Speech by Jerónimo de Sousa, General Secretary, Political and cultural initiative «For Peace, Friendship, Cooperation among Peoples»

For Peace, Friendship, Cooperation among Peoples

For Peace, Friendship, Cooperation among Peoples

Translated Speech by Jerónimo de Sousa, PCP General Secretary
Seixal, 9th May 2017

The celebration of Victory over Nazi-fascism, which we mark today, holds especial significance in the year in which we celebrate the centennial of the October Revolution.
While expressing respect and honouring the heroic and noble example of millions of men and women, of young people who resisted and fought, giving their lives if necessary, to free the world from Nazi-fascist barbarism, we recall the decisive role of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics which, at the cost of huge sacrifices, made a determining contribution to the Victory.

We do not forget that it was the Soviet Union which alone endured for three years the fundamental effort of the war and which inflicted the greatest losses on the Nazi-fascist hordes, in a heroic and gigantic combat that the Soviet people named the “Great Patriotic War”. Of the 60 million killed in World War II, more than 20 million were Soviet.

It was the heroism of the Soviet people, of the Red Army – in the heroic resistance to the siege of Leningrad and the historic battle of Stalingrad - and of the Communist Party, inseparable from the new social system that the Soviet Union was building - socialism - and its patriotic and internationalist values that determined the course of the war and enabled the liberation of Europe and of Humanity from Nazi-fascism.

in the course of the War, when the Red Army had already begun its counter-offensive, we cannot forget that the efforts of the Soviet Union to isolate Nazi Germany and to establish agreements and alliances to prevent the outbreak of war and later on to postpone the opening of a second front in Europe were systematically ignored. Nothing can erase the fact that the Soviet Union was the main architect of Victory.

Similarly, nothing can erase the heroic struggle of the anti-fascist resistance - in France, Italy, Yugoslavia, Greece, or in China against Japanese militarism - who, facing the most cruel repression and the most brutal retaliations, bravely resisted the occupation forces. Resistance in which the contribution of the communists who, together with the workers' movement, in one of the most exhilarating examples of devotion to the cause of freedom from the first moment and in the frontline, was instrumental in boosting the unity of the anti-fascist forces for armed resistance against Nazi-fascism, in which thousands and thousands of communists gave their lives.

If we do not forget the example of all those who resisted and fought to free the world from Hitler's barbarism, we also recall the causes of the rise and horrible crimes of Nazi-fascism.

May 9, 1945 - Victory Day - marks the end of the most cruel and devastating war imposed by imperialism on Humanity and, as a result, the defeat of Nazi-fascism and its brutal and heinous project of exploitation, oppression and world domination.

Nazi-fascism was responsible for the horror of concentration and slave labour camps, for the massacre of populations, for the cruel sufferings and deprivations it inflicted on the peoples. It was the most violent and terrible form of class domination generated by capitalism - the terrorist dictatorship of monopolies - responsible for one of the darkest and tragic pages of Humanity's History.

World War II was inseparable from the greatest crisis of capitalism hitherto known and from the rise of fascism which was promoted and supported by the most reactionary and aggressive circles of big business in answer to this same crisis and to the growth of the struggle of the communist parties and of the labour movement for profound social achievements and revolutionary transformations, inspired by the October Revolution and the successes, accomplishments and achievements of the Soviet Union.

Behind Nazism, the most brutal expression of fascism, was the big German financial capital which saw in the Nazi anti-communism and xenophobic nationalism and in its programme - the liquidation of democratic freedoms and rights, militarism and expansion and world domination -, the tool to implement its agenda of exploitation, oppression and aggression.

The complicity and support of the big German capital to the rise of Nazism to power was accompanied by the active connivance of the great capitalist powers with Nazi Germany, feeding and being co-responsible for the creation of the conditions that would lead to war, in the false and foiled expectation that the war was directed against the Soviet Union, at the time the only socialist state in the world. The betrayal of Munich can never be forgotten!
Therefore, to celebrate the Victory over Nazi-fascism is also to defend the truth about what World War II represented, combating attempts at rewriting and falsifying History and drawing lessons so that such a tragedy will never happen again.

The insulting comparison of fascism with communism - which compares the oppressor with the resistant or the executioner with the victim - aims to conceal and, if possible, condemn the role of the Soviet Union and of the communists in the liberation of the peoples from Hitlerian barbarism; seeks to conceal a form of state organisation which capitalism does not hesitate to use to ensure exploitation and oppression; seeks to conceal the shameful connivance and complacency of the ruling circles of the capitalist powers regarding the terrible intentions and ambitions of Nazi-fascism; intends to suppress, criminalise, and illegalise not only the ideals and action of the communists but of all democrats who oppose oppression and exploitation.
The Victory over Nazi-fascism is a feat of extraordinary dimension and historic significance.

With the defeat of Nazi-fascism, the great prestige gained by the Soviet Union and by socialism and the new correlation of forces that resulted from World War II, conditions were created for the establishment of a new fundamentally anti-fascist and democratic world order of peace that determined the evolution of the world situation in the second half of the twentieth century, opening the way to liberating processes never before achieved by Humanity.
Important principles that should govern international relations - such as the right to self-determination of peoples, the renunciation of the use of force in international relations or the peaceful and negotiated settlement of conflicts between States - from the outset defended by Soviet power- were enshrined in the Charter of the United Nations and established in international law.

With the upsurge of the forces of peace, national liberation, democracy, social progress and socialism, the workers and peoples, in their struggle for social and national emancipation, obtained historic achievements throughout the world, profoundly marking the twentieth century and which continue to have an impact in the present.

With the end of the War an immense and impetuous conviction arose that a new time of peace and freedom would open for all the peoples of the world.
Socialist-oriented revolutions take place in Europe and Asia that enable and ensure social achievements to the broad masses and boost national liberation movements in Africa and Asia enabling many peoples to free themselves from colonial exploitation and oppression by imposing the downfall of secular colonial empires.

However, imperialism soon tries to prevent and counter the rise of the struggle for the emancipation of peoples. With the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the US launches a new and more dangerous militarist escalation. Wars are unleashed against national liberation processes and interventions that impose brutal dictatorships on peoples. NATO is founded, a political-military bloc commanded by the US, of which the Portuguese fascist dictatorship is a founding member. Plans are drawn for a nuclear attack on the Soviet Union.

The aggressive action and dangerous threats by imperialism to world peace and security were held back with the development of the Soviet defensive military capacity and the creation of the Warsaw Pact in 1955 as well as the creation of a broad and strong movement for peace and solidarity with peoples struggling for national liberation, to end fascist oppression, for freedom, for sovereignty, for democracy, for progressive and revolutionary transformations.

Ensuring its defence and strategic military parity with imperialism, and in particular with US imperialism, the peace policy of the Soviet Union - of peaceful coexistence between States with different social systems; respect for the right to self-determination of peoples; of solidarity with the struggle of peoples who are victims of oppression and aggression; arms control and disarmament, in particular with regard to nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction; of international relations, favouring peace, collective security and cooperation, as in the historic Helsinki Final Act on Security and Cooperation in Europe signed in 1975 - prevented imperialism from unleashing a new world war and imposed a restraint on its aggressive action and the advancement of the liberating struggle of the peoples.

Yes, it was not the process of capitalist integration of the EEC/European Union that prevented the outbreak of a new widespread war in Europe, as proclaimed by the defenders of the deepening of the European Union and of its ongoing dangerous militarist project.

Today, with the end of the Soviet Union and in an international situation marked by the deepening of the structural crisis of capitalism, the dominant system seeks to manage its insurmountable contradictions by promoting an even greater concentration and centralisation of capital by intensifying exploitation, oppression and war.

Imperialism intensifies its violent onslaught against the rights of the workers, the sovereignty of the peoples and the independence of the States, against the revolutionary, national liberating, democratic and progressive advances that have been achieved.

Faced with the crisis and the complex process of re-emergence of forces taking place on a world scale - which has highlighted the relative economic decline of the United States - imperialism, in particular US imperialism, directs its aggressive action against any State that it considers is in some way a factor of containment to the imposition of its hegemonic power.

This was the case when it launched wars of aggression against Yugoslavia, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Syria, Yemen, and other countries and peoples, like the Palestinian people, who for decades are victims of aggression and Zionist oppression, or Ukraine, where a coup was perpetrated by anti-democratic and fascist forces that oppress and are responsible for a war against their own people.

In Latin America, the processes of sovereign affirmation, of a progressive nature and of Latin American and Caribbean cooperation, are the target of operations of intervention and subversion promoted by the US and the oligarchies through which they seek to re-establish their domination in this region.
Imperialism, namely US imperialism, relaunches the arms race, militarisation of international relations, continuing disrespect for the United Nations Charter and international law, the constant attempt to instrumentalize the UN to cover its warmongering, the strengthening of NATO and the deployment of its military forces in Eastern Europe, the enhancement of the militaristic, securitary and interventionist aspects of the European Union as a European pillar of NATO, operations of destabilisation and war, reactionary drifts, promotion and instrumentalization of xenophobic, racist and fascist forces, as well as terrorism and, in particular, State terrorism.

The US seeks to ensure its military supremacy in order to impose its worldwide domination by force, with its aggressive strategy embracing its doctrine of Prompt Global Strike and in this context the installation of anti-missile systems directed against the Russian Federation and People's Republic of China - which represents a serious threat to world peace and security.

The most recent developments in the international situation are of great gravity and involve increased risks for all Humanity, placing the need for a broad and strong mobilisation of workers and peoples to repel the danger of war and to defend peace.
The US military escalation, driven by the Trump Administration and followed by its allies, including NATO and the European Union, has aroused and continues to arouse great concern among all peace lovers.

The US is engaged in a drift of imperialist threats, provocations and military interventions that place the world at the risk of an imminent devastating regional conflict, or even a conflict of world proportions.

The bombing of Syria with missiles, the test of its so-called "super bomb" in Afghanistan, escalating confrontation with the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, threats of "preventive" military aggression and even the first use of nuclear weapons, among other alarming examples, are troubling expressions of a warmongering drift that, covered by a colossal media campaign of misinformation and lies, continues the policy of the Obama Administration, but now with more menacing contours. A policy which, particularly focusing in the Middle East, Eastern Europe and the Asia-Pacific region, is generally expressed globally, including in Africa and Latin America, where Venezuela is now the victim of a huge destabilizing and subversive orchestrated action by imperialism.

At present, the struggle for peace, against war, and internationalist solidarity with the resistance and struggle of the peoples assume great importance and centrality.

Imperialism’s violent attack faces the resistance and struggle of the peoples in defence of their sovereignty and rights. Although in a still unfavourable correlation of forces, reality proves that it is possible to resist, contain and even impose setbacks on imperialist domination.

The response to the violent onslaught of US imperialism and its allies places great urgency on unity of action of communists and their necessary convergence with other patriotic, democratic and progressive forces of peace in a broad anti-imperialist front that prevents imperialism from relaunching Humanity into a war with unforeseen consequences. War is not inevitable.

The communists have the indispensable task of contributing to the strengthening, broadening, unity and advancement of the struggle for peace, against imperialist interference and wars of aggression, in defence of the rights and sovereignty of peoples, opening up the paths of freedom, democracy, social progress, of social and national emancipation.

The struggle for peace is an important unifying factor that helps isolate imperialism and pave the way for the construction of a new international order of peace, sovereignty and social progress.

Yesterday like today, it is in the hands of the workers and peoples to conquer a better, more humane, more just, more prosperous world, liberated from the exploitation of man by man.

A patriotic and internationalist party, the PCP reaffirms its commitment, in Portugal and internationally - with its own action, within the framework of the international communist and revolutionary movement and the anti-imperialist front - to contribute to unity in action of the forces of peace, patriotic, democratic and progressive, in particular in the fight for the dissolution of NATO; against the militarisation of the European Union; to end foreign military bases; for disarmament, and in particular for the abolition of nuclear weapons and other weapons of mass destruction and the dismantling of the US anti-missile system and, in particular, for the sovereignty of States, ensuring the right of every people to determine without external interference , their own path of development.

In Portugal, developments in the international situation and the enormous dangers arising from the imperialist offensive call for a profound change in the main lines of Portuguese foreign policy along lines of effectively defending national interest, security, sovereignty and independence.

The Portuguese State, bound to respect and defend the Constitution of the Republic, must make its voice heard, especially at the UN and other international bodies, against this dangerous warmongering drift, respecting the United Nations Charter and for the peaceful resolution of conflicts, for disarmament and peace.

Contrary to a foreign policy marked by dependence and submission to the European Union and NATO and to confining its relations to the so-called 'transatlantic axis' or subordinated to its interests, what the evolution of the international situation shows is the need to adopt a patriotic policy government that provides the country with the instruments, including foreign policy and defence, that guarantee the safeguard of national sovereignty and independence; that open new and diversified lines of cooperation and economic relationship; that ensure a policy of peace, friendship and cooperation with all the peoples of the world.

The struggle in defence of national sovereignty and independence, making a break with imperialism's strategy of war and aggression, for a patriotic and left-wing alternative that re embraces the paths of April, is the best contribution that the PCP can make to the cause of peace and freedom of the peoples.