During the Cold War, the entire world was divided politically into democratic and communist states. After the collapse of the bipolar system led by the Soviet Union, many states have renounced communism, some adopting a form of socialism, some of the authoritarianism, other states have adopted the democratic system and its values. Today, worldwide there are 5 communist states, each trying to adapt as best as they can to the capitalist system.
1 ChinaThe Chinese civilization is one of the most ancient and fascinating histories. Organized as an empire for centuries, China fell to the communists in 1949, when, on 1 October, the Chinese Communist Party Chairman Mao Zedong proclaimed the establishment of the PRC. China’s first communist leader remained in history for its policies that have been applied with force in the country.
Under his leadership, Mao initiated a series of reforms, which were introduced by force in the population, which was severely persecuted.
In 1953 Mao launched the first Five Year Plan. At the end of this plan, China would become a major world economic power. After the period in which China’s economy has suffered because of the “Great Leap Forward” and the Cultural Revolution, serious reforms were needed to restore the economy. These reforms were presented for the first time by Premier Zhou Enlai in January 1975.
But because of political battles for succession that followed the death of Zhou and Mao, the implementation of the “Four modernizations”(industry, agriculture, science and technology and national defense) began in December 1978, when Deng Xiaoping took power. These reforms have enabled China’s economic modernization. Politically, however, nothing has changed, the Communist Party remains the only political force in the country.
Cuba is a parliamentary republic led by a Communist Party wich has a monopoly on power politics. As the Constitution says Cuban Communist Party “is the supreme guiding force of society and the State”. In 1959, Fidel Castro’s revolutionaries have ousted dictator Fulgencio Batista, Cuba was a country with enormous social inequalities and with an elite enriched thanks to sugar trade and US companies.
The Agrarian Reform Law and the nationalization of North American properties in the island were the first major economic measures after the triumph of the Revolution.
In 1961, in the middle of Bay of Pigs invasion or beach Giro, Fidel Castro proclaimed the socialist character of the Cuban Revolution while clashes with the US were becoming increasingly intense.
In the complex scenario of the Cold War, Cuba was forced to ally with the Soviet Union and turned into its satellite in the Caribbean: thanks to this the country received for three decades 20 billion dollars that allowed a decent living of the population until the late ’80s.
Dissolution of the USSR revealed a strong dependence on Moscow, the Cuban economy has suffered a decline of 40% and entered a tough period of poverty that marked generations of Cubans.
Fidel Castro was forced to open the island to foreign tourists, foreign investment and strong currency to avoid the dissolution of the entire system.
At the dawn of the XXI century, Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez became the ally and savior of the Cuban communist regime.
The island began to receive 100,000 barrels of oil daily from Caracas that it was paying them with medical, educational and sporting experience. Fidel Castro took full advantage through the exports to third world countries.
Neither this formula and no tourism momentum did not allow Cuba to overcome economic constraints.
With the illness and retirement of Fidel in 2008, his brother, Raul began the fight to improve the economic situation in a country where the average wage is $ 20 per month.
Raul has proposed and started to implement a set of measures to stimulate private enterprise in Cuba. The state sector of the economy still remains dominant.
The question remains how long the Cuban political system will survive after the death of Fidel Castro this year.
3 VietnamAfter the Japanese occupation of the 1940s, Vietnam had fought against the French occupation of Indochina War. In 1954, France was defeated. Subsequently, Vietnam has been politically divided into two rival states – North and South. The conflict escalated and the US became involved in the Cold War context. In 1975, the Vietnam War ended in victory for the North. Then the country was unified under Communist government – a state located in poverty and political isolation. In 1986, the government initiated a series of economic and political reforms that have begun to bring the country’s integration into the world economy. In 2000, Vietnam established diplomatic relations with almost all countries. By 2020, the communist government’s plan is to bring Vietnam among developed nations.
4 LaosThe territory of Laos has been inhabited since ancient times by different populations that peaked their cultural development, social and economic in the fourth millennium BC Laos is bordered by Burma, China, Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand.
From 1941 to 1945, it was under Japanese occupation. In 1945, the Japanese were defeated by communist guerrillas who proclaimed the independent state of Pathet Lao. But they were defeated by the French who established the kingdom under French protectorate. The country gained independence from the French Union in 1953. But in 1950 civil war broke out between communists and monarchists, war will end in 1975 with the abolition of the monarchy. From 1975 to 1989, Vietnamese troops stationed here which strongly influenced the economic, political and social development of Laos. The economy of Laos followed the communist model. When it became obvious that this economic system was not working, in 1986 the regime decided it was time for economic reforms. With the introduction of the new reforms, economic growth reached approximately 8% annually, even with this growth rate, Laos remains one of the poorest countries in Asia. Corruption remains a major problem in this country. The great majority of its population lives in rural areas and works in agriculture and the infrastructure is still poor. In 1997, the state became a member of ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations – Association of Southeast Asian Nations), but still remained in orbit Vietnam.
5 North KoreaAfter the liberation of Korea from Japanese occupation at the end of the Second World War, the state was divided into two parts by the United Nations, bounded by 38th parallel North Korea would be administered by the USSR, and the South, US. So, in 1948, it was proclaimed the People’s Republic of Korea.
According to the Constitution, North Korea is a socialist republic, but not Stalinist. It’s an absolute dictatorship where Kim Il-sung Juche ideology has replaced Marxism. With the death of Kim Il Sung, he was appointed “Eternal President of the Republic”. The position of President of North Korea remained vacant, and his son Kim Jong Il became General Secretary of the WPK. The state apparatus is dominated by the Workers’ Party of Korea(WPK), which has about three million members. There are also two minor parties, but they recognize the role of leader of the WPK and are dominated by it.
North Korea has a centralized economy, heavy industry and manufacturing of weapons having the highest priority. By the mid-70s, the GDP of North Korea was the same as that of South Korea. But since 1974 the South Korean economy has experienced an amazing advance. On the other hand, the North Korean economy has been affected by the collapse of the USSR, and famine in 1991. In the infographic below you can see the huge differences between the two Koreas. North Korea’s economy is backward in all categories because of the disastrous policies of the leaders.