south almost without defenses, in the north with some possibilities of defense--but always alone.

The solidarity of the progressive world with the Vietnamese people has something of the bitter irony of the plebeians cheering on the gladiators in the Roman Circus. To wish the victim success is not enough; one must share his fate. One must join him in death or in victory.

When we analyze the isolation of the Vietnamese we are overcome by anguish at this illogical moment in the history of humanity. U.S. imperialism is guilty of aggression. Its crimes are immense, extending over the whole world. We know this, gentlemen! But also guilty are those who at the decisive moment hesitated to make Vietnam an inviolable part of socialist territory--yes, at the risk of a war of global scale, but also compelling the U.S. imperialists to make a decision. And also guilty are those who persist in a war of insults and tripping each other up, begun quite some time ago by the representatives of the two biggest powers in the socialist camp.(2)

Let us ask, seeking an honest answer: Is Vietnam isolated or not, as it tries to maintain a dangerous balancing act between the two quarreling powers?

And what greatness has been shown by this people! What a stoic and courageous people! And what a lesson for the world their struggle holds.

It will be a long time before we know if President Johnson ever seriously intended to initiate some of the reforms needed by his people--to sandpaper the class contradictions that are appearing with explosive force and mounting frequency. What is certain is that the improvements announced under the pompous title of the Great Society have gone down the drain in Vietnam. The greatest of the imperialist powers is feeling in its own bowels the bleeding inflicted by a poor, backward country; its fabulous economy is strained by the war effort. Killing has ceased to be the most comfortable business for the monopolies.

Defensive weapons, and not in sufficient number, are all these marvelous Vietnamese soldiers have besides love for their country, for their society, and a courage that stands up to all tests. But imperialism is bogged down in Vietnam. It sees no way out and is searching desperately for one that will permit it to emerge with dignity from the dangerous situation in which it finds itself. The "four points" put forward by the North and the "five" by the South have it caught in a pincers, however, making the confrontation still more decisive.

Everything seems to indicate that peace, the precarious peace that bears that name only because no global conflagration has occurred, is again in danger of being broken by some irreversible and unacceptable step taken by the United States.

What is the role that we, the exploited of the world, must play?

The peoples of three continents are watching and learning a lesson for themselves in Vietnam. Since the imperialists are using the threat of war to blackmail humanity, the correct response is not to fear war. Attack hard and without letup at every point of confrontation--that must be the general tactic of the peoples.

But in those places where this miserable peace that we endure has not been broken, what shall our task be?

To liberate ourselves at any price.

The world panorama is one of great complexity. The task of winning liberation still lies ahead even for some countries of old Europe, sufficiently developed to experience all the contradictions of capitalism but so weak that they can no longer follow the course of imperialism or embark on that road. In those countries the contradictions will become explosive in the coming years. But their problems, and hence their solutions, are different from those facing our dependent and economically backward peoples.

The fundamental field of imperialist exploitation covers the three backward continents--Latin America, Asia, and Africa. Each country has its own characteristics, but the continents, as a whole, have their own as well.

Latin America constitutes a more or less homogeneous whole, and in almost its entire territory U.S. monopoly capital holds absolute primacy. The puppet--or, in the best of cases--weak and timid governments are unable to resist the orders of the Yankee master. The United States has reached virtually the pinnacle of its political and economic domination. There is little room left for it to advance; any change in the situation could turn into a step backward from its primacy. Its policy is to maintain its conquests. The course of action is reduced at the present time to the brutal use of force to prevent liberation movements of any kind.

Behind the slogan "We will not permit another Cuba" hides the possibility of cowardly acts of aggression they can get away with--such as the one against the Dominican Republic;(3) or, before that, the massacre in Panama and the clear warning that Yankee troops are ready to intervene anywhere in Latin America where a change in the established order endangers their interests. This policy enjoys almost absolute impunity. The OAS is a convenient mask, no matter how discredited it is. The UN's ineffectiveness borders on the ridiculous or the tragic. The armies of all the countries of Latin America are ready to intervene to crush their own people. What has been formed, in fact, is the International of Crime and Betrayal.

On the other hand, the indigenous bourgeoisie have lost all capacity to oppose imperialism--if they ever had any--and are only dragged along behind it like a caboose. There are no other alternatives. Either a socialist revolution or a caricature of revolution.

Asia is a continent with different characteristics. The liberation struggles against a series of European colonial powers resulted in the establishment of more or less progressive governments, whose subsequent evolution has in some cases deepened the main objectives of national liberation, and in others reverted toward pro imperialist positions.

From the economic point of view, the United States had little to lose and much to gain in Asia. Changes work to its favor; it is struggling to displace other neocolonial powers, to penetrate new spheres of action in the economic field, sometimes directly, sometimes utilizing Japan.

But special political conditions exist there, above all in the Indochinese peninsula, that give Asia characteristics of major importance and that play an important role in the global military strategy of U.S. imperialism. The latter is imposing a blockade around China utilizing South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, South Vietnam, and Thailand, at a minimum.

This dual situation--a strategic interest as important as the military blockade of the People's Republic of China, and the ambition of U.S. capital to penetrate those big markets it does not yet dominate--makes Asia one of the most explosive places in the world today, despite the apparent stability outside of the Vietnamese area.

Belonging geographically to this continent, but with its own contradictions, the Middle East is at the boiling point. It is not possible to foresee what the cold war between Israel, which is backed by the imperialists, and the progressive countries of this region will lead to. It is another one of the threatening volcanoes in the world.

Africa appears almost like virgin territory for neocolonial invasion. Changes have occurred that, to a certain degree, have compelled the neocolonial powers to give up their former absolute prerogatives. But when the processes continue without interruption to their conclusion, colonialism gives way without violence to a neocolonialism, with the same consequences in regard to economic domination.

The United States did not have colonies in this region and is now struggling to penetrate its partners' old private preserves. It can be said with certainty that Africa constitutes a long-term reservoir in the strategic plans of U.S. imperialism. Its current investments there are of importance only in the Union of South Africa, and it is beginning its penetration of the Congo, Nigeria, and other countries, where a violent competition is opening up (of a peaceful nature up to now) with other imperialist powers. It does not yet have big interests to defend except its alleged right to intervene any place on the globe where its monopolies smell good profits or the existence of big reserves of raw materials. All this background makes it legitimate to pose a question about the possibilities for the liberation of the peoples in the short or medium term.

If we analyze Africa, we see that there are struggles of some intensity in the Portuguese colonies of Guinea, Mozambique, and Angola, with particular success in Guinea and varying successes in the other two. We are also still witnessing a struggle between Lumumba's successors and the old accomplices of Tshombe in the Congo, a struggle that appears at the moment to be leaning in favor of the latter, who have "pacified" a big part of the country for their benefit, although war remains latent.

In Rhodesia the problem is different: British imperialism used all the means at its disposal to hand power over to the white minority, which now holds it.(4) The conflict, from England's point of view, is absolutely not offcial. This Western power, with its usual diplomatic cleverness--in plain language also called hypocrisy--presents a facade of displeasure with the measures adopted by the government of Ian Smith. It is supported in this sly attitude by some Commonwealth countries that follow it, but is attacked by a good number of the countries of Black Africa, even those that are docile economic vassals of British imperialism.

In Rhodesia the situation could become highly explosive if the efforts of the Black patriots to rise up in arms were to crystallize and if this movement were effectively supported by the neighboring African nations. But for now all these problems are being aired in bodies as innocuous as the UN, the Commonwealth, or the Organization of African Unity.

Nevertheless, the political and social evolution of Africa does not lead us to foresee a continental revolutionary situation. The liberation struggles against the Portuguese must end victoriously, but Portugal signifies nothing on the imperialist roster. The confrontations of revolutionary importance are those that put the whole imperialist apparatus in check, although we will not for that reason cease struggling for the liberation of the three Portuguese colonies and for the deepening of their revolutions.

When the Black masses of South Africa or Rhodesia begin their genuine revolutionary struggle, a new era will have opened in Africa. Or, when the impoverished masses of a country set out against the ruling oligarchies to conquer their right to a decent life. Up to now there has been a succession of barracks coupe, in which one group of officers another or replaces a ruler who no longer serves their caste interests and those of the powers that control them behind the scenes. But there have been no popular upheavals. In the Congo these characteristics were fleetingly present, inspired by the memory of Lumumba, but they have been losing strength in recent months.

In Asia, as we have seen, the situation is explosive, and Vietnam and Laos, where the struggle is now going on, are not the only points of friction. The same holds true for Cambodia, where at any moment the United States might launch a direct attack. We should add Thailand, Malaysia, and, of course, Indonesia, where we cannot believe that the final word has been spoken despite the annihilation of the Communist Party of that country after the reactionaries took power.(5) And, of course, the Middle East.

In Latin America, the struggle is going on arms in hand in Guatemala, Colombia, Venezuela, and Bolivia, and the first outbreaks are already beginning in Brazil. Other centers of resistance have appeared and been extinguished. But almost all the countries of this continent are ripe for a struggle of the kind that, to be triumphant, cannot settle for anything less than the establishment of a government of a socialist nature.

In this continent virtually only one language is spoken save for the exceptional case of Brazil, with whose people Spanish-speakers can communicate in view of the similarity between the two languages. There is such a similarity between the classes in these countries that they have an "international American" type of identification, much more so than in other continents. Language, customs, religion, a common master, unite them. The degree and forms of exploitation are similar in their effects for exploiters and exploited in a good number of countries of our America. And within it rebellion is ripening at an accelerated rate.

We may ask: This rebellion--how will it bear fruit? What kind of rebellion will it be? We have maintained for some time that given its similar characteristics, the struggle in Latin America will in due time acquire continental dimensions. It will be the scene of many great battles waged by humanity for its own liberation.

In the framework of this struggle of continental scope, the ones that are currently being carried on in an active way are only episodes. But they have already provided martyrs who will figure in the history of the Americas as having given their necessary quota of blood for this final stage in the struggle for the full freedom of man. There are the names of Commander Turcios Lima, the priest Camilo Torres, Commander Fabricio Ojeda, the Commanders Lobatón and Luis de la Puente Uceda, central figures in the revolutionary movements of Guatemala, Colombia, Venezuela, and Peru.

But the active mobilization of the people creates its new leaders--César Montes and Yon Sosa are raising the banner in Guatemala; Fabio Vázquez and Marulanda are doing it in Colombia; Douglas Bravo in the western part of the country and Américo Martín in El Bachiller are leading their respective fronts in Venezuela.

New outbreaks of war will appear in these and other Latin American countries, as has already occurred in Bolivia. And they will continue to grow, with all the vicissitudes involved in this dangerous occupation of the modern revolutionist. Many will die, victims of their own errors; others will fall in the diff'cult combat to come; new fighters and new leaders will arise in the heat of the revolutionary struggle.

The people will create their fighters and their leaders along the way in the selective framework of the war itself, and the Yankee agents of repression will increase in number. Today there are advisers in all countries where armed struggle is going on. It seems that the Peruvian army, also advised and trained by the Yankees, carried out a successful attack on the revolutionists of that country. But if the guerrilla centers are led with sufficient political and military skill, they will become practically unbeatable and will make necessary new reinforcements by the Yankees. In Peru itself, with tenacity and firmness, new figures, although not yet fully known, are reorganizing the guerrilla struggle.

Little by little, the obsolete weapons that suffice to repress the small armed bands will turn into modern weapons, and the groups of advisers into U.S. combatants, until at a certain point they find themselves obliged to send growing numbers of regular troops to secure the relative stability of a power whose national puppet army is disintegrating in the face of the guerrillas' struggles.

This is the road of Vietnam. It is the road that the peoples must follow. It is the road that Latin America will follow, with the special feature that the armed groups might establish something such as coordinating committees to make the repressive tasks of Yankee imperialism more diffcult and to help their own cause.

Latin America--a continent forgotten in the recent political struggles for liberation, which is beginning to make itself felt through the Tricontinental in the voice of the vanguard of its peoples: the Cuban revolution--will have a much more important task: the creation of the world's second or third Vietnam, or second and third Vietnam.

We must definitely keep in mind that imperialism is a world system, the final stage of capitalism, and that it must be beaten in a great worldwide confrontation. The strategic objective of that struggle must be the destruction of imperialism.

The contribution that falls to us, the exploited and backward of the world, is to eliminate the foundations sustaining imperialism: our oppressed nations, from which capital, raw materials, and cheap labor (both workers and technicians) are extracted, and to which new capital (tools of domination), arms, and all kinds of goods are exported, sinking us into absolute dependence. The fundamental element of that strategic objective, then, will be the real liberation of the peoples, a liberation that will be the result of armed struggle in the majority of cases, and that, in Latin America, will almost unfailingly turn into a socialist revolution.

In focusing on the destruction of imperialism, it is necessary to identify its head, which is none other than the United States of North America.

We must carry out a task of a general kind, the tactical aim of which is to draw the enemy out of his environment, compelling him to fight in places where his living habits clash with existing conditions. The adversary must not be underestimated; the U.S. soldier has technical ability and is backed by means of such magnitude as to make him formidable. What he lacks essentially is the ideological motivation, which his most hated rivals of today--the Vietnamese soldiers--have to the highest degree. We will be able to triumph over this army only to the extent that we succeed in undermining its morale. And this is done by inflicting defeats on it and causing it repeated sufferings.

But this brief outline for victories entails immense sacrifices by the peoples--sacrifices that must be demanded starting right now, in the light of day, and that will perhaps be less painful than those they would have to endure if we constantly avoided battle in an effort to get others to pull the chestnuts out of the fire for us.

Clearly, the last country to free itself will very probably do so without an armed struggle, and its people will be spared the suffering of a long war as cruel as imperialist wars are. But it may be impossible to avoid this struggle or its effects in a conflict of worldwide character, and the suffering may be as much or greater. We cannot predict the future, but we must never give way to the cowardly temptation to be the standard-bearers of a people who yearn for freedom but renounce the struggle that goes with it, and who wait as if expecting it to come as the crumbs of victory.

It is absolutely correct to avoid any needless sacrifice. That is why it is so important to be clear on the real possibilities that dependent Latin America has to free itself in a peaceful way. For us the answer to this question is clear: now may or may not be the right moment to start the struggle, but we can have no illusions, nor do we have a right to believe, that freedom can be won without a fight.

And the battles will not be mere street fights with stones against tear gas, nor peaceful general strikes. Nor will it be the struggle of an infuriated that destroys the repressive apparatus of the ruling oligarchies in two or three days. It will be a long, bloody struggle in which the front will be in guerrilla refuges in the cities, in the homes of the combatants (where the repression will go seeking easy victims among their families), among the massacred peasant population, in the towns or cities destroyed by the enemy's bombs.

We are being pushed into this struggle. It cannot be remedied other than by preparing for it and deciding to undertake it.

The beginning will not be easy; it will be extremely difficult.. All the oligarchies' repressive capacity, all its capacity for demagogy and brutality will be placed in the service of its cause.

Our mission, in the first hour, is to survive; then, to act, the perennial example of the guerrilla carrying on armed propaganda in the Vietnamese meaning of the term, that is, the propaganda of bullets, of battles that are won or lost--but that are waged--against the enemy.

The great lesson of the guerrillas' invincibility is taking hold among the masses of the dispossessed. The galvanization of the national spirit; the preparation for more difficult tasks, for resistance to more violent repression. Hate as a factor in the struggle, intransigent hatred for the enemy that takes one beyond the natural limitations of a human being and converts one into an effective, violent, selective, cold, killing machine. Our soldiers must be like that; a people without hate cannot triumph over a brutal enemy.

We must carry the war as far as the enemy carries it: into his home, into his places of recreation, make it total. He must be prevented from having a moment's peace, a moment's quiet outside the barracks and even inside them. Attack him wherever he may be; make him feel like a hunted animal wherever he goes. Then his morale will begin to decline. He will become even more bestial, but the signs of the coming decline will appear.

And let us develop genuine proletarian internationalism, with international proletarian armies. Let the flag under which we fight be the sacred cause of the liberation of humanity, so that to die under the colors of Vietnam, Venezuela, Guatemala, Laos, Guinea, Colombia, Bolivia, Brazil--to mention only the current scenes of armed struggle--will be equally glorious and desirable for a Latin American, an Asian, an African, and even a European.

Every drop of blood spilled in a land under whose flag one was not born is experience gathered by the survivor to be applied later in the struggle for liberation of one's own country. And every people that liberates itself is a step in the battle for the liberation of one's own people.

It is time to moderate our disputes and place everything at the service of the struggle.

That big controversies are agitating the world that is struggling for freedom, all of us know; we cannot hide that. That these controversies have acquired a character and a sharpness that make dialogue and reconciliation appear extremely difficult, if not impossible, we know that too. To seek ways to initiate a dialogue avoided by those in dispute is a useless task.

But the enemy is there, it strikes day after day and threatens new blows, and these blows will unite us today, tomorrow, or the next day. Whoever understands this first and prepares this necessary unity will win the peoples' gratitude.

In view of the virulence and intransigence with which each side argues its case, we, the dispossessed, cannot agree with either way these differences are expressed, even when we agree with some of the positions of one or the other side, or when we agree more with the positions of one or the other side. In this time of struggle, the way in which the current differences have been aired is a weakness. But given the situation, it is an illusion to think that the matter can be resolved through words. History will either sweep away these disputes or pass its final judgment on them.

In our world in struggle, everything related to disputes around tactics and methods of action for the attainment of limited objectives must be analyzed with the respect due others' opinions. As for the great strategic objective--the total destruction of imperialism by means of struggle--on that we must be intransigent.

Let us sum up as follows our aspirations for victory. Destruction of imperialism by means of eliminating its strongest bulwark: the imperialist domination of the United States of North America. To take as a tactical line the gradual liberation of the peoples, one by one or in groups, involving the enemy in a difficult struggle outside his terrain; destroying his bases of support, that is, his dependent territories

This means a long war. And, we repeat once again, a cruel war. Let no one deceive himself when he sets out to begin, and let no one hesitate to begin out of fear of the results it can bring upon his own people. It is almost the only hope for victory.

We cannot evade the call of the hour. Vietnam teaches us this with its permanent lesson in heroism, its tragic daily lesson of struggle and death in order to gain the final victory.

Over there, the soldiers of imperialism encounter the discomforts of those who, accustomed to the standard of living that the United States boasts, have to confront a hostile land; the insecurity of those who cannot move without feeling that they are stepping on enemy territory; death for those who go outside of fortified compounds; the permanent hostility of the entire population. All this is provoking repercussions inside the United States. It is leading to the appearance of a factor that was attenuated by imperialism at full strength: the class struggle inside its own territory.

How close and bright would the future appear if two, three, many Vietnams flowered on the face of the globe, with their quota of death and their immense tragedies, with their daily heroism, with their repeated blows against imperialism, forcing it to disperse its forces under the lash of the growing hatred of the peoples of the world!

And if we were all capable of uniting in order to give our blows greater solidity and certainty, so that the aid of all kinds to the peoples in struggle was even more effective--how great the future would be, and how near!

If we, on a small point on the map of the world, fulfill our duty and place at the disposal of the struggle whatever little we are able to give--our lives, our sacrifice--it can happen that one of these days we will draw our last breath on a bit of earth not our own, yet already ours, watered with our blood. Let it be known that we have measured the scope of our acts and that we consider ourselves no more than a part of the great army of the proletariat. But we feel proud at having learned from the Cuban revolution and from its great main leader the great lesson to be drawn from its position in this part of the world: "Of what difference are the dangers to a man or a people, or the sacrifices they make, when what is at stake is the destiny of humanity?"

Our every action is a battle cry against imperialism and a call for the unity of the peoples against the great enemy of the human race: the United States of North America.

Wherever death may surprise us, let it be welcome if our battle cry has reached even one receptive ear, if another hand reaches out to take up our arms, and other men come forward to join in our funeral dirge with the rattling of machine guns and with new cries of battle and victory.


  1. South Vietnamese dictator Ngo Dinh Diem was assassinated on November I, 1963, at the instigation of Washington, which was dissatisfied as a result of the inability of his regime to counter the military and political successes of the Vietnamese National Liberation Front.

  2. This is a reference to the Sino-Soviet dispute.

  3. In April 1965 tens of thousands of U.S. troops invaded the Dominican Republic to crush a popular uprising.

  4. The white minority settler regime in Rhodesia, headed by Ian Smith, declared independence from Britain on November 11, 1965. After a protracted struggle by guerrilla forces, the white minority regime collapsed in 1980 and Rhodesia became Zimbabwe.

  5. On September 30, 1965, Indonesian General Suharto seized power and proceeded to carry out a massacre of members and supporters of the once-powerful Lndonesian Communist Party. In the next several months, hundreds of thousands were killed.