International Communist Movement
Soviet-Czechoslovak Treaty Legalizes Transformation
of Czechoslovakia Into Soviet Revisionist Colony
— Excerpts from an editorial in Albanian paper Zeri i Popullit
[This article is reprinted from Peking Review, Vol. 11, #44, Nov. 1, 1968, pp. 17-18.]
The Czechoslovak people, who have a revolutionary tradition, will not accept Soviet revisionist aggressors’ treaty. They will take all measures to wage a resolute struggle against foreign occupiers and traitors.
THE Albanian paper Zeri i Popullit, in its October 23 editorial entitled “Treaty Which Legalizes the Transformation of Czechoslovakia Into a Colony of the Soviet Revisionists,” exposed the Soviet revisionist renegade clique’s recently devised Soviet-Czechoslovak treaty for the long-term military occupation of Czechoslovakia.
The editorial pointed out that in the eyes of the freedom-loving peoples all over the world, the Soviet-Czechoslovak treaty has further revealed the aggressive imperialist nature and the renegade features of those who cooked up the treaty.
The editorial said that one can see from the very first article of this treaty the essence of “tank diplomacy,” because this treaty was concluded following a fait accompli and an all-round military occupation under cover of cannon and tanks. This treaty is designed to legalize the Soviet revisionists’ occupation of Czechoslovakia and Czechoslovakia’s complete subordination to the headquarters of the Soviet occupation troops.
It exposed the Soviet revisionists’ false claims in the articles of this treaty that “the stationing of Soviet troops in Czechoslovakia does not encroach upon its sovereignty,” that “the Soviet troops do not interfere in the internal affairs of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic,” that the Soviet troops “will abide by the laws of Czechoslovakia,” and other similar lies. The whole world, the editorial said, has seen that Czechoslovakia’s sovereignty has been crushed by Soviet tanks since August 21 and that Czechoslovakia’s laws have been replaced by the brute force of the occupiers.
In actual fact, it added, this notorious treaty simply does not recognize the existence of Czechoslovakia as a sovereign state, as a state with social, economic and juridical independence. After resorting to desperate efforts to resolve the Czechoslovakia issue by “the military method,” the Soviet revisionist imperialists assumed the status of master. They created all kinds of privileges and special conditions for enabling themselves to act as neocolonialists in the country, doing as they please in all its activities in the political, economic, social and cultural fields. Whenever they wish, the Soviet occupation troops and their families can enter and leave Czechoslovakia without visas, and they are exempt from customs inspection. As a result, Czechoslovakia’s state sovereignty and its inviolable national boundaries have become as worthless as a rag or a broken-down fence.
The editorial said that the treaty shamelessly and openly stipulates that the personnel of the Soviet occupation troops are absolved from any responsibility for “the crimes they commit while on duty in those areas which have been put at the disposal of the Soviet troops.” This means that Czechoslovakia’s laws can never be applied to the Soviet occupation troops.
The editorial noted that the treaty also stipulates that Soviet courts have the right to conduct trials on the territory of Czechoslovakia, and that Soviet procuratorial authorities and other organs can exercise their power on Czechoslovak territory in accordance with Soviet laws. This is tantamount to recognizing the occupiers’ extra-territoriality and their right to have unrestrained freedom. That means they can swagger about as they please.
It pointed out that the virtual long-term stationing of Soviet occupation troops in Czechoslovakia, which is now legalized by the treaty, is bound to exert an influence on the foreign policies of that country. Leading figures among the Czechoslovak traitors have docilely obeyed and prostrated themselves before the Soviet occupiers.
It added that this neo-colonialist treaty of enslavement is the product of fascist aggression against Czechoslovakia. Through this treaty, legally the Czechoslovak people’s freedom, sovereignty and national dignity have been completely buried.
The editorial continued that this treaty, which was cooked up in Moscow and signed in Prague, was forcibly imposed on the victims. Instead of resolving the crises which the Soviet revisionist clique and the entire revisionist front are facing in Czechoslovakia and in other places, it has further deepened these crises, and has obviously exacerbated the already difficult political economic and social conditions in the Soviet Union, as well as the relations among all the countries within the revisionist bloc. In particular, it has inevitably deepened and aggravated the irreconcilable contradictions between the Soviet revisionist occupiers and the freedom-loving Czechoslovak people. The Moscow revisionist leading clique is doing its utmost to make use of this treaty to hoodwink world public opinion. It is trying to use a so-called bilateral agreement to legalize its imperialist and colonialist crimes. But it will not work. This new treaty has once again shown up the Soviet revisionists as aggressors, occupiers, exploiters and imperialists. By signing this treaty, the Dubcek-Cernik clique has once again shown itself up as a gang of renegades, enemy collaborators and quislings.
But there is no doubt that the Czechoslovak people will scornfully discard this treaty which has bestowed “legality” upon the colonialist occupation of their motherland. They will not tolerate aggression or occupation. They will never accept the Soviet revisionist aggressors’ treaty or the betrayal and capitulation of the Dubcek-Cernik-Svoboda clique. They have exposed all these and are now opposing them. To uphold the sacred cause of winning national liberation and re-establishing the dictatorship of the proletariat, the Czechoslovak people, who have a great revolutionary tradition, will certainly strengthen their resistance, take all measures, and even take up arms to wage a resolute struggle against the foreign occupiers and the traitors.
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