Although communism professes itself to be anti-imperialist, certain communist states have practised imperialism in the form of military occupation, coercive economic commitments, exploitation, and foreign subversion. Revolutionary communism is of necessity expansionist partly because of domestic weakness (political dissent and economic underdevelopment in most communist countries) and partly because of its international weakness in economic terms. Acquired territory may be of strategic military importance, or important from the point of view of industry or raw materials. Influence is sought over the Third World, in competition with capitalist offers of development aid; but rival communist ideologies also combat one other in that sphere. Communist political imperialism usually takes the form of severe repression of nationalist tendencies and the implantation of foreign social and economic systems.
The dramatic increase in the Soviet hegemony over socialist Europe since World War II illustrates one aspect of communist imperialism while recent changes in eastern Europe only demonstrate the levels of sophistication being used. The exportation of revolution by Cuba illustrates another.