Freedom, Democracy, Socialism
The future has a Party
On March 6, 1921, the Portuguese Communist Party was founded. In 2021 it will complete 100 years. These are 100 years of a heroic struggle at the service of the people and the country, for democracy and socialism.
These are 100 years in which every social transformation, advancement or achievement by the Portuguese workers and people was, directly or indirectly, associated with the initiative, the struggle, the action and the intervention of the PCP. These are 100 years of existence and struggle of a Party that, proud of its history and learning from its own experience and that of the world Communist and revolutionary movement, embodies with determination and confidence the demands of today and of the future.
We celebrate the Centennial of the Portuguese Communist Party, a creation of the Portuguese working class and workers, the rightful heir and continuator of the best militant traditions and of the progressive and revolutionary achievements of the Portuguese people, marking and valuing its heroic history, carrying out the struggle in the present and asserting the Communist ideal and project, to which the future belongs.
I - Celebrating the Centennial of the Portuguese Communist Party
To celebrate the centennial of the PCP is to highlight and honour its role, that is rightly recognized, as that of the Party of the struggle to defend the interests and rights of the workers and people, for freedom, democracy, Socialism and Communism.
It is to honour the memory of the heroes who, fighting for freedom, for the interests of the working class and the people, gave their lives for the ideals upheld by the PCP. It is to pay tribute to all those who, throughout 100 years of life and struggle, at all times, sometimes in the most difficult conditions, have ensured and continue today to ensure the Party's intense activity, with their self-sacrifice, courage and determination .
It is to affirm the indissoluble bond of the PCP with the working class, with all workers and the masses of the people. This is the fundamental root of its strength, influence and prestige, which has enabled and enables it to be active in the concrete reality, to endure, in unity, great changes and storms in the national and international situations, to define and set down guidelines, to successfully lead the struggle and contribute towards the unity of the workers and people.
It is to assert the importance of the communists’ struggle and to highlight the role of the International Communist Movement - in the process of social emancipation, with the construction of Socialist societies, the advancement of the rights of the workers and peoples, the defeat of Nazi-fascism, the liberation of peoples from colonial oppression, the resistance and struggle against imperialism and for the revolutionary overcoming of capitalism - which decisively marks Humanity's advances.
It is to assert to the Portuguese workers and people, the determination of the PCP in the struggle for a society without exploiters or exploited, which abolishes all inequalities, injustice, discriminations and social scourges and ensures the material and spiritual well-being of the people – the Socialist society with Communism on the horizon.
It is to affirm the PCP as the vanguard of the working class and of all workers, the Party of the struggle for the emancipation of women, for the rights of children and youth, for the dignity and living conditions of the retired and elderly, for the rights of intellectuals and technical cadres, and people with disabilities, for the defence of the interests of small and medium farmers and micro, small and medium entrepreneurs in commerce, industry and services.
It is to assert the Party of the struggle against fascism, for freedom and democracy, the Party of the struggle against colonialism and colonial wars, for the right to independence of the Portuguese colonies; the Party of the April Revolution, its achievements and advances and of the resistance against the counter-revolution; the Party of the struggle in defence of national independence and sovereignty; the Party of internationalist solidarity, peace, friendship and cooperation with all peoples; the Party of the struggle for the fulfilment of the most urgent and heartfelt demands of the workers and the communities; the Party of the struggle to break with the right-wing policy and for an alternative patriotic and left-wing policy, which is an integral part of the struggle for an advanced democracy inspired by the values of [the] April [Revolution]; the Party of the struggle for Socialism and Communism.
It is to affirm the great Party collective, which is ready to continue the struggle, whatever the circumstances in which it has to act, and to assume all the responsibilities with which the people entrust it, with unwavering confidence in the future.
It is to assert the validity and relevance of Marxism-Leninism, a dialectical and materialist revolutionary theory, anti-dogmatic by nature and contrary to the opportunistic revision of its fundamental principles and concepts, born from life and which responds to life. It is the theoretical basis of the PCP, to whose creative enrichment the Party, and in particular Álvaro Cunhal, made an outstanding contribution, based on its own activity and experience and on the experience of the world communist and revolutionary movement.
It is to affirm [the Party’s] organic principles, enshrined in its Constitution, confirmed in the experience of its internal functioning and which result from the creative development of democratic centralism. The practice of collective leadership and collective work, criticism and self-criticism, the dialectical liaison of a profound inner-Party democracy with a single general line and a single central leadership, are the decisive organic principles that ensure the Party’s strength, unity and cohesion.
It is to assert the Party's profound identification with the national interests, uncompromisingly defending the country's sovereignty and independence, expressed in the permanent patriotic dimension of its activity. Activity that is inseparable from its steadfast internationalist and anti-imperialist stance, from its contribution to strengthening the international Communist and revolutionary movement and embodying the principles of proletarian internationalism and active solidarity with the progressive and revolutionary forces and with the peoples in struggle all over the world.
It is to assert the identification of the PCP with the dreams, claims and aspirations of young people, their ideals of freedom, justice, peace, solidarity and fraternity, which make the PCP the Party of the youth. A reality that is expressed, always with the youth and the youth movement, in the activity of Communist youth organisations throughout its history, and today by JCP – the Portuguese Communist Youth.
It is to affirm the PCP’s unambiguous and consistent policy of unity, expressed in the contribution towards the unity of the working class and of all workers, for the unity of the anti-monopoly classes and strata, for the intervention and unity of antifascists, democrats and patriots. Fighting for the unity of the working class and of all working people, the PCP created the Unity Committees in the shopfloors and in the countryside, carried out an intense activity within fascist trade unions and helped to set up and dynamize democratic unity organisations. So too during the  April Revolution, it was committed to strengthening the People-MFA [Armed Forces Movement] alliance and cooperating with other democratic forces in establishing the democratic regime. So it was, is and will be, in defending the achievements and values of April, in the social field, as well as in the political and electoral fields, always preserving its organic, political, ideological and class independence.
It is to affirm the decisive struggle of the PCP against the ongoing ideological offensive, against anti-Communism and reactionary conceptions. It is to defend and promote the values of April, the goals of the struggle for freedom, democracy, social progress, national independence and peace - the Communist ideal and project.
It is to affirm the PCP as the key player in the project for social emancipation and the revolutionary overcoming of capitalism.
II - 100 years of struggle at the service of the people and the country
The founding of the PCP responded to a historical need of the Portuguese working class. Its creation reflected the evolution of the Portuguese workers' movement, its experience and social and political awareness, in a climate of revolutionary upsurge, under the international impact of the October Revolution.
The founding of the PCP marked the beginning of a new stage in the workers' movement in Portugal and in the country’s life, with the confluence of decades of activity and struggle by the Portuguese working class, the lessons of the struggle of the international working class and the teachings of Marx, Engels and Lenin.
During its first years of existence, it was not easy for the PCP to assert itself with a revolutionary ideology within the workers' movement, given the structure and composition of the working class at the time and the influence of anarchists and socialists. With the military coup of May 28, 1926, that led to the establishment of the fascist dictatorship, the Party, with only five years of existence, was banned and persecuted, forced to carry out its activity under the conditions of a severe clandestinity and brutal repression, for which it was obviously not prepared.
It is after 1929, with the April Conference and under the leadership of Bento Gonçalves, that the Party, boldly turned to the working class, promoting an organisation capable of acting underground, created an underground press - Avante! and O Militante - organised according to the Leninist conception of a party of a new type and began a truly mass activity, which was reflected in a vast set of important struggles that earned it increasing prestige and influence among the working class, the workers and the people.
After years of repressive blows that seriously affected the Party, the reorganisation of 1940-1941 - a process in whose evolution Álvaro Cunhal took part - and the III and IV Party Congresses, respectively in 1943 and 1946, were decisive moments to ensure that the PCP became the only Party that resisted the violence of fascist repression and its transformation into a great national party, asserting itself as the undisputed vanguard of the working class and the promoter of anti-fascist unity and defining the insurrectional path for the overthrow of fascism. Fundamental in guaranteeing the continuity of the Party's action and leadership and its reinforcement were: the existence of a strong nucleus of full-time cadres; the application of the organic principles of democratic centralism; strict compliance with measures to ensure the defence of the Party and its press from fierce fascist repression; its roots in the working class and working people; a strong organisation; the strengthening of the alliance of the working class with the peasantry and other social strata.
The PCP was the party of resistance and struggle that pointed the way to victory. A decisive contribution to this was the definition of its goals, its tactics and its political line, forged over the years and developed and enshrined in the VI Party Congress, in 1965, with the adoption of the Programme for the Democratic and National Revolution, whose guidelines would pave the way for the overthrow of fascism, the conquest of freedom and the materialization of the April Revolution.
The PCP soon assumed its vanguard role in the development of the mass struggle and action. Important were the experiences of the waves of strikes and political struggles throughout decades of the twentieth century, confirming the correctness of its political line and the great revolutionary capacities of the working class and the popular masses - in contrast to the tendencies of compromise with fascism, the adventurous, opportunistic and unstable nature of sectors of the small and middle bourgeoisie – which striked at the foundations of fascism and decisively contributed to the victory of the  April Revolution.
The PCP, whose programme for the overthrow of fascism was confirmed in its essence, was the great Party of the Revolution, of the freedoms and rights of the Portuguese workers and people, of the land reform, of nationalisations, of workers' control, of democratic local government - of the democratic regime enshrined in the Constitution of the Portuguese Republic adopted on April 2, 1976. The PCP intervened in this whole process as an essential and determining force. Its role in the April Revolution and in the foundation of the democratic regime is inscribed as one of the greatest achievements of its history.
The PCP, organising and leading the struggle of the workers and popular masses, was and is the staunchest defender of these achievements and of the democratic regime in the face of the counter-revolution's offensive to destroy those achievements, to rebuild and restore the power of the great economic groups that the April Revolution had ended. It was the most active player in resisting the offensive against workers' rights, the perversion of political democracy, the conduct of a policy of cultural obscurantism and Portugal's increasing submission to foreign interests, namely the EEC/ European Union and NATO, with serious limitations of national sovereignty.
In the last decade of the twentieth century, given the events in the socialist countries of Eastern Europe, the situation and developments in the USSR, the rapid advance of the process of restoration of monopoly capitalism in Portugal and under strong pressure to change its characteristics, the PCP reaffirmed its unwavering determination to continue the struggle in defence of the interests of the workers and people, for freedom, democracy, national independence, peace and Socialism, its Communist ideal and identity, expressed in the statement : «We were, are and will be Communists».
III - The struggle continues, for democracy and socialism
The PCP faces with determination and courage today’s problems, complexities and challenges, in an international context marked by the over-exploitation of workers, a more acute class struggle and the deepening of the structural crisis of capitalism, in which great dangers of civilizational regression coexist alongside great revolutionary potential.
It also faces a national situation that is marked by serious structural problems that are at the root of the significant delays in the country’s development of the country. These are inseparable from the counter-revolutionary process and the interconnected process of integration in the European Union, materialised in decades of right-wing policy implemented by PS, PSD and CDS.
The struggle of the workers and the decisive intervention of the PCP halted the offensive and enabled advances in defending, restoring and achieving rights.
In the current situation – confronted with the action of the PS Government and the strategy of big capital which, while taking advantage of the government's class options at its service, promotes reactionary and anti-democratic projects aimed at worsening exploitation, inequalities and injustice, jeopardizing national sovereignty and independence - the path that Portugal needs and the PCP proposes to the Portuguese people is that of breaking with the right-wing policy and implementing a Patriotic and Left-wing Alternative connected with the values of [the] April [Revolution].
This alternative requires the struggle for advances that correspond to the most urgent and heartfelt demands and needs of the workers, the people and the country.
The alternative has priority objectives: the liberation of the country from submission to the Euro and the impositions and constraints of the European Union as part of asserting a free and sovereign Portugal; the renegotiation of public debt; the valorisation of work and workers; the defence and promotion of national production and productive sectors; the guarantee of public control of banks and the recovery of the basic strategic sectors of the economy for the public sector; the guarantee of public administration and services for the benefit of the people and the country; the defence of a policy of fiscal justice that relieves taxation of the workers and people’s income, combats tax havens and breaks with the scandalous favours for big capital; the defence of the democratic regime and compliance with the Constitution of the Portuguese Republic, more profound rights, freedoms and guarantees, the fight against corruption and the materialization of an independent and accessible justice system for all.
This involves a break and a change that, affirming the values and ideals of April, is part of the struggle for the materialization of an Advanced Democracy, at once political, economic, social and cultural, as proposed by the PCP in its Programme and which includes, as fundamental aspects or objectives, a regime of freedom in which the people decide their destiny and a democratic, representative and participatory State; an economic development based on a mixed, dynamic economy, free from the dominance of monopolies, at the service of the people and the country; a social policy that guarantees the improvement of the living conditions of the workers and people; a cultural policy that ensures widespread access to free cultural creation and enjoyment; an independent and sovereign homeland with a policy of peace, friendship and cooperation with all peoples.
The struggle for democracy and socialism are inseparable. The great liberating battles are prepared in the daily struggle for concrete and immediate goals. The current struggle for democracy, social progress and national independence does not contradict, but gives a clearer meaning to the struggle for Socialism
On completing 100 years of struggle, the PCP is, nationally, the Party with the longest history. But it is also the youngest Portuguese party. In fact, no other displays, like the PCP, the same strength, the same energy to intervene and fight for the transformation of Portuguese society. No other has more creative, vigorous, coherent and effective solutions for the national problems that better identify with the interests and aspirations of the youth. No other is capable of such joy, optimism and confidence in the future. No other puts the interests of workers, the people and the country above everything else. No other fights for the construction of a new society without the exploitation of Man by Man, a society in which everyone has the right to work, healthcare, education, housing, social protection and retirement, and from which all social inequalities, injustice, discrimination and scourges are banned, a socialist society
Today, when it celebrates 100 years of struggle at the service of the people and the country, the PCP addresses the workers and the Portuguese people reaffirming its determination to continue this revolutionary struggle for a socialist society that incorporates and develops the fundamental constituent features of an advanced democracy and materializes the power of the workers and people.
As stated in the Programme of the PCP An Advanced Democracy - the Values of April in the Future of Portugal,,«The struggle to ensure that the PCP Programme, through the will of the Portuguese people, be materialized is the path of freedom, democracy, national independence, peace and Socialism. It is the path that is in the interests of the Portuguese people and the Portuguese motherland».
With its unparalleled course of 100 years of struggle, the PCP embodies, at the beginning of the third decade of the 21st. century, its everlasting commitment to the working class, the workers, the youth and the people, the struggle for freedom, democracy, national independence, peace and socialism.
This is, and will continue to be, the Party capable of promoting unity and mobilizing the workers, democrats, youth and the people, all those who are exploited and oppressed, to build a new Portugal with the values of April in its future.
This is, and will continue to be, the Party in a position to intervene, fight and come forward with solutions to national problems.
This is, and will continue to be, the Party necessary to ensure a foreign policy of peace, friendship and cooperation with all the peoples of the world.
This is, and will continue to be, the Party with a project and ideal that fully correspond to the aspirations and centuries-old struggles of Humanity to put an end to exploitation and oppression.
While celebrating its centennial, the PCP calls upon Communists, democrats and patriots, workers, the youth, the people, to make this a great moment of affirmation and struggle to improve the living conditions of the Portuguese people, for a break with right-wing policies, for the patriotic and left-wing alternative, for freedom, democracy and socialism
IV - Programme of celebrations. Strengthen the PCP, affirm the Communist ideal and project
The Central Committee of the PCP has decided that the Commemoration of the Centennial of the Portuguese Communist Party will take place under the motto «Freedom, Democracy, Socialism - the future has a Party». The programme will begin and will be presented at the commemorative rally of the Party´s 99 years, to be held on March 6, this year at the Carlos Lopes Pavillion in Lisbon and will continue until its 101st anniversary on March 6, 2022.
The Centennial celebrations, inseparable from the Party's intervention and strengthening, must be strongly linked to life, to the present-day problems, aspirations and demands by the Portuguese workers and people.
The Centennial celebrations, should be part and parcel of a broad programme to strengthen the Party in terms of leadership, cadres, political and ideological training, affirming its principles of functioning, structuring and organisation, with particular emphasis on the action and organisation with the working class and workers in shopfloors and workplaces, the recruitment and integration of new members, the circulation of the Party press, namely Avante!, the means of propaganda and communication, the financial means that can ensure the Party’s independence and its ever more profound connection to the masses.
The programme of celebrations will mark events and aspects of the PCP’s life and struggle thorughout these 100 years, interlaced with the history of Portugal, of the working class and popular movement, of the workers and the people, confirming its determination to continue its action to materialize the Party Programme, asserting its identity and project for the future.
The celebrations should take place in an integrated manner, covering the different aspects of PCP's intervention (mass, social, institutional, political and ideological) and translate into a broad mass participation and unitary enlargement.
The programme of celebrations, in its scale, scope and content, should express the importance and the political, ideological, social and cultural significance that this event has for the struggle of the workers and people in defence of their rights and sovereignty.
The Centennial day will be marked with a rally on March 6, 2021 at Campo Pequeno, Lisbon.
Among other initiatives, the following stand out: the holding of a cycle of debates and thematic actions; the promotion of initiatives to enhance the intervention and determining role of the Party throughout its history; the promotion ofinitiatives with a strong cultural component, namely the holding of a big concert;a series of exhibitions at a national and regional levell; an important expression in the 2021 Avante! Festival; the development of initiatives aimed at workers, youth and other specific social strata and sectors; the publishing of promotional materials, namely a printed exhibition, leaflets and posters; on the editorial field, the edition of the book «100 years of struggle at the service of the people and the country, for democracy and Socialism», as well as a specific plan for editions and reissues of works promoting their reading and study; the production of a documentaryon the PCP; a specific coverage in Avante! and O Militante and on the internet; the projection of the celebrations on an international level..
For the celebrations to assume the impact and scale that is required, the programme and its implementation must have the contribution, commitment and enthusiasm of the Party and JCP organisations and activists.
The Central Committee of the PCP calls upon all those who defend social progress and peace and aspire for a developed and sovereign country to join these celebrations
Continuing the best militant traditions and the progressive and revolutionary achievements of the Portuguese people throughout its history, with an exhilarating heritage of intervention and struggle over 100 years, fully placed at the service of the people and the country, bearer of the Communist ideal and project, the PCP is a necessary, indispensable and irreplaceable Party in the struggle for freedom, democracy and Socialism.