15th International Meeting of Communist and Workers’ Parties
Below is the text of the press release issued by the 15th International Meeting of Communist and Workers’ Parties held in Lisbon, on November 8-10. THE 15th International Meeting of Communist and Workers’ Parties was held in Lisbon, on November 8-10, under the motto “The deepening of the crisis of capitalism, the role of the working class and the communists’ tasks in the struggle for the workers and peoples’ rights. Imperialism’s offensive, the realignment of forces at the international level, the national question, class emancipation and the struggle for socialism”. In the Meeting, 77 parties, from 61 countries participated and greetings were received from an additional 14 parties which, for various reasons, were not able to participate. The meeting analysed, among other main aspects, the development of the international situation in the context of the deepening of the structural crisis of capitalism and of a complex process of realignment of forces at the international level, alerting to the great dangers deriving from imperialism’s offensive. At the same time, the participants saluted and valued the resistance and struggle of the workers and peoples, reaffirming the real potential that the current situation holds for the development of the liberating struggle, for profound changes in the anti-monopolist and anti-imperialist direction, for socialism. The meeting noted the deepening of the crisis that exploded in 2008 with the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy. A crisis that is far from over, belying the ruling class discourse on an alleged “recovery” and confirming the analyses of the communists about its nature and evolution which, among other aspects, confirms it as a crisis of over-production and over-accumulation of capital. A crisis that expresses the sharpening of capitalism’s contradictions – in particular its fundamental contradiction between the social character of production and its private appropriation – highlighting the historical limits of the system and the timeliness of the struggle for the fundamental alternative to capitalism – socialism. It denounced the aim of big capital, of the major imperialist powers and their international and supranational structures of imperialist concentration – such as the European Union – to impose on the workers and peoples a social regression of a civilizational dimension assaulting economic, labour and social rights, violently attacking the living conditions of the working and popular masses and declaring war on the sovereignty and independence of States. It referenced in particular the harsh reality of the peoples and the impact of the crisis and of the capitalist offensive on developing countries, where the peoples find their right to economic and social development even more curtailed. In this framework, attention was drawn to the impact of capitalism’s crisis on agriculture and food, jeopardising still more the food sovereignty of numerous countries and dooming great masses of the world population to starvation and malnutrition. It highlighted the dangers that arise from the intensification of the militarist, warmongering and interference policy of the major imperialist powers and NATO. It stressed that the wars of aggression, the processes of interference and instigation of internal conflicts, the strengthening of repressive, authoritarian, control and espionage measures are part of the force-based response by big capital to capitalism’s crisis, having as its central aims to maintain the control of the resources and sources of energy and contain the revolt, the struggle of the peoples and the inevitable social and revolutionary explosions that the current situation entails. Participants expressed their solidarity with the ongoing struggles in all continents against the aggressive imperialist offensive, for social progress, independence and sovereignty, peace, the right to social and economic development, for the construction of alternatives of sovereignty and progress to imperialism’s hegemonic domination, the real fundamental alternative to capitalist barbarity – socialism. It reaffirmed the central role of the working class and its alliance with other anti-monopolist strata in defence of their rights, namely the right to employment, for labour and social rights, in defence of the social functions of States. Participants valued and expressed their solidarity with all the peoples who resist imperialism’s policies of interference and aggression – especially to the peoples of the Middle East, saluting the ongoing struggles in that region against all forms of aggression and oppression, for sovereignty, democracy, social justice and national unity, as in Egypt and Tunisia. It reaffirmed its solidarity with the Palestinian people and their struggle for national rights, as well as with other peoples in the region who are victims of aggressions and interferences, such as the Syrian people. In a framework of continuing resistance and gathering of forces, but where the potential for the development of a revolutionary struggle grows, important factors emerge in various regions of the world to contain imperialism’s hegemonic domination. Participants saluted and valued the struggle of the peoples, of the communists and other progressive forces in Latin America, considering that the processes of struggle, progressive and of sovereign affirmation in this region, as well as the cooperation based on solidarity that is emerging in the region, constitute an important factor and stimulus for the development and strengthening of the anti-imperialist struggle. The participants reasserted their solidarity with Cuba and its socialist revolution, as well as with the Venezuelan people and their Bolivarian revolution, among others. It stressed the importance of the struggle in defence of democratic freedoms, against the advance of the far right, against xenophobia and racism, against religious fanaticism and obscurantism, against anti-communism. It reaffirmed solidarity with other communist parties and all revolutionary forces that are the target of political persecution and anti-communist campaigns – namely in the European continent, which is carried out by several governments as well as by institutions like the European Union. Concrete experiences of struggle in different countries and regions were present in most interventions, confirming that the workers and peoples do not conform and that, even in the current difficult conditions, liberating advances and achievements of an anti-monopolist and anti-capitalist nature are possible. It was affirmed that socialism increasingly emerges as the real fundamental alternative to capitalism and its crisis. Drawing lessons from the delays, mistakes and distortions that countered basic principles of socialism, but valuing as highly positive the experiences of building socialism and what they meant and mean for Humanity, highlighting the achievements of the new social system, recognising that there are no models of revolution, the participants stressed the determining role of the masses in the construction and management of socialist societies. It was stressed that the current international situation makes it particularly necessary to strengthen the cooperation among all progressive and anti-imperialist forces and, firstly, among communist and workers’ parties from all over the world, one of the most solid guarantees for the strengthening of the peoples’ struggle and the construction of the alternative of socialism. In this sense, the rich experience and advances made with the International Meetings of Communist and Workers’ Parties was highlighted, as a space for exchange of information, experiences and opinions, of possible convergence of positions and decisions on common and converging initiatives, reaffirming the importance of ensuring their continuity. The meeting adopted various lines and initiatives of common or converging action by Communist and Workers’ Parties to be materialised until the 16th IMCWP (which can be found at the end of this press release), having mandated the Working Group to stimulate and monitor their implementation and materialisation. The International Meeting welcomed the existence of three proposals for the venue of the 16th Meeting. Its date, place and motto will be decided during the meeting of the Working Group of the International Meetings of Communist and Workers’ Parties to be held in due time. Guidelines for Common or Convergent Action THE participant parties of the 15th International Meeting of Communist and Workers' Parties define the following guidelines for their common and convergent action and mandate the Working Group to try to implement these guidelines in coordination with other Parties of the Solidnet List. 1. Commemorate, during the year 2014, the 100th anniversary of the beginning of World War I, and the 75th anniversary of the beginning of World War II through a joint campaign alerting to the dangers of new international military clashes, alerting to the need to enhance the struggle for peace and against imperialist aggressiveness and wars and highlighting that the struggle for peace is intimately linked with the struggle for socialism. (In this sense the German CP, the New CP of Netherlands, the Workers' Party of Belgium and the CP of Luxembourg informed about the preparation of an action in the German border town Aechen, on February 15). 2. Mark the 15 Years from the beginning of criminal imperialistic NATO aggression against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, a new phase in the development of military imperialistic strategy and the beginning of the occupation of Kosovo and Metohija, southern Serbian province. 3. To stimulate, in coordination with the parties from Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Caribbean, the organisation of an international seminar on the capitalist crisis's impact in the developing countries, focusing especially on issues such as the right to economic and social development and protection of natural resources, as well on issues of agriculture, land tenure, and food security. Highlight the role of monopolies in the destruction of the global environment, asserting an anti-monopolist and anti-capitalist viewpoint on the growing environmental crisis. 4. Organise an international campaign in solidarity with the ongoing processes and struggles in Latin America and Caribbean, and in particular with Socialist Cuba – against the USA blockade, the common EU position, and for the return of the four Cuban patriots still held in US prisons –with Bolivarian Venezuela and with the Colombian people's struggle for peace with social justice. 5. Examine the possibility of – taking advantage of international events where a large number of Parties are present – organising a working meeting to debate the ideological offensive and the mass media's role, as well as to exchange experiences on mass communication work. 6. To celebrate the International Woman’s Day (March 8, 2014) highlighting the effect of the crisis and of the imperialist multifaceted offensive on working women and national oppressed women, expressing solidarity with their struggle and their anti-imperialist movement. 7. Honour May 1 (May Day) with participation in the struggles in each country for the defence of workers and peoples economic and social rights, for the right to work and for labour rights, highlighting the importance of the class struggle, for the abolition of exploitation of man by man. Consider the possibility of announcing on this date a day of action, with initiatives in each country, against unemployment and its real roots, giving particular importance to the mass unemployment among youth. Defend the trade union rights, denounce the political persecution and demand the liberation of the detained trade unionists. 8. Examine the possibility of convergent actions on the combat against racism, xenophobia, against fascism, stressing the importance of the ideological struggle against anti-communism and the rewriting of History, denouncing the EU in what concerns its institutional campaigns and measures aiming to equate communism with fascism. 9. To determine a day of action, with expressions in each country, against the persecution of the communist parties and the ban of communist symbols, affirming solidarity with the communist parties banned in their countries. 10. Commemorate the 95th Anniversary of the Creation of the Communist International (March 1919) underlining, on the occasion of 90 years of Lenin's death, his central contribution to the international communist movement. 11. To stimulate, in coordination with the Parties from the Arab countries and Middle East, the organisation of an international seminar about the social and national emancipation struggles of the peoples of Arab countries and the Middle East, expressing the solidarity with all the peoples of the region that are victims of the imperialist and Zionist crimes and aggressions, among others the Palestinian and Syrian people, and also with the people's that rise up against repressive, dictatorial and reactionary regimes, in defence of their social, political and democratic rights. 12. To continue to denounce the imperialist intervention against Syria and Iran, and to continue the struggle for the recognition of an independent Palestinian State. 13. To promote the international front against imperialism and the support for the international anti-imperialist mass organisations, the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU), the World Peace Council (WPC), the World Federation of Democratic Youth (WFDY), and the Women’s International Democratic Federation (WIDF), in the specific framework of every country.