Soviet Propaganda

The Novosti Press Agency was founded in 1961. The Agency operated as an impressive propaganda machine with numerous branches all around the world and a total annual publication circulation of 20 million copies. Their range of books covered such topics as the Soviet contribution to the economic development of 'Third World’ countries, the Soviet policy of support for National Liberation Movements, criticism of “contemporary colonialism” and the imperialist policy of the West. First Time in Moscow tells the story of a fictional African child called Dudu, who was given a free trip to Moscow as the winner of a contest. The patronising and romanticised tone of the book makes it a striking example of propaganda material created in the USSR under the “International Friendship” policy. The Peoples’ Friendship University was founded in 1960 and later renamed after Patrice Lumumba following the assassination of the Congolese independence leader in 1961. The University was praised for its educational accomplishments and was considered as an epitome of solidarity and internationalism by its proponents, and denounced as a communist institution for spy recruitment by its opponents. The very concept of a university established especially to provide education for students from 'Third World' countries was also questioned by the very governments of the countries it was aimed at.

Congress for Cultural Freedom

The Congress for Cultural Freedom (CCF) was an organisation, founded in 1950 at a conference that gathered a group of anti-communist intellectuals in West Berlin. Organised in response to the formation of The World Peace Council by the Soviet Union, the CCF aimed to withstand post-war sympathies towards the USSR. Covertly funded by the United States Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), it was established to oppose global Communism, counter Cold War neutralism, and to promote Western cultural and liberal values. The organisation was active in thirty-five countries, organising cultural events and conferences, publishing books and numerous periodicals. Another important vector of the campaign was aimed to alter the perception of the U.S. in Europe through the promotion of American modernist art. The covert enterprise dissolved in 1967, after the disclosure of the CIA’s active involvement.

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