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Letter from the French CP to Leonid Brezhnev, July 23, 1968
Our Source: Navratil, Jaromir.
"The Prague Spring 1968". Hungary: Central European Press, 1998,
Original Source: Kremlin-PCF: Conversations secrčtes (Paris: Olivier Orban, 1984), pp. 97-104; Vondrová & Navrátil, vol. 1, pp. 337-339.
Translated by: Mark Kramer, Joy Moss and Ruth Tosek
Comment: This is the letter written by the French Communist Party to CPSU CC on July 23 1968. Surprisingly enough, they do not approve with the Warsaw letter and would strongly disapprove of a military intervention.
Dear Comrade Brezhnev,
Following the reports received from your ambassadors in Paris and Prague, our party's Politburo wishes to inform you of its position on the problems arising from the situation in Czechoslovakia. Comrade Waldeck Rochet has already conveyed this position to you during his visit to Moscow.
You ask us to endorse the letter sent to the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia by the Warsaw Meeting on behalf of the Central Committees of the communist and workers' parties of Bulgaria, Poland, the German Democratic Republic, Hungary, and the Soviet Union.
To our immense regret, it is impossible for us to comply with this request. In effect, this letter calls into question the principles that ought to be the main factor in relations between communist and workers' parties, and it starts a process that could have the most dire consequences for the cause of socialism and the international communist movement. /…/
/…/ Because we believe that the letter sent by the Warsaw Meeting to the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia calls into question the fundamental principles, and that it constitutes blatant public interference in the internal affairs of a fraternal party, we are unable to support it. /.../
/…/ We are, therefore, fully aware that it is absolutely indispensable for the leadership of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia to wage an effective struggle against all forces seeking to exploit the situation in order to do away with socialism in the country. Where we differ is on the method to be used to achieve this objective.
In our opinion, direct outside intervention of any sort must be excluded and the leadership of the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia must be persuaded to take action on its own, relying on the working class and on all other forces that regard socialism, and friendship and cooperation with the socialist countries, to be in their own interest as well as in the interest of Czechoslovakia. /.../