Struggle Against Khrushchevite Revisionism
Che Guevara rejected the Soviet image of Stalin, rebelled against Castro’s pro-Soviet line and criticized the restoration of capitalism in the USSR as well as the implementation of “market socialism” in the Eastern Bloc.
He told Sam Russell the British reporter of the socialist newspaper Daily Worker that “We must never establish peaceful coexistence. In this struggle to the death between two systems we must gain the ultimate victory. We must walk the path of liberation even if it costs millions of atomic victims.”
On December 11, 1964, during a debate in the United Nations General Assembly Che said: “As Marxists we have maintained that peaceful coexistence among nations does not include coexistence between exploiters and the exploited.”
February 1965 at the International Conference of Algiers, Che in his speech criticized the Soviet Union policy by adopting what he called “the law of value”, which organizes and regulates human activity in the capitalist society. This contributed to the cooling of the relations between Cuba and the Soviet Union. The Soviet ambassador in Havana complained to Castro about the anti-Soviet behavior of Che. Castro disagreed publicly with the anti-Soviet policy of Che, and this caused Che to be removed from the ruling circle.
He rejected Khrushchev’s speech in 1956 denouncing the crimes of Stalin as “imperialist propaganda” and defended the Russian invasion of Hungary that crushed the workers’ uprising there in the same year (Castañeda p.86).
Despite this, Guevara was strongly critical of Soviet revisionism. Guevara criticized the Eastern Bloc for its technological backwardness, its bureaucracy and its trade policy towards Cuba and the Third World as an “accomplice of imperial exploitation” in 1965 (Castañeda p.291).
‘The solution that people want to give in Poland is the free development of the law of value, i.e. the return to capitalism. This solution had already been applied in the Polish countryside, where agriculture was de-collectivised; this year, due to drought and other natural adversities, Polish agriculture is in worse shape than before, has had more serious problems, in other words, the place where the economic calculus leads to … is solving the problems using the same system, by enhancing the material stimulus, the dedication of people to their material interest, leading, in a way, to the resurrection of categories that are strictly capitalist. This is something that has been happening for a while, which Poland is now trying and I think it is also being tried in other socialist countries’ (in ‘Annexes’, pp. 321-322).
‘Poland is going along the Yugoslav path, of course; collectivisation is reverted, private property inland is reinstated, a new system of exchange is established and contacts are maintained with the United States. In Czechoslovakia and Germany the Yugoslav system is under study in order to apply it’ (in ‘Annexes’, pp. 404-405).