The Lao People’s Democratic Republic came into being in 1975, after a decade of relentless US bombing. Laos is per capita the most bombed country in the world. 10% of its population were killed directly by US bombs and a similar number left the country. US-financed opium traffickers and terrorist attacks continued up to the end of 20th century. The National Endowment for Democracy (NED), a CIA cut-out, still maintains a presence in Laos.

Building socialism in this context was, and is, not an easy task. With close relationships to Vietnam and China, the ruling the ruling Lao People’s Revolutionary Party considers Laos to be still in the national democratic phase of its revolution.

Our speaker, Graham Harrington, will describe the challenges and processes of socialist transformation in Laos. As the international secretary of the Communist Party of Ireland, he recently visited Laos, where the Irish and Lao communist parties pledged continued struggle against imperialism and for peace. Noting recent achievements in Laos regarding healthcare, education, and literacy, Harrington commented, “imperialism destroys, socialism builds.”

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