November 23 to 25, Athens, Greece

Contribution of the Portuguese Communist Party to the 20th. International Meeting of Communist and Workers Parties

Contribution of the Portuguese Communist Party to the 20th. International Meeting of Communist and Workers Parties

We salute the Communist Party of Greece on the occasion of its 100th. anniversary, remembering the heroic struggles of the Communists in defence of the interests of the working class and the Greek people, for freedom, national sovereignty, social progress, peace and socialism.

We also salute the parties participants in this International Meeting.

Comrades,

In Portugal, the working class in fact plays a pivotal role in Portuguese political life, and the PCP – a class-oriented party that defines itself as a "political party of the working class and of all workers" – considers it fundamental, for the implementation of its revolutionary programme, the rooting of the Party in enterprises and workplaces and the organisation and mobilisation of the working class and all workers for the struggle. Organisation, in which the unitary trade union movement – the CGTP-IN, historical central trade union of the Portuguese workers, created still at the time of the fascist dictatorship – plays an irreplaceable role. And mobilisation, for its own objectives and in alliance with the other classes and anti-monopolist strata.

The history of the Portuguese revolution – before, during and after April 25, 1974 – confirms that the popular mass movement is the decisive factor of any social transformation and that the other fields of struggle, such as the electoral and institutional ones, are inseparable from the struggle of the working class and all workers, of the masses, in companies, workplaces and on the streets.

It is with this perspective that in the present moment we carry out our struggle.

The political framework in Portugal following the October 2015 legislative elections has its real explanation in this. It was the force of the struggles of the workers and people carried out against the PSD and CDS Government, the rearranging of forces in the Assembly of the Republic [Parliament] resulting from these elections – with PSD and CDS in minority and simultaneously a weakened PS –, and PCP’s initiative, that made it possible to halt the policies of the previous government and to embark on a path of defence, restoration and achievement of rights and incomes previously stolen from the workers and the people. We evaluate positively the advances achieved. At the same time, we consider that they are far below the possibilities and, above all, of the need for a necessary break with the situation created by the blows against national sovereignty and independence, particularly within the framework of the European Union and the Euro, and with the reconstitution, restoration and reconfiguration of the domination of monopoly groups that had been destroyed by the April Revolution.

Contrary to wrong misconceptions and interpretations that are disseminated, the PCP has no responsibilities in government, neither exist any "coalition" or "parliamentary agreement" involving the PCP. There is a minority government of the PS, a social democratic party, which remains tied to the interests of big business and imperialism and whose alliances on substantive issues are with the parties of the right – PSD and CDS.

PCP’s commitment is with the workers and the Portuguese people, it is not with the PS. That is why we combine the struggle to consolidate and achieve new advances favourable to the workers and people, with the struggle for a break with decades of right-wing policies and Portugal's submission to the Euro and the impositions of the European Union, for a patriotic and left-wing alternative, for the implementation of our Programme "An Advanced Democracy, the values of April in the future of Portugal", the current stage and an inseparable and integral part of the struggle for socialism and communism in our country.

Comrades,

Since our last Meeting, the international situation, in a context of great instability and uncertainty, has experienced new and dangerous developments, with the advance of the far right and fascists forces and the growing danger of a war of huge proportions.

It is true that, everywhere and under different forms, the anti-imperialist resistance and the liberating struggle of the workers and peoples continues, a fact that is important to valorise; and that the very contradictions of capitalism hold revolutionary potentialities which, whatever the present difficulties, the communists and the revolutionary forces of each country cannot overlook.

However, the more reactionary and aggressive sectors of capitalism are increasingly betting on fascism and war as a "way out" for the deepening of the structural crisis of the system; and the US imperialism, striving at all costs to preserve its world hegemony – in view of the growing international role of the People's Republic of China and other countries; and also within the imperialist camp itself – multiplies the operations of interference and aggression against countries that affirm their sovereignty and launches into an unprecedented arms race, confirming that it is, with NATO and its allies of the European Union, the greatest threat and the main enemy of the forces of social progress and peace.

The struggle against fascism and against war is thus an indispensable and urgent task of the communists and progressive forces.

The struggle against fascism, against militarism and war, for disarmament and peace, is inseparable from the more general struggle against capitalist exploitation and for social progress. It is an integral part of the struggle of workers for their class interests and of the struggle of the broad social front built with the mobilisation of the working class and other anti-monopoly classes and strata – whose strengthening is an essential task. A dynamic in which the struggle for concrete and immediate goals constitutes a basic and essential factor of resistance against the ideology of the ruling class and for furthering the revolutionary transformation of society.

A struggle that demands the clarification of the class nature and the social and ideological roots of fascism and war.

A struggle that demands the increase of solidarity with the peoples victims of imperialist interference and aggression.

A struggle where the defence of national sovereignty and independence – namely, fighting for the dissolution of NATO, the end of foreign military bases, against militarisation and the supranational impositions of the EU – is a fundamental aspect of the anti-imperialist combat.

A struggle that demands the broadest unity in action around an unequivocally anti-imperialist basis, vigilant over the duplicity of social democracy and its historical responsibilities in the advance of the most reactionary and warmongering forces.

The tendency towards confrontation and war is engraved in the nature of imperialism, but it is the masses, it is the workers and the peoples who, with their struggle, decide the course of history. War is not inevitable. There are huge social and political forces – including some in power – that, as historical experience shows, can deter and force back the fabricators of confrontation, impose respect for the principles of the United Nations Charter and disarmament, prevent them from launching war. Strengthening the anti-imperialist front and building a broad and combative peace movement is a fundamental task of the present time.

Comrades,

The complexity and gravity of the international situation makes it particularly necessary to strengthen our communist and revolutionary movement and the reinforcement of its unity, an objective in which the IMCWP, without emptying the vast relations between communist parties, are called upon to play a particularly relevant role.

The overwhelming variety of situations, phases and stages of struggle for the achievement of the revolutionary objectives of the working class in each country is a reason for enriching the revolutionary experience of each and every one of our parties and must not be seen as an obstacle to the necessary unity of action against the common enemy.

Based on the observation of the basic principles of relationship between communist parties – independence, equality, mutual respect, non-interference in the internal affairs of other parties – and valorising all that unites us, it is not only possible to advance on the path of unity in action, but also to deepen the knowledge and mutual understanding, to fraternally examine natural differences of opinion and even divergences, and bring closer political and ideological positions.

On its part, the PCP will do everything in its power to follow this path, which is the only one to enable to overcome persisting delays and weaknesses and globally recover the authority and prestige of the communist ideal and project in the world.

An ideal and project whose validity and topicality are reaffirmed – when we celebrate the second centenary of the birth of Karl Marx – by the deepening of the structural crisis of capitalism, which highlights its exploitative, oppressive, aggressive and predatory nature.

Comrades,

In accordance with the axes of common or convergent action defined by the 19th IMCWP, held in Russia in 2017, the PCP has carried out multiple and diversified initiatives throughout the country during the last year, such as the commemorations of the Centennial of the October Revolution – under the motto «Socialism, necessary today and for the future» –, of the Second Centenary of the birth of Karl Marx – under the motto «Legacy, intervention, struggle. Transforming the world» – and of the 170th anniversary of the “Manifesto of the Communist Party”.

The PCP carried out multiple and diversified solidarity initiatives with Communist parties facing persecution – as in India, Poland, Sudan, Ukraine or Turkey; solidarity initiatives with countries and peoples that are the victims of interference, blockade and aggression by imperialism and colonialism – as Cuba, Palestine, Syria, Venezuela or Western Sahara; and with the struggle of the peoples defending their rights – as in Brazil, Colombia or Honduras.

The PCP also carried out multiple and diversified initiatives against militarism and the aggressions of imperialism, for the dissolution of NATO and against the EU militarization; actions in defence of peace and disarmament – including for the end of nuclear weapons –, and for the peaceful and just solution of international conflicts based on the principles of UN Charter, against USA’s intervention in the Korean Peninsula and for the peaceful reunification of Korea.

Finally, we could not fail to mention the «Avante!» Festival as an annual moment of affirmation of internationalist solidarity, with the participation of dozens of communist parties and progressive forces from the four corners of the world, to whom we thank for their important solidarity participation.

Comrades,

Through differentiated paths and stages, in a more or less prolonged historical period, through the struggle for the social and national emancipation of workers and peoples, it is the overcoming of capitalism by socialism which, in the 21st Century, remains inscribed as a real possibility and as the most solid prospect for Humankind's development.

It is to this process of struggle and construction that the Portuguese Communists commit themselves with unwavering determination.

Grounded on the firm commitment to the workers and the Portuguese people, affirming its Communist identity, honouring its nature and history as a patriotic and internationalist Party, the PCP will remain steadfast in the struggle for a democratic, developed and sovereign Portugal, for an advanced democracy, with the values of the April Revolution, for socialism and communism.

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  • International Meeting of Communist and Workers Parties

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