The Central Committee of the PCP, in its meeting on 5th- 6th December. 2003, analysed aspects of the national and international situation, took a batch of decisions and guidelines to strengthen the Party, set a calendar for several initiatives in 2004 and convoked the 17th. Congress.
PSD/CDS-PP GOVERNMENT: AN EXTRAORDINARILY DANGEROUS OFFENSIVE
NATIONAL SOVEREIGNTY AND THE ON GOING PROCESSES IN THE EUROPEAN UNION
IT IS URGENT TO INTERRUPT THE POLICY OF THE RIGHT
In view of the political, economic, social and cultural offensive that the PSD/CDS-PP government is undertaking, and trying to materialise, the mass struggle and its development against the government’s legislative measures and actions assume a central role in creating conditions to defeat this policy and this government.
The Central Committee of the PCP considers as an element of unavoidable analysis and a factor of great political and social meaning the amplitude, objectives and diversity of the struggles recently carried out.
With the workers assuming a guiding role in the mass struggle, other sectors and social strata such as the farmers, the students, the security forces, the retired, the populations have been carrying out the action, protest and struggle.
Based upon concrete problems and claims, the struggle has been growing and evolving into a greater politicisation , justly holding responsible and condemning the government and its policy, leaving it socially isolated.
In view of their dimension and nature of claims, the demonstration by the university students on November 5th., the November 20th. demonstration held by CNA(National Confederation of Farmers), the October 30th. and November 29th actions organized by CGTP-IN and the Public Administration workers’ strike, assume particular importance.
Meanwhile, in the opposition field, we find that the PS, in view of the rise of discontent and mass struggle, though taking a stand of demarcation from some government policies and economic and social measures, on fundamental issues continues to favour an agreement or support solutions and objectives defended by the right, as was the case of the Laws on Parties and Party Financing, the opening of the process of the Constitution’s revision, the refusal to underwrite the petition proposed by the PCP for a successive monitoring by the Constitutional Court of the Labour Package, the proposals referring to the so-called Public Administration reform, in particular the new legal framework of the Public Institutes aiming at the concession and privatisation of Public Services and Social Services of the State or the sending of GNR (National Guard) to Iraq.
The seriousness of the PSD/CDS-PP government’s offensive requires an action by the democratic forces to develop and widen the resistance and combat against the policy of the right.
The PCP, along the lines of a reaffirmation of its commitments and intervention, will spare no efforts to stimulate and do all it can so as to continue and develop the popular struggle and converging action of all opposition forces and mass movements, able to lead to the defeat of this policy and this government, to lay the foundation and build a new policy, sustained and carried out by a left alternative, an alternative which demands the irreplaceable contribution of the PCP.
A new policy that, as PCP’s proposals defend and express, has as essential guidelines the guaranty of the freedoms and democratic regime; the defence of the national productive areas; the promotion of economic and social development; the improvement of the living conditions; employment with rights, valorisation of wages and stable and quality jobs; modernisation and defence of the public systems of health, social security, education and all public administration and public services; a different course for European integration; an independent foreign policy engaged in upholding peace and the rights of the peoples.
The aspirations and popular struggle that distinguish the present national politics show that it is possible to break away from conformism and false fatalism and set a new course towards progress, social justice and democracy.
In relation to the international situation, the Central Committee stresses, on one hand, the persistence of the US and that of its main allies in their offensive for a planetary recolonization, and, on the other, the growth of the resistance and struggle against imperialism, neo-liberalism and war.
The US, in view of the difficulties and drawbacks suffered in Iraq and the increasing isolation of its policy in the Middle East and Central Asia, carries out an intense activity to neutralise resistances and associate and engage the largest number of countries in its hegemonic policy.
Once again, the Central Committee expresses its condemnation of the invasion and occupation of Iraq and its firm opposition to the participation of Portuguese forces in the occupation mechanism, and demands that the GNR force, already dispatched to Iraq, be brought back immediately. Once again, draws attention to the extreme gravity of the government’s affirmations to justify a servile alignment with the US and the attempt to silence the opposition to Portugal’s dangerous involvement in imperialism’s aggressive strategy.
At the same time, the Central Committee alerts to the dangers represented by the illusion that the present course of European integration can lead to an Europe politically and militarily contrasting or even autonomous from the US.
Reality shows that, in spite of real divergences and contradictions among great powers, common strategies are designed against the sovereignty and independence of the peoples, and that the methods of NATO’s strengthening and EU militarization continue at a fast pace. The recent announcement of the deployment of a NATO swift intervention force to West Africa and the creation of the “European Arms Agency”, are the expression of a militarist and aggressive policy that the PCP firmly condemns.
The Central Committee stresses the significance of the resistance to the occupation by the peoples of Iraq, Afghanistan, and Palestine and expresses to them, as well as to other peoples in struggle, the solidarity of the Portuguese communists. It also stresses the importance of the huge mass actions against imperialism and for peace, namely on October 25th. in Washington and several other capitals, in Paris, on the occasion of the European Social Forum, in Istanbul, against imperialism and the deployment of Turkish forces in Iraq, and in London, on the occasion of the fiasco of the Bush visit to Great Britain.
The Central Committee considers that the struggle for peace, in defence of national sovereignty and independence, against Portugal’s submission to imperialism, assumes an increasing importance in the fight for a democratic alternative and will continue to promote and support actions to this effect, stressing the importance of the announced international action of March 20th., already supported by the Portuguese Council for Peace and Cooperation.
The Central Committee confirms PCP’s determination to contribute actively for the strengthening of the cooperation of the communist parties and other anti-capitalist forces of the left. Hence, the wide range of international meetings and initiatives, involving all continents, the Party is engaged in. Hence, its participation in the 19 party meeting, on November 9th., in Paris, and its active contribution for a common intervention in the forthcoming elections for the European Parliament. Hence, its intervention in consolidating and enlarging the “anti-globalisation movement” against neo-liberalism and war. Hence, its active participation in the Paris ESF and coming participation in the World Social Forum in Bombay.
The strengthening of the communist and revolutionary movement, as well as the vast anti-imperialist front, is an imperative of the struggle against imperialism, militarism and war.
PCP- AN IRREPLACEABLE PARTY FOR A DIFFERENT COURSE IN NATIONAL POLITICS
The evolution of the national political situation, the prospects of defeating the right and an alternative policy are conditioned and determined by the distribution of the political forces in the democratic field.
Considering the nature of the policy of the PSD/CDS-PP government, which openly questions the democratic-constitutional regime, the guidelines and positions of the different political forces, the PCP, due to its class nature, the solutions it defends for the country and the coherent and tireless intervention in defence of the interests of the popular masses and democratic regime, is an irreplaceable Party in the struggle to defeat the right and build a true alternative.
The strengthening of the Party should be considered as an integrant and determining element of this political objective, a central issue of national political life.
The Central Committee valorises the engagement and militancy of many thousands of Party members who, demonstrating an intervention linked to the interests of the workers, the people and the country, contribute to intensify the popular resistance against the offensive of big capital and the government, which is at its service, in the development of the struggle for more rights and better living conditions and ensure a great intervention and affirmation of the Party.
At the level of the vast and diversified party intervention, the Central Committee outlines:
- the materialisation of the initiative “In movement for Portugal with a Future”;
- the action of PCP´s parliamentary group in the Assembly of the Republic and PCP’s Members in the European Parliament ;
- a very vast information and explanation action, which includes a dynamic JCP activity;
- the actions in defence and improvement of the National Health Service, that will culminate in an interpellation to the government by the PCP, over health policies, on December 10th.
- the actions against the dismantling and privatisation of Public Administration;
- the multiple actions around the denouncement of the European Union new treaty.
The Central Committee also stresses the course of the general movement of strengthening the party organisation with regular holding of Organisation Assemblies, the recruitment of new militants, the diffusion of the party press, the intervention and organisation in the enterprises and places of work and the fulfilment of tens of thousands of contacts integrated in the national action of contact with the party members, which already resulted in the clarification of the situation of a great number of militants, and is proving to be of great importance for the strengthening of the Party. And also stresses the importance of the current campaign “ a day’s wages for the Party” for the development of its political intervention.
In the framework of the demanding national and international situation, the imperative constituted by the defeat of the government and the right policy, as quickly as possible, the Central Committee points out the main lines of the Party’s intervention in 2004:
- The strengthening of the Party, its organisation, intervention and influence, continuing the materialization of the guidelines of the general movement of strengthening the party organisation “Yes, it is possible! A stronger PCP”.
Reaffirming the structuring importance of the national action of contact with the Party members to clarify the situations, bringing up to date the data and contacts and increasing the participation in party life and evaluating the highly positive impacts of their materialization in multiple aspects of strengthening the Party, the Central Committee decides to extend this action until April 2004 and sets as priority the concentration of attentions and energies in its materialization.
The success of this task demands new measures to ensure the increase of the pace of contacts, namely the involvement of the whole party structure, the distribution of the contacts to be held, the definition of a large number of militants essentially devoted to this task, the constitution of teams, the use of the party meetings and initiatives, as well as the definition of intermediate objectives and a close control of execution.
- The pursuit of the political action of the Party and of the contact and clarification of the population and the workers, as well as the action in the institutions.
- The development of the mass struggles of the workers, the populations and all strata affected by the right policies, articulating the struggle for specific and immediate claims with the more general struggle against government’s policies and the defence of democratic conquests.
- The strengthening of unitary mass movements and in particular the Trade Union movement, working to dynamize their intervention, the link with the masses they represent and the participation in common or converging actions against the right policy. The Party members who operate in the Trade Union movement should contribute to ensure the success of the 10th. Congress of CGTP-IN, working actively to, respecting its autonomy and unitary nature, to ensure CGTP-IN’s essential characteristics, the basis of its strength and prestige.
- The preparation and organisation of the Party’s intervention in the elections for the European Parliament on the 13th. June 2004, articulating the struggle against government’s policy with the action in defence of national sovereignty and interests, the combat against the new European Union Treaty and the defence of a Europe of cooperation among equal and sovereign countries. On February 28th. there will be a National Meeting of the Party, in order to debate the European issues and the elections for the European Parliament.
- The preparation for the Party’s intervention in the regional elections in the Azores and in Madeira, to be held next October, guarantying the continuation of the permanent and intense activity carried out in the Autonomous Regions, in order to ensure positive advances in the evolution of the specific situation in those Regions.
The Central Committee has decided to present to the PEV (Ecologic Green Party) and the ID (Democratic Intervention) the proposal to stand together under CDU in the coming elections for the European Parliament and the regional elections in the Azores and in Madeira, entrusting the Executive Bodies to carry out the necessary contacts for its materialization.
- The carrying out of a National Campaign of Funds to face the added costs of the electoral acts of the coming year. The Central Committee appeals to the intervention and the initiative of all Party organisations and militants so as to guaranty the success of an indispensable campaign to financial support of so important political battles.
- The organisation of the commemorations of the Party’s 83rd. anniversary, with a very vast and diversified set of initiatives, with the aim of aggregating and dynamizing the highest number of militants with the view of enhancing their intervention in the political battles and affirmation of the Party’s ideals, proposals and project, articulating the anniversary initiatives with the Party’s intervention in the April Revolution anniversary.
- The promotion of the commemorations of the 30th. Anniversary of the April Revolution, affirming its conquests and values, combating distortions and manipulations, in link with the action of denouncing the antidemocratic objectives of the present offensive, particularly, the exigence of the revocation of the laws on the parties, the combat against the Labour Package and the ensuing regulations, inserting the different initiatives in the general political action, in the action of the masses and the political battle of the European Parliament elections.
- The preparation of the Avante Festival to be held on the 3rd., 4th. 5th.September 2004.
- The consideration of the struggle for peace as a permanent task, explaining the nature of the imperialist projects and wars, combating the aggressive actions of imperialism, the militarization of the European Union, making an effort to widen the convergence among different sectors and organisations engaged in the struggle for disarmament and peace.
- The strengthening of the cooperation among communist and revolutionary parties and progressive and left forces, of their bilateral and multilateral relationship against imperialism and war, for peace and cooperation among peoples, for the intensification of the combat against capitalism and the affirmation of the need of its substitution by a new society, free from exploitation and oppression.
The Central Committee, under the bounds of its constitutional capacities, has decided to convene the 17th.Congress of the Party on the 26th. 27th. 28th. November 2004, deferring to the next meeting the decisions on the beginning of the preparatory work and its calendar.
The Central Committee meanwhile stresses that its preparation warrants the necessary and indispensable involvement of the militants who, with their own reflection, experience and intervention, should give an important contribution to the success of the Congress, the strengthening of the organisation, the cohesion and the intervention of the Party, so that it can carry out its role in Portuguese society.
The Central Committee calls the attention of the party collective that the preparation of the 17th. Congress, taking place under a great offensive of the right against the democratic regime and coinciding with important political and electoral battles, should be inserted in the general activity of the Party and be a pole for the strengthening of the party’s organisation and intervention.
The PCP, deeply identified with the interests and the aspirations of the workers and the popular masses, is confirmed as the most consequent political force in defence of the April Revolution values and the main political force opposing the offensive by the right. Presently and in the framework of the distribution of the political forces, it is more evident that there is no true alternative of the left to the policy of the right, without the intervention of the PCP and its strengthening.