Resolution PCP Central Committee

45th anniversary of the April Revolution. The values of April in the future of Portugal

I

In 2019, the Portuguese workers and people commemorate the 45th anniversary of the April 25th revolution.

The April Revolution, following the heroic military uprising of the Movement of the Armed Forces (MFA) on April 25th 1974, followed immediately by a popular uprising, realized profound democratic transformations —political, economic, social and cultural— that, rooted in the affirmation of national sovereignty and independence, opened the perspective of a new period in the history of Portugal and had important international repercussions. The April Revolution, accomplishment of the Portuguese people, constituted one of the most important events in the history of Portugal.

Culminating a prolonged and heroic struggle, the 25th of April put an end to 48 years of fascism —terrorist dictatorship of monopolies (associated with imperialism) and the land estates— that subjugated and harshly oppressed the Portuguese people and ended thirteen years of colonial wars against peoples who also struggled for their liberty and independence, leaving countless suffering and victims among the African peoples and sacrificing generations of Portuguese youth.

April defeated obscurantism, oppression, the crushing of freedoms, the limitation of fundamental rights, the marginalization of workers, youth, women and people from political life. Fascism was misery, hunger, cultural segregation, elitism, illiteracy, education reserved for the few and conditioned for the large majority of the population, miserable wages, the subordination of the interests of the Country and people to the interests of a minority of monopolists and owners of large landed estates, and alienation of the natural interest to the interests of big capital and imperialism.

The working class, workers, popular masses and progressive military —«the captains of April»— united in the People-MFA alliance, with the determinant role of PCP were the protagonists of democratic advances and achievements, subsequently enshrined in the Constitution of the Portuguese Republic, approved on April 2nd 1976.

II

The Constitution of the Portuguese Republic and the achievements, rights, freedoms and guarantees it enshrines began being disrespected after its approval, was mutilated in successive revisions, sidestepping and against the mechanisms it foresees, and is targeted by reactionary forces, in the service of big capital, aiming its destruction.

During the four and a half decades, the achievements of April in political, economic, social and cultural rights were always under close fire from right wing policies implemented by the Socialist Party (PS), Social-Democratic Party (PSD) and Popular Party (CDS-PP), who in close concert with the interests of big capital seek to limit and even liquidate their reach.

After 1976, steamrolling the Portuguese Constitution and the advanced character of the democratic regime it enshrines, successive governments of PS and PSD, with or without CDS-PP, took as the central objective of their policy the restoration of monopoly capitalism, with its dynamics of exploitation of workers and centralization and concentration of capital.

The counter-revolutionary process triggered since then developed and continues to develop, having as fundamental priorities: the reconstitution, restoration and reconfiguration of the socioeconomic structures of state monopoly capitalism; the deepening exploitation of workers, the liquidation of many of their rights and freedoms, and the grave limitation of the social rights of the Portuguese; the perversion of the democratic regime tending to install an authoritarian regime; the promotion and restitution of obscurantist or retrogressive values in the domain of culture, mentalities and ideology; the adoption, as strategic option, of increasing domination of foreign capital over the Portuguese economy and of limitations upon national sovereignty and independence, specially the integration in the EEC/EU.

These objectives faced, and continue to face, the resistance and struggle of the workers and people, and a determined intervention by PCP, decisive party in the struggle for freedom and democracy.

During these more than 42 years of right-wing policy, of attacks upon the rights of workers and people, perpetrated by PS, PSD and CDS-PP, the action of the previous PSD/CDS-PP government reached particular severity.

The courageous and persistent struggle of the Portuguese workers and people and the firm and determined action and intervention of PCP led to the political and social isolation of this government, the rejection of its policy of exploitation and impoverishment and, in October of 2015, its electoral defeat and subsequent removal from power, once again confirming that it is worth struggling and PCP has a decisive role.

With the changes in the correlation of forces in Parliament, measures were adopted that not only restored liquidated rights but also led to new achievement and conquests. The advances achieved by the influence and intervention of PCP and the struggle of workers and people demonstrate that the path of defence, restitution and conquest of rights is indispensable for the improvement of the living conditions of the workers and people, constituting at the same time a decisive factor towards economic growth and job creation, and that the policies of increased exploitation and impoverishment, of cuts in wages, pensions and other social rights was not only a policy of social injustice, but also recession, unemployment and drowning the country.

These are valuable advances and achievement that answering the urgent problems of the workers and people fall short, however, of what is necessary and possible, because PS and its minority government, in convergence with PSD and CDS-PP, confirm their commitment to the interests of big capital and their submission to the Euro and the impositions of the European Union.

III

In the 45 years of the April Revolution, the main political culprits of the structural problems of the Country, their on-duty commentators and the ideologues of the dominant classes (whether they assume they are right-wing or self-proclaimed left-wingers) will try to deny, mischaracterize and question the real significance of April and what it represents to the Portuguese people. They will try to rewrite history, whitewash the terrorist nature of the fascist dictatorship, silence the heroic struggle of the Portuguese workers and people and in particular hid and falsify the unparalleled and decisive role of PCP in the resistance to the fascist dictatorship, in creating the conditions for the April Revolution, in its development and defence of its achievements. They will try new attacks upon the Portuguese Constitution, aiming to subvert it, and diminish and erase the emancipating project it represents.

Given that the democratic regime represented and, despite the mutilations, continues to represent important rights and achievements, we will commemorate April fighting for a Political Democracy, based upon popular sovereignty, pluralism of opinion and political organization, individual and collective freedoms, intervention and direct participation of the people in political life and overseeing and accountability of power. We will commemorate April affirming democracy and freedom, as belonging to the people and having intrinsic value. Freedom necessary to protect and ensure, as an integral and inalienable element of Portuguese society.

We will commemorate April fighting for Economic democracy, based on the subordination of economic power to democratic political power, based on the social property of basic and strategic sectors of the economy and natural resources, which together should be the motor and fundamental driver of a project of economic development, with the State playing an essential and promoting role, with public investment in economic activities, namely in industry, agriculture and fisheries, that defends and promotes national production, replacing imports and guaranteeing food and energy sovereignty and employment with rights.

We will commemorate April fighting for a Social Democracy, based on the effective guarantee of worker’s rights, right to work and just wage, with dignified living and working conditions, reclaiming the valorisation of public services and the social functions of the State, namely Education and Health, and a public and universal system of Social Security.

We will commemorate April fighting for a Cultural Democracy, based upon the effective access of the popular masses to the creation and fruition of culture, and freedom and support for cultural fruition.

April gave us freedom, the end to the colonial war and the affirmation of national sovereignty and independence, the inalienable right of the Portuguese people to decide their destiny. So we will commemorate April affirming that right and fighting for peace and friendship among all peoples and nations and for a Europe of progress, cooperation among peoples and sovereign states and equal in rights, against the aggressions of imperialism, against obscurantism and populism and its anti-democratic objectives, for social progress.

IV

The great values of the April Revolution created deep roots in Portuguese society, projected as realities, objective necessities, experiences and aspirations for the democratic future of Portugal.

The values of April not only continue to reflect the interests of the large majority of workers and people, but expressing these interests they’re able to guide the struggle today and the construction of the Country’s future.

Therefore, the commemorations of the 45th anniversary of the April Revolution should be a time for convergence and unity of democrats and patriots, of workers and the people, in defence of the values of April, the Constitution of the Portuguese Republic, demanding a rupture with the right-wing policies and affirming an alternative, patriotic and left-wing policy.

V

PCP, valuing and appealing to the reinforcement of the dynamic popular commemoration, will mark the 45th anniversary of the April Revolution with the slogan “The Values of April in the Future of Portugal” and will develop a diversified program, of which we highlight the edition of materials and specific publications, a session marking the 43rd anniversary of the Constitution of the Portuguese Republic (on April 2nd), which will inaugurate the program of commemorations, two large events in Lisbon and Porto, on April 18th and 28th, promotion of thematic sessions, and expression in the Avante! Festival on September 6th, 7th and 8th of 2019.

★★★

The Portuguese Communist Party, party of the working class and all workers, party of the struggle for freedom, democracy and socialism, appeals to all democrats and patriots, all who repudiate exploitation and oppression to affirm and project the Values of April in the future of Portugal with their will, voice and struggle.

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  • Regime Democrático e Assuntos Constitucionais
  • Central

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