Speech by Albano Nunes, Member of the Secretariat of the Central Committee of the PCP, XXth Congress of PCP

The PCP Program, the socialist project for Portugal

The PCP Program, the socialist project for Portugal

The supreme objectives of our Party, the party of the working class and all workers, are socialism and communism, are the building up in Portugal of a classless society, authentically free, from which exploitation is abolished and inequalities and social injustices forever banned, as well as social injustices and all kinds of perversions inherent in the capitalist system. This project, which is the main reason of the PCP’s existence, is always present in the horizon of the revolutionary action of the Portuguese communists.

The PCP Program defines the current stage of the struggle for socialism in Portugal as an advanced democracy that in the historical continuity of the April Revolution consolidates and develops its values, experiences and achievements.

The Program does not point out socialism as an immediate objective of the Party, but as it already happened in the Program of the Democratic and National Revolution, whose realization would place Portugal, as it actually did, in the way of socialism, there is no sealed separation between advanced democracy and Socialism but in fact, a dialectical relation occurs, in which the conquest of power by the working class and its allies will assume the forms that the relation of forces and the degree of resistance of the ruling classes determine.

The content of advanced democracy advocated in the Party Program is anything but a speculative exercise or a copy of any other experience, because it lies in the dynamics of the class struggle in Portugal and in the original Portuguese revolutionary process. It is necessary not to forget that in Portugal it took place the first and only popular revolution in post-war Europe that, although unfinished, deepened deep grooves in the Portuguese reality.

Contrary to certain dogmatic conceptions, advanced democracy has nothing to do with any bourgeois democracy dominated by the great economic and financial groups like that which exists in Europe. From the class point of view, its nature is anti-monopolistic and anti-imperialist. Its objectives correspond to the interests of the working class and the overwhelming majority of the Portuguese people. The content of this democracy, which is simultaneously political, economic, social and cultural within a framework of national independence and sovereignty, a democracy that is eminently popular and participatory, and which is based on revolutionary anti-capitalist transformations of the economic and social system, shows that many of its objectives are already objectives of a socialist society. The well-known Marxist-Leninist thesis that considers the struggle for democracy and socialism inseparable, has in the Program of the PCP a creative expression based on concrete Portuguese reality.

We live in the historical era inaugurated by the October Revolution, the time of the transition from capitalism to socialism.

It is true that despite its great successes and achievements, its extraordinary world influence, the demonstration of its superiority over capitalism, the USSR has disappeared and socialism has suffered tragic defeats in Eastern Europe. The road to building the new society proved to be more complex and bumpy than expected. This, however, does not call into question the fundamental content of the present age, nor the role played by the Soviet Union and the world socialist system in the liberating advances of the last century. As comrade Álvaro Cunhal has repeatedly emphasized, and contrary to what the anti-communist campaigns claim, “the twentieth century is not the century in which communism died, but the century in which communism was born as a real undertaking of the construction of a New society freed from exploitation.”

Capitalism is experiencing a profound structural crisis.

Its exploiting, oppressive, predatory and aggressive nature is accentuated, bringing with it the danger of catastrophic conflicts.

The contradictions of the system are starting to grow, beginning with the contradiction between the social character of production and the private appropriation of the means of production, which hinders the development of the productive forces and perverts the use of the extraordinary achievements of human intelligence, placing them at the service of the enrichment of a few.

The overcoming of revolutionary capitalism is a requirement of our time. The need and appropriateness of socialism has never been greater than today, regardless of the diversity of forms it may assume.

Naturally, this does not mean that the conditions for revolution - that is, in Lenin’s inspired expression, “when the underdogs no longer want what is old and those above can no longer rule as before” - are observed in different countries.

As stated in the Political Resolution Draft, “the ways of the socialist revolution, being diversified and following different stages from country to country, obey to general laws which practice confirmed concerning the importance of theory, the role of the working class and its alliances, to the creative commitment of the masses in the creation of their own destiny, the questions of State and of the ownership of the main means of production, to the frontline role of the Party.”

There are general laws that the April Revolution itself confirmed, particularly regarding the decisive question of state power. But general laws and not “models” of revolution. If there is in our party a thesis well-grounded in the practice of the 1974 revolution which confirmed the Program for the overthrow of fascism adopted at the Sixth Congress in 1965, this thesis is that there can be and will be no universal “models” of revolution and any conceptions that, with their backs turned to reality and covered with pseudo-Marxist phraseology, deny it, fact that can only delay and undermine the revolutionary struggle.


The struggle for real and immediate goals, for the break with right-wing politics and external constraints, and for a patriotic and left-wing alternative, are part of the struggle for advanced democracy, an integral and inseparable part of the struggle for socialism and communism. As militants of a revolutionary party we must never lose sight of this reality. It is in the small struggles for partial and limited goals that great and decisive battles are prepared. And the prospect of a society finally free from the exploitation of man by man, the certainty that this is the meaning of history, gives more confidence and strength to our daily struggle, in defending the interests of the workers, the people and the country against imperialism and war.

Long live the ideal and the communist project!
Long live PCP!

  • Intervenção
  • XX Congresso do PCP
XX Congresso do PCP