IMCWP Meeting Held for the First Time in Cuba
THE 22nd International Meeting of Communist and Workers' Parties (IMCWP) held from October 27-29 at the Havana Convention Palace was attended by delegates from 65 countries from all the continents. ‘United we are stronger’ is the slogan of the event in which representatives of 82 political forces and 31 delegations headed by their presidents or general secretaries participated. The theme of the IMCWP is ‘Solidarity with Cuba and all the struggling peoples. United we are stronger in the anti-imperialist struggle, together with social and popular movements, in the face of capitalism and its policies, the threat of fascism and war; in defence of peace, the environment, workers' rights, solidarity and socialism’.
The meeting promotes the debate on the challenges of the Leftist forces in the face of the imperialist offensive in their eagerness to impose hegemony at the global level. Reflections on how to strengthen unity, solidarity, and coordination among the communist and workers' parties of the world were made. The occasion helped in coordinating initiatives and exchanging ideas about the international situation and the problems faced by each of the parties in their regional and national spaces.
The CPI(M) was represented at this meeting by its Polit Bureau member and head of the international department, M A Baby. Below we publish the intervention of the CPI(M) at the IMCWP meeting, which was presented by M A Baby.
At the very outset on behalf of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), I would like to greet the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC) for taking up the responsibility to host the 22nd International Meeting of the Communist and Workers’ Parties in Havana. I am glad that this initiative gave us all a chance to meet face-to-face, after a gap of two long years, in this heroic country.
My mind goes back to 1978, when for the World Festival of Students and Youth, I had the inspiring experience of visiting Cuba for the first time.
Cuba always occupies a special place in our hearts. It is the one and only socialist country which is located right near the heart of imperialism – the USA. In spite of the best of the efforts of imperialist US to destabilise socialist Cuba, it successfully resisted and fought back and stood firm with unwavering commitment towards socialism and Marxism-Leninism. Starting from 1959, till this day, there have been innumerable attempts – direct invasion known as the Bay of Pigs, more than 500 attempts to assassinate historic leader of the revolution, Commander-in-Chief Fidel Castro Ruz, terrorist attempts to bomb the civilians, the inhuman and unjust economic embargo, the Special Period, sanctions imposed under the guise that Cuba is a sponsor of terrorism, to the recent attempts to incite counter-revolutionary protests last year. Cuba withstood all these attacks because of its belief in the people, who are actively involved in socialist construction.
Cuba is confronted with another crisis caused by the spread of Corona virus, adding to these miseries. Imperialist US tightened the economic embargo by invoking the Title III of the Helms-Burton Act. Cuba withstood all these shocks, without compromising on its ideals of providing food, education, health and shelter to all its citizens. Not only that. The altruist nature of Cuban revolution was on display when Cuban medical personnel were sent to many parts of the world to combat the pandemic and the five vaccine candidates developed by it were happily shared. This is in sharp contrast to the capitalist countries, which denied access to vaccines. That Cuba could wade through all these efforts to sabotage its socialist system is possible only in a country which is wedded to Marxism and Leninism and is in the process of developing a ‘new human being’, a socialist human being, as Che Guevara termed it.
The founders of Marxism and Leninism explicitly stated that internationalism defines a true communist. Cuba is living by true internationalism in spite of all its internal hardships. It rightly deserves our solidarity. Solidarity with Cuba does not only mean supporting Cuba or standing with it in times of its need. Solidarity with Cuba is a part of our own struggle against imperialism and its global dominance. Solidarity with Cuba also means a part of our struggle for socialism – the only real alternative to crisis ridden, exploitative capitalist system.
The CPI(M) believes that the present neoliberal phase of imperialism, which is extremely exploitative, is reaching a dead end. This of course does not mean that capitalism will die a natural death. Capitalism has to be defeated in the arena of class struggle – a struggle that would be led by the working class in alliance with the peasantry and other exploited classes – as defined by the particular conditions in our respective countries.
Here the succinct formulation of Lenin is very relevant. He said: “We do not regard Marx’ theory as something completed and inviolable; on the contrary, we are convinced that it has only laid the foundation stone of the science which socialists must develop in all directions if they wish to keep pace with life”. The failure to act accordingly would lead to decline or setbacks to the revolutionary movement.
In our country, we have defined the present stage of our revolution as People’s Democratic Revolution, which would lead to the socialist revolution. There are no Chinese walls, as Lenin had stated, separating these two stages. The first stage is against imperialism, monopoly capital and feudalism. In this stage we will strive to mobilise all anti-imperialist, anti-monopoly and anti-feudal forces under the leadership of the working class.
In order to succeed in this endeavour, we are now mobilising all those forces who are ready to join the struggle against the right-wing, authoritarian offensive in our country. This reactionary rule is curtailing even those bourgeois democratic rights that were guaranteed by the Indian Constitution. They are trying to break the class unity by fomenting religious sectarian divisions. Unless we defeat this sinister ideology, we cannot build class unity that is necessary in our struggle against imperialism and domestic reaction.
In Kerala, a province with 35 million people in our country, the Left Democratic Front government led by the CPI(M), with the CPI and other parties, many pro-people, progressive policies are being implemented. This alternate path, within the limitations imposed by the exploitative system is also helping us to mobilise toiling masses in a big way, along with independent and joint struggles of workers, peasants, socially oppressed and other marginalised sections of the society.
Our struggle for a better life, does not mean better wages and working conditions alone. It is also for a better future for us and for the Planet Earth. People all around are realising the necessity to strengthen our fight against imperialism and its catastrophic exploitation of mother nature. The unseasonal rains, floods, hurricanes, extreme temperatures, melting of glaciers and ice sheets, all demonstrate before our very eyes the disastrous policies of capitalism that are destroying our environment. The only alternative to these multiple challenges confronting us is – socialism.
It is here once again we learn a lot from the example of Cuba. Any obstacle can be surpassed and victory achieved, if we trust people and win their confidence. As communists, we believe that it is our bounden duty to build the unity of all the exploited and oppressed people and lead them in the struggle for emancipation and socialism.
The people, united, will always be victorious, El Pueblo Unido, Hama Sera Vincido!