MH/CHAOS: The CIAS Campaign Against the Radical New Left and the Black Panthers

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He stated, "The newly emerging forces in Asia, Africa, and Latin America must confront the imperialists' strategy of destruction one by one with the strategy of unity; they must not only solidly unite politically but closely cooperate economically and technologically as well.

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North Korean mass gymnastics event promoting Chajusong political independence and Nonalignment. One of the major reasons why the North Korean government supported foreign revolutionaries is "national solipsism" or the belief that the Korean peninsula is the center of the world. As the North Korean state news agency stated in , "The fame of the Korean Revolution is widely known to the world across the borderline of Korea; it is a beacon of hope, an example of heroism and a great inspiration for all the peoples who want liberation and political independence.

Thus, it was a two-way street. As part of the DPRK's "national solipsism," its leaders believed that revolutionaries throughout the world looked to Kim Il Sung for guidance and saw the Korean Revolution as a guide to follow. During the Cultural Revolution, specifically the period , North Korean leaders "refuted Chinese premier Zhou Enlai's claim that China had become the center of world revolution. As a article from the Rodong Sinmun , the official organ of the Korean Worker's Party, states, "Some people [referring to the Soviet leadership] are deviating farther from the principles of Marxism-Leninism and proletarian internationalism and being bogged deep in the mire of revisionism.

Despite championing national independence and radical self-reliance, North Korea's postwar reconstruction and rapid industrialization rested in part on massive Soviet, Chinese and East European aid. The ambassador "remarked that any bourgeois economist can easily calculate that the DPRK was unable to reach its achievements on its own, and it is similarly unable to provide the economic aid it recently offered to South Korea from its own resources.

Hoping to spur a new international order based on mutual assistance amongst small postcolonial nations, the North Korean leadership championed Third Worldism as a revolutionary path to socialist modernity in the s and s. During a Korean Workers' Party meeting in , Kim Il Sung emphasized Third World economic cooperation, stating that, faced with "the threat of ever-worsening hunger and disease, the developing countries ought to pool their efforts and support and cooperate with each other. This placed a significant burden on North Korea's economy. A former member of the North Korean elite, Kang Myong-do stated "that excessive aid to Third World countries had caused an actual worsening of North Korea's already serious economic problems" in the s.

To a certain degree, the North Korean branding of their nation as a Third World model appears to have worked. Numerous Asian, African, and Latin American nations established close relations with the North and found its flexible use of Marxism-Leninism and the Juche ideology enticing. In particular, the Cuban leadership formed a close relationship with North Korea based on Third World internationalism and a commitment to supporting anti-colonial guerilla struggles around the world.

He praised North Korea for its achievements in heavy industry. Stone commented, "Che spoke with enthusiasm of what he had seen in his grand tour of the Soviet bloc. What impressed him most was the reconstruction of North Korea and the quality of its industrial output, here was a tiny country resurrected from the ashes of American bombardment and invasion. Cuban leader Fidel Castro was also enthusiastic about North Korean socialism and called Kim Il Sung "one of the most eminent, outstanding, heroic leaders of socialism.

Raul Castro announced to the North Korean crowd, "If anyone wants to find out the opinion of Comrade Fidel Castro about the fundamental issues of modern times then he can ask Comrade Kim Il Sung about this. Kim Il Sung hoped to sway many newly independent countries to support the North Korean cause of reunification and its position in the United Nations. An Ethiopian diplomat who visited North Korea in remarked, "The political independence and economic self-reliance, which is resolutely defended by the Korean people, is an excellent model for the socialist Ethiopian people.

A Mozambican delegation visited North Korea in "to take note of the Korean experience regarding the methods and paths used by the DPRK to build the socialist society. North Korea, a small postcolonial Third World country, with its strong leadership, a disciplined populace, rapid postwar reconstruction, and an ideology centered on self-reliance was an alluring model to many African authorities. A North Korean poster championing Che Guevara.

In the s and s the leaders of the DPRK and the BPP viewed themselves as vital members of a global project highlighting self-reliance and development. The BPP's international section, led by Cleaver, embarked on a global mission to find a revolutionary ideology, that the Panthers could adapt to "the black colony" inside the United States, and reliable allies for their struggle in the United States.

In so doing, the BPP's international section directly challenged the U. The North Koreans treated the BPP representatives as foreign diplomats and this appealed to the Party's sense of itself as an international organization that represented the interests of urban Black America. Following Eldridge Cleaver's abortive efforts to build an alliance with Fidel Castro in , Algiers became the most important site of the BPP's internationalist efforts, where they developed a relationship with North Korean officials.

Eldridge Cleaver admitted that beyond Fanon, he knew very little about Algeria before going there. Algiers served as a pseudo-foreign embassy of the BPP.

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The Panthers passed their publications to fellow revolutionaries and embassies of socialist-aligned nations. The Panthers were invited to festivals, embassy dinners, and conferences much like diplomatic officials from nations.

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Cleaver and Booth agreed to come to the DPRK because they sensed "the Korean people were serious in supporting us because they wanted the Americans out. The BPP-North Korean relationship revolved around the anti-imperialist journalist conferences of and Imperialist Aggression. Cleaver explained that the BPP were Marxist-Leninists who adapted scientific socialism to their situation.

According to Cleaver, " Juche is carrying out the Korean Revolution. Juche for us means… to carry out our revolution. Cleaver claimed that the book "must be read and understood by the American people" and much of its contents focused on explaining the Juche ideology. Juche , in Bruce Cumings' view, "is really untranslatable; the closer one gets to its meaning, the more the meaning slips away.

Myers finds Juche a "stodgy jumble of banalities" that is a smokescreen for North Korea's real ideology: paranoid race-based nationalism. Martin explains that the broader meaning of Juche is "putting Korea first. However, for our purposes, searching for a deeper meaning of Juche is unnecessary as the BPP was specifically attracted to the Juche ideology's focus on self-reliance and the North Korean leadership's adaptation of Marxism-Leninism to its unique situation as a divided post-colonial nation.

Pork chop and chicken bones can even be utilized as weapons. This is ' Juche ' relying on what you have, to sustain your resistance. North Korea's Juche ideology allowed the BPP to criticize the CPUSA for being too devoted to the Soviet line of Marxism-Leninism peaceful coexistence and perceived the organization as being dominated by whites, despite the presence of African Americans in key leadership positions.

So this principle of Juche , bolstered our own self assurances. On July 6, , North Korean propagandists explained that the imprisonment of "hundreds" of BPP members "represents a shameless fascist barbarity against the thirty million American Negroes and an unbearable, nefarious challenge to the progressive forces of the United States and the revolutionary people the world over. During the dinner, Eldridge discussed with the North Korean ambassador the details of the July anti-imperialist journalist conference. Eldridge Cleaver would be taking a delegation of U.

North Korean leaders regarded the BPP as a legitimate political body that represented the interests of African Americans and thus treated Kathleen Cleaver as a dignitary of an allied nation. On June 2, , Kathleen and her son, Maceo, arrived in Pyongyang.

Eldridge Cleaver would later join her when he arrived with the U. The home was located at Lake Changsuwon, "where summer houses were maintained for special government guests. This paralleled Eldridge Cleaver's philosophy in the late s that those who directly resisted U. In December , Cleaver pronounced, "We find our most efficacious and useful alliances are with those people who are directly confronted with the aggression by the U. During the anti-imperialist journalist conferences of and , the Black Panthers and their fellow travelers, led by Eldridge Cleaver, visited farms and factories exemplifying the "workers' paradise," that supposedly characterized the DPRK.

Despite feuding with Eldridge Cleaver during the trip, Elaine Brown appreciated what she "saw was the genuine development of socialism" in North Korea. Members of the delegation were impressed with what they had seen.

Nonetheless, at least some of the Panthers who traveled to the DPRK resented "the subtle brainwashing and unsubtle racism" of their North Korean hosts. As Kathleen Cleaver describes, "The courageous leader of '40 million Korean people' was given credit for every achievement in the country, making every discussion with the Korean hosts seem to American delegates like preprogrammed statements.

In doing so, they depicted the DPRK as the antithesis to America, which the Party sought to expose as a racist and imperialist nation that failed to provide for its people, carried out racial discrimination across the country and abroad, and engaged in imperialistic wars. As BPP visitors to Pyongyang perceived it, poverty, crime, and gun violence plagued the streets of Oakland while free education, health care, and a stable economy and infrastructure characterized Pyongyang.

The boulevards of Pyongyang were clean and appeared to be violence-free, while the streets of Oakland resembled a racially-charged war zone, a quality that had become commonplace in many American inner cities during this period. Huey Newton, Bobby Seale, and Eldridge Cleaver were familiar names to me; I was blown away by their audacity and political savvy. Late one night in early June , as I stepped off the elevator in my building, I heard the phone ringing and rushed up the half- flight of stairs to my apartment.

Charles said he had been calling for hours. Eldridge Cleaver was the author of Soul on Ice , the astounding book of wisdom and confession that had turned him into a celebrity. Under his leadership, the Black Panther Party had mushroomed to more than forty chapters and had developed a paramilitary underground network.

He also edited the Black Panther newspaper that boasted a circulation of some , copies. He was wounded, while fellow Panther Bobby Hutton was killed. Three police officers were also wounded, and Cleaver was charged with attempted murder. Awaiting trial, he was released from prison on a writ of habeas corpus. He then ran for president of the United States on the Peace and Freedom Party list, criss- crossing the country speaking to excited crowds.

I climbed the ladder from Juvenile Hall in Los Angeles, starting at the age of twelve, to Folsom Prison, making all the stops in between. A group of his supporters made contact with Cuban emissaries at the UN. Other versions of his escape have him disguised as an interna- tional traveler, the consummate diplomat: dark suit, bowler hat, and pencil mustache.

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North Korea and the American Radical Left

He left Canada hidden on a cargo boat bound for Cuba, arriving on Christmas Eve, It was drizzling, as I remember. An attendant, wedged in behind a narrow counter at the end of a short entrance hallway, gave me the room number. I mounted the steps to the fourth floor with some trepidation. I was curious and anxious.

What could this forty-year-old white woman do for a leader of the Black Panthers in Algiers? I knocked. Cleaver opened the door. He was twice my size, a powerhouse of a man whose body outdid the small room. I could see the top of his head swipe the ceiling, then dip a bit. His wife Kathleen, heavily pregnant, was stretched out on one of two beds.

She nodded to me.

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We remained standing and Cleaver talked. As he spoke, the upper half of his body effected a slight lateral movement, though he looked me straight in the eyes. He had impressive hands, with the longest, straightest fingers I had ever seen.

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