Wednesday, July 24, 2019

CP of the Workers of Spain, SOLIDARITY WITH SOCIALIST CUBA ON JULY 26


- Statement of the Central Committee of the PCTE -

The 8th Plenary Session of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of the Workers of Spain (PCTE), held in Madrid on July 13-14, 2019, and due to the proximity of July 26, when the 66th Anniversary of the assault on the Moncada and Carlos Manuel de C├ęspedes Barracks, conveys to the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Cuba (PCC) the internationalist solidarity from our Party and the greatest wishes of success in the workers' and the whole Cuban people's struggles for socialism and national sovereignty.

This July 26 is held in the same year when the 60th Anniversary of the triumph of the Cuban Revolution is celebrated and in a juncture when, as a result of the escalation in all the imperialist contradictions, the US Government has announced the activation of Title III of the Helms-Burton Act and the setting-up of new aggressive measures. Their unsuccessful aim to achieve political goals through blockade and choking, as a means to destroy the example of the first victorious socialist revolution in the American continent, is still pursued.

Spanish communists have severally struggled together with the Cuban people and their revolution. And, against the new imperialist offensive, we manifest our unshakable decision to double our proletarian internationalist efforts in the defense of socialism and the sovereignty of the Republic of Cuba. The Cuban working class and the ensemble of the revolutionary people, with their political vanguard ahead, will once again defeat the imperialist offensive. In this new stage of struggle, they will count with all our solidarity.

The Central Committee of the PCTE agrees to:

1st. Double the efforts to strengthen the movement of solidarity with Cuba in Spain, from a unitary perspective which will allow to answer to every imperialist aggression from the mobilization and people's solidarity.

2nd. Double the efforts in the ideological struggle against imperialism, by unveiling the  campaign of manipulation displayed against the Cuban Revolution and giving value to the achievements that socialism has entailed for the Cuban people and for all the peoples that have received the Cuban internationalist solidarity for more than half a century.

3rd. Guide all the organizations of the Party and the ensemble of the militancy to display the highest militant effort in the meetings which will take place in our country to celebrate July 26.

Solidarity is the tenderness of the peoples!

Workers of the world, unite!
Communist Party of the Workers of Spain

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

STOP THE DRIVE TO WAR ON IRAN




The Communist Party of Canada condemns the ongoing foreign belligerence and escalating drive to war against Iran and demands that the Canadian government take immediate action to de-escalate the crisis, which risks calls an all-out, regional war that could involve nuclear weapons. This includes the immediate withdrawal of all US and NATO forces from the region, and normalization of diplomatic relations with Iran.
The current crisis is the direct result of United States’ provocation, which is increasing on a daily basis.
In May 2018 the US chose to unilaterally abandon the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action (JCPOA), the so-called “Iran nuclear deal,” and reimpose sanctions on Iran. Donald Trump referred to these sanctions, signed into force in August 2018 and followed by a further in November 2018, as “the most biting sanctions ever imposed.” The nuclear deal was signed onto, and continues to be supported, by all UN Security Council countries, who also opposed the US withdrawal from the deal.
In April 2019, Trump unilaterally declared Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps to be a terrorist organization and announced that all countries importing Iranian oil will also be subject to US sanctions. The stated purpose was “to bring Iran’s oil exports to zero.”
The US continued its escalating provocation in May, by deploying an aircraft carrier strike group, Air Force bombers, and 1500 additional troops to the Middle East.
Almost every day since, the Trump administration has ratcheted up military tensions: declaring a “national emergency” in order to finalize an arms deal that funnels $8 billion in weapons to US allies – and Iran’s rivals – in Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates; sending an additional 1000 troops to the region; ordering, and then cancelling, a military strike in late June; unleashing cyber attacks against Iran; deploying F-22 stealth fighters to Qatar.
Iran, meanwhile, is caught in an untenable position. When the JCPOA was first negotiated in 2015, the Communist Party warned that the deal avoided many of the underlying issues that have contributed to insecurity, conflict and war in the region. “There [was] no discussion of the role of Israel, a nuclear weapons state who has not signed the Non-Proliferation Treaty, or the matter of military buildup in the region by the US and its allies. Similarly, [the agreement] does not discuss foreign interference in the domestic affairs of sovereign states, a recurring tactic of imperialism as it drives to overthrow legitimate governments in countries such as Syria. The plan is further weakened by the absence of either a clear timeline for eliminating sanctions, or a common agreement on which sanctions will be lifted.”
Although the United States has left the JCPOA and reimposed sanctions, responses by Iran remain subject to the terms of the agreement and, therefore, to penalty from the other signatories. So, when Iran incrementally, and symbolically, increased enriched uranium production, it was immediately denounced by France, Germany and Britain. Israel’s government has called for those countries to impose sanctions in response.
This crisis follows a script that the people of the world have seen many times. The imperialist states and organizations use finger-pointing and wild claims of threats, troop movements and build-ups, phony public relations gestures, and exaggerated or completely fabricated cases of aggression from the target country, all calculated to make war appear inevitable and even necessary.
Imperialist forces are using the many complexities in the region’s politics to promote misinformation and confusion. But the threat of war in the Middle East does not arise from countries who exercise their sovereign right to develop the nuclear energy industries to build their economies, nor from countries who oppose imperialist efforts to re-colonize the Middle East.
Rather, the concrete threat is the existing conventional and nuclear weapons that the US, its NATO allies and Israel constantly brandish in their effort to destabilize the region, to demonize governments that oppose imperialist plans, and to justify interference and war. The real danger is the economic and political interests of these same, imperialist, forces. In the first place, the US drive for worldwide access and control over oil and its transportation routes is the key factor in the current drive to war against Iran.
The Canadian government has allied itself with the US and a tiny minority of Western governments who, along with pro-war forces within Israel and a few reactionary Arab regimes, are seeking new pretexts for intervention and war. These governments have chosen militarism and war as their preferred option for expanding their spheres of influence and control over resources and markets. The result, always, is destruction, displacement, death and despair to the peoples of the countries who have been targeted.
This time the stakes are even higher, given the concentration of foreign military firepower in the region. A US-led war against Iran would quickly escalate into a regional conflict – or even broader – and involve nuclear-weapons powers including the US, NATO, Russia, and Israel.   
The Communist Party of Canada demands the immediate withdrawal of all US and NATO forces from the region. The CPC further demands that the Canadian government oppose the US provocations against Iran, along with all acts of foreign interference and aggression. Canada must restore and normalize its diplomatic relations with Iran, and work to end all sanctions against the people of Iran. The CPC calls for a new, independent foreign policy of peace, international cooperation and solidarity, with a focus on promoting comprehensive and general disarmament, beginning with the nuclear arsenals of the US, NATO and Israel.
Central Executive Committee, Communist Party of Canada

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Greetings to the FSLN on the 40th anniversary of the Sandinista Popular Revolution






 


On behalf of the Communist Party of Australia we send warm and revolutionary greetings                                    to the FSLN on the 40th anniversary of the Sandinista Revolution in Nicaragua.
On 19th July 1979 we witnessed the last successful armed revolution of the 20th Century.                                    The all-out popular war defeated Nicaraguan dictator Somoza, one of the most horrible                            butchering dictatorships in Latin America.
Under the leadership of Commander in chief Carlos Fonseca Amador, the FSLN                                                made the correct strategic and tactical assessment giving leadership to the insurrectional                                    and guerrilla warfare effort in which the entire people participated in the overthrow of                                Somoza’s dictatorship. They followed the legacy of the “General of Free Men” Augusto                                   Cesar Sandino.
A very young revolution was confronted with the collapse of the Soviet Union and the                              pressures that mounted in the unipolar world of the 90’s. Including the US inhumane war                              against the Sandinistas with the CIA sponsored Contras as well as the economic war                                    against the people. We remember the victims of the war in particular the Cachorros (pups)                      youngsters who gave their lives in defence of the homeland and their revolution.
In Nicaragua’s elections the FSLN lost an election to Violeta Chamorro in 1990 and the                                              neoliberal policies of the past were returned. The people quickly remembered the reasons                                      for their earlier struggle and the support for the FSLN returned. Daniel Ortega and the FSLN                                    returned to power in 2007.                                                                                                                                                        
Since then the FSLN under the leadership of Commander Daniel Ortega has rebuilt the basis                                     of the revolution despite the attacks by US imperialism which at the beginning of 2018 tried                                     to overthrow the government.
Nicaragua have overcome the attacks to proudly build a society that provided for the people                              and is free of gangs and other miseries. The building of a socialist society is the task the                      Sandinistas have ahead in their program.
We stand in solidarity with the Sandinista National Liberation Front, FSLN on the 40th                           anniversary of the Sandinista revolution. We paid our respects to all those whose blood                               fertilised the road to a successful popular revolution.
In solidarity,
Communist Party of Australia, CPA

Sunday, July 14, 2019

“The transformation of production and unifying slogans of workers in Europe”



https://www.akel.org.cy/en/2019/07/12/the-transformation-of-production-and-unifying-slogans-of-workers-in-europe/?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+AKELen+%28AKEL+%28English%29%29#.XSs-PMv444k

Intervention by Christos Tombazos, Member of the C.C. of AKEL and Central Organizing Secretary of the Pancyprian Federation of Labour, at the PEL seminar on the subject: “The transformation of production and unifying slogans of workers in Europe”
12 July 2019, Fiuggi Italy
Comrades,
First permit me thank the organizers for this fine and useful initiative.
I consider that before we focus on the essence of the issue regarding the transformation of production and working people’s joint action, it is important to look at the context within the EU itself. If we do not see the stark realities, we may not arrive at beneficial conclusions.
For that reason, to talk about rights, joint action, about a Europe of the working people, it is in our opinion useful, albeit briefly to look at today’s realities, to see the current EU as it actually is and not as how one may imagine it to be.
As AKEL, we believe that today’s European unification has no relationship whatsoever with its own declarations and – above all – with the aspirations and needs of the peoples in the EU member states. When during the mid-1990’s, AKEL decided to consent – but according to preconditions and taking into account the cause of the Cyprus problem – to Cyprus’ accession to the EU, it proclaimed that this was the result of the dramatic changes that took place in international conditions and not in the character of the European Union itself. During that period, the assessments and warnings of AKEL, as well as that of a large section of the Left in Europe about the capitalist nature, course and policies of the EU were ignored or mocked. However, today it is evident that these assessments and warnings are being verified.
One wonders, can the EU today continue implementing the same neoliberal policies when their very results have led to millions of unemployed, poor, under-employed and even homeless people?
When even the former President of the Commission himself, Jean-Claude Juncker, admitted that the EU is in danger of becoming a Wild West of social dumping and that the living standards of today’s young people are worse than their parents?
What meaning do the EU’s declared supposed values have on the crucial issue of our era, namely with regards the refugee and migration issue? The principles of solidarity are being replaced by the doctrine of “Fortress Europe”, by the Right and far-right logic of repression, the militarization of the EU’s external borders or the refugee “detention centres” on European territory.
How “European” is the xenophobic attitude of governments like those of Orban in Hungary or Kurt in Austria, governments that are members of the European People’s Party EPP?
How “European” is the government of Italy that has reached the point of arresting rescuers? They refuse to participate in a system of hosting refugees across all member states, depending to their capabilities. It is the attitude of these forces that has resulted in states such as Greece to take on a disproportionate share of responsibilities in hosting refugees, despite the fact that this constitutes the legal and moral obligation of all member states. In particular, on this burning issue, we believe that the progressive forces of Europe must send out the powerful message that – even though we know the issue of immigration is a complex one and there are no easy solutions – racism and hatred are not only not the solution, but are part of the problem.
As regards foreign policy and defense issues, we pose the following questions: How can the EU be considered a “force of peace”, as it itself claims, when it is proceeding towards a “turn in investment” towards the war arms industry?
When its powerful member states are engaging in widespread selling of arms and weapons with authoritarian regimes and warring Middle Eastern countries?
When it is continuously deepening its coupling and association with NATO?
When the EU opts for an ongoing escalation of confrontations with Russia, instead of choosing the path of dialogue and cooperation?
The issues relating to the democratic functioning, transparency and essential parity of member states within the EU structure are one of the most debated European issues. In our view, the “democratic deficit of the EU” not only concerns its operation and procedures. It is a structural issue. The EU has a class character, given that the elites and powerful interests prevail to the detriment of the peoples, citizens, trade unions and social movements. Their characteristic expression is the huge influence of multinational giants’ lobby on decision-making by EU institutions.
The answer to these huge deadlocks cannot be the nationalist “Euro-skepticism” of the extreme-right that has unfortunately increased its position in the recent elections. The answer cannot be the forces that are threatening to plunge Europe back to the darkest times of its history. The situation is more worrying than many people think.
On the political horizon of Europe democracy, peace, the rights and the conquests of our peoples are now facing a terrible danger. Extreme right-wing forces are already in governments and have entered parliaments in a number of member states. They bring with them xenophobia and racism, fanatical anti-communism and anti-Semitism, sexism and homophobia, even praising Hitler and Mussolini. For some years now, they are being legitimized in the eyes of the people as a result of the tolerance shown towards them or even by the treatment they enjoy mainly from the member parties of the European People’s Party. They are now encouraged by Trump’s government. They are now being coordinated and organized with a view to the European elections. All of them not only do not represent an “anti-systemic alternative force”, but instead the most barbaric and reactionary version of the system. Every democrat and progressive citizen of Cyprus and Europe must rise up against this threat. This is why, as AKEL, we feel the strong need in these conditions to address an appeal to all democrat fellow citizens who, even if they may not agree with us on all issues, share however the need to block the road to the far-right.
Comrades,
We are waging our struggles in this framework, in constantly changing conditions, both on a political level and production levels. I will give you some examples from my own country, Cyprus, as they roughly have evolved in all countries, with variations of course.
Since the late 1980’s and early 1990’s, drastic changes have taken place in the developmental model of the Cyprus economy, which has resulted on the on hand in a gradual but rapid shift in economic activity and, consequently, in employment, from the primary and secondary sectors to the tertiary, i.e. services.
One characteristic example is the fact that in 1995, where changes such as the disappearance of the footwear industry that flourished in the 1980’s had already taken place, the manufacturing industry had a double GDP than the financial sector, whereas the share of agriculture and fisheries in the GDP was as much as the banking and insurance sectors combined.
The most significant changes are related to the dramatic contraction of manufacturing and agriculture and their replacement with banks, insurance and the wider service sectors such as private education, private health, technology companies, auditing and law firms and other related sectors.
In 2017, financial and insurance activities were at the forefront of the Cyprus economy with their contribution to GDP standing at 9.64%. Yet a few years ago they were in tenth place with their contribution just 4.79% of GDP.
All this, combined with other factors such as the increase in the Cypriot people’s educational level and the young generations’ orientation towards occupations that are in demand, have created the preconditions for a form of “de-proletarisation” of the Cypriot working class. That is to say, the numbers of manual workers and craftsmen have fallen drastically, while the number of highly qualified workers and of working people in the general services sector have risen sharply.
Another reality that has evolved is the gradual covering of even the reduced needs for the low-skilled manual jobs by immigrants, who make up 30% of private sector workers.
However, apart from the shifting of employment from traditional sectors of economic activity to the services sector, another important factor that had a drastic effect on the production process is the continuous development of new technologies.
In the course of human society technological advances and achievements have led to new developments in the production process. One would expect that today, the vigorous growth of productive forces combined with scientific and technological innovations would have led to an improvement in living standards and that working people across the world would enjoy at least minimal dignified living standards.
Instead, however, these benefits mainly serve the interests of the ruling circles and multinational companies and hardly any workers. Developments in the production process with the introduction of new technologies reveal the capitalist system’s contradictions. In the context of neo-liberal capitalist globalization, social inequalities, the exploitation of the working class and the concentration of wealth in the hands of the privileged few are intensifying. There is an increase in the number of working people who have a job and a steady income, but are living in conditions of poverty or are on the poverty line. The number of poor working people is growing.
One characteristic of the ongoing acute unequal distribution is the fact that today 1% of the world’s population own the same wealth as the 99%, while over 300 million people survive on less than one and a half dollars a day.
In recent years, there has been an explosion in the development of new technologies and their use in industrial production and the economy in general, leading to the fourth industrial revolution, as it has been defined by experts.
At the same time, and while the “fourth industrial revolution” is being implemented, as defined by the mass use of new technologies in industrial production, millions of people all over the world are still being denied access even to electricity, drinking water, health and education. Even worse the progress of new technologies and their introduction and use in the production process is being used by capital for the further deregulation of labour relations. Employment through electronic platforms is yet another form of flexibility and undermines working people’s possibility to take collective action and to assert. The International Labour Organization estimates that 42% of the world’s labour force is employed in conditions of flexibility.
At the same time, the application of technologies is displacing the labour force, and according to estimates by 2020 it is expected that in 15 developed countries there will be a loss of 7 million jobs which will be replaced by machines.
In a context where the correlation of forces are not favourable for working people, historical labour gains are being abolished. The current balance of forces, in combination with the imposition of neoliberal austerity policies and the deregulation of labour relations, have led to greater exploitation and increased capital’s profitability. At the same time, and as a result of the heterogeneous development, acute social contradictions are being observed.
In Europe, the ruling circles taking advantage of the capitalist crisis have imposed a framework with attacks against working people’s gains and trade union rights, the abolition of the welfare state and the privatization of public organizations, the promotion of “flexible forms of employment” such as part-time work, mini-jobs and “zero hour” contracts as a means of tackling unemployment, intensifying the pressure and attacks on labour rights and as a result serving the interests and profitability of capital and multinational companies.
At this point we of course believe that we need to also look at the situation within the trade union movement.
We are obliged to point out that many battles against these policies could have been won had the ETUC as the dominant force demonstrated the required class consistency and determination by mobilizing the working people.
Instead the ETUC chose the path of class compromise.
We as AKEL and the class-based trade union movement of Cyprus believe in solidarity and mutual support, in coordinating our actions and struggles to respond to capitalism’s globalization and the imposition of neo-liberalism.
My organization, PEO, as the Coordinator of the European Regional Office of the World Federation of Trade Unions (WFTU), is working actively, despite the negative balance of forces, for the unity and solidarity of the class-orientated progressive forces in Europe and the development of actions against neoliberal policies.
In these conditions and despite the difficulties, organized struggle, class struggles and international solidarity remain for working people the means to defend their social and labour rights, as well as the means to project a different perspective.
As the Left, of course, we don’t seek to stand out just for our consistent opposition to everything we disagree with. We therefore shouldn’t just be a voice of protest. We above all are seeking to develop action, with our proposals, by putting forth our demands and assertions, through our struggle and vision. We are promoting demands for a different model of socio-economic development in Europe. For investment programs to create permanent and dignified jobs. To support social policies and combat poverty. For the effective safeguarding of collective agreements and the right of trade union organization. We should aim and achieve a common package of minimum social rights for all the peoples, starting with the EU’s accession to the European Social Charter. We should aim to bring more democracy, participation and transparency through the implementation of measures that will make the EU institutions truly open and accountable to people. We are struggling for a Europe that will reject militarization, interventionism and the pursuance of a double-standard policy in the EU’s international relations. We are struggling for a foreign policy that must be based on principles, peace, the respect for international law and solidarity.
The big question is: what kind of Europe do we want and who should it serve? We unequivocally reply that we want a Europe that will serve working people, citizens and the peoples. A Europe of peace, social equality, democracy, equal co-operation and open multicultural societies. The Europe of the Peoples.
We need to step up our actions for this kind of Europe. We need to focus on what unites us as the left, put aside possible differences on secondary issues. We need to get closer to the class-based trade unions and social movements and listen to their concerns and support their assertions.
We aspire to and are sure that, as always, our Group, the Confederal Group of GUE/NGL in the European Parliament will as always be our ally.
We thank you again for the hospitality and organization of the event. We wish you all the best in your struggles for all of us.

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Those creating refugees are the criminals, not those helping refugees



AKEL C.C. Press Office, 1 July 2019, Nicosia
The action by Carola Rachete, activist and captain of the Sea-Watch 3 boat, to defy the threats and bans issued by the far-right Italian Minister Salvini and subsequently dock in Lampedusa with her ship carrying 40 refugees exhausted by thirst and hunger from the Mediterranean, raises high the bar of a humane approach in the modern world. Her boldness should have been a global example and not be subject to persecution by the Italian authorities. The absurdity is outrageous. Instead of apologizing to those who cause the waves of refugee and those who refuse to take on their share of responsibility for accommodating refugees, all those who are expressing practical humanitarian solidarity with refugees are being prosecuted.
This is a new case in the attempt by the Right and far-right effort in Europe to criminalize the provision of humanitarian assistance to refugees who are at risk in the sea. This policy constitutes an inhuman and immoral practice which in fact violates international law as well. The increasing persecution and repression of those who rescue refugees from the sea has already had tragic results. According to figures released by the International Organization for Migration, in spite of the fact that the number of arrivals of refugees to Europe has fallen recently, the macabre proportion of deaths – due precisely to the sea tragedies – has increased.
However, it isn’t only Salvini and the European extreme-right who are guilty. The EU bears enormous responsibilities. Just a few days ago, the European Commission refused to clarify its position as to whether or not it agrees with Italy’s decision to impose fines on those who rescue refugees. The EU, with its policies, is building the “Fortress Europe” with a web of measures, mechanisms, and agreements with authoritarian regimes to contain refugees in modern concentration camps, and with armies of border guards to halt boats instead of search and rescue operations. The EU’s current legal framework – in particular, as expressed in the EU Facilitation Directive – does not effectively separate traffickers who exploit refugees from people and organizations that selflessly and often at the risk of their own lives rescue refugees in danger.
Every day, it is confirmed that the expression of grief and indignation for the ongoing human tragedies of immigrants in Europe, the United States and around the world is not enough. A struggle against the extreme right, its policies and rhetoric is demanded. A struggle for solidarity and humane treatment towards refugees and immigrants.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

Please Make A Tax-Deductible Donation to the Embassy Protectors’ Defense Fund



Make A Tax-Deductible Donation to the
Embassy Protectors’ Defense Fund
NEED YOUR URGENT SUPPORT TO DEFEND THE 
VENEZUELAN EMBASSY PROTECTORS
Dear Friend of Peace and Justice,
Embassy Protection Collective (EPC) members stayed in the Venezuelan Embassy in Washington, DC for 37 days to protect the Vienna Convention and prevent an escalation of conflict with Venezuela. During that time, EPC members inside were cut off from receiving food, electricity and water. Those who tried to deliver food to them from outside were physically assaulted. All EPC members were subjected to loud noises, strobe lights, harassment, threats and intimidation. On May 16, federal agents raided the embassy and arrested the four remaining EPC members inside.
Four members of the Embassy Protection Collective — Kevin Zeese, Margaret Flowers, David Paul and Adrienne Pine — have been charged with “interfering with protective services" of the federal government. They face up to a year in jail and up to a $100,000 fine. There are also other activists who were arrested outside the Embassy and are now facing trials, including the costs for one EPC member who was severely injured by the pro-coup mob while trying to deliver food.
Your donation will support EPC members who are now facing federal charges by a state with unlimited resources. The government is intent on making an example of EPC members. 
We must be aware that these trials are going to have far-reaching implications that go beyond the issue of the Venezuelan Embassy. A negative outcome could be used to silence any opposition to the government's violations of the law in the future.
We need to raise $50,000 to pay the legal fees for three lawyers who are not court-appointed and to cover costs involved with discovery / information requests and reviewing the data.
With your tax-deductible support, the Embassy Protectors Defense Committee will help the EPC members put forward a strong defense of their actions.
Be an Embassy Protector by donating today. 
Please visit our web site at https://DefendEmbassyProtectors.org to make a tax-deductible donation. And Please accept our sincere thanks for your generous solidarity.
You can also help this important campaign by:
  1. Asking your organization to endorse and actively support this campaign.
  2. Organizing solidarity actions in support of the Venezuelan Embassy Protectors and sending us a report of your actions (preferably with photos) so we can publicize them on the Defense Committee's web site.
  3. Forwarding this email to the list of your contacts and ask them to distribute it widely.
Thank You.
Embassy Protectors Defense Committee