10 Most Recent & Current Communist Nations In The World

Category: Financial News

Communist nations are quickly disappearing from the world as we move further away from the Cold War and into the 21st century. Today the world has only five remaining Communist nations, most of which are struggling to hold on to any remaining political and economic power in the largely capitalist world that surrounds them. Here’s an in-depth  look at the situations of the five remaining communist nations of the world, and the last five to move away from Marxist Ideologies.

10. Congo: Communism ended on March 15, 1992


The smaller of the two countries named Congo (Brazzaville refers to the capital in order to distinguish them–Kinshasa is the larger), The People’s Republic of the Congo was the second-latest Marxist state on the African continent. The People’s Republic was founded after a leftist militant coup in 1970. The initial leader, Marien Ngouabi, led the local Marxist/Leninist party for seven years before himself being assassinated. The nation maintained strong ties to semi-socialist France as well as the Soviet Union–the Soviet Union was the largest sponsor of African Marxist countries. Like many of the 1992 transitions from Communism, the initial transition was relatively peaceful. Sadly, the peace did not last, with a civil war following in the late 1990s, and peace has only returned alongside single-party rule, with much international concern for the human rights of indigenous communities.

9. Albania: Communism ended on March 22, 1992


Following the conclusion of World War II, Albania ended up more closely linked to its northern neighbor, Yugoslavia, than its southern neighbor, Greece. As such, it became a communist nation, even after its relations with Yugoslavia deteriorated. At that point, the ruling clique aligned with the Soviet Union–but even this link was short-lived, with relations with China eventually becoming critical to securing independent leadership from Yugoslavia. In the 1970s, even this relationship deteriorated, and Albania began establishing relations with France, Italy, and other non-communist powers. Following the execution of the Romanian communist leadership in 1989, Albania began to formalize elections and other human rights, before transitioning from communism in 1992 and eventually establishing a new constitution in 1998. Albania applied for European Union membership in 2009, reflecting a strong transition to western-style democracy.

8. Yugoslavia: Communism ended on April 27, 1992


A federation of many disparate nations, the original Yugoslavia was formed in 1918 following World War I, and took its Communist form in 1943. Today, its former constituents include Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Slovenia, Montenegro, and Kosovo–a disparate group once united under the banner of the “Land of the Southern Slavs”, the translation of Yugoslavia. Only the first six were recognized as Federal States under Yugoslavia, with Kosovar independence coming only later. Ruled initially by the communist Tito, Yugoslavia had a split with the Soviet Union almost immediately after the war, and Tito retained relatively good relations with the United States–although not too close, as he never joined NATO. After his death in 1980, uprisings began later in the 1980s, and degenerated into a protracted war through the 1990s. Conflict largely subsided in 1999, and today all former members are either in the E.U. (Slovenia and Croatia), candidates (Macedonia, Montenegro, and Serbia), or potential future candidates (Kosovo as well as Bosnia and Herzegovina). Investigations into war crimes in the former Yugoslavia have continued to the present day, as the dissolution of the state was a violent and bloody episode.

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7. Afghanistan: Communism ended on April 28, 1992


With Soviet support, the first Communist regime was established in Afghanistan in 1978, and it survived in various forms until 1992. The leaders initially after the revolution, Nur Muhammad Taraki and Hafizullah Amin, instituted a number of reforms, including equal rights for women and land reform. Both were assassinated before 1980, however, and the reforms were eventually rolled back. The Soviet Union remained a military force through most of the 1980s, and millions of refugees left for neighboring Pakistan and Iran. Without Soviet backup, the ruling Communist clique was unable to maintain power, and the government collapsed in 1992. The country has been embroiled in civil war essentially ever since, with the US replacing the Soviets as the main force powering the government–but nevertheless, armed conflict has been ever-present, with or without Communism. This country of 25 million remains one of the poorest countries on earth.

6. Angola: Communism ended on August 27, 1992


After winning its independence from Portugal in 1975, two groups aimed to dominate the new-found Republic: one (the MPLA) backed by the USSR, and the other (UNITA) backed by the US. The MPLA won out, and Angola was a communist republic until the broad collapse of most communist countries in 1992. With strong ties to the USSR, Caribbean Communist country Cuba, and fellow south African, Portuguese-speaking country Mozambique–which turned communist at the same time. Civil war between the two sides began in 1975 and lasted, with some quieter periods, until 2002–though the fall of Communist rule came in 1992, and some resistance continued beyond 2002. Today, Angola is a hotbed for Chinese investment, and with its oil riches it has a rapidly increased GDP per person (although inequality remains high and many residents are quite poor). Peace has been relatively lasting, with over a decade since cessation of conflict, and many economic improvements have been made since then.

5. Vietnam: Still Communist


A commonality between the aforementioned Communist nations are their connection to the USSR, and Vietnam’s current status is no different. After the First Indochina war Vietnam was split into two halves–North Vietnam becoming Communist with the support of the Soviet Union, and South Vietnam remaining democratic with support from the United States. After the Vietnam War, and decades of national and international conflict, the United States and South Vietnam los the war and Vietnam was reunited as a Communist nation in 1976.

While Vietnam remained truly communist from 1976-1986, the country eventually needed to reach out for international support and aid; which resulted in many political and economic reforms. As a result of these reforms, Vietnam is today one of the world’s fastest growing economies. Yet, there are still problematic aspects of the country’s system: income inequality, access to medicine, and gender equality being some of the biggest.

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4. Laos: Still Communist


Supported by both neighboring Vietnam and the Soviet Union, Laos underwent a Communist revolution in 1975. The nation’s governing system is run by high-ranked officials in Laos’ military. Laos has historically been largely influenced by Vietnam’s Communist government–leaving it largely isolated from trade with the rest of the world, among other consequences to its economic development.

Laos has been accused of committing genocide against the nation’s Hmong minority. In fact, during the late 1900s the United States received hundreds of thousands of Hmong refugees who were fleeing their homeland’s communist repression and persecution.

Today Laos is ranked #23 of the world’s poorest countries.

3. Cuba: Still Communist


The Cuban Revolution in all of its glory is one of the most well-known events in the history of the Americas. Today, Cuba remains the only Communist country outside of Asia, since its revolution in 1959. Fidel Castro has continued to be the single-party ruler of the small Caribbean island since the date of the revolution’s success in the 1960s.

The Cuban Revolution was a bloody event, and the Communist dictatorship succeeded in executing thousands of citizens for political crimes. The United States has attempted to eliminate Fidel Castro on several occasions, but failing repetitively.

Unlike some other Communist nations, Cuba has a respectable healthcare system available to all citizens; it’s ranked one of the best in the world.

2. North Korea: Still Communist


Much like the case of Vietnam, Korea was split into two countries in 1910–the Soviet-backed North Korea and the United States-backed South Korea. In 1948 North Korea turned Communist. In the 1950s the Korean War was fought over the two nations’ sovereignty, and while fighting between the two nations has ceased, there was never a signed treaty–meaning that they are still technically at war.

The infamous Kim family has acted as dictators since 1948, and the family is in fact constitutionally defined as rulers according to a 2013 constitutional amendment. Today, North Korea is avidly protected by its Communist neighbor China and it is also, worrisomely, one of the only nations in the world with nuclear technologies, which it has threatened to use against foreign nations including the United States many times.

1. China: Still Communist


China has one of the biggest and most prosperous economies of the world and, somewhat surprisingly, remains a Communist superpower. The Communist party gained control of the country in 1949, initially led by Mao Zedong and his Little Red Book which wielded Communist control around the nation. The goal of Mao’s Cultural Revolution was to eliminate cultural and capitalist influences from the nation. Market economics were introduced to China in the 1970s, when it was increasingly clear that Mao’s ideas were effectively destroying China. Ever since, China’s economy has been among the fastest growing in the world: turning it into the superpower that it is today, a lucky benefit of the capitalist reforms introduced into the nation’s Communist ideology.

By Louie Andre

B2B & SaaS market analyst and senior writer for FinancesOnline. He is most interested in project management solutions, believing all businesses are a work in progress. No stranger to small business hiccups and drama, having been involved in a few internet startups. Prior to his for-profit ventures, he has had managed corporate communications for a Kansas City-based Children International unit.

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Larry maynard says:

Why wasn’t Russia on the list since it is the oldest dictatorship that has caused the most people to die

Reply to this comment »
Ayush says:

Well... Communism is a theory to be thought in depth. If we look into various communist regimes we will see a certain percentage was not exactly communist. Lenin was a real Marxist, so was Trotsky, but Stalin was not. Stalin used the communist ideals to exploit citizens for his need. Mao was not exactly a communist, but actually later on became a capitalist tout. Fidel and his brother Raul are brilliant communists. Guevara was a true revolutionary communist but in no was Kim jong is. So judge communists first and then honour them.

Reply to this comment »
Metik Sergey says:

Lenin was a real Marxist, so was Trotsky, but Stalin was not.
Yes. All "communist regimes" to some extent copied the Stalinist model, which was a gross deviation from the Marxist-Leninist theory. The attempt to combine the incompatible - commodity-money relations with a planned economy led to the defeat of the building of communism in the USSR.
In Lenin's words, socialism is "one office and one factory with equality of labor and equality of pay." Instead, the "principle of socialism" was proclaimed - the distribution according to work and the admissibility of "socialist commodity-money relations", which led to the restoration of capitalism in the end

Reply to this comment »
andy says:

List of current communist countries:
1) China - nuclear
2) North Korea - nuclear and depends on China
3) Vietnam - depends on China
3) Cuba - depends on China
4) Cambodia - depends on China
5) Laos - depends on China
6) Mongolia - depends on China
7) Mozambique - depends on China
8) Somalia - depends on China
9) South Yemen - depends on China

Reply to this comment »
Reality Deliverer says:

China is communist, period. They've changed some of the ingredients but the recipe is still the same. You can't be "a little pregnant".

Reply to this comment »
tasticles says:

China is tyranny. Not communistic. There isn't a single truly communistic country and there never was. Not even Soviet Union.

Reply to this comment »
In reply to tasticles's comment, Anonymous User says:

Thank you only person who understand the difference between Dictator and communism

In reply to tasticles's comment, Alex says:

"There isn’t a single truly communistic country and there never was. Not even Soviet Union." Yes they never achieved the "pinnacle" of socialism (communism), but they have or had the intention. The fact that they failed does not make them any less communist, just like the fact that a gang of robbers fail at robbing a bank does not make them any less robbers. They were not successful but they are still robbers. This countries were and some may still be planning for communism. With world domination and all, which is part of the communist ideology, the worldwide implementation of that system.

In reply to Alex's comment, Gary says:

Alex, interesting you use the “robber” simile, since communism is basically state-sanctioned robbery! History has shown that ALL “communist/socialist” nations achieved power through mass robbery, and in the U.S. and elsewhere in the West, they gain power through taxation (state-sanctioned theft of the non-violent kind) and regulation (control of the nation’s industrial base). Either way, by guns or taxes they end up “owning” the means of production and the lives of the “people”, which is their ultimate goal!

Communism and Democracy/Socialism are only different in the means of gaining control! One takes years (Democracy/Socialism) through taxes and regulation, the other takes a lot less time, through blood-letting! ALL ARE FAILURES, which HISTORY has proven! When Communism and Socialism can’t pillage, rape, and steal riches/resources from others (economies: personal, local, national) they fail. The only reason China is doing so well is that they got ESTABLISHED Hong Kong back from the British and use its resources (with its major influx of Western Riches) to bolster their USELESS, unproductive economy! Since they got HK back, they haven’t had to eliminate masses of people (“enemies of the state”) for lack of food and resources.

BRW, regarding North Korea, anybody ever notice that the ONLY fat person in PRK is their “leader”? It is that way in many “socialist” nations! That’s because the “leaders” live off the “people” like leeches, sucking their lifeblood while the host (nation) dies!

janspo says:

what about Bolivia and other Latin American countries. which are also communist countries. and there are many European countries such as Greece turning to leftist ideology

Reply to this comment »
Anonymous User says:

In Bolivia, communist party is so weak that it lost its designation as a recognized political party

Reply to this comment »
Anonymous User says:

Dude. Ya know Cuba is the only communist country in the western hemisphere right?
Nicaragua came close but the U.S. sold nukes tho Iran and funded the rebels there.

Reply to this comment »
ooo says:

China is a one party country controlling by Chinese communist. However the party implement both socialism and capitalism in many aspects. China is slowly changing.

Reply to this comment »
Bonnie Collins says:

Communism is a political ideology. You might know the definition of Communism yourself, before you tell someone else that they don’t. China is a Communist Country by it’s own definition. Communist China is changing, only because they intend to rule the majority of the world. It’s absolutely something they openly speak about. Their Government will use any means necessary lying, stealing, hacking, cheating, kidnapping, imprisonment, and anything they deem necessary to achieve their goals.

Reply to this comment »
In reply to Bonnie Collins's comment, Gav says:

So many people clueless on communism and specifically on China. I very much doubt you know the definition of communist because you call China communist then list anti communist (nationalist) things they are doing. You also claim China is communist by it's own definition. China officially reclassified their economy in 1992 as "market socialism with Chinese characteristics" (Chinese characteristics meaning private capital and private property). By their own definition they are no longer communist. One more point, no country has claimed to be communist. Only that they are trying to achieve it.

Anonymous says:

China is not a true Communist country, they are Socialist, which is close, but not the same thing because as you listed in your article- they have a market economy. China will soon be home to over half of the world's billionaire.

Reply to this comment »
Walter D. Burnett says:

China remains to this day, the same Communist Totalitarian 'society' as the day it was established. The billionaires and those of lesser wealth and power of whom you speak, are members of the multi-tier hierarchy. "Capitalism", industrialism and international trade,are a part of their system, as with any other Communist or Socialist country around the world, thereby proving the hypocrisy that neither ideology can ever exist by their own faulty merits on a national scale, anywhere.

Reply to this comment »
Anan says:

China is a communist tyrrany, censorship there is HUGE, citizens are tortured, raped randomly, and communist propaganda is everywhere. The billionaires that you're talking about? They're all in Hong Kong, more democratic and untouched by the communists. And the rest of the billionaires in actual China, they're all corrupt politicians.

Reply to this comment »
In reply to Anan's comment, tasticles says:

So for you communism in tyranny?
Communism is form of market. Please know at least the tiniest thing about what your talking about before talking about it

In reply to tasticles's comment, ehh says:

Communism is political, social, and economic, its a tool used by governments to get what they want, I know what I'm talking about because I read, and you know google exists. Literally look up communism and its history, nobody has ever had the right intentions when their plans actually fell through. Communism isn't tyrannical, people are.

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