Speech by Jerónimo de Sousa, General Secretary, Seixal, Avante! Festival Rally
Our sincere greetings to all the participants in this 37th edition of the Avante! Festival and a sincere word of esteem and friendship to all the foreign delegations who honour us with their presence.
But allow me a word of admiration to all those who planned and built it, often giving up a well deserved rest and with sacrifices given the economic hardships, carrying out a solidary and militant work to raise it, specially the youth.
We built and held our Festival, this big festival of peace and friendship, of solidarity, of democracy and of socialism, while remaining committed to demanding tasks and combats.
We raised this grand Festival and at the same time waged a combat without truce, always at the forefront, alongside the workers and our people, in the institutions, companies, fields and streets, and in the grand and portentous struggles being held demanding the dismissal of the current government and an end to the right-wing policy of national ruin and destruction underway in our country.
We built our Festival and at the same time continued to materialise with the deserved success and dignity, a wide range of initiatives around the birth Centenary of Álvaro Cunhal, materialising this fitting tribute to the man, the communist, the intellectual and the artist, a core personality of our contemporary history and whose life, thinking and struggle, are an example that projects in the present and in the future.
A tribute that will continue during the current year and will have yet another highpoint of the commemorations in the rally at Campo Pequeno, in Lisbon, this coming November 10.
We raised our Festival and at the same time, and all over the country, in a great effort and with our fellow coalition companions in CDU, the Green Party, the Democratic Intervention and many thousands of independents, completed a strong participation in these coming elections, shown in the presentation of more candidacies, in more territory and involving more population, confirm CDU as a great force rooted within the populations.
No other party in Portugal would be able to organise this beautiful Festival and at the same time wage such important combats and carry out such important tasks!
Yet another year of PSD/CDS-PP government has gone by. The second year of a governance of national destruction and disaster. The second year of the implementation of the Pact of Aggression of ruin of the country and the life of the Portuguese that PS and the parties from the current government colluded with the IMF, European Union and the European Central Bank, without the consent of the people and against their interests.
Two years of government and foreign interference that have sunk the country deeper, sowing misery, destruction and crisis. This government and the national signatories of the Pact – PS, PSD and CDS – have much to answer to the Portuguese for this wrong and illegitimate decision. They have much to answer for the situation of economic and social debacle resulting from it, but also for what it means in terms of mortgaging the future of the country and its sovereignty.
In these times of submission to the policies of the Pact of Aggression that the PSD/CDS government considered as their own and applied them in a brutal way, with the connivance and support by PS in central aspects, the country and the life of the Portuguese has suffered a setback of years.
A setback of years in the national economy and its productive sectors with the country falling back, in real terms, to levels similar to those of ten years ago. A deep and tragic setback at the social level and with a drastic and abrupt fall in the living conditions of the Portuguese. A setback seen in the growth of unemployment levels never reached since the times of fascism; a setback visible in the increase of exploitation of labour, of attacks on social and labour rights, of cuts and drops in wages, pensions, social support to the children, aged, sick, people with handicaps, unemployed, those who fell into extreme poverty. A setback of years in their living conditions, as a result of this policy of confiscation befalling on the popular classes and strata, with the unmeasured raise of taxes on labour and consumption, of an unparallel dimension. A setback in the living conditions of the population which has grown as a result of the continuous degradation of public services that should ensure everyone’s right to health, education and social protection, culture, but which this government by PSD/CDS and the Pact of Aggression aim to end with this policy of brutal cuts, of reduction and closing of services and privatisations.
And, as a result of this policy, we are witnessing a growth in injustice and inequalities, we see a new and substantial increase in the number of Portuguese living below the poverty line – 21% of the Portuguese population!
And, as a result of this policy of exploitation and destruction, that we see our youth going abroad. Dozens of thousands of young couples who leave the country every year and take their children with them, with equally disastrous consequences for the very future of the country, its development and survival.
And, as a result of this policy, all the problems of all sectors of national life become worse. In some cases with dramatic consequences. Witness the dimension of the scourge of forest fires which are not strange to the lack of measures of prevention and forest management, of cuts in public investment and insufficiency of Fire Fighting by the National Authority of Civil Protection. And let there be no scapegoats, the responsibility lies with the policy of this and previous governments. From this rostrum, in this painful moment, we would like to extend PCP’s sorrow and solidarity to the families of the killed and injured fire fighters, their corporations, and, once again, stress the role they play in fighting fires, despite shortage of material and support.
And, as a result of this policy, of this government and the spurious and submissive commitments of the three parties of the national troika to the speculators and the organisations they represent, that we see the country increasingly bound and strangled by the trap of the debt. A debt that continues to grow – about more than 10 thousand million euros in these first six months, and which is becoming unpayable. An increasingly unsustainable situation that demands the pressing decision of its renegotiation before stepping into total disaster.
This is the result of the policy and action of an illegitimate government that should have been dismissed long ago.
A government that acts outside the law and against the Constitution it wants to destroy, and with it the rights of our people to health, education, social security, worthy wages, the right to work and work with rights, the right of everyone to be treated with dignity as a worker and a citizen, against arbitrariness and abuse of power
This is why we see them, they and the top people from PSD and CDS and the commentators on duty, in view of yet another setback in the government’s aims to open the doors to unfair dismissal of Public Administration workers, cursing the Constitutional Court and ranting against the Constitution, expressing an old and undisguised hatred against all that the values of April on social justice, democracy and progress.
Their aim is to make the Constitution the scapegoat for the failures of their policies and the ills of the country.
They justify their goals of subverting the Constitution and the rights it enshrines with the situation of the country’s crisis and, at the same time, threaten and blackmail with the inevitability of a second bailout with new and more painful measures, if their impositions and those of the troika of attacks on incomes and workers and peoples’ rights are not accepted. This bailout which has long been in preparation and negotiated concealed from the Portuguese, which will mortgage further the national sovereignty, impose more austerity and liquidation of rights, swell a ruinous public debt.
We have to say quite clearly that we do not accept that, in the name of the crisis, one can invoke the right not to abide the Constitution.
Just as one cannot accept that, in the name of obeying the troika, we can set a kind on undeclared “state of siege” in the country
What is wrong is not the Constitution, and it is a bad sign that PS already admits its review. What needs to be changed is not the basic Law of the country, a guarantee of the democratic regime. What needs to be changed, and with the utmost urgency, is this government and this policy that are leading Portugal and the Portuguese to the abyss.
A government corroded by contradictions that the great struggles of the workers and people brought into the light. A government undermined by scandals of activities and promiscuous ties of its members to the big economic and financial groups and their shady deals. Discredited by the categorical failures to solve the problems of the country and the announced and promised successes that proved to be resounding failures. A government stranged from the people, despised by its policy and practices of concealment and lies. A government without any credit!
A government in continuous reshuffling, that the big economic and financial interests whom it serves try to bring back and artificially prolong its life, with the support and commitment of the President of the Republic to carry to the end its dirty work of implementing the Pact of Aggression that, as government on duty at the behest of the right-wing bloc of big interests, has the task of ensuring and carry as far as possible. Hence they staged motions of confidence, proclamations and appeals for unity which are a farce, pathetic declarations of vitality at every resignation, programmes and commitments called of national salvations which are nothing but attempts to breathe life into a politically defeated government.
In their zeal to breathe life into a dying government they began to announce a “new cycle”, a shift in government action. In a short moment they began to present themselves as champions defending economic growth and employment.
A pure propaganda operation, with the aim of concealing from the country the real aims of the government action of continuing the same policy, in a version worse than the one which has been followed.
A propaganda campaign that gains new dimension as the coming local elections draw nearer. To give credibility to the lie of a new cycle, they widely trumpet the growth of a few decimal points in the GDP and play with the usual variations of the unemployment rate during the summer season.
They believe that, in this way they disguise the dramatic reality of a country that remains in deep recession, deeper than that of the same period last year. Unfortunately the country is not moving ahead, but going backwards.
Passos Coelho in his delirium of trying to give legitimacy to his government and his policy that the people did not vote, a few days ago said that the Portuguese people voted in free elections knowing what awaited them.
How is such a claim possible from someone who said he would not raise taxes, that the families should not pay the crisis; that there would be no more cuts in wages in public administration; that he was against increase in medicines; that unemployment could not go on growing; that he would not massacre more those who were already penalised; that we cannot have pensioners and retirees paying more; that taking back the Christmas bonus was nonsense; that the country did not need more austerity; that VAT should not increase, etc. etc.
We have to say enough of this policy of lies and cynicism!
They speak of a new cycle, but what they have in mind are not solutions to boost the country’s development, but to continue the plundering measures of the Pact of Aggression and sell the country cheap, with new and scandalous privatisations and destruction of public services essential to the population. What they really have in their hands is a real programme of social terrorism that they call reform of the State and that goes far beyond what has come into the open.
A programme whose content and true amplitude they conceal, delaying its release until after the local elections. That is why they are delaying the troika evaluations and preparing in utmost secrecy the State Budget for 2014.
A Budget that is being prepared with cuts of thousands of millions of euros in education, health, social security, undermining the National Health Service, Public School and imposing new penalisations on social protection payments, with less support in sickness, unemployment and old age. Cuts in people’s rights and living conditions, together with measures such as increasing the retirement age to 66 years; the devaluation of pensions and retirement pay of the public and private sector and of survival pensions; the dismissal of tens of thousands of Public Administration workers and the extension of working hours.
A programme which, if applied, would mean more recession, more bankruptcies and more unemployment, worsening the tragic toll of two years of government.
Meanwhile, last week another veil was lifted, by a newspaper, on the measures they are plotting with the foreign troika with the disclosure of the IMF script – a new labour package targeting the private sector workers.
A new labour package of brutal attack on the workers, expanding the policy of plunder, with the acceptance of cuts in the wages of private sector workers, including the minimum national wage, especially for the youth between 18 and 24 years; new measures of the so- called wage and labour flexibility, of precariousness in labour contracts and the depreciation and liquidation of collective bargaining.
A set of measures of attack on workers’ income and rights that reveal the insatiable nature of this policy of exploitation and concentration of wealth, favouring big economic and financial capital.
It is clearly a testing ground! They demand everything and always end up with a lot!
We have had countless packages of measures against the workers in these years of Stability and Growth Pacts (SGP) and Pact of Aggression, announced either by PS or by PSD and CDS!
This systematic and relentless slicing of labour incomes or workers rights, represents the institutionalisation of a blatant policy of plunder and exploitation of labour and which has to be stopped and reversed!
A policy of plunder that spreads to the country’s resources and public funds, that leads to corruption and promiscuity between public interest and private businesses, tax evasion to foreign countries by big economic groups, fraudulent and usury business, the transfer, with the privatisation policy, of thousands of millions of euros.
Thousands of millions of euros that evaporate every year in different ways.
When it comes to discussing alternative policies, the executors and supporters of the troika’s Pact of Aggression always the argument comes that there is no money: there is no money to improve wages and pensions; there is no money to improve health services, to boost the national economy and create jobs.
There is no money, but it always appears to be handed to private banking (almost 6 thousand million euros have already flown); for hefty rates of return for Public-Private Partnerships (PPP), to ensure tax benefits for big business groups; the usury interest on the debt they do not wish to renegotiate and which represents an amount equal to 82% of the budget deficit. An amount higher than the yearly budget of the Ministry of Education and almost equal to the budget of the Ministry of Health. Just as it appears, and it is not that small, to plug the holes of financial delinquency, namely the one created by the BPN bankers – 7 thousand million euros – which is more than enough to pay for almost five years of family allowances, all social aid to the elderly, the Social Insertion Income and sickness payments, but also the holes of BPP, Banif banks. Just as the money continues to appear to pay the SWAPS and whose potential losses are estimated to be 3 thousand million euros, an amount higher than the budget for payment of unemployment benefits.
There is money! It is being always handed to the same people and being denied to the Portuguese and for the development of the country
There is money if the financial transactions are taxed and if the profits of the economic groups and big companies are taxed justly, namely the off-shores.
It is payment time, by means of a true tax reform, for those who have made a lot of money throughout these years, exploiting the workers and the people, using the crisis they themselves feed and not what they aim to implement: bring down further taxes on big business by reforming the business tax (IRC)!
The country has to put a stop to this policy of plunder of the people and country!
With each passing day, there are more reasons to demand the government’s resignation, more necessary and pressing to defeat once for all a government that does not cease to destroy the life and future of the Portuguese.
Therefore, there will not be a truce in the fight against this government, a promoter of impoverishment and national ruin.
We will not give them a truce and will not let fall the fundamental and indispensable demand to solve the country’s problems – the demand for the resignation of this government, an end to the right-wing policy and holding of early elections!
We will not give them a truce, contrary to those who call themselves opposition, but who, in fact, make appeals and are available for new agreements with the government parties, quietly waiting until the 2015 elections!
This is a battle that has to be waged, because the longer this government is in power, it will carry further its aim of exploiting our people and dig deeper the country’s disgrace.
And also because of this the struggle cannot stop and will not stop!
The course of the great and extraordinary struggles that the workers and the masses are waging against this government and for an alternative to the right-wing policy will continue. Great and magnificent struggles that will remain in everyone’s memory. Like the massive demonstration at Terreiro do Paço in Lisbon, promoted by CGTP-IN, the exceptional General Strikes, the last one in this month of June, one of the greatest ever, the struggles of the industrial, transport and services workers. The expressive sectorial strikes and demonstrations by national and local Public Administration workers, nurses, teachers, Struggles of the security forces and military, Struggles of the working and student youth, Struggles of the farmers, the populations in defence of health, postal services, public water.
They want us to believe that they are here to stay, but the truth is that every day they show what they really are: an isolated and futureless government that the struggle of the workers and our people will end up by defeating.
A struggle that continues in the companies, workplaces, streets and will have its highpoint with the great national action on October 19 called by CGTP-IN! To the Portuguese workers’ trade union central we express our efforts and commitment for its success.
A struggle that has to be stimulated and supported, while at the same time we wage this very important battle of local elections which lies ahead this month.
A battle that CDU is already waging all over the country with the confidence of those who can show the work they did, a course of intervention marked by a commitment to the interests of the workers and the populations, a permanent presence at all times, in all places, in all small and big struggles of the populations in defence of their rights, their living conditions and their dignity.
The coming local elections are a political battle of the utmost importance. A battle demanding the mobilisation of the whole party collective and CDU activists to ensure, by means of the electoral strengthening, a result that will give more strength to the struggle and make stronger and closer the prospect of a rupture with the right-wing policy. A battle resulting in CDU’s strengthening will give a louder voice to the defence of the people and their rights, a presence on which the workers and the population can rely to defend their aspirations, in the struggle for the right to employment and social protection, to quality public services, health and education. More CDU on September 29 will mean adding strength to the struggle and arguments to all those who do not accept the course of national disaster and aspire for a different policy, patriotic and left-wing.
The offensive we are witnessing against Local Government is an integral part of the offensive against the workers and the populations, their rights, their living conditions.
An offensive that is the offshoot of the right-wing policy, either by the hand of the PS/Sócrates government in the recent past or, in these days, by the hand of the PSD/CDS government, but always both mutually supporting this crusade against the workers, the people and the country.
By the hand of the PS and Sócrates governments opening the path that the Pact of Aggression consolidated – be it an attack on local government, or the offensive against public schools and teaching careers, or the closure of maternity hospitals and health centres or the increase in health payments, or the law on [worker] mobility or freeze of wages in Public Administration – and which Passos and Portas [leaders of the parties in government] chose to intensify.
Now that the elections are near, the PS can fill the air with words against the present government when, in fact, drew and endorsed the current offensive. The proof of truth, that the PS cannot escape, lies in the fact that there is no defence of Local Government or the interests of the populations, or economic growth and creation of jobs, or solution to the nation’s problems without rejecting the Pact of Aggression, without dismissing the government and holding elections, without defeating the right-wing policy.
That is why we say: more CDU in the coming elections is, not just, the first condition to defeat this government, but also ensuring the strengthening of those who can guarantee a real alternative policy and break the cycle of alternance without an alternative policy.
The Portuguese are not doomed to have to choose between staying in the pan and jumping into the fire.
There are other solutions and other ways out to solve the country’s problems
It is necessary to urgently implement a policy to resume and give meaning to the project of society and organisation of our collective life as enshrined in the Constitution.
It is necessary to implement a patriotic and left-wing policy whose priority task is to combat the deep economic and social crisis ravaging the country.
A policy which has the following basic principles:
The rejection of the Pact of Aggression, tabling the renegotiation of the public debt in accordance with the national interests and compatible with the economic growth and improvement of the living conditions, freeing the country from the submission and colonisation it faces.
To direct all the effort of the economic and financial policy and of the investment to promote and develop national production and wealth, by creating jobs, valorising work, the workers and their rights and ensuring a fair distribution of the created wealth, which includes the implicit commitment to replace the stolen wages, incomes and rights.
To radically change the fiscal policy, doing away with the scandalous favouring of big economic and financial capital.
To ensure a public administration and services at the country’s service and able to guarantee the right to health, education and social protection of the Portuguese.
The recovery by the State of the democratic command of the economy, ending the privatisations and ensuring an effective subordination of the economic power to the political power.
Ensure the liberation of the country from the supranational impositions of economic, social and financial policy, contrary to the interest of the country’s development, breaking free namely from the stranglehold of the Economic and Monetary Union and the Euro.
There is an alternative policy and in Portugal there are enough forces to break the cycle of right-wing policy governments, to embody a political solution, a patriotic and left-wing government at the service of the workers, the people and the Country.
There is an alternative and forces able to rescue the country from dependency and ensure to the workers and people a decent life and build Portugal with a future.
Like the PCP, there are hundreds of thousands of patriots and democrats, hundreds of thousands of workers and other Portuguese people, hundreds of social and mass organisations who know that a different path is possible and aspire to see a patriotic and left-wing policy in the country.
Today there are thousands and thousands of Portuguese who are involved, like the PCP, in opening this path of building and implementing a real political alternative – a patriotic and left-wing alternative!
From this rostrum we would like to salute all the democratic and patriotic forces, sectors and personalities who, answering the appeal for unity and convergence launched from this stage during our last year’s Festival, were engaged in this effort of reunion and confluence of discussion, action and struggle that we fought.
To all these Portuguese people, all class and mass organisations, progressive and left-wing sectors and forces genuinely and sincerely interested in breaking away from the right-wing policy, we reaffirm PCP’s availability to continue to discuss, act and fight, deepening these routes to build an alternative, around a patriotic and left-wing policy.
A different path from those who wave and wager on a solution coming exclusively from abroad, so that in essence, everything remains the same in here – a country dominated by monopoly capital, dependent and subordinated to the great powers
A path different from those who only find a way out within the framework of deepening the federalist and neoliberal nature of the European Union.
Today there are many who agree with us when we said that Maastricht, Nice, the Economic and Monetary Union, the Euro, the Lisbon Treaty, would put Portugal in a situation of unbearable dependency and would lead the country into a path of destruction of its productive apparatus and increasing exploitation of the workers. The reality is here to confirm this.
Today, once again we say: either we unite – firstly within our people and with all democrats and patriots, and secondly with countries in a situation like ours – on a course, a path, that breaks with a European Union of big business, exploitation, economic colonisation and federalism, a European Union of militarism and war, or the situation can become even more dramatic and destructive to our country and to the European continent as a whole.
We have to change course. On this stage we have many forces from all over Europe who carry out important struggles and assume themselves as bearers of hope in a different course for Europe. And this course is not a repetition of what we have had. It is not of false solutions. It is not about hiding the economic reality because there are elections in Germany. This course is not that of the Troikas and an even greater concentration of economic and political power in the hands of the usual suspects and especially of big business. This course is not that of social democracy submitted to big business and militarism, as well shown by the socialist Hollande, the man who would change Europe and ended by shamelessly defending another imperialist war in the Middle East.
No! The course cannot be that of a power that concentrates upon itself, which becomes increasingly anti-democratic, anti-social and violent. However much the right and social democracy unite to try to salvage the process of capitalist integration, the reality is that without a rupture there will not be a solution. More European Union, as PS and PSD and also CDS defend, will mean more exploitation, more dependence, more asymmetry, more injustice, less democracy and more insecurity. More European Union will mean less Europe, because Europe is the workers and peoples. Europe is the sovereign States with the right to development. Europe is those who, through the struggle, want more rights and democracy, fight for peace and cooperation among peoples! Portugal and Europe are all of us and it is here that lies our power to change the course of History. On May 25 next year, the Portuguese people will be called to the ballot box to elect members of the European Parliament. Until then much struggle will go on, but we now state that PCP and CDU will do everything in their power to turn these elections, in cooperation with other communist and progressive forces, into a very important time of struggle for another Europe of the workers and peoples, a Europe of peace, cooperation and solidarity.
We live in times of great uncertainty and insecurity. The evolution of capitalism, with the doors left open following the defeats of socialism in the Soviet Union and Eastern Europe, led, as we foresaw, to a deepening of its contradictions, increasing exploitation and oppression. Led to war and international insecurity and led, as was unavoidable, the system to develop and deepen its structural crisis. Capitalism’s deepest economic crisis has been lasting for more than five years, now threatening, and namely, the so-called new emerging economies and putting on the horizon the possibility of new and unforeseen developments in world economy and the development of struggles by the peoples. They are free to talk about recovery, but those who suffer on their skin unemployment, poverty, hunger, they are the victims of growing inequalities among countries and social classes. They are the target of a process of regression of social, labour, political and cultural rights, of historical and civilizational dimensions, they do not feel any recovery. Instead, they continue to be massacred in an authentic war against their rights, their life and dignity.
Imperialism’s offensive against social and labour rights is but one of the faces of the violent evolution of the capitalist system and its crisis. The offensive is multifaceted and very dangerous. These last times have shown to us the growing oppression and the degree of illusion of freedom the peoples of the capitalist countries live in. Brutal repression of demonstrations and popular movements, in the Middle East or North Africa (namely in Egypt) or even here in Europe and the USA; growing repressive and authoritarian measures putting down and trying to contain people’s struggles, persecuting those who resist while promoting anticommunism; unfettered attacks on people’s sovereignty in a recolonization wave, in the centre or periphery of the system; setting up the most reactionary political systems; widespread measures of control and espionage, like the ones recently appeared and which confirm crimes after crimes by the North American Administration, are some of the examples of capitalist barbarity and the great dangers facing Mankind.
Dangers that have, in recent days, increased greatly with the deepening of imperialism’s response of force and the possibility of a new war of aggression in the Middle East.
They do it, once again, with the excuse of fighting the use of forbidden weapons. They, who hold gigantic nuclear weapons. They, who through the years have developed weapons of mass destruction and have used them. They, who support Israel’s State terrorism against the Palestinian people. They, who support dictatorial regimes all over the Middle East region, are the ones who now appear to accuse, without proof, the Damascus government of using chemical weapons and say they fight for the rights of the Syrian people.
We do not buy this lie. We reject the campaign of lies and manipulations that is equal to the ones that supported the wars in Iraq, Libya or Yugoslavia and affirm that the defence of the rights of these people is only ensured with peace and a political process free from foreign interferences and provocations, and express our solidarity to the Syrian people and their struggle for their rights, especially those of national sovereignty and territorial integrity of their homeland.
The war drums sound in the Middle East. An attack by the USA or NATO can take place at any moment. What drives them is contrary to the interests and strategies of that people. What drives them is the control of the vastly rich natural resources of the region. What drives them is trying to use force to maintain their power. A power that is daily questioned by the peoples and by many States, despite their contradictions, increasingly undermining the domination of the major imperialist powers.
This is the time to say that an open war against Syria would be an adventure of unpredictable consequences and could set on fire the whole Middle Eastern region and, possibly, the world.
It is the time to say that to enable or support a war against Syria, as it seems is the case of the government, and also of the PS, would be a new and scandalous attack on the right of the peoples and on international law. Therefore it is time to not only say but to fight decisively for peace, against the war in Syria and against Portugal’s involvement in yet another crime by imperialism.
The dangers we are facing all over the world are indeed immense, but as we stated in our XIX Congress, there is a real potential to develop the struggle. The presence in this Festival of such a large number of delegations was an expression of great solidarity with our struggle. But also a time to confirm that there is an entire World that does not yield. The peoples, with the communists at the forefront, rise in powerful actions of struggle that show the narrowing of capitalism’s social base. We face the world not with fear, but with great confidence that the people’s struggle will open the avenues of the future. A future that is being built today. In the large and small struggles. Here in Europe, in the Middle East, in Latin America, for the sovereign affirmation of progressive alternatives facing imperialism in the face, like Cuba and Venezuela, showing courage, persistence and strength to move ahead. In the large and small struggles like those against the occupation, for sovereignty and independence in Palestine and Western Sahara, but also in Cyprus. Struggles for the right to development, against neo-colonialism and for social, labour and democratic rights, as in the African continent. In the huge struggles for the right to work and for land, as in the Asian continent. To all of them we convey our deep solidarity and our confidence.
Confidence because we look at the world and see that the peoples do not give up fighting, even in the hardest conditions. They do not give up, resist and move ahead. It is this immense strength of the present, this huge wave that will build the alternative to capitalism – Socialism. An alternative for which internationalist cooperation and solidarity – first of all of the communists but also of all anti-imperialist and progressive forces – is one of the main axis. That is why, despite facing great struggles at the national level, having decisive political battles ahead, we do not give up, as communists and Portuguese, our contribution for a wider struggle and to strengthen the communist movement and the anti-imperialist front, uniting what is there to be united. Joining forces, affirming paths and alternatives to capitalist barbarity. A contribution that results from PCP’s patriotic and international nature and which will have a concrete expression this coming month of November with the holding, for the second time in Portugal, of the International Meeting of Communist and Workers’ Parties.
These are hard times, demanding times that we live in. In view of the dimension of the attack, the worsening of the exploitation, the regression, the effort that is needed to turn back the situation, there are those who preach giving up and resignation. They want to close the windows of hope and of the future.
But this is the time to fight, resist, move ahead in a confident and determined combat. We are here, the Portuguese Communist Party, that is not afraid of difficulties, fully assumes its responsibilities to the workers and the country, fully assumes its internationalist duties. A Party which reaffirms itself as a living, acting, combative force, linked to life, able to shoulder the most demanding challenges and tasks, as was clear in the XIX Congress that the PCP held a few months ago.
Our Party is proud to fulfil its responsibilities and duties, which is only possible with the extraordinary commitment of thousands and thousands of militants.
To all of you a big greeting!
We have a great strength and capacity of intervention, but we need an even stronger party. Based on its unmistakable identity of a communist party, stronger in its organisation and intervention, stronger at the political and ideological level, stronger in its connection with the masses and capacity to mobilise, stronger in its electoral and institutional expression.
Strengthening the PCP is a central and decisive issue to ensure the alternative the country needs, to set a new course for Portuguese politics and advance in the struggle for a new society.
To all those who are concerned with the situation in Portugal and in the world, to all those who feel that there should be an end to exploitation, impoverishment and injustice, to all those who aspire for a better life, from this rostrum we say, do not wait, do not spoil your strength, join us, join the PCP, join your opinion and contribution, your capacity and individual action to this great militant collective, in this worthy struggle for a fairer society and world.
We are the Portuguese Communist Party, the Party that, honouring its history, develops and affirms in a coherent and relentless way its opposition to exploitation, the Pact of Aggression, the right-wing policy and all those who implement it. A Party with principles, with a policy of truth.
We are the Portuguese Communist Party, the Party with a prompt answer and solutions for the country’s problems, with a patriotic and left-wing policy for a developed and sovereign Portugal.
We are the Portuguese Communist Party, a Party with strong links to the workers and the people, that drives the mass struggle, an essential tool to defend and achieve rights, a driving force for social change.
The Party that promotes the unity of the workers, dynamizes a strong social anti-monopolist front and drives the convergence of all democrats and patriots.
We are the Portuguese Communist Party, the Party of Álvaro Cunhal and many like him who, throughout generations gave all they could for the cause of the liberation of the workers and peoples, denying personal privileges and advantages, assuming all risks, always and always at the service of the workers, the people and the homeland, for freedom, democracy and socialism.
We are the Portuguese Communist Party, with great confidence in the workers, the youth, the people, with our eyes set on the future with an unwavering confidence in the capacity to materialise a rupture with the right-wing policy and open the way for an advanced democracy, of the April values in Portugal’s future.
We are a Party with a history that honours us, and which continues to have more project than memory, anchored in the communist ideal, of persistence and search to bring about a new society free from the exploitation of man by man, socialism and communism.