50th Anniversary of Dien Bien Phu

7 May this year marks the 50th anniversary of one of the greatest battles of the twentieth century, namely, the epic battle of Dien Bien Phu in Viet Nam, fought for 55 days between the Vietnamese people’s army (Vietminh) and the French colonial army.

The Vietnamese forces had laid siege to the French fortified garrison near the Viet Nam/Laos border. On 7 May 1954, the 55th day of the battle, the colonialists unfurled the white flag and surrendered. At 5.30 pm on the same day, the Vietnamese army seized the French headquarters and captured General de Castries and his staff. General Vo Nguyen Giap, the legendary commander-in-chief who led the Vietnamese forces in the battle, has given this description of the historic victory of Dien Bien Phu: “The Dien Bien Phu victory shook the globe, resounding even in remote areas where people still lived in slavery, waking them up and bringing them confidence to rise up”.

The above victory ended in the Geneva Conference and the recognition of the new state of the Democratic Republic of Viet Nam (DRVN) under the leadership of Ho Chi Minh, which in turn laid the foundations for the subsequent successful defeat by the Vietnamese people of US imperialism and the reunification of Viet Nam on 30 April 1975.

On the 50th anniversary of the battle, General Giap was asked about the lessons of Dien Bien Phu for our times, in particular for the people of Iraq who are suffering under the heal of imperialist occupation. His answer was that no imperialist country, no matter how powerful, can defeat a people who are united and determined to fight for their liberty and independence.

The people of Iraq, Afghanistan and Palestine, who are today suffering under the jackboot of imperialist and zionist occupation, have every right to draw comfort and confidence from the above words of General Giap. Equally, the imperialist and zionist forces of war, aggression and occupation would quite rightly be quaking in their shoes at the powerful words of this frail and grand old man.

Lalkar sends its heartfelt greetings to the Vietnamese Communist Party, the government and people of Viet Nam, and to General Giap on the 50th anniversary of this world-shattering victory for the Vietnamese people, which has become synonymous with the proud resistance of the oppressed peoples everywhere and a mark of shame, humiliation and defeat for imperialism.

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