Resolution PCP Central Committee

40th anniversary of the April Revolution - The values of April in Portugal's future

40th anniversary of the April Revolution - The values of April in Portugal's future

In 2014, the Portuguese workers and people will celebrate 40 years of April 25, 1974 – the April Revolution.

1. The April Revolution is an historic achievement of the Portuguese people and an act of social and national emancipation, which represents one of the most important events in Portugal's history.
Initiated by the heroic uprising of the Armed Forces' Movement (MFA), which was immediately followed by a popular uprising, it profoundly transformed national reality and had important international repercussions.
Crowning a long and heroic struggle, the April Revolution put an end to 48 years of fascist dictatorship and carried out profound democratic transformations – on a political, economic, social and cultural level – which, based on the assertion of national sovereignty and independence, opened up the prospect of a new period in history for the workers and the peoples, pointing towards Socialism in the future of Portugal. The working class and working people, the masses of the people and the progressive military – the “Captains of April” - united in the People-MFA alliance, were the protagonists that brought about the democratic advances and achievements that were won, and which were later enshrined in the Constitution of the Republic that was adopted on April 2, 1976.
The major values of the April Revolution grew profound roots in Portuguese society and project themselves into Portugal's democratic future as realities, objective needs, experiences and aspirations.

2. The Portuguese motherland is undergoing one of the most serious and painful periods in its long History of over eight centuries.
It is certainly the most difficult period since the end of the dark days of fascism. This is a period of blatant conflict with the achievements, transformations, edifications and advances that [the] April [Revolution] represented, and of full-blown confrontation with the joy and hope that the doors of April opened up for the Portuguese people.
Portugal is living through a serious and profound economic and social crisis. The country is under an unacceptable foreign intervention which is an aggression against its inalienable sovereignty and which jeopardizes national independence. The pact of aggression that was negotiated and signed, in a true act of national surrender and submission, by the PS [Socialist Party], PSD [Social-Democratic Party] and CDS [Social Democratic Center], with the President of the Republic as an accomplice and with the full support of big capital, is geared towards the exploitation of the workers and the degradation of their rights, curtailing the freedoms of the Portuguese people, impoverishing the country, dooming many thousands of Portuguese to unemployment and emigration, subverting the Constitution of the Republic and jeopardizing the collective future of the country and of the Portuguese people.

3. The crisis in which we live is inseparable from the world-wide structural crisis of capitalism and is enmeshed with the contradictions and conflicts that result from the capitalist European integration and in particular from the acute crisis of the Economic and Monetary Union and the Euro. The scope and brutality of the national crisis is fundamentally determined by the consequences of the right-wing policies that have been implemented for over 37 years. A true counter-revolution that was begun, on an institutional level, by the first PS/Mário Soares government, and which was followed by successive PS, PSD and CDS governments. These were policies of capitalist and big landowner restoration, of privatizations and the reconstitution of the power of the monopolist economic groups, which subordinated the country to the European Union, the Euro and imperialism. Policies that sank domestic production, ruined the economy and indebted the country. Policies that intensified exploitation, destroyed labour and social rights won with April – the National Health Service, Public Education, a comprehensive and universal public Social Security Service – and which have generated more hunger and poverty. A crisis that was inexorably worsened by the consequences of the PSD/CDS government's implementation of the aggression pact, with the overt support of the President of the Republic and the collaboration of the PS, which cannot be concealed. This crisis will inevitably be seriously worsened if the country continues to be tied to new mechanisms, such as those that result from the Fiscal Compact, which curtail its sovereignty or by the acceptance of new pacts, whatever specific form they may take – be it a second bailout, a precautionary program, or any other.

4. On the 40th anniversary of [the] April [Revolution], the main political culprits of the crisis which is brutally affecting most Portuguese – but in particular the workers, pensioners, young people, women, small entrepreneurs - while the usual culprits are becoming unashamedly richer, will deny what April was and represented, through hypocrisy, lies and the falsification of history. They will blame April and its achievements, the democratic regime, the social achievements that were won, the workers' rights and guarantees, the nationalized and public companies, for the situation which they themselves created with their right-wing policies. They will continue to promote a demagogic salvation that would supposedly come from a pretense Europe of solidarity which, in reality, is commanded by federalism, neo-liberalism and militarism, by transnational capital, which is under the iron heel of the directorate of big powers led by Germany, and which seeks to exploit and oppress the peoples and countries of Europe. They will lie about the dictatorship of Salazar and Caetano, about fascism and colonialism, about the anti-fascists and patriots, about the heroic struggle of the Communists, about the Revolution and the MFA military! They will try to re-write history, white-washing their own role and distorting the significance of April as the most advanced act and process of our contemporary epoch, unleashing a new attack against the Constitution of the Republic, seeking its total subversion, as well as the subversion of the project of social and national emancipation which it enshrines. To celebrate April will require asserting the historical truth, fighting against lies and exposing the enemies and slanderers of April.
Because the political, economic, social and cultural achievements of April represented, and continue to represent, important rights and advances, we will commemorate April by fighting against the policies of social regression and extortion of the PSD/CDS government, policies which seek to deepen exploitation and steal away rights. Because April brought an end to the colonial war, opposition to the plunder by foreign capital, and the assertion of national sovereignty and independence, as well as of the Portuguese people's inalienable right to decide its own destiny, we will commemorate April by asserting that right and by fighting against the pact of aggression, for peace and friendship among all peoples and nations, against imperialism's aggressions throughout the world.
Because April gave us freedom, we will celebrate April by fighting against obscurantism, populism and the anti-democratic goals which call into question April's political democracy, namely in Local Government and in the electoral system. The Portuguese workers and people, which so heroically and tenaciously have been resisting the brutal offensive by the domestic and foreign troikas, will commemorate the 40 years of the April Revolution by asserting its values and saying “No!” to the projects of oppression, exploitation and plunder of our people's and country's dignity.

5. The commemorations of the 40 years of the April Revolution must be a time and moment to assert on the streets and in the country the indignation and refusal of what is being done to our people and to Portugal, to its history and its future, a moment of resistance and struggle against this reactionary offensive, against the forces that seek to settle scores with April, attacking democracy, freedom, peace, the development of Portugal! The Commemorations of the 40 years of April must be a time and a moment for the convergence and unity of the patriots, the men and women of the left, the workers and the people, in defense of the values of April, in defense of the Constitution of the Republic, demanding a break with right-wing policies and to assert alternative, patriotic and left-wing policies.

6. In this sense, and beyond the popular dynamics of celebration of the Revolution's 40 years, as well as actions envisaged within the framework of the CDU [Broad Democratic Coalition], the PCP will carry out actions under the slogan “The values of April in the Future of Portugal”. It will include, among others, events on January 3 and 4, in Peniche, which will both close the centennial commemorations of Álvaro Cunhal's birth and, at the same time, be the first initiatives marking the 40th Anniversary of the April Revolution, as well as a just tribute to the heroic anti-fascist struggle and resistance; the launching of the Fifth volume of Álvaro Cunhal's Selected Works, whose contents will cover that period; the holding of an International Seminar contextualizing the Portuguese Revolution and its international impact; the organization of thematic sessions and an important expression in the 2014 edition of the Avante! Festival.

7. The Portuguese Communist Party, the Party of the working class and of all workers, the Party of the struggle for freedom, democracy and socialism, the Party of [the] April [Revolution], calls upon all men and women of Portugal, on the youth, on all democrats and patriots, on those who consider that the country is not for sale, on those who repudiate exploitation and oppression, on those who defend values of solidarity, fraternity and of the left, to keep alive, with their courage, will, voice and struggle, the values of April, so that they may project, consolidate and develop in the future of Portugal.

Long Live the April Revolution!

  • Central
  • Álvaro Cunhal
  • European Union
  • War