17th. International Meeting of Communist and Workers' Parties, October 30 and 31 and November 1, 2015

Contribution of the Portuguese Communist Party to the 17th. International Meeting of Communist and Workers' Parties

Contribution of the Portuguese Communist Party to the 17th. International Meeting of Communist and Workers' Parties

The Portuguese Communist Party salutes the Parties present at the 17th. International Meeting of Communist and Workers' Parties and, particularly, the Communist Party (Turkey) which hosts the Meeting, reaffirming our commitment to contribute to the strengthening of our cooperation and international solidarity.

On this occasion, the PCP expresses its solidarity with the communists, the workers and the Turkish people and their struggle against oppression and exploitation and for freedom, democracy, for their rights, for justice and social progress.

And also expresses its solidarity with the peoples of the Middle East and, particularly, with the Palestinian people and their struggle for the right to a homeland, independent, sovereign and viable, and with the Syrian people and their struggle for peace, sovereignty and independence of their country.
We are participating in this Meeting with the conviction that it will bring a useful exchange of views and a contribution to the common or convergent action among our parties.

I

In PCP's view, continue to be present and mark the development of the current international situation four fundamental lines and trends which, incidentally, are sharpening: the deepening of capitalism’s structural crisis; a immense process of realignment of forces, where the relative decline of the US (and of the G7 powers) and the economic rise of China (and the dynamics of the BRICS group) are protruding elements; the continuation of the resistance and struggle of the workers and the peoples in defence of their rights and sovereignty; and imperialism’s brutal exploitative, oppressive and aggressive offensive, through which it seeks to counter the above mentioned trends.

An international situation which is characterized by great instability and uncertainty, and where unexpected and fast developments are possible.

Against the background of capitalism’s structural crisis it should be stressed that, in addition to the fact that the vast and prolonged cyclical crisis that erupted in 2008 in the US has not been overcome – and whose shock waves continue to propagate and to have multifaceted expressions –, remain and deepen the factors that, if they continue to grow, will hatch new episodes of crisis that will have multiple and significant repercussions.

The economic situation, especially in the major capitalist powers, remains characterized by feeble growth, stagnation and the threat of recession, in the context of a violent offensive that intensifies exploitation, attacks labour and social rights, promotes unemployment and precariousness, privatises public services and social functions of the state, increases social inequalities, worsens the plunder of resources and fosters a growing concentration and centralisation of capital.

An offensive that continues to be accompanied by a limitation of freedoms and democracy, attack on national sovereignty and independence, an action of whitewashing fascism and of anti-communism and which represents a regression of civilizational dimension.

Although, in the context of inter-imperialist, concertation-rivalry class concertation continues to dominate, against the workers and against the people – which include, for example, the so-called TPP and TTIP – with the deepening of the crisis, the contradictions among the great imperialist powers will tend to sharpen.

At the same time, significant developments have taken place in the broad process of rearrangement of forces that occurs on a worldwide scale, whose sense of evolution needs to be monitored. A process which, although complex and contradictory, in PCP’s view, continues to establish itself as a factor of curbing the establishment of the «new world order» hegemonized by US imperialism and which can open positive prospects regarding the evolution of the correlation of forces worldwide.

A process which has formed and consolidated alliances and areas of cooperation and multilateral integration, with the inherent contradictions of the different economic and political realities of the countries that are part of it. In this context, ALBA represents a qualitative leap in cooperation, on an anti-imperialist, sovereign, solidary, socially oriented and equitable basis, with repercussions in the American continent and at the international level.

As a "way out" for the deep crisis that capitalism faces, to cope with the process of realignment of forces and contain the resulting resistance and struggle of the workers and peoples, imperialism’s most reactionary and aggressive circles bet, in an increasingly disturbing way, on the threat of fascism and war.

Resorting to campaigns of misinformation and extreme manipulating excuses, defying the UN Charter and international law, imperialism, under the leadership of US imperialism, reinforces its political and military alliances – with emphasis on NATO, which is currently carrying out one of its biggest military manoeuvres in Portugal, Spain and Italy – fosters militarism, multiplies outbreaks of tension and destabilization, increases interference, promotes and exploits xenophobic and fascist groups and their terrorist action, waging a permanent state of war against all those who resist or are considered an obstacle to the imposition of its world supremacy.

Represent expressions of bellicist escalation of imperialism, the aggression against Syria and the colonisation of Palestine by Israel; the fascistic drift in Ukraine and the US, NATO and EU militarism, aimed at the Russian Federation; the operations of destabilization and re-colonisation in Africa; the militarisation of Asia and the Pacific by the US and Japan, where China is considered the "strategic adversary"; or the blockade against Cuba and the destabilisation of Venezuela and other countries in Latin America.

70 years after the victory over Nazi-fascism, imperialism’s aggressive escalation poses a serious threat to peace, with the possibility of outbreak of severe conflicts and the danger of a new war of catastrophic dimensions – although, that does not mean that such war is inevitable.

We consider it is particularly important to build the convergence of communists and other forces of social progress and national liberation around the fight against fascism, militarism and war, raising a broad anti-imperialist front, reinforcing the peace movement and solidarity with the people, against NATO, for disarmament, freedom, independence and national sovereignty, democracy.

In PCP’s view, it is by broadening and not narrowing the social and political base of the peace movement that we strengthen the struggle for deep social changes and for socialism.

In a context that is still of resistance and gathering of forces at the world level, the resistance and the struggle of the workers, peoples and states in defence of their rights and sovereignty, is a reality that has to be valorised and welcomed.

Resistance and struggle which – under very different, complex and difficult conditions and setting different immediate objectives – has imposed major setbacks on imperialism and achieved advances that have to be defended and consolidated. We emphasise the situation in Latin America and the Caribbean, where processes of sovereign, progressive and revolutionary affirmation resist imperialism’s offensive and represent an important stimulus to the struggle of workers and peoples.
Although great dangers loom in the current international situation, facts also confirm the existence of great potential for the development of the struggle towards social and national emancipation.

The struggle of the workers and peoples can hold back imperialism’s most reactionary and aggressive sectors, impose setbacks on them, defeat the offensive of exploitation and national oppression and attain important achievements and progressive and revolutionary transformations.

II

There still persists a deep crisis of the European Union, and in particular, of the euro zone, where increasingly the process of European capitalist integration reveals serious difficulties and contradictions and the tendency to address it with an ever greater centralisation of the economic and the political power, with the strengthening of its neoliberal, federalist and militaristic pillars.

In PCP’s analysis, the developments in the European Union – where the process regarding Greece is particularly enlightening – clearly show that the guidelines and limits imposed by the European Union and the euro are unacceptable constraints for the development of policies in favour of the legitimate interests and aspirations of the peoples, respecting their will and sovereignty.

A situation which not only proves the clear class option of the European Union and of its policies based on economic and social regression and the imposition of relations that have a neo-colonial nature, with the patent limitation to face these policies without affirming coherently the right of every people to a sovereign choice of development.

A situation that proves not the inevitability of a posture of submission to the impositions and blackmail by the European Union, but the need for resistance, confrontation and rupture with the instruments of supranational political and economic domination of European capitalist integration.

A situation that highlights the importance of the national question and its interconnection with the class question, confirming the importance of the national mark as a decisive field of struggle and of the exercise and affirmation of national sovereignty as a condition for the defence and conquest of rights and the advancement of transforming processes.

Having the euro as one of its most important instruments of political and economic domination, the European Union does not hesitate in trampling on the fundamental values that it hypocritically proclaims – like democracy and solidarity – to enforce the policies of exploitation of workers and favouring of big business.

It should be noted that the brutal confrontation of the democratic choices of the peoples from the European Union does not result from «drifting away from the founding values» to which one would have to return or «imperfections» in the integration process and delays in the imperative federalist enhancement, but rather the result of building a supranational system of power at the service of big business and the major powers.

A supranational power that the communists and other progressive forces must face – without leaving room for the growth of reactionary nationalism and xenophobic, racist and fascist forces – to ensure the right of the peoples to decide their own way.

The PCP considers that the European Union is not reformable, every new step in the process of European capitalist integration represented and will continue to represent increased attacks on the rights of the workers and on the sovereignty of peoples.

In Portugal, the PCP continues to firmly combat EU policies that threaten social and labour rights, the development of the country, democracy and national sovereignty and which contribute to the deepening of social regression and economic decline.

The PCP considers that a policy truly committed to the values of justice and social progress, development, democracy and sovereignty and national independence, demands the release of Portugal from the constraints and instruments of domination of the European Union, the euro, the Budgetary Treaty, economic governance, common policies.

The evolution of the situation in the European Union proves the need and urgency of the renegotiation of the Portuguese debt regarding its terms, amounts and interest and the study and preparation to release the country from submission to the euro – so as to resist the processes of blackmail and to ensure its monetary, fiscal and economic sovereignty.

In Portugal, will be through a patriotic and left-wing policy that will be possible to ensure development and economic and social progress and break away from the path of decline and national abdication. It is this path of sovereign assertion, based on the will and participation of the Portuguese people, that the PCP is determined to follow.

The PCP, relying on the Portuguese people and other peoples of Europe, has the deep conviction that it will be possible to build a Europe of cooperation among sovereign states with equal rights, of progress and peace, a Europe that meets the interests and aspirations of the workers and peoples.

III

As a result of a policy subordinated to the interests of monopoly capital and European capitalist integration, the situation in Portugal is characterized by economic decline, social regression, foreign dependency and the impoverishment of the democratic regime – a right-wing policy carried out over the past decades by PS, PSD and CDS governments, in constant confrontation with the Portuguese Constitution.

In this context, the PCP struggles for a rupture with the right-wing policy and the construction of a patriotic and left-wing political alternative, based on economic growth and employment, valorisation of the workers and their incomes, the restoration to the country of its resources and strategic sectors, in defence of public services and social functions of the state and the affirmation of Portugal’s right to a sovereign development.

Recent developments in the political situation in Portugal are marked by the results of the legislative elections held on October 4, which gave rise to a new political framework, still under uncertain development and outcome.

We underline two facts in these elections, the continuation of the electoral advance of the Broad Democratic Coalition Unit (CDU) – electoral coalition formed by the PCP and the Ecologist Party "The Greens" (PEV) – and the defeat of the PSD/CDS coalition, which loses its absolute majority in Parliament.

This result has created a new situation that enables to cut short the destructive action of PSD/CDS and a basis for a different governing solution to meet the most pressing concerns and needs of the workers, the people and the country.

This is why we admit, despite deep differences, discussing with the PS the possibilities that open the way to this solution. This is the moment we are in.

Affirming its political and ideological independence, persisting in the struggle for a patriotic and left-wing alternative, which breaks with the right-wing policy, and for its programme of an Advanced Democracy, the PCP will contribute towards all measures which are useful for the workers, the people and the country and oppose all that means more exploitation, impoverishment, social injustice and national decline.

It is in this framework, demonstrating the essential role of the PCP in the fight for an alternative to right-wing policies, that anti-communist and anti-democratic attacks increase and brandished an economic and financial catastrophe resulting from the punishment by the so-called «markets» and what are called foreign «institutions».

While others claim to see in the coherent intervention of the PCP – to find solutions that prevent the continuation of the PSD/CDS government and its policy – the abandonment of its electoral programme and even its class nature and revolutionary identity.

To those who, both from the point of view of the right – with fascist twitches – or from the «left» – rhetorical and pseudo-revolutionary – fire at the PCP all kinds of nonsense, we affirm that history, PCP’s revolutionary coherence, the recognized respect by the Portuguese communists to honour their word speak by themselves.

It should be noted that the electoral defeat of the PSD/CDS and the possibilities opened by the new arrangement of political-party framework have a decisive stamp, not only of the great political mass campaign the CDU made, but above all the persistent struggle that the workers and the Portuguese people fought over the last few years and which had the decisive role of the broad united trade union movement, of CGTP-IN – the great trade union central of the Portuguese workers.

The development of the struggle for concrete and immediate demands of the workers, the struggle of other sectors and anti-monopolist social strata for their rights, interests and aspirations, form the basis for the development of the mass struggle and for the convergence around the objective to defeat the right-wing policy and the implementation of a patriotic and left-wing policy – a policy that defies the interests and power of the big monopolies and imperialism.

Along with a diverse intervention and a prompt political initiative, the necessary development of the mass struggle, as well as the preparations for the presidential elections – in which it participates with its own candidate, intervening to uphold the democratic regime enshrined in the Portuguese Constitution and for Portugal of the values of the April Revolution – the PCP has as essential aim its organic reinforcement.

These are demanding tasks that the current situation poses to the Portuguese communists. Fulfilling its internationalist role in the struggle of the workers and peoples, the PCP reaffirms its nature and communist identity in the struggle for the materialisation of a patriotic and left-wing policy, breaking with the right-wing policy, for an advanced democracy, that promotes the April Values in the future of Portugal, an integral part of building a new society, free from exploitation and oppression – socialism and communism.

IV

The historical experience of the communist movement demonstrates that the struggle for socialism is a complex, irregular and uneven process, with stages and intermediate phases and holding unforeseen and unexpected turnabouts.

The communists face particularly demanding and complex tasks and cannot count on easy solutions and have to be prepared for all situations.

We live in times that call for much ideological firmness, much revolutionary disposition, many organizational skills and the existence of strong, determined and firm communist Parties.

The CPP considers that, under a wide variety of situations in each country (national particularities, stages of revolution, immediate tasks, etc.), the central task is the strengthening of the communist parties with their rooting in the working class and in the national reality of their countries and the strengthening of their internationalist cooperation.

The seriousness of the international situation in the present moment, the challenges, the threats, the potential it brings, require a great effort from the international communist movement to live up to its responsibilities to meet the problems, needs and aspirations of the workers and peoples.

However, in PCP’s view, continue to be of concern conceptions and practices that do not contribute to the strengthening and unity of the communist movement – including the unity in action of the communists and theirs with other progressive and anti-imperialist forces against the common enemy – and bring difficulties to the frank and fraternal examination of common problems and to their reciprocal cooperation and solidarity.

The diversity of situations in each country determines the objectives and also diversified immediate tasks. Various analyses also exist on important issues of theory, history and the strategy of the international communist movement. But this should not be an obstacle to cooperation. On our part, without ignoring the importance of such differences and even disagreements, we believe that we should cherish what unites us and promote common or convergent action on issues of common interest
Acting in accordance with the principles of proletarian internationalism and mutual relationship, the PCP reaffirms its commitment to find solutions that will enable overcoming difficulties and contribute to the strengthening of the international communist and revolutionary movement and its internationalist cooperation and solidarity.

In this context, the PCP valorises the process of the International Meetings of Communist and Workers' Parties, bearing in mind in its intervention the lines of common or convergent action adopted at the 16th. IMCWP held in Guayaquil, Ecuador, examples of which are: the celebration of the 70th. anniversary of the Victory over Nazi-fascism; the condemnation of NATO and denouncement of its aggressive nature and, namely, their military manoeuvres in Portugal, Spain and Italy; solidarity with the Communist parties victims of anticommunist repression, as in Ukraine; solidarity with the struggle of the Palestinian people, the PCP having joined the delegation of Communist parties that, in the framework of IMCWP, went to Palestine and Israel; the struggle for liberation of the five Cuban patriots and for the end of the US blockade of Cuba; and solidarity with the peoples victims of imperialist interference and aggression.

In the current international context, the PCP reaffirms the particular importance of developing the cooperation of the Communist parties with other democratic, progressive and anti-imperialist forces, asserting their own goals, without diluting their identity, but contributing to the exchange of experience, for unity in action around concrete objectives and for the broadening and increased expression of the anti-imperialist front.

To this effect, and at European level, the PCP reiterates the need to develop cooperation among the communist parties and theirs with other progressive forces, respecting differences of situation, reflection and proposal, helping to put in the forefront the common or convergent action around the issues most felt by the workers and the people and the struggle against the European Union and for another European of cooperation, progress and peace.

Hence, the PCP is part of the Confederal Group of the European United Left/Nordic Green Left (GUE / NGL) in the European Parliament, respecting its confederal nature, its own identity – an alternative to social democracy and the right – and its independence in relation to other areas of cooperation or structures – such as the Party of the European Left.

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As we know, the dangers arising from the sharpening of capitalism’s contradictions should not be underestimated, but we are confident that, through the development of the mass struggle and solidary action of the communists and other progressive forces and peace lovers around the world, it is possible to ward off such dangers and advance in the ways of social transformation and the revolutionary overthrow of capitalism.

Given the exploitative, oppressive, aggressive and predatory nature of capitalism, the PCP considers that is increasingly clear the timeliness and importance of the communist ideal and project, the need for a new society, of socialism and communism – by different paths and stages. This is the great prospect faced by the workers and peoples from around the world.

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