Pol Pot foi líder de um movimento comunista que chegou ao poder no Cambodja. Sobre ele, afirmou Álvaro Cunhal: “Pol Pot é uma das grandes figuras políticas cambojanas do século XX, cuja história ficou marcada pela tenacidade e coragem com que defendeu e lutou pelos seus ideais e pelas profundas convicções políticas”*VER CORRECÇÃO. No caminho para o desenvolvimento social pleno, Pol Pot ceifou a vida a cerca de 2,5 milhões de pessoas, apontam as estimativas mais pessimistas. Verdadeiro engenheiro social, Pol Pot olhou para a política agrícola de uma forma peculiar. O estado apropriou-se das terras, forçou as pessoas que vivam nas cidades a migrar para o campo e as do campo para a cidade. Os resultados não foram os melhores mas as execuções fizeram algum sucesso. O genocídio foi competente, cerca de 1/5 da população cambodjana terá morrido.
Israel Shamir, tido em tempos como uma pedra angular da organização Wikileaks, excreve o artigo Pol Pot Revisited. Deixo alguns excertos da prosa:
(…)Surprisingly, Cambodians have no bad memories of that period. This is quite an amazing discovery for an infrequent visitor. I did not come to reconstruct “the truth”, whatever it is, but rather to find out what is the collective memory of the Cambodians, how do they perceive the events of the late 20th century, what narrative has been filtered down by time gone by. The omnipotent narrative-making machinery of the West has embedded in our conscience the image of bloody Khmer Rouge commies cannibalising their own people over the Killing Fields and ruled over by a nightmarish Pol Pot, anybody’s notion of ruthless despot. (…)
The Pol Pot the Cambodians remember was not a tyrant, but a great patriot and nationalist, a lover of native culture and native way of life. He was brought up in royal palace circles; his aunt was a concubine of the previous king. He studied in Paris, but instead of making money and a career, he returned home, and spent a few years dwelling with forest tribes to learn from the peasants. He felt compassion for the ordinary village people who were ripped off on a daily basis by the city folk, the comprador parasites. He built an army to defend the countryside from these power-wielding robbers. Pol Pot, a monkish man of simple needs, did not seek wealth, fame or power for himself. He had one great ambition: to terminate the failing colonial capitalism in Cambodia, return to village tradition, and from there, to build a new country from scratch. (…)
His vision was very different from the Soviet one. The Soviets built their industry by bleeding the peasantry; Pol Pot wanted to rebuild the village first, and only afterwards build industry to meet the villagers’ needs. He held city dwellers in contempt; they did nothing useful, in his view. Many of them were connected with loan sharks, a distinct feature of post-colonial Cambodia; others assisted the foreign companies in robbing people off their wealth. Being a strong nationalist, Pol Pot was suspicious of the Vietnamese and Chinese minorities. But what he hated most was acquisitiveness, greed, the desire to own things. St Francis and Leo Tolstoy would have understood him. (…)
We talk too much about evils committed under futurist regimes, and too little about the evils of the greedy rulers. It is not often we remember Bengal famine, Hiroshima holocaust, Vietnam tragedy, or even Sabra and Shatila. Introduction of capitalism in Russia killed more people than introduction of socialism, but who knows that?
Now we may cautiously reassess the brave attempts to reach for socialism in various countries. They were done under harsh, adverse conditions, under threat of intervention, facing hostile propaganda. But let us remember: if socialism failed, so did capitalism. If communism was accompanied by loss of life, so was and is capitalism. But with capitalism, we have no future worth living, while socialism still offers hope to us and our children.
Correcção: A frase que atribuí a Álvaro Cunhal está errada: não foi dita pelo dirigente comunista português sobre Pol Pot. Serviu como justificação oficial do dia de luto nacional, pela morte de Álvaro Cunhal e faz parte de uma nota do gabinete do então Primeiro-Ministro, José Sócrates. O erro assumido em nada altera a bondade do facínora Pol Pot nem a admiração que Álvaro Cunhal e muitos comunistas tiveram e têm por regimes ditatorias sanguinários. Peço desculpa aos leitores por os ter induzido em erro.