Statement by Jerónimo de Sousa, General Secretary of the PCP

150 years since the birth of Lenin

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Today, April 22, it is 150 years since the birth of V. I. Lenin, the brilliant follower of Marx and Engels, a leading figure of the workers' and communist movement and of the contemporary World History, leader of the first victorious proletarian revolution and founder of the first socialist state - the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

The situation we live in the country as a result of the epidemic outbreak prevented us, and still prevents us, from materializing the programme of initiatives with which the PCP intended to mark the year of the 150th anniversary of his birth, his revolutionary legacy and the topicality of his extensive and invaluable work, but also to commemorate this day, in particular, with the relevance that the exceptional figure of Lenin, of a great intellectual, philosopher, economist and political leader of world standing demands and compels us as followers of the struggle for a society free from the exploitation of man by man.

As Álvaro Cunhal pointed out, we Portuguese communists owe much to Lenin, as should communists and workers from all over the world.

We owe not only the experience of his work in leading this pioneering event in the history of mankind, which was the October Revolution with its historic political, economic, social, cultural and civilizational achievements opening a new historical era - the transition from capitalism to socialism.

We owe what this original act meant in terms of inspiration, impetus and encouragement to the struggle of workers all over the world, which forced capitalism to recognise them and to enshrine fundamental social and political rights into law.

We owe the decisive influence of his ideas and activity to the capital revolutionary events of our time. The time of the great liberation struggles of the peoples submitted to the colonial empires.

We owe Lenin the sure compass for guiding our activity as a patriotic and internationalist Party.

We owe him the creation of a proletarian Party of a new type and the foundation of the Communist International. This Leninist party that the PCP is proud to be and whose characteristics assumed from an early age, enabled it to cross the most difficult conditions, to face great hardships, in many moments of its almost 100 years of existence.

It was inspired by Leninism that the PCP became closely linked to the working class and the popular masses, became a faithful interpreter of their feelings and aspirations and became a driving force in their fundamental struggles.

It was inspired by Leninism that the PCP asserted itself as a great national Party, the Party of the working class and of all workers, of freedom, democracy and socialism.

Lenin's contribution to the development of Marxism in the era of imperialism and his analyses of the transition from capitalism to a new phase, the monopoly phase, the phase of imperialism, on the question of the state, the phases and stages of the revolutionary process maintain a striking topicality in its essence.

The development of the crisis of capitalism confirms Lenin's fundamental theses about the laws that govern capitalism in this imperialist phase. They highlight the trend towards the finantialization of the economy, which drives capital towards speculation, to the detriment of productive investment, the law of unequal development, the tendency towards stagnation, reflected by the drop in the growth of GDP in the main capitalist countries.

Unable to overcome the insoluble contradictions, from the outset the contradiction between capital and labour and the permanent struggle around the rate of surplus value, insatiable in the greed of appropriation and accumulation of capital without limits, capitalism combines its oppressive nature with new and more complex types of labour exploitation and planetary predation that has been enhanced by the processes of capitalist globalisation and finantialization of the economy.

Processes that thrive and affirm themselves on the political level in the shadow of strategic cooperation between the most reactionary and conservative forces and social democracy and with the State assuming the role of promoter of private capital, commodifying all areas and sectors of economic and social life.

Their consequences are the worsening of exploitation, unemployment, precariousness, the increase in social injustices and inequalities, attack on social and labour rights, denial of democratic rights, and also war.

Today, a thousand and a half large multinational companies control more than 60% of the world economy and 26 multimillionaires hold a wealth equal to the poorest half of the world population - about 3.8 thousand million people.

The inhuman character of imperialism is well evident in its action in the context of the emergence of the global epidemic outbreak, maintaining and intensifying blockades and reinforcing illegal sanctions against peoples and countries.

The world has changed a lot in the last century and a half, but the exploitative nature of capitalism has not changed becoming increasingly rentier, parasitic and decadent.

Capitalism is not the "end of history". The revolutionary overcoming of its insoluble contradictions is a requirement of social development.

In permanent confrontation with the needs, interests, aspirations of the workers and peoples, the overcoming of capitalism has increasing acuity, through different paths and stages, as a goal of the struggle of workers and peoples, as a perspective and condition of a future inseparable from a full human liberation and fulfilment.

Socialism remains with its full potential of materialisation on the horizon of the struggle of workers and peoples.

It remains because capitalism has no solutions to the problems of the contemporary world.

The topicality of socialism and its need as a solution to the problems of the peoples requires taking into account a wide variety of solutions, stages and phases of the revolutionary struggle.

There are neither “models” of revolutions, nor "models" of socialism, as the PCP always advocated and Lenin stressed.

In the conditions of Portugal, the socialist society that the PCP points out to our people, goes through the stage that we characterised as an Advanced Democracy, itself an integral part of the struggle for socialism.

It is with the strong conviction that socialism remains a real possibility and an alternative to capitalism and the most solid perspective of Humanity's evolution that we celebrate Lenin's life and work on this day and continue our struggle.

On this date, 150 years after the birth of Lenin, we once again reaffirm PCP's commitment to the communist project. A project that the PCP will do its utmost to continue to honour, fulfilling its national and international responsibilities of the great strength of freedom, democracy, social progress, socialism.

Yes, we were, are and will be communists, following in Lenin's footsteps!