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Our Source: Navratil, Jaromir.
"The Prague Spring 1968". Hungary: Central European Press, 1998, pp. 326-329
Original Source: “Zayavlenie kommunisticheskikh i rabochikh partii sotsialisticheskikh stran,” Pravda (Moscow), 4 August 1968, p. 1; Vondrová & Navrátil, vol. 2, pp. 151-155.
Translated by: Mark Kramer, Joy Moss and Ruth Tosek
Comment: This was what the six leaders of the communistic countries within the Warsaw Pact agreed on the 3rd August 1968.
“Statement by the Communist and Workers´ Parties of Socialist
On 3 August 1968 a conference was held in Bratislava for representatives of the communist and workers' parties of the People's Republic of Bulgaria, the Hungarian People's Republic, the German Democratic Republic, the Polish People's Republic, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, and the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic.
Because the complicated international situation and the subversive acts of imperialism which are directed against the peace and the security of nations and against the cause of socialism, require the further cohesion of the countries of the socialist system, and also because the development of socialism involves new tasks the resolution of which is essential for the further unification of efforts by socialist states, officials from the communist and workers' parties of socialist countries believe it necessary to convene this meeting in Bratislava.
In deference to traditions, in conditions of absolute frankness, adherence to principles, and friendship of the fraternal parties, they considered topical questions concerning the struggle for socialism, the further strengthening of the socialist community, and the closing of ranks of the world communist movement. There was an exchange of opinions on problems connected with the current international situation and on the need to intensify the struggle against imperialism.
The officials from the communist and workers' parties considered ways of strengthening and developing fraternal cooperation among the socialist states.
In the years since the defeat of fascism and the accession to power of the working class, the peoples of European countries who set out on the path of socialism have achieved victories in all spheres of life. During these years the parties have overcome difficulties and gradually improved their work as they ensured in each socialist country the emergence of a powerful industrial base, as they transformed rural life, and as they achieved steady growth in national prosperity and the flowering of national culture. Millions of working people were mobilized for mature political life. The successes in building socialism and communism in the Soviet Union were especially great. The international influence of the socialist states and their role in solving significant questions of world polities have grown immeasurably.
The task of supporting, consolidating, and defending these gains, which were achieved through the heroic efforts and self-sacrificing labour of each nation, is the common international duty of all the socialist countries. Such was the unanimous opinion of the participants in the conference, who displayed firm determination to develop and defend the socialist gains of their countries and to achieve new successes in the construction of socialism.
The fraternal parties are convinced, on the basis of their historical experience, that further progress along the path of socialism and communism is possible, but only through strict and consistent adherence to the laws of building a socialist society and above all through a consolidation of the leading role of the working class and its vanguard, the communist party. In this, each fraternal party decides all questions of further socialist development in a creative way, taking into account specific national features and conditions.
Unwavering loyalty to Marxism-Leninism, efforts to educate the masses in the spirit of the ideas of socialism and proletarian internationalism, and a relentless struggle against bourgeois ideology and against all anti-socialist forces all guarantee success in strengthening the positions of socialism and thwarting imperialist conspiracies.
The fraternal parties uphold their unbreakable solidarity firmly and decisively, and maintain utmost vigilance against all attempts by imperialism and other anti-communist forces to weaken the leading role of the working class and the communist parties. They will never permit anyone to drive a wedge between the socialist states or to undermine the foundations of the socialist social order. In this regard, fraternal friendship and closed ranks are in keeping with the vital interests of our peoples and a reliable basis for solving the socio-economic and political tasks on which the communist parties of our countries are working.
The fraternal parties believe it is their duty to demonstrate unyielding concern to increase the political activity of the working class, the peasants, the intelligentsia, and all working people to achieve comprehensive progress in the socialist social order and the further development of socialist democracy, as well as to improve the style and methods of party and state work based on the principles of democratic centralism.
The diverse tasks of building a socialist society in each of our countries are made considerably easier to solve through mutual aid and support. Fraternal ties expand and augment the opportunities of each socialist country. The participants in the conference expressed a firm desire to do everything they can to improve the all-round cooperation of their countries on the basis of the principles of equality, respect for sovereignty and national independence, territorial integrity, fraternal mutual assistance, and solidarity.
The communist and workers' parties attach unusual significance to the effective use of the huge natural resources of our countries, applying the latest findings of science and technology and mastering the forms and methods of socialist farming. All this will ensure the further development of the economy and raise the material prosperity of the working people. An effective way of attaining these noble aims is to develop economic cooperation among the socialist countries on bilateral and multilateral bases. More significant than ever are improvements in the activities of the Council of Mutual Economic Assistance and the development of cooperation and specialization carried out by the socialist countries, which will allow full use of the advantages of the international socialist division of labour.
In this connection, once again, the urgent need to hold economic consultations on the highest level, and in the shortest possible time, was confirmed.
The participants in the conference believe it is their duty to call people's attention to the fact that the aggressive policy of imperialism bas caused the international situation to remain complicated and dangerous. In these conditions, the fraternal parties of the socialist countries, which are struggling to uphold universal peace and the security of nations and are organizing decisive resistance to the aggressive policy of imperialism while abiding by the principles of world cooperation among states with different social systems, once again confirm their readiness to harmonize and coordinate their actions on the international scene.
The working class, the peasants, the intelligentsia, and all working people desire peace and contentment for their countries and for all people on earth. The socialist countries have done, are doing, and will do all they can to ensure that these hopes come true. Our parties declare that in the future they, too, will cooperate in pursuing this noble task together with all communist and workers' parties and with all progressive forces in the world in the struggle for universal peace, freedom, independence, and social progress.
The communist and workers' parties of Bulgaria, Hungary, the German Democratic Republic, Poland, the Soviet Union, and Czechoslovakia once again solemnly proclaim their unyielding determination to continue supporting the heroic Vietnamese people in the future and to give them all necessary aid in their just struggle against the American aggressors.
We are also concerned about the situation in the Near East as a result of the aggressive policy of right-wing circles of Israel who are continuing to keep the region in a tense situation. Our parties will do all they can to liquidate the aftermath of Israeli aggression on the basis of the UN Security Council resolution of 22 November 1967, and to insist on the withdrawal of Israeli troops from occupied Arab territory.
Examining the situation in Europe, the participants in the conference noted that the surge of revanchist, militarist, and neo-Nazi forces in West Germany directly affects the security of the socialist states and creates a threat to the cause of universal peace. In the future we will consistently pursue a coordinated policy on European matters, in keeping with the general interests of the socialist countries, and in the interest of European security. We will resist any attempts to revise the results of the Second World War and to change existing borders in Europe. We will continue to insist that the Munich agreement was invalid from its very conception-, we will decisively support the German Democratic Republic, a socialist state of the German workers, which is defending the cause of peace. We will provide consistent aid to the Communist Party of Germany and all those forces fighting against militarism and revanchism, and for democratic progress.
The communist parties of the socialist countries express their determination to achieve European security and to maintain the principles of the Bucharest Declaration and the Proclamation of the Conference of European Communist and Workers' Parties in Karlovy Vary. They are ready to do everything necessary to call a congress of the peoples of Europe in defence of peace on our continent. It is of decisive significance for the protection of peace throughout the world not to permit the breakdown of European peace. All our joint efforts will be directed toward the attainment of this aim, which affects the interests of all peoples.
Today, when the imperialist forces of the USA, the FRG, and other countries display their aggressiveness and are strenuously attempting to weaken the socialist community, officials of the fraternal parties believe it is essential once again to emphasize the special significance of the Warsaw Pact. This pact, concluded by the socialist states in reply to the entry of revanchist West Germany into the aggressive, imperialist NATO bloc, was and remains a powerful factor for peace and security among the peoples of Europe. It serves as an invincible obstacle to all who want to revise the results of the Second World War. It reliably defends the gains of socialism and the sovereignty and independence of the fraternal states. It is aimed at strengthening European security and protecting world peace.
The current situation demands our increased efforts to improve the defence capabilities of each socialist state and of the entire socialist community. We must also strengthen political and military cooperation within the Warsaw Treaty Organization.
The participants in the conference believe it is their duty to reinforce as much as possible the cohesion of the international communist movement. They note that in recent times much work bas been accomplished in preparing a new worldwide conference of communist and workers' parties. The fraternal parties hold this work in high regard and express the conviction that the forthcoming conference will be successful and will prove a serious contribution to the consolidation of all the revolutionary forces of today.
We believe more than ever that only a unified Marxist-Leninist world outlook, the role of the communist and workers' parties as the vanguard and leaders of society, and the socialist basis of the national economics of our states will serve as an effective means of guaranteeing the future cohesiveness of the socialist countries and of ensuring unity of action in the struggle for our common, great aims.
The parties attending the Bratislava conference present this Declaration, deeply convinced that it expresses positions and views in keeping with the interests of all fraternal countries and parties, and that it reflects the cause of inviolable friendship among the peoples of our countries and the interests of peace, democracy, national independence, and socialism.