Release from the PCP Press Office

On the 80th. Anniversary of the Start of World War II - Fight for Peace and Disarmament!

On September 1, 1939 World War II was started, the deadliest war in history. Just two decades after the end of the World War I between great capitalist powers - vying for colonies, markets and raw materials - the world was once again plunged into a devastating war by fascist Germany and Italy and imperial militarist Japan, who sought to alter by force the imperialist sharing of the world.

The combats of World War II took place in several regions of the world, but it was mainly on the Eastern European front that Nazi-fascist barbarism was fought and defeated. For a long period after June 1941, the Soviet Union faced alone the bulk of Nazi Germany's armies and its allies. It was during this period that the epic battles on the Soviet front - Moscow, Leningrad, Stalingrad, Kursk, and many others prior to the Anglo-American landing in Normandy in June 1944 - decided the course of the war and determined the defeat of Nazi-fascism.
Victory in World War II was achieved at the cost of unspeakable sacrifices and more than 20 million dead from the Soviet Union. No rewriting or falsification of history can conceal the heroic resistance of the USSR, the Soviet people, its Red Army under the leadership of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, which contrasted with the acceptance and collaborationism of the ruling classes of many countries. Alongside the victories of the Soviet Union and encouraged by them, arose a widespread popular resistance against the fascist aggressor, from Europe to the Far East, in which the communists played a decisive role and made an important contribution to the liberation of the peoples. Humanity owes much to the USSR and the Soviet people, as well as to the popular anti-fascist Resistance, for their decisive role in the victory over Nazi-fascism.

The lessons of eight decades ago cannot be ignored or forgotten. Fascism was the most violent and brutal expression of capitalism in deep economic crisis, eroded by its contradictions, and confronted with the struggle of the workers and peoples. Its rise was nurtured and supported by monopoly capital, not just in countries where it would eventually rise to power. The collaborationism of the capitalist powers with the fascist aggressions - evident in the infamous betrayal of the Spanish Republic in 1936, or in the shameful Anglo-French collusion with the destruction of Czechoslovakia at the Munich Conference in 1938 - were not mere errors. They were the expression of a policy that sought to steer the fascist powers against socialist USSR, and which viewed fascism as preferable to social transformation and the workers and peoples taking into their hands the definition of their destinies. This ruling class policy paved the way for war, with heavy consequences for their own countries. A policy continued in the post-war recycling of fascists - exemplified by the participation of the Portuguese fascist dictatorship in NATO as its founding member - for the crusade against social advances and national liberation, with the overthrow of colonial empires, achieved by the struggle of workers and peoples.

At present capitalism is facing a deepening of its structural crisis, for which it cannot find a solution. The multiple contradictions and cleavages; the economic and military wars; the attack on the rights of the workers and peoples; the disregard for international law and the tearing up of important agreements by the US Trump Administration - including the nuclear agreement on Iran and the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty (INF) - mirror this profound crisis. But the path of aggression and war did not begin with Trump, nor is it an exclusive feature of US imperialism.

The profound alteration in the world correlation of forces resulting from the destruction of the USSR and the defeats of the construction of socialism in Eastern Europe was marked from the outset by a violent attack on workers' rights and a brutal imperialist war policy, in which the powers of the European Union actively participated, which in their own Treaties is defined as the European pillar of NATO.

When the Clinton Administration and the European Social Democracy 20 years ago openly violated international law with NATO’s war against Yugoslavia, they opened the door to the spiral of arbitrariness and violence which followed its path of devastation and death to the present day, as shown by the wars of aggression of the imperialist powers - often through terrorist armies fed, armed and financed by these same powers - against Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya or Syria. In Ukraine and other countries, the gangs at the service of imperialism openly glorify collaborationism with Nazism and the key-figures of the extermination of Communists and Jews, while committing massacres and destroying monuments to anti-fascist fighters and the Red Army. The support of the US and EU for these forces not only portrays the collaborationism with the rise of fascism in the last century, but also feeds the dangerous advance of far-right and fascist forces in Europe, the US and other countries.

World War II was launched by the imperialist powers that aimed to redefine the sharing of the planet. Today, the main danger of war comes from the old imperialist powers - notably the US, but also European - who want to preserve by force a political domination that is less and less in keeping with the rapidly changing world economic reality. That is the basic reason for its very dangerous militaristic escalation, of aggression and provocation against any country and people that assert their sovereignty and rights and of confrontation with China and Russia. Capitalism in crisis threatens to lead humanity back into authoritarianism and war, which in the nuclear age would represent a planetary catastrophe.
It is imperative to stop the race to the abyss. It is possible to put an end to the promoters of fascism (with old and new robes) and war.

Portugal must refuse to collaborate with the aggressive US/NATO/EU warmongering. The Portuguese government must fulfil its constitutional obligations and take active part in abiding the UN Charter and the established principles of International Law, the principles of peace and refusal of war and interference, of respect for the sovereignty of peoples and countries. It is urgent to reject NATO’s arms race and EU’s militarisation, refusing increases in military spending, the destruction of disarmament treaties or the militarisation of space, and signing the Treaty on the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons. Portugal must be in solidarity with all peoples who resist the aggressions, subversions and wars of imperialism, as in Venezuela, Syria or Palestine.

Eighty years after the outbreak of World War II and at a time when the country and the world are seeking to whitewash the crimes of fascism and encourage extreme right-wing conceptions and forces, the crimes of fascism and imperialist warmongering must not be forgotten.

The workers and peoples, the main victims of war, are the active players of this struggle to stop the supporters of war and prevent the recurrence of the tragedy of the last century.