President Donald Trump on Nov. 7 commemorated the more than 100 million lives claimed by communist regimes in the 20th century, and pledged to stop the spread of the ideology worldwide.
In a presidential message on the National Day for the Victims of Communism, Trump condemned communism as an “oppressive ideology that, without fail, leaves in its wake misery, destruction, and death.”
“While Marxism promises equality, peace, and happiness, in practice it results only in inequality, violence, and despair,” the statement said.
Communism is responsible for 100 million deaths in the 20th century, according to The Black Book of Communism, with regimes in China, the Soviet Union, Cambodia, and North Korea among the chief killers.
“Over the last century, communist regimes from Cambodia’s Khmer Rouge to Ethiopia’s Derg have confirmed the soul-crushing oppression inherent in Karl Marx’s philosophy,” the presidential message said.
“As proud Americans who cherish the blessings of freedom and democracy, we promise to support the more than one billion people currently captive within communist regimes and denied their unalienable rights to life and liberty.”
Marion Smith, executive director of the Victims of Communism Memorial Foundation, drew attention to those living under communist and socialist regimes today.
“Communist parties and socialist regimes still use Marxist logic to justify tyranny—controlling the destinies and shattering the dreams of more than a billion people alive today,” Smith wrote in a Nov. 7 tweet.
The Chinese Communist Party is the world’s largest communist regime, ruling over 1.4 billion people, and responsible for expansive human rights abuses against people of faith, ethnic minorities, dissidents, and rights lawyers.
In 2017, the Trump administration declared Nov. 7 a National Day for the Victims of Communism on the 100th anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution.
The presidential message noted that 2020 marked the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Warsaw. On Aug. 15, 1920, the Polish Army defeated Vladimir Lenin’s Red Army, halting the Soviet Union’s advance into Europe for decades.
“Sadly, the Soviet Union erected an Iron Curtain around Poland and spread communism to neighboring countries and around the world,” the statement said. “Since then, the United States and the free world have borne witness to the horrors of communism, including Chinese prison camps and Soviet gulags.”
Trump pledged that “the United States will never be a socialist nation.”
“We memorialize all those who have lost their lives to communism and recommit to promoting freedom so that future generations can flourish.”