International Conference "On the occasion of the victory over Nazi-fascism" - Contribution of the PCP

"On the occasion of the victory over Nazi-fascism"

Dear friends and comrades

1. We would like to thank the Communist Party of Bohemia and Moravia for the invitation and, valorizing your initiative, in the name of the Portuguese Communist Party, I would like to begin by paying homage to the Czech communists who fell for their ideals and their country, who organized the resistance against the Nazi occupier, who took the side of the workers and the people and were in the frontline of the Prague insurrection.

Today, when exploring the tragic defeats of socialism, they try to denigrate the communists and their ideals, it is important to remember, here in Prague, the role played by the communists in the liberation of their country and in the victory over Nazi-fascism. That is why the Czech communists emerged more prestigious and stronger after the war. That is why - like us the Portuguese communists in 1974 – they went directly from the underground into a popular government. That is why they were in a condition, in 1948, to impose a clear defeat on the bourgeoisie and reactionary forces and move towards building a new society.

2. We consider this Conference a very timely and important occasion. First and foremost, due to its internationalist character. It constitutes a real contribution for the cooperation among communist parties and other forces of the left. A cooperation that is more than ever necessary in our times of capitalist globalization.

Because it takes place in Prague, the centre of this capitalist Europe which later gave the world fascism and Nazism and was the stage of the greatest carnages and destructions known to mankind. This Europe that we wish of peace, friendship and cooperation, but which, with the destruction of the USSR and the defeats of socialism was once again the stage, in the Balkans, of destructive wars of aggression, where the hopes brought by the Helsinki Final Act are being destroyed by the subversion of OCSE and where NATO (under US hegemony) and the European Union (transformed into an economic-political-military imperialist bloc), once again brings to the forefront the imperious need to mobilize our peoples against militarism and war.

This Conference cannot forsake being a vibrant appeal against orgetting the lessons of the past and to join all the forces that can be joined to put an end to the dynamics of intervention, aggression and war launched on the world by imperialism. The workers and the peoples need work and bread, they need more health, more education and cultural training and not arms, increasingly more expensive, more sophisticated and more deadly. That is why the struggle at the social level for better wages and living standards and against neo-liberalism is closely linked to the struggle for disarmament, to a political solution of the conflicts, to peace, to active solidarity with the peoples – from Iraq and the Palestine, to Cuba and to Venezuela – who are victims of aggression, interference and threats by imperialism.

That is why we believe that the offensive by North-American imperialism for world domination is not fought by giving in to its demands and accepting the faits accomplis as in Iraq and other parts of the world. Nor by expanding the arms race and undertaking an interventionist policy, as done by Germany and other great capitalist powers from the European Union and the Far East, and once again, Japan. This road leads to disaster. Here in Prague, it is particularly timely to remember the so-called policy of appeasement that sacrificed the Czech people in Munich and opened the doors to World War II.

Only the struggle for disarmament, the destruction of military blocs, the defence of democracy and the social rights of the workers can defend peace.

3. The importance of this Conference is also great at the level of the struggle of ideas, to reestablish historical truth and combat omissions, deformations and outright falsifications on the causes of World War II and the “Victory” forces. This is all the more important because the reactionary forces and imperialism rewrite history according to their class interests, trying to justify the present violent offensive to impose a “new world order” against the workers and the peoples, under the hegemony of the US.

That is why it is necessary to remember, namely, that:

• fascism is the shock troops of big capital and that its roots go deep into the very system of exploitation and oppression by capitalism;

• while the bourgeoisie and its governments constantly recoiled in facing capitalism, (trying to launch it against the USSR), shamelessly capitulated and betrayed national interests, the working class and the workers, with the communists at the forefront, appealed to the resistance, mobilized the masses to the struggle, took arms, organized the underground and guerrilla action, immobilized great contingents of Hitler’s troops, freed vast territories from the Nazi-fascist plague;

• it was the USSR, the Soviet people, the Soviet communists and the Red Army, the great craftsmen of the “Victory”. More than 20 million dead bear witness to the indisputable price paid by the Soviet people to free their homeland and the world from the Nazi-fascist scourge. And the tide of confidence that the heroic battles like those of Leningrad and Stalingrad gave to the occupied peoples will never be forgotten.

And in Portugal, where the PCP fought under severe underground conditions, the victories of the Red Army and its unstoppable march towards the heart of the III Reich constituted a stimulus we shall never forget. The PCP’s transformation in the forties into a great national party is inseparable from the prestige achieved by the USSR and socialism.

• that the communists, with their liberating ideals, their unitary anti-fascist spirit, contributed decisively to the defeat of nazi-fascism, the deep revolutionary and progressive changes that followed World War II – the debacle of the colonial empires and the impetuous growth of the national liberation movement, the widening of the socialist field to a third of mankind, a great thrust forward of the working class in the capitalist countries – and the establishment of a new order based upon the UN and international legality.

4. It is this order, fundamentally peaceful and anti-fascist that, benefiting from the unfavorable correlation of forces, imperialism tries to destroy and replace with a “new order” dominated by the US, and which gives an institutional and legal cover to its aims of planetary hegemony. That is why it is necessary to exercise great vigilance on the UN “reform” that is under way. And the defence of the UN Charter, the defence of the principles of sovereignty and non-interference in the internal affairs of the peoples, the respect for the right of all peoples to decide on their own fate, the restoration of the international legality in Iraq (with the withdrawal of the occupying forces), in the Palestine (with the withdrawal by Israel from the occupied territories and the respect for the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people), in the Korean Peninsula (with an end to the threats against the PDRK and the peaceful reunification of Korea), in the relations with Cuba (putting an end to the criminal blockade), and in other parts of the world, are of the utmost importance at the present moment.

5. These are some of the ideas that the PCP believes need to be stressed at this important Conference. Insisting on the great importance they have for the struggles we carry out today – in a situation which has many similarities with the one preceding World War II – the restoration of the historical truth.

I would like to end, comrades and friends, by expressing a position of great confidence in the possibility of restraining and defeating imperialism and its policy of exploitation and war. This position was clearly defined by our Party’s 17th. Congress, last November, based upon the analysis of the crisis of capitalism and the great contradictions and trends of contemporary world. The offensive by imperialism faces the growing resistance and the struggle of the workers and the peoples. Even where the forces of social progress and peace are feeble, the peoples do not give up the struggle.

The extraordinary centralization and concentration of capital and wealth objectively widens the field of the anti-imperialist and even anti-capitalist forces. Great dangers coexist with great potential for a progressive change in society and the advancement of a new order of progress and peace.

The lessons of the anti-fascist struggle six decades ago teach us that it is always worthwhile and that victory is possible.

It is PCP’s deep conviction that the best way to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the Victory and honour the memory of those who gave their lives for freedom to thrive, is to strengthen the struggle in each country in defence of the interests of the workers and the masses, against neo-liberalism, militarism and war, intensify the internationalist solidarity with the peoples subject to interferences and aggressions by imperialism, strengthen the cooperation among all anti-imperialist forces.

In our view, this Conference is a good contribution by our Czech comrades towards these aims.

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