75 years of Lao People’s Army

President Thongloun Sisoulith joins army officers on a short walk to mark the 75th anniversary of the Lao People’s Army on Jan. 18. Photo: The Vientiane Times.

Celebrations are ongoing across the Lao People’s Democratic Republic, marking 75 years of the Lao People’s Army. 

The army was founded on Jan. 20, 1949. By 1953 — along with allied Vietnamese forces — this army and the broad masses managed to drive out the French colonialists. By 1975, they kicked out the U.S. invaders, the world’s dominant capitalist power.  

The Socialist Unity Party and Struggle-La Lucha newspaper salute the people, party, state, and army of socialist Laos for these achievements. 

Laos demonstrates what a revolutionary people can achieve when they have a revolutionary state. That lesson is a pressing one for us today as the U.S. imperialists unleash terror in Palestine. The Palestinian people need a revolutionary state, too. 

The U.S. imperialists dropped 2 million tons of bombs on Laos between 1964 and 1973, making it the most bombed country per capita in the history of the world. This was a campaign of extermination directed, in no small part, by Henry Kissinger, who finally died this past November. It is an outrage that he was never tried for his crimes. 

Many bombs have yet to explode, with people being killed and maimed to this day. These bombs have killed some 20,000 since the end of the war in 1975. Half of the victims are children.  

Nevertheless, Laos progresses despite the odds. Today, landlocked Laos and China are connected by a high-speed rail line built through collaborative efforts between the two countries. The U.S. has no such lines. This is just one example of Laos’ continuing advancement.

President Thongloun Sisoulith looks at training equipment at the newly opened Railway Vocational and Technical College in Phonkham village. The institution is funded by a grant from the Chinese government. Scholarships have been provided for outstanding students, including those lacking opportunities, people from smaller ethnic groups, women, and people with disabilities. Photo: The Vientiane Times.

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